The NFL Draft is the next big event on the league calendar but some league business has to occur first, including the pending trade of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the on-going situation with Lamar Jackson. A deal for the former will likely include a conditional pick or two based on how long Rodgers plays; as a result, the potential trade was not included in this thought exercise.
In a three-round projection, we take a look at the players who could be available with each selection and walk through the strategies each team could utilize.
The draft order below is now the official order based on team records and tiebreakers. There are only 31 picks in the first round as a result of the Dolphins' pick being forfeited due to tampering violations.
Without further ado, let's kick this off!
For more draft content, check out our latest prospect rankings and mock drafts, as well as our new weekly podcast, "With the First Pick," featuring former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. (Check out the latest episode below.)
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 1
C.J. Stroud QB
Ohio State • 6'3" / 218 lbs
Carolina stays put at No. 1 overall and selects the top quarterback on its board. In this scenario, it is C.J. Stroud, who followed up a strong NFL Combine with a strong Pro Day performance.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Bryce Young QB
Alabama • 5'10" / 204 lbs
Houston elects not to make an offer for No. 1 overall and, instead, wait with baited breath to learn who Carolina is selecting. With C.J. Stroud off the board, the Texans rush to turn the card in for Bryce Young.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Will Anderson Jr. EDGE
Alabama • 6'4" / 243 lbs
Arizona simply needs to add talent to that defense so it may be in its best interest to trade back. However, the idea of selecting Will Anderson Jr. was too tantalizing so the Cards upgrade the pass rush.
Mock Trade from Indianapolis Colts
Round 1 - Pick 4
Florida • 6'4" / 232 lbs
Trade! Baltimore sends quarterback Lamar Jackson to Indianapolis in exchange for a package that includes the No. 4 overall selection. With the selection, the Ravens select their replacement for Jackson in Anthony Richardson.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 5
Jalen Carter DL
Georgia • 6'3" / 314 lbs
Seattle's defensive line is rounding into shape with the additions of Dre'Mont Jones and now Jalen Carter. They still need to identify some edge rushers but it is one step at a time.
Mock Trade from Detroit Lions
Round 1 - Pick 6
Will Levis QB
Kentucky • 6'4" / 229 lbs
Tennessee makes the move up the board for the fourth quarterback: Will Levis. The trade value chart suggests the No. 41 overall selection is enough to get it done, but the Titans may have to pay a premium for the quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Oregon • 6'2" / 201 lbs
Las Vegas has taken its shots at the cornerback position but it has not paid off for it yet. The Raiders return to the well and select a long cornerback with high-level athletic traits to capitalize on some of those turnover opportunities created by Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Tyree Wilson EDGE
Texas Tech • 6'6" / 271 lbs
Atlanta has a pair of edge rushers to build around with Arnold Ebiketie and now Tyree Wilson, who may have as much upside as any defender in the class.
From Carolina Panthers
Round 1 - Pick 9
Northwestern • 6'4" / 313 lbs
Chicago needs to upgrade its interior offensive line as well as right tackle. Peter Skoronski has positional flexibility.
From New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 10
Nolan Smith EDGE
Georgia • 6'2" / 238 lbs
Nolan Smith has been compared to Haason Reddick throughout this process. Reddick probably has at least a few years left with Philadelphia, but the Eagles are always thinking ahead and looking for that off-ramp.
Mock Trade from Tennessee Titans
Round 1 - Pick 11
Lukas Van Ness EDGE
Iowa • 6'5" / 275 lbs
Detroit was able to slide back five spots, pick up a Day 2 selection and still land an edge rusher with upside. Lukas Van Ness is a powerful edge rusher that tested off the charts athletically.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 12
Myles Murphy DL
Clemson • 6'5" / 275 lbs
The Myles Murphy campaign is losing a bit of steam, but he has great size and speed. It is difficult to overlook his potential, and that is why Houston adds him to its defensive front.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Bryan Bresee DL
Clemson • 6'5" / 305 lbs
Head coach Robert Saleh comes from San Francisco where there is a belief that there is no such thing as too much talent on the defensive line. They plug Bryan Bresee inside next to Quinnen Williams.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Ohio State • 6'6" / 310 lbs
New England needs to find at least one starting option at offensive tackle. Paris Johnson Jr. slides into the role left vacant by Isaiah Wynn's departure in free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Ohio State • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Green Bay needs to locate some talent that can help Jordan Love succeed in his career. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a player who runs the right routes and is always in the right place. The Packers find a quality complement to Christian Watson.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Penn State • 6'2" / 194 lbs
Washington snares an important piece to its secondary in the middle of the first round. Joey Porter Jr. is a long, physical cornerback who raises the ceiling of the defense.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Georgia • 6'5" / 311 lbs
Broderick Jones is a young, physical offensive tackle who still has room for growth. He moves really well for his size and has a chance to protect Kenny Pickett's blindside for a long time.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Illinois • 6'0" / 180 lbs
Devon Witherspoon is a fiery personality with a physical play style. He should fit right into that Dan Campbell defense that added a former Illini defensive back last year in the draft, safety Kerby Joseph.
Round 1 - Pick 19
O'Cyrus Torrence IOL
Florida • 6'5" / 347 lbs
Tampa Bay's roster is fine with Baker Mayfield, but the offensive line needs to be more reliable. The selection of O'Cyrus Torrence is the first step toward achieving long-term health for that unit.
Round 1 - Pick 20
USC • 6'0" / 175 lbs
Jordan Addison has a slight frame but Seattle will be able to use him underneath while Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf continue pressuring defenses vertically. The idea is that when Lockett's time in the Pacific Northwest comes to an end, Addison will be ready to step into a larger role.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Tennessee • 6'6" / 335 lbs
Los Angeles could have gone in a few directions with running back Bijan Robinson still on the board. For the third consecutive year, the Chargers take an offensive lineman in the first round. Darnell Wright is plugged in on the right side and Trey Pipkins becomes the swing tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 22
TCU • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Baltimore gets a big, vertical outlet for rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, who the Ravens drafted with the fourth overall pick received from the Colts in the Lamar Jackson trade. Quentin Johnston is unordinary for a bigger wide receiver because of his ability to make plays post-catch.
Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 23
Deonte Banks CB
Maryland • 6'2" / 205 lbs
Trade! Pittsburgh moves up to select one of the top remaining cornerbacks to address the two biggest needs of the first round. Minnesota receives No. 32 overall and a third-round pick in return.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Cam Smith CB
South Carolina • 6'0" / 188 lbs
Jacksonville needs to add another body at the cornerback position. Cam Smith is a fluid player who has shown a lot of improvement over the past year, but he is overly physical downfield.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Alabama • 6'0" / 190 lbs
The Giants may have to trade up the board a bit to secure one of the top cornerbacks in this class. They already missed the initial run at the position. Instead, they take an intelligent, versatile safety capable of getting that defense lined up.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Texas • 5'11" / 215 lbs
Dallas franchise tagged Tony Pollard. It could theoretically move on from him after one season, opening the door for Bijan Robinson to take over. In the short term, Pollard and Robinson form a dynamic duo.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Utah • 6'4" / 240 lbs
Buffalo is looking to add pass-catching weapons for Josh Allen at all times. Dalton Kincaid is a fluid athlete capable of making plays after the catch. He gives the team a dynamic weapon at the position that they have been lacking.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Notre Dame • 6'4" / 265 lbs
Cincinnati gets a balanced tight end to block and be another option in chain-moving situations. Michael Mayer grew up in the shadows of Cincinnati and now has the opportunity to return home.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 29
Keion White DL
Georgia Tech • 6'5" / 285 lbs
New Orleans and Seattle are often the most unpredictable teams in the draft. They take players out of left field, but they clearly have a type at edge rusher. The Saints love those massive end players with athletic qualities and Keion White fits the description.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Pittsburgh • 6'1" / 281 lbs
Philadelphia adds a pass-rushing interior defender to go along with the space-eating Jordan Davis. The Eagles add two pieces to a defensive front that was one of the best in football this past season.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Dawand Jones OT
Ohio State • 6'8" / 375 lbs
After signing Jawaan Taylor in free agency, and allegedly moving him to left tackle, Kansas City takes a massive right tackle at the end of the first round to fill out the offensive line.
32. Vikings (via Pittsburgh) - Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
33. Texans - Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
34. Cardinals - Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
35. Colts - Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
36. Rams - Cody Mauch, OG, North Dakota State
37. Seahawks - Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State
38. Raiders - Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
39. Panthers - Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
40. Saints - Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
41. Lions (via Tennessee) - Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin
42. Jets - Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
43. Jets - Joe Tippmann, C, Wisconsin
44. Falcons - Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
45. Packers - Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
46. Patriots - Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
47. Commanders - Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
48. Lions - Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
49. Steelers - Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern
50. Buccaneers - Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
51. Dolphins - Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
52. Seahawks - Matthew Bergeron, OG, Syracuse
53. Bears - B.J. Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
54. Chargers - Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
55. Lions - Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
56. Jaguars - Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
57. Giants - John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
58. Cowboys - Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
59. Bills - Steve Avila, OG, TCU
60. Bengals - Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
61. Bears - Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
62. Eagles - Braeden Daniels, OT/G, Utah
63. Chiefs - Jaquelin Roy, DT, LSU
64. Bears - Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor
65. Texans - Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama
66. Cardinals - Kyu Blu Kelly, CB, Stanford
67. Broncos - Henry To'oTo'o, LB, Alabama
68. Broncos - Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami
69. Rams - Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
70. Raiders - Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
71. Saints - Brenton Strange, TE, Penn State
72. Titans - Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati
73. Texans - Gervon Dexter, DL, Florida
74. Browns - Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
75. Falcons - Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State
76. Patriots - Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State
77. Rams - Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn
78. Packers - Quan Martin, CB/S, Illinois
79. Colts - Carrington Valentine, CB, Kentucky
80. Vikings (via Steelers) - Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina
81. Lions - Chandler Zavala, IOL, NC State
82. Buccaneers - Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan
83. Seahawks - Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
84. Dolphins - A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
85. Chargers - Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
86. Ravens - DeWayne McBride, RB, UAB
87. Vikings - Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
88. Jaguars - Zacch Pickens, DL, South Carolina
89. Giants - Cory Trice Jr., CB, Purdue
90. Cowboys - Nick Herbig, LB, Wisconsin
91. Bills - JL Skinner, S, Boise State
92. Bengals - Tuli Tuipulotu, DL, USC
93. Panthers - KJ Henry, EDGE, Clemson
94. Eagles - Ji'Ayir Brown, S, Penn State
95. Chiefs - Josh Whyle, TE, Cincinnati
96. Cardinals - Yaya Diaby, EDE, Louisville
97. Commanders - Davis Allen, TE, Clemson
98. Browns - Byron Young, EDGE, Tennessee
99. 49ers - Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland
100. Raiders - Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State
101. 49ers - Cameron Mitchell, CB, Northwestern
102. 49ers - Emil Ekiyor Jr., OG, Alabama
The 2023 NFL Draft will take place from April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri. The full list of prospect rankings can be found here.