The 2023 NFL Draft is going to provide a lot of intrigue as teams without a need at quarterback are faced with the decision of taking a potentially elite defensive talent or trading down to acquire more assets. Those scenarios will be explored as draft night approaches but, in today's thought exercise, Detroit trades up for the right to select one of those three coveted quarterbacks.
The draft order below was determined using SportsLine's Super Bowl odds, but in reverse order. These are your team's betting odds of winning a Lombardi Trophy this season. Miami's selection at No. 27 overall was forfeited.
Without further ado, let's kick this off!
Round 1 - Pick 1
Bryce Young QB
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 194 lbs
Houston has made it clear that Davis Mills is not the franchise quarterback, so the Texans cannot pass up an opportunity to add one with the first overall pick. Young is a leader and instinctual playmaker.
Mock Trade from Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 2
Will Levis QB
Kentucky • Sr • 6'3" / 232 lbs
Detroit runs the risk of losing a top quarterback if it sticks at No. 5 overall. Meanwhile, Chicago is able to slide back, pick up some additional draft capital and still get one of the two elite defenders in this class. The Lions move up to get a long-term replacement for Jared Goff. Carolina was among the teams lurking.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 3
C.J. Stroud QB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'3" / 218 lbs
Losers of two straight games, Seattle determines the long-term outlook with Geno Smith is not worth bypassing a quarterback at No. 3 overall. Stroud is still on the board, but not after the Seahawks selection.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Jalen Carter DL
Georgia • Jr • 6'3" / 300 lbs
Pittsburgh finds itself in the perfect situation of not having to decide whether or not to take one of the top quarterbacks while also getting one of the elite defensive prospects. Carter gives the Steelers some flexibility along the defensive line while adding some pass-rush potential up the middle.
Round 1 - Pick 6
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 8
Kelee Ringo CB
Georgia • Soph • 6'2" / 210 lbs
Jeff Okudah has looked much improved this year, and Kerby Joseph is a promising young piece to that secondary. Ringo, who checks all of the physical boxes, lifts the potential of that unit even more.
From New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 9
Round 1 - Pick 10
Ohio State • Jr • 6'6" / 310 lbs
Bernhard Raimann has shown improvement as the season has progressed to the point Indianapolis may not need to address the position this offseason. If that winds up being the case, the Colts should look to upgrade edge rusher, quarterback or cornerback.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Round 1 - Pick 12
Clemson • Jr • 6'3" / 240 lbs
Atlanta just needs to continue stacking talent on that roster. It has a few core offensive pieces with Drake London and Kyle Pitts. On defense, cornerback A.J. Terrell can be a star and edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie has shown promise. Simpson gives the Falcons flexibility at the second level to fit run gaps, rush the passer or use his length to impact passing lanes.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 15
Tyree Wilson EDGE
Texas Tech • Sr • 6'6" / 275 lbs
After taking Alabama quarterback Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall selection, Houston turns around and adds a talented, lengthy pass rusher from the state of Texas. The hope is that Young is the leader on offense and Wilson is that player on defense.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
New York's issues at wide receiver have been well-documented this season. It is difficult envisioning anyone other than Wan'Dale Robinson and maybe Darius Slayton being on that roster long-term. Ohio State has produced NFL-ready wide receivers, so the hope is that Smith-Njigba is ready to hit the ground running.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Penn State • Jr • 6'2" / 194 lbs
Washington's defense has been a roller coaster. It was awesome two years ago, underwhelming last year and now impactful yet again. The Commanders have addressed every level of that defense with the exception of cornerback, but that changes here with the selection of Porter.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Florida • Jr • 6'5" / 347 lbs
General manager Joe Douglas comes from a Philadelphia situation that places significant emphasis on having a stable offensive line. The Jets are not to that point, hence the selection of Torrence.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Jared Verse EDGE
Florida State • Soph • 6'4" / 248 lbs
Boye Mafe could develop into a larger piece of that Seattle pass rush but, for now, it remains a concern. Verse would be the second edge rusher transfer to become a first-round pick out of Florida State in as many years.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Round 1 - Pick 22
Texas • Jr • 6'0" / 220 lbs
Robinson is going to go somewhere in the first round. Every franchise is looking at him saying it has bigger needs and its respective general manager would never take a running back in the first round, but it is going to happen somewhere. The run game is such a big part of Tennessee's identity, so it is easy to envision the Titans bringing in a workload back to eventually replace Derrick Henry.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Round 1 - Pick 24
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'4" / 265 lbs
Tee Higgins has elevated his profile in the absence of Ja'Marr Chase. Those two feel like the future at the position in Cincinnati. The Bengals could move on from Tyler Body in an effort to create salary cap space, but they do not have to sacrifice the production. Mayer would be that third outlet for Joe Burrow.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Illinois • Jr • 6'0" / 180 lbs
Minnesota added Andrew Booth in the 2022 NFL Draft, but injuries have held him back. The Vikings do not have a clear plan at the cornerback position, so Witherspoon alleviates some of those concerns. He comes out of an Illinois program that has produced smart, instinctual defensive backs under the direction of head coach Bret Bielema and his staff.
Round 1 - Pick 28
LSU • Jr • 6'0" / 205 lbs
Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to be a free agent next offseason even if he signs with Dallas. James Washington is playing out a one-year deal. The Cowboys would still theoretically need another wide receiver to supplement Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. Boutte has underperformed this season, but Dallas could capitalize with a supreme value.
From San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 29
Texas A&M • Jr • 6'3" / 195 lbs
Denver brings in a player that who compliment Justin Simmons on the back end. The Broncos obviously have bigger issues to sort out this offseason with the futures of head coach Nathaniel Hackett and quarterback Russell Wilson in the air.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Round 1 - Pick 32