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Bucky Brooks 2023 NFL mock draft 3.0: Colts pass on quarterback; Will Levis falls out of first round

After a wild opening wave of free agency -- with signings, releases and trades reshaping rosters across the league -- it's time to assess the impact on the 2023 NFL Draft. Here's my updated forecast for the first round.


  1. The NFL announced in August that the Miami Dolphins will forfeit their 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick following an investigation into whether the team violated league policies pertaining to the integrity of the game.
  2. Check out NFL+ for live coverage of Florida's pro day beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 30.
Carolina Panthers
(via CHI)
C.J. Stroud
Ohio State · QB · Sophomore (RS)

The Panthers opt for the prototypical passer with five-star tools as the QB1 of the future. Stroud's 6-foot-3, 214-pound frame, arm talent and underrated dawg mentality make him the perfect quarterback for Frank Reich to build around.

Bryce Young
Alabama · QB · Junior

The Texans' version of the Kyle Shanahan system could transform Young into a star early in his career. The Alabama standout is a football savant with the IQ, instincts and awareness to dominate opponents with pre-snap reads and post-snap execution.

Will Anderson Jr.
Alabama · Edge · Junior

The Cardinals still have a glaring need for a pass rusher, and Anderson fills the void as a high-motor player with outstanding speed and skill. 

Tyree Wilson
Texas Tech · Edge · Senior (RS)

Adding a quarterback is a top priority, given that free-agent signing Gardner Minshew currently sits first on Indianapolis' depth chart -- but the grades on the available QB1 prospects do not match the Colts' draft position. Wilson would give the team a young, energetic pass rusher to pair with Kwity Paye on the edges.

Seattle Seahawks
(via DEN)
Jalen Carter
Georgia · DT · Junior

Pete Carroll and John Schneider take the best player available to upgrade a defense that needs a makeover after last season's disappointing performance. Carter's off-field issues must be examined carefully, but there's no question about his on-field talent.

Detroit Lions
(via LAR)
Devon Witherspoon
Illinois · CB · Senior

The spectacular cover corner is a man-to-man coverage specialist with the skills to flourish in defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn's system.

Christian Gonzalez
Oregon · CB · Junior

In my last mock draft, I had the Raiders select Kentucky QB Will Levis here, but that was before they signed Jimmy Garoppolo, whose presence as a veteran signal-caller enables Las Vegas to focus on taking the best player available to upgrade the defense. Gonzalez is a big, athletic cover corner who would fit well into defensive coordinator Patrick Graham's plans as a lockdown defender with ball skills. 

Lukas Van Ness
Iowa · Edge · Sophomore (RS)

The ultra-explosive defender possesses the traits, tools and versatility to be effective in the interior or off the edge as a pass rusher. 

Chicago Bears
(via CAR)
Peter Skoronski
Northwestern · OT · Junior

The polished technician would be a plug-and-play starter for the Bears at either tackle spot. 

Nolan Smith
Georgia · Edge · Senior

The freak athlete could serve as an apprentice to Brandon Graham for a season before cracking the lineup as a full-time starter and disruptive playmaker on the edges.

Paris Johnson Jr.
Ohio State · OT · Junior

The extra-large edge blocker is a mauler/brawler with the size, strength and athleticism to move defenders around at the line of scrimmage.

Houston Texans
(via CLE)
Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Ohio State · WR · Junior

The Texans need a WR1 with the route-running prowess and playmaking ability to dazzle in an offense designed to create explosive plays in the passing game under new coordinator Bobby Slowik.

O'Cyrus Torrence
Florida · OL · Senior

The rock-solid interior blocker could enable the Jets to put the best five in front of Aaron Rodgers, whose arrival in New York has been stalled by trade compensation talks, with Alijah Vera-Tucker kicking outside to man one of the offensive tackle spots. 

Broderick Jones
Georgia · OT · Sophomore (RS)

Adding this physical blocker would complete the Patriots' offensive makeover with an upgrade on the edges. 

Myles Murphy
Clemson · Edge · Junior

The Packers need to add more bodies to the pass-rush rotation. Murphy is an athletic edge defender with the potential to develop into a double-digit sack producer.

Joey Porter Jr.
Penn State · CB · Junior (RS)

The extra-long cover corner could give Ron Rivera a shutdown defender in the mold of Josh Norman, whom Rivera coached to an All-Pro level in Carolina.

Deonte Banks
Maryland · CB · Junior (RS)

The ultra-athletic defender from Maryland has the tools to develop into a high-end cover corner in time. With eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson in place to set an example, Banks could quickly mature into a solid starter for the Steelers by the end of his rookie season. 

Calijah Kancey
Pittsburgh · DT · Junior (RS)

The Lions have assembled a collection of high-energy defenders on the frontline with non-stop motors and polished pass-rushing skills. Adding Kancey, a relentless interior rusher, to the mix would enable Aaron Glenn to overwhelm opponents with pressure. 

Darnell Wright
Tennessee · OT · Senior

Fixing the offensive line is a top priority for the Buccaneers after the unit crumbled in 2022. Wright is a natural right tackle, so Tristan Wirfs would need to shift to the blindside spot vacated by Donovan Smith to make this move work. 

Anthony Richardson
Florida · QB · Sophomore (RS)

Seattle's player-development model could transform Richardson into a superstar. With Geno Smith entrenched as the veteran starter after signing a three-year deal, the Seahawks could take their time shaping the young five-star athlete on the practice field. 

Bijan Robinson
Texas · RB · Junior

Whether or not they hang on to Austin Ekeler, the Chargers could look to add a big back with a diverse skill set to the backfield rotation. Robinson is an electric playmaker with big-play potential as a runner-receiver possessing size, speed, vision and wiggle. 

Cam Smith
South Carolina · CB · Junior (RS)

The potential departure of cornerback Marcus Peters in free agency creates a hole in the defensive backfield. Smith is a hard-nosed cover corner with the instincts, ball skills and toughness to excel in the Ravens' zone-pressure scheme. 

Zay Flowers
Boston College · WR · Senior

After moving on from Adam Thielen this offseason, the Vikings grab a route-running specialist as a playmate for 2022 Offensive Player of the Year Justin Jefferson. Flowers' speed, quickness and precision make him an ideal candidate as a WR2 opposite the All-Pro wideout.

Brian Branch
Alabama · S · Junior

The Jaguars could view the nickel corner/safety spot as a top priority, with Darious Williams expected to stay outside at corner. Branch is a playmaking slot defender with the instincts, IQ and awareness to flourish as a hybrid defender in coordinator Mike Caldwell's scheme.

John Michael Schmitz
Minnesota · C · Senior (RS)

Beefing up the interior of the offensive line is critical to helping the recently extended Daniel Jones flourish as a franchise quarterback. 

Bryan Bresee
Clemson · DT · Sophomore (RS)

If Cowboys coordinator Dan Quinn loves athletic defensive tackles with heavy hands and ballerina-like feet, Bresee could be in play here. The Clemson product is a talented interior defender with amazing tools that could help him blossom into a star as a pro. 

Jordan Addison
USC · WR · Junior

Pairing the USC standout with Stefon Diggs would give the Bills a dynamic route-running tandem that could pose problems for opponents on the perimeter.

Dalton Kincaid
Utah · TE · Senior

The pass-catching specialist is the perfect flex tight end alongside Ja'Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. Kincaid is a slick route-runner with sticky hands and superb ball skills.

New Orleans Saints
(via SF through MIA, DEN)
Michael Mayer
Notre Dame · TE · Junior

The Saints need a true "Y" tight end to enhance the passing game for Derek Carr. Mayer is the total package: a soft-handed pass-catcher with the size, strength and power to control the edges as a run blocker. 

Mazi Smith
Michigan · DT · Junior (RS)

The Eagles' defensive-line rotation is loaded with players possessing A-plus athletic traits and imposing physical dimensions. At 6-3, 323 pounds, Smith is a freak athlete with heavy hands and impressive body control.

Adetomiwa Adebawore
Northwestern · Edge · Senior

Finding a replacement for Frank Clark is a pressing need for the Chiefs. The Northwestern product is an outstanding athlete with cat-like quickness and dynamic pass-rush skills. 

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