KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Super Bowl LVII was won by the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, allowing NFL fans to fully turn their attention toward the upcoming NFL draft.
The 2023 draft class is littered with high level defensive prospects, including a pair of elite defensive linemen in Jalen Carter and Will Anderson, as well as multiple raw but enticing quarterback prospects.
Matt Williamson of the Peacock and Williamson NFL show took his first pass at mocking the first round of the 2023 NFL draft, without any trades and with the goal of providing a first look at roughly where players are being projected.
"This time of year [you] want to get prospects in the right neighborhood, they don't have to be in the right house just yet," Williamson said.
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Without further ado, here is a look at Williamson's first 2023 NFL first round mock draft, with analysis on each pick. For more detail, check out the latest episode of the Peacock and Williamson NFL show.
1. Chicago Bears: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Analysis: The Bears are happy with Justin Fields but could be torn between the two top defensive players in this draft with the first overall selection. They go with Carter with the hope that he becomes an Aaron Donald-like interior defender, which isn’t that far-fetched.
2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Analysis: The Alabama connection of DeMeco Ryans and Young should give Texans’ fans great hope for the future and outstanding building blocks to kickstart this organization.
3. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson, DE, Alabama
Analysis: With the third overall pick, Arizona should be very content to take either Anderson or Carter. Their defensive front is lacking impact players. That could change quickly after this draft.
4. Indianapolis Colts: CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Analysis: Since Andrew Luck’s retirement, the Colts have gone through veteran quarterback after veteran quarterback. They take a different approach this year and go to the draft in hopes of finding their next Luck.
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5. Seattle Seahawks: Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
Analysis: With the first of two first round picks, the Seahawks address their ailing pass-rush with a very intriguing prospect in Wilson, a mismatch waiting to happen at the next level.
6. Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Analysis: The Lions offense took huge strides last year, so this pick is likely to be on the defensive side of the ball. Gonzalez has great talent as well as impressive tape.
7. Las Vegas Raiders: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Analysis: With Derek Carr likely out of the picture, the Raiders could have already invested in a quarterback in free agency by the time the draft rolls around. But even if that is true, Levis would be a great guy for Josh McDaniels to develop.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson
Analysis: Murphy can play all over the defensive front, something Atlanta is really lacking. The Falcons need all the impact defenders they can get, and Murphy, a rare specimen, is a very good start.
9. Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Analysis: Richardson is immensely talented, but also extremely raw. The Panthers could sign a veteran to hold down the fort at quarterback as Richardson hopefully develops into a star.
10. Philadelphia Eagles: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Analysis: The loaded Eagles have two first round picks this year, including 10th overall. They grab Witherspoon to pair with Darius Slay, hopefully keeping a strength a strength at the cornerback position.
11. Tennessee Titans: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
Analysis: Skoronski is the best blocker in this draft class, but his position at the next level is still up in the air. Tennessee needs help all over their offensive line and Skoronski will grab a starting spot immediately.
12. Houston Texans: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Analysis: After drafting what they hope is their long-time franchise quarterback, Houston gets Young a top weapon to make the transition to the NFL that much easier.
13. New York Jets: Brian Branch, DB, Alabama
Analysis: Coming out of Alabama, Branch is commonly compared to Minkah Fitzpatrick. He is a do-it-all defensive back with a fantastic play demeanor, something Robert Salah would surely appreciate.
14. New England Patriots: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State
Analysis: Adding a left tackle like Johnson was too good to pass up for Bill Belichick. A pass catcher could certainly be in play here as well for Mac Jones.
15. Green Bay Packers: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
Analysis: As usual, the Packers could use help in the draft with their pass catchers. But history shows that Green Bay drafts defense in the first round and Bresee would fit in very well.
16. Washington Commanders: O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
Analysis: Torrence is a masher in the run game, but agile and light on his feet in protection. He is a plug and play guard for the Commanders at a position of need.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
Analysis: Jones has a prototypical left tackle skillset and that is just too appealing to pass up for Pittsburgh in the middle of the first round. And Jones wouldn’t have to start immediately as he sharpens his craft.
18. Detroit Lions: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Analysis: The Lions addressed defense with their first pick and get their TJ Hockenson replacement here with Mayer, a very well-rounded tight end that should help immediately.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State
Analysis: Guessing what life in Tampa post-Tom Brady isn’t to do. But Todd Bowles scheme leaves his cornerbacks on islands more than most. This is a position the Bucs are always looking for.
20. Seattle Seahawks: Keion White, DL, Georgia Tech
Analysis: The Seahawks double down on improving their pass-rush. White can be used all over the defensive front and is a remarkable athlete for the position.
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Analysis: Hyatt has speed to burn, and Los Angeles had a tough time creating big plays downfield last season. Hyatt’s presence also should open space for the Chargers run game as well.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Quentin Johnson, WR, TCU
Analysis: Baltimore absolutely needs to upgrade their wide receiver position. Johnson could team with Rashod Bateman to give the Ravens an exciting young pair of wide outs.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Analysis: Minnesota hired Brian Flores as their new defensive coordinator. Going back to his time with the Dolphins, Flores’ scheme is demanding on cornerbacks, a position of concern last year for the Vikings.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
Analysis: Evan Engram had an outstanding season in Jacksonville. He is an upcoming free agent and could get the Franchise tag. But Washington, with his outstanding size, is a different type of tight end and would give Trevor Lawrence a unique weapon.
25. New York Giants: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
Analysis: The Giants defense consistently plays with a lot of defensive backs on the field. Adding a corner with Forbes’ skill set would be a very welcome addition to the backend of New York’s defense.
26. Dallas Cowboys: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Analysis: Dallas was one weapon short last year. Smith-Njigba was tremendous two years ago and would give Dallas an immediate slot presence, making it much harder to roll coverage in CeeDee Lamb’s direction.
27. Buffalo Bills: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Analysis: There is an argument to be made that Robinson is the best prospect in this entire draft class but finding homes for running back prospects can be challenging. The Bills grab him here realizing a power running game is needed late in the season in Buffalo.
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
Analysis: Hayden Hurst is a free agent and Kincaid would give Joe Burrow yet another potent pass catcher. He was very impressive at the Senior Bowl.
29. New Orleans Saints: Lukas Van Ness, DE, Iowa
Analysis: After getting this pick from Denver in the Sean Payton trade, the Saints could go a lot of different directions here. Van Ness fits in New Orleans’ defensive scheme as a power end and could eventually be Cameron Jordan’s successor.
30. Philadelphia Eagles: Derick Hall, DE, Auburn
Analysis: The Eagles grabbed a cornerback with their first pick, but staying true to form, they went back to their bread and butter-drafting linemen early-with their second first round selection.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
Analysis: Travis Kelce isn’t going to play forever and after sending Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins. Kansas City went to much more 12 and 13 Personnel this year with multiple tight ends on the field and it worked extremely well.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers: John Michael Schmitz, OC, Minnesota
Analysis: The Steelers don’t have to go offensive line/offensive line with their first two picks, but Schmitz was too good to pass up on the interior after his outstanding performance at the Senior Bowl.