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Seven-round NFL mock draft, Round 5: Building a win-now team from active players for 2023 season

Josh Sweat

Chicago grabs the long, strong pass rusher after his best season (11 sacks) helped the Eagles win the 2022 NFC title.

Mathieu signed with Kansas City instead of returning to Houston in 2019, and the franchise knows the 11th-year veteran is still a defender for whom offenses must be aware of on a play-by-play basis.

In real life, the Packers will lean on Jones a bit more in 2023 after the departure of Aaron Rodgers. The Cardinals would love to have his speed and elusiveness in their backfield.

Holland's big hits and ability to make plays in the box and downfield make him a solid mid-round pick in this exercise.

Sanders broke out for the Eagles as a rusher last year, so if he can improve on his 3.9 yards per reception, the Broncos will get a steal.

There's no relation to former Rams star lineman Jackie Slater, but this young stud, who missed all but three games last season, could definitely return to the Pro Bowl in 2023.

The Raiders take a chance that Simmons is healthy for 2023 after the safety battled injuries last season. He is a turnover machine when on the field (16 interceptions in 45 games over the past three seasons).

Atlanta will not think twice about Hamilton's average combine time in the 40-yard dash (4.59 seconds) now that he proved his football acumen as a rookie with the Ravens last year.

After posting 1,026 receiving yards as a rookie, the offensive chess piece struggled a bit in Year 2 before getting injured last November. He is expected to be healthy for camp this summer.

Thibodeaux has the length and power to be a prototypical Saints end. I suspect we'll hear his name more often in his second year in the league.

Aiyuk stepped up for the Niners in 2022 (1,015 receiving yards and eight TDs) and could remind Titans fans and coaches of A.J. Brown if he continues to improve.

Evans goes for his 10th consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season in 2023, a standard of consistency only bested by Jerry Rice's 11-year run (1986-1996).

The Jets select O'Neill to lock down the right tackle spot, where he's become a top-rated player over the past five years.

Kamara averages nearly 1,500 yards of total offense per season, so it's fair if New England picks him up even if there's a chance he misses time in 2023 due to his off-field issues.

Ramczyk grew up in Wisconsin, eventually playing for the Badgers, so returning north could be a nice fit.

Washington grabs Slay from the rival Eagles because the five-time Pro Bowler will welcome competition against any offensive threat despite heading into Year 11.

Now displaying the talent Carolina expected him to have when using a top-10 pick to select him in 2020, Brown and his big frame fit well into the middle of Pittsburgh's defensive front.

Milano is one of the NFL's best cover 'backers, a role that has become more important with each passing season.

Jones' strong play at 5-technique for the Broncos makes him a good fit at the same spot in the Bucs' scheme.

Davis steps into the middle of Seattle's defense to chase ball-carriers from sideline to sideline.

Jenkins can play all five offensive line positions, making him an excellent value at this spot -- assuming his nagging injuries are behind him.

The Eagles traded Zach Ertz in the middle of the 2021 season because they believed in Goedert. The Chargers wisely display the same kind of thinking with this pick.

There's no chance I project the best kicker in NFL history to any other franchise.

Pencil Cooks in for 80 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 2023, numbers he fell short of last season only due to injury and uneven quarterback play.

Horn missed significant time as a rookie due to injury but showed glimpses of potential as a lockdown corner in 2022. 

The Giants get value in Woolen, who showed as a rookie last season that he should have been selected long before the fifth round in the 2022 draft.

Bates may not be rated as highly as he once was, but the Cowboys would be foolish to pass on such a capable defender.

Lattimore is still on the board due to missing most of 2022, but the four-time Pro Bowler is poised for a bounce-back season if healthy.

Hyde's entering his 11th season and coming off neck surgery, but Cincinnati gambles the veteran will return to his playmaking ways in 2023.

If able to return to his 2021 health and form, Williams becomes a big-play receiver for the Niners. 

For the first time in his career, Godwin averaged fewer than 10 yards per catch in 2022, but he could get down the field more often in 2023 if his knee is fully healed.

If I had to pick a perfect team fit for Graham outside of Philly, it would be with Kansas City because Steve Spagnuolo would value his strength and overlook his lack of height.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter.

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