2023 NFL Mock Draft: Vikings Go CB
The NFL trade deadline has come and gone, and with that, it’s time to update the 2023 NFL mock draft. See who all the teams select in this latest edition, including the Minnesota Vikings.
Please note that the draft order is taken from Tankathon.com. However, the order was taken prior to Thursday night’s game between the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles, so it may not exactly reflect the current order. Additionally, the Miami Dolphins forfeited their first-round pick hence why there are only 31 selections.
1. Detroit Lions- QB CJ Stroud (Ohio State)
If the Lions do in fact land the No. 1 overall pick, it’s hard to imagine them picking a position other than QB right now. They have a strong offensive line, and Amon-Ra St. Brown is blossoming into a star receiver. This actually is one of the better situations for a rookie QB to land in right now. CJ Stroud heads a few hours north to try and save Detroit.
2. Houston Texans- QB Bryce Young (Alabama)
After a surprising rookie season, Davis Mills seems to have been figured out by NFL defenses in 2022. Because of that, it seems like Houston is another team looking to fill a QB need at the top of the draft. Bryce Young has proven to be an elite college football QB throughout his time at Alabama, and now he tries to be the QB of the future for the Texans.
3. Carolina Panthers- QB Will Levis (Kentucky)
For the second time in three years, QBs get taken with the first three picks of the draft. Will Levis is an extremely raw prospect right now and needs to improve his accuracy in the NFL. That said, his physical gifts are a rare combination of arm strength and speed. Because of that, Carolina takes a chance on him.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers- EDGE Will Anderson (Alabama)
The Steelers should be thrilled with the opportunity to pick Will Anderson. Pairing him with TJ Watt in 2023 opens up so many opportunities for their defense. Anderson has been one of the most fearsome pass-rushers in college football history for the Crimson Tide, and those skills should translate to the NFL.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars- EDGE Myles Murphy (Clemson)
The pipeline from Clemson to Jacksonville stays open with the selection of star EDGE Myles Murphy. Jacksonville needs some help on the defensive front, and they get it with an athletic talent. Another potential target with this pick could be wide receiver, but the Calvin Ridley acquisition makes that a less-pressing need.
6. Las Vegas Raiders- OT Peter Skoronski (Northwestern)
The Las Vegas Raiders are going to need offensive line help next year with Brandon Parker’s contract expiring at the end of the season. Here, they land a player built out of the same mold as Rashawn Slater. Peter Skoronski may be on the smaller side, but he has a bulldog mentality when it comes to his blocking.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- WR Quentin Johnston (TCU)
Tampa Bay likely will be one of the teams connected to a QB when the draft rolls around this spring. That said, with the top three options off the board right off the bat, the plans may have to change. Quentin Johnston is one of the more explosive players at the wide receiver position in this draft class, and he should be a good option for whoever Tampa’s QB is in 2023.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO)- CB Kelee Ringo (Clemson)
A week ago, this pick was within the top five in the draft for a team that is the final undefeated in the NFL. Philadelphia finds themselves in a terrific position with this pick, and they may trade out of it to acquire even more capital. However, at No. 8 overall, they can find ways to help their roster, so they select Kelee Ringo to replace James Bradberry.
9. Houston Texans (via CLE)- DT Jalen Carter (Georgia)
Jalen Carter has been hyped as an even more talented prospect that the freak athlete Jordan Davis. Because of that, with their second pick inside the top 10, Houston takes a stab at adding a disruptive force to the middle of their defensive line.
10. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN)- CB Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)
Geno Smith has thrown the original projections for Seattle all out of wack, and they too may be a team looking to trade down from the top-10. However, they too may need to find some help in the secondary this offseason, and Joey Porter Jr. has had a spectacular year at Penn State.
11. Arizona Cardinals- EDGE Isaiah Foskey (Notre Dame)
The trend of the Arizona Cardinals finding athletic specimens in the NFL Draft continues with this pick. Isaiah Foskey brings great size and length with him to the Cardinals pass-rush group who could lose both J.J. Watt and Zach Allen.
12. Chicago Bears- WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State)
This is a no-brainer for Chicago. Justin Fields spent a year with Jaxon Smith-Njigba at Ohio State, so the two have natural chemistry. Additionally, Chicago needs another speed-threat at WR. This gives them a strong trio with Chase Claypool/Darnell Mooney/Smith-Njigba.
13. Green Bay Packers- WR Jordan Addison (USC)
This pick probably depends on what Aaron Rodgers decides regarding his career. If he retires, this pick could change. However, if he returns, the Packers need to take a stab at another wide receiver to help this offense. Jordan Addison has WR1 potential in the NFL.
14. Detroit Lions (via LAR)- TE Michael Mayer (Notre Dame)
Allow me to introduce you to the latest tight end bearing the nickname “baby Gronk”. The Detroit Lions made a surprising trade by sending T.J. Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings, and it may be a rather smooth transition to now bring in Michael Mayer. He is a big body for Bryce Young to throw to and has an adept blocking ability.
15. Indianapolis Colts- OT Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State)
For all of Matt Ryan’s faults, the Colts also did a terrible job of protecting him prior to being benched for Sam Ehlinger. In order to fix that moving forward, they select one of the more talented offensive linemen in this draft.
16. Cincinnati Bengals- OT Olumuyiwa Fashanu (Penn State)
It seemed like the Bengals may have at least improved their offensive line from their 2021 Super Bowl run, but the early season results do not reflect that. It has never been more apparent than on Halloween night against the Cleveland Browns and Myles Garrett. Because of that, they finally go get an offensive tackle in the first round.
17. New England Patriots- OT Jaelyn Duncan (Maryland)
The Patriots see both their tackles hit free agency this offseason, and while wide receiver may be a position to watch as well, offensive tackle simply feels like a more pressing need. Three straight tackles come off the board.
18. Washington Commanders- QB Hendon Hooker (Tennessee)
We found out what the Washington Commanders think of Taylor Heinicke when they traded for Carson Wentz this offseason and started him. Clearly, they view Heinicke as more of a backup plan than the QB of the future. Because of that, they take a chance on Hendon Hooker who has emerged as a Heisman candidate with Tennessee.
19. Atlanta Falcons- DT Bryan Bresee (Clemson)
The Falcons have some great talent at the front of their defensive line in Grady Jarrett and Arnold Ebiketie. However, they could use a third guy in that room that can generate pressure. Bresee has had a monster season for Clemson, and he should be an immediate impact player.
20. Denver Broncos (via SF)- EDGE Nolan Smith (Georgia)
Denver may have traded away their own first-round pick this offseason, but they managed to get one back by shipping out EDGE Bradley Chubb. The star pass-rusher then got a lucrative long-term contract from the recipient Dolphins. They get a cheap, while still talented, replacement option in Nolan Smith.
21. Los Angeles Chargers- LB Trenton Simpson (Clemson)
The Chargers could see an exodus of off-ball linebackers this offseason, so they become the first to dip into this position in the 2023 Draft. Trenton Simpson is an extremely versatile defender, and he can be used in all three facets.
22. Seattle Seahawks- WR Josh Downs (North Carolina)
The Seahawks found a very talented player for their secondary, and now they’re playing with house money for their second selection in the first round. With this pick, they take a chance on an extremely athletic receiver. Josh Downs has 4.4 speed and terrific leaping ability to go up and get a ball at 5’10.
23. New York Jets- OT Broderick Jones (Georgia)
There’s a possibility that Broderick Jones goes off the board well earlier than the mid-20s so New York should be delighted to find the tackle at this point in the draft. With so many questions surrounding Mekhi Becton and his health, it may be time for New York to put another plan into action.
24. Baltimore Ravens- WR Kayshon Boutte (LSU)
Rashod Bateman went on IR with a Lisfranc injury, and that is expected to end his season. Because of that, the Ravens wide receiver depth is once again about to become a glaring issue for the team. Kayshon Boutte ultimately could be a massive wild card this year, much like CB Derek Stingley was in 2022, but Baltimore needs to find a consistent option for Lamar Jackson to throw to.
25. Kansas City Chiefs- EDGE Andre Carter (Army)
Frank Clark carries a massive cap hit in 2023, so it seems likely that the Chiefs will cut ties with the veteran pass rusher in order to save money. Because of that, they have a void at EDGE opposite of 2022 first-round pick George Karlaftis, and the Chiefs dip back into this position in 2023 with Andre Carter.
26. Dallas Cowboys- TE Darnell Washington (Georgia)
Dalton Schultz is on his franchise tag, and he could be gone at the end of the season. Because of that, Darnell Washington enters Dallas. Washington is an adept blocker and causes headaches for defensive backs as a receiver.
27. New York Giants- CB Cam Smith (South Carolina)
The Giants would have loved to see a wide receiver, or even Darnell Washington, fall this far in the draft given their problems at the position. However, none remaining on the board are worth spending a first-round pick on, so they go ahead and take Cam Smith to help their secondary.
28. Tennessee Titans- LB Noah Sewell (Oregon)
Noah Sewell has one of the highest motors in the 2023 NFL Draft, and his talent as both a coverage man and run stopper matches. He becomes the do-it-all man for the Titans defense.
29. Minnesota Vikings- CB Eli Ricks (Alabama)
Considering the Vikings don’t have a second-round pick anymore, it will be interesting to see if they trade this pick to add a pair of Day Two picks. However, for now, Eli Ricks joins their secondary to add some depth to the CB position.
30. Buffalo Bills- RB Bijan Robinson (Texas)
It won’t be shocking at all to see Bijan Robinson go as high as 10th overall in this draft. Because of that, Buffalo should sprint this pick down to Roger Goodell.
31. Philadelphia Eagles- EDGE Tyree Wilson (Texas Tech)
The Eagles already improved their secondary on Day 1 of the draft, so they dip into the EDGE group with the final pick of the night.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.