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NFL Draft 2023 mock draft: Our beatwriters make their top 10 picks

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Most years, it’s not a question of if a quarterback run will happen in the NFL Draft, but when. At first glance, it could happen in early 2023.

That’s unless a potentially elite crop of defensive prospects (and perhaps a handful of attacking tackles or skill-positioned players) have their say. With two weeks left in the regular season and the draft starting to come together, we asked our team of beat writers and draft experts how the top 10 might pan out. will be the Texas go QB to No. 1? Should the Seahawks or the Lions also lean into this position?

Here is our current best guess:

1. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Young’s height (listed at 6-foot-0 and 194 pounds) is one reason there’s no consensus on the best quarterback in this draft. There’s little debate, however, about whether the Texans should address that position here. If Houston has decided 24 starts in Davis Mills’ career, he’s most effective in a two-quarterback offense with Jeff Driskelthen Mills, a 2021 third-round pick, is clearly not the long-term answer.

The Texans and general manager Nick Caserio haven’t been afraid to operate against conventional wisdom (see: their last two head coaching hires), but I’ll go for the relatively obvious choice here. Young is draft expert Dane Brugler’s top-rated prospect at the No. 1 position. 3 prospects overall. —Aaron Reiss

2. Chicago Bears: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

If you listen to the first year Bear coach Matt Eberflus, you need to know how important the defensive three-tackle position is to his defensive scheme. Just last week, Eberflus described the technique of threes as “the engine that makes everything work”. It’s not easy to convey Alabama passrusher Will Anderson Jr., but Carter can be that engine for the Bears defense going forward. He’s a mean, do-it-all lineman in the mold of Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. They are actually from the same high school (Apopka) in Florida. Carter is also the best player on the best college football team and arguably has been for the past two years. —Adam Jahns

3. Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos): Will Anderson Jr., Edge, Alabama

the sea ​​hawks desperately need a game-changing pass rusher. They haven’t had a double figure dude since Frank Clark in 2018. Outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (nine sacks in 15 games) is expected to reach that level before the end of the year, but his presence alone hasn’t stopped Seattle from being average when it comes to pressure on the passer. Seahawks so badly need dominant upside to partner Nwosu they start at 35 Bruce Irvin. He played well, to be fair, but the fact that they had to call Irvin off the couch to play 54% of the defensive snaps shows just how serious the need for plug-and-play talent is. — Michael Shawn Dugar

4. Arizona Cardinals: Kelee Ringo, BC, Georgia

Since Cliff Kingsbury became head coach, only one of them ArizonaThe first-round picks of were spent on a player in a prime position (Kyler Murray, Nope. 1 in 2019). With a GM change on the horizon, it’s time for the Cardinals to stop messing around with high-value draft opportunities, and Ringo is the best non-quarterback available here.

Over the past four seasons, Arizona ranks 25th in EPA defensive passing, 29th in opposing passer ratings, 28th in first downs allowed per pass, and 30th in touchdowns allowed per pass. Ringo would give this defense the locking corner it has been missing since patrick petersonpeak years. He would also help maximize Byron Murphy in the slot/on secondary options and go a long way to repairing a defense that has been trying to claw its way to success. — Diante Lee

5. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

the Foals have to make a decision: Is Levis the top quarterback who had scouts salivating earlier in his career? Kentucky career, or is he the player who struggled in 2022? He looks like the piece: a prototype with height, arm strength and mobility. But this inconsistent strip may give some scouts pause. It’s also worth noting that Levis lost his primary target, most of his offensive line and offensive coordinator in 2022, but he also only had one game with 250+ yards in 15 starts against defenses. of the SEC. Still, he has all the traits, which is why he’s been in the top 10 for quite a while. — Bob Kravitz

6. Atlanta Falcons: Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson

Everything in Atlanta is continuous Desmond Cavalierdevelopment in the last two games. If the rookie quarterback shows he’s the man for the job for (at least) 2023, then the Falcons no need to add another young player to this position. Atlanta used a second-round pick (Arnold Ekibetie) and a third-round pick (DeAngelo Malone) on edge rushers last year, but that hasn’t helped much yet. While Ebiketie and Malone have moved up, Atlanta is still last in the league in sack percentage, at 3.9%. Only six teams over the past five years have had a lower sack percentage, and one of them was the Falcons last year (3.1%). Defensive tackle and cornerback would also be attractive here. — Josh Kendal

7. Detroit Lions (via Rams): Christian Gonzalez, BC, Oregon

This is… not an ideal board for the Lions. We would have been happy if Ringo was available here, but he wasn’t. Murphy was also an option, as it was Clemson Defensive tackle Bryan Bresee. But the emergence of the rookie james houston reduced the need for another pass thrower and general manager Brad Holmes remains high on DT Levi Onwuzurike, a 2021 second-round pick who couldn’t stay healthy. Since there are no business scenarios here, the Lions are kind of stuck. However, the corner is a clear and obvious need, so Gonzalez — which matches what defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn likes to do — is the choice. — Colton Pouncy

8. Carolina Panthers: CJ Stroud, quarterback, Ohio State

the Panthers stayed in the hunt for the playoffs thanks to the abysmal state of the NFC South and despite the absence of a franchise quarterback. Sam Darnold is the third QB to start for Carolina this year, after Baker Mayfield and PJ Walker. And while Darnold has played better and protected the ball — his four-game no-turnover streak is the longest of his career — the Panthers should be in the QB market again. It could be trickier if they take the division, which would drop the Panthers to 19th in the draft order (or lower if they win a playoff game).

The Panthers transmitted a ohio state QB in 2021, when they took Jaycee Horn to No. 8 while Justin Fields was available. It is not inconceivable that they will make the same decision again. — Joe Nobody

9. Las Vegas Raiders: Cam Smith, BC, SC

We were a little tempted by Florida QC Anthony Richardson. Despite all his physical qualities, he is simply not precise enough on the short and intermediate courses.

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Meanwhile, Smith checks all the boxes with his frame (6-1, 187 pounds), long arms, sticky coverage, ball skills and positional versatility. Smith has played outside, inside, and even college safety. Opposing teams have shunned him this season — he’s allowed just 15 catches on 32 targets for 184 yards — but the energy and leadership he plays with still jumps out. — Vic Tafur

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via Saints): Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

the Eagles believe in building along the line of scrimmage – 12 of their last 17 first-round picks have either rushed the passer or protected the QB – so a good bet would be the best lineman available. It would be tempting to do offensive tackle here to find Lane Johnson, but Bresee would be a compelling option. Brugler also instructed the Eagles to win the Clemson DT at No. 1. 6 in his final fictional draft, and for good reason. Combine Bresee with Jordan Davis would give the Eagles building blocks in the middle of their defensive line, which would be especially valuable given both Javon Hargrave (30 in February) and Fletcher Cox (32, as of Dec. 13) are impending free agents.

Bresee hasn’t necessarily had prolific production at Clemson, and he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2021, but the former top rookie has the kind of physical and athletic profile that’s rare to find. He also brings the versatility of the scheme to play in different lineups for the Eagles. — Zach Berman

(Illustration: Sean Reilly / Athleticism;
Photos: Jay Biggerstaff, Kevin C. Cox, Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

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