Quarterback-needy NFL teams will either have to be aggressive in pursuit of a rookie or risk the possibility of missing one entirely. In today's thought exercise, one such team makes a lofty commitment for the right to move up and select a quarterback No. 1 overall. A second teams also trades up to secure one of the perceived top options.
The draft order below is now the official order based on team records and tiebreakers. There are only 31 picks as a result of the Dolphins' pick being forfeited due to tampering violations.
Without further ado, let's kick this off!
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Mock Trade from Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 1
Bryce Young QB
Alabama • 5'10" / 204 lbs
With new head coach Shane Steichen in tow, Indianapolis trades up to No. 1 overall for the right to take Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. The Colts are now tasked with upgrading the wide receiver position with a depleted war chest of draft capital.
Round 1 - Pick 2
C.J. Stroud QB
Ohio State • 6'3" / 218 lbs
Houston watches as its AFC rival takes the first quarterback off the board, responding by adding a quarterback of its own. C.J. Stroud helped boost his stock in the College Football Playoff, but is he capable of sustaining that performance at the next level?
Round 1 - Pick 3
Will Anderson Jr. EDGE
Alabama • 6'4" / 243 lbs
Will Anderson Jr. is an accomplished pass-rusher, and Arizona will need that after losing J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones in the past calendar year. The Cardinals finished bottom 10 in the league last year in sack production. The addition of defensive-minded head coach Jonathan Gannon should not dissuade them from taking a defender early.
Mock Trade from Indianapolis Colts
Round 1 - Pick 4
Jalen Carter DL
Georgia • 6'3" / 314 lbs
The 2023 NFL Draft is a roaring success for the Bears, as they trade back and still manage to add an elite defender. The NFC North franchise has infused a lot of talent into the defense recently with cornerbacks Kyler Gordon and Jaylon Jones, safety Jaquan Brisker and now Carter. However, it is no closer to supporting Justin Fields.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 5
Will Levis QB
Kentucky • 6'4" / 229 lbs
Most have the assumption that Geno Smith is the long-term answer in Seattle. When will the Seahawks have another opportunity to take a potential franchise quarterback this early? They exceed expectations most years. Will Levis could sit behind Geno Smith and learn at his own pace.
Mock Trade from Detroit Lions
Round 1 - Pick 6
Florida • 6'4" / 232 lbs
With three quarterbacks going in the top-five, Carolina can not sit idly around. Anthony Richardson is a raw prospect but has as much upside as anyone. The Panthers take him and hope that they do enough to support him this offseason.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Northwestern • 6'4" / 313 lbs
Las Vegas missed on the top draft options, so the plan may entail riding with Jarrett Stidham in 2023. The Raiders add arguably the best offensive lineman in the draft to support whomever is under center next season.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Tyree Wilson EDGE
Texas Tech • 6'6" / 271 lbs
Atlanta adds a fast-rising, still rather raw edge rusher to its defensive front. Tyree Wilson possesses a high ceiling and now slides in opposite Arnold Ebiketie.
Mock Trade from Carolina Panthers
Round 1 - Pick 9
Myles Murphy DL
Clemson • 6'5" / 275 lbs
Detroit slid back to accommodate Carolina's interest in moving up for a quarterback. The Lions add a player known for his strength but certainly not lacking in athletic ability.
From New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 10
Illinois • 6'0" / 180 lbs
Philadelphia had been known for playing a zone scheme under then-defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. One would think that continues regardless of who the Eagles hire as the next defensive coordinator. Devon Witherspoon is a fiery competitor with the instincts to play in zone coverage and the traits to play man as well.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Georgia • 6'5" / 311 lbs
Tennessee may need to replace both offensive tackles this offseason; that was set in motion Wednesday with the release of Taylor Lewan. Broderick Jones turns the heat level down a bit.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 12
TCU • 6'4" / 215 lbs
After adding C.J. Stroud with the No. 2 overall selection, Houston selects Quentin Johnston to give Stroud more options in the pass game. He now has two big bodies on the boundary to throw to.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Ohio State • 6'6" / 310 lbs
New York has Mekhi Becton and Max Mitchell to defend the edge, but there was talk of moving on from Becton a year ago. A year of injury probably did not lessen those concerns. Paris Johnson Jr. has played guard but is now in charge of protecting the blindside of the next Jets quarterback. Zach Wilson? Aaron Rodgers? Lamar Jackson?
Round 1 - Pick 14
Oregon • 6'2" / 201 lbs
New England has gotten quality production out of its cornerbacks, but Bill Belichick has always fancied a long cornerback capable of locking down one side of the field. Christian Gonzalez possesses those qualities.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Notre Dame • 6'4" / 265 lbs
Green Bay's future at quarterback is unsettled. It may be as simple as turning the keys over to Jordan Love if Aaron Rodgers departs. Michael Mayer is a quality safety valve and a contributor in the run game with Aaron Jones returning.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Cam Smith CB
South Carolina • 6'0" / 188 lbs
Washington played a healthy mixture of man and zone coverage last season. Cam Smith is a better fit for the scheme. He has good instincts and the physical nature to excel in man coverage.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Penn State • 6'2" / 194 lbs
The Steelers need a cornerback and get it. Pittsburgh was patient, and it benefits from Joey Porter Jr. slipping to this stage of the first round.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Deonte Banks DB
Maryland • 6'2" / 205 lbs
After adding Myles Murphy in the top-10, Detroit invests in the defense again with the selection of cornerback Deonte Banks.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Alabama • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Tampa Bay is destined for an interesting offseason as it wades through the first offseason without both Bruce Arians and Tom Brady. Mike Edwards is a free agent, so the Buccaneers add a replacement.
Round 1 - Pick 20
USC • 6'0" / 175 lbs
Seattle has other needs, but it is a victim of the board. The Seahawks are planning for the present and the future with the selections of Will Levis and Jordan Addison.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Dawand Jones OT
Ohio State • 6'8" / 375 lbs
For the third consecutive year, Los Angeles adds an offensive lineman in the first round. It seems like overkill, but rookie contracts are cheap relative to a second deal, and there is no such thing as providing Justin Herbert with too much protection.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Texas • 5'11" / 215 lbs
If Quentin Johnston were available, he would have been the selection. The cornerback position has been plundered and options were limited. A year ago, Baltimore made selections of center Tyler Linderbaum and safety Kyle Hamilton; two players who fell further than most expected. Running backs have had a difficult time staying healthy in Baltimore, as Kenyan Drake played the most snaps of any returning running back. Robinson takes the pressure off of Lamar Jackson through his contributions as a runner and a passer.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Zay Flowers WR
Boston College • 5'9" / 182 lbs
Minnesota adds some speed to compliment Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Zay Flowers will one day become the long-term compliment to Jefferson.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Bryan Bresee DL
Clemson • 6'5" / 305 lbs
It initially seemed like Bryan Bresee was going to be a polarizing evaluation, but it seems to be leveling out. He is a naturally talented interior defender but certainly not a lock to become a top-10 pick.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Kelee Ringo CB
Georgia • 6'2" / 207 lbs
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale gets a lengthy, raw prospect to play on the boundary.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Drew Sanders LB
Arkansas • 6'5" / 234 lbs
Drew Sanders is a versatile linebacker capable of providing some spot pass-rush help. His versatility pairs well with Micah Parsons as defensive coordinator Dan Quinn can really maximize their skillsets.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Florida • 6'5" / 347 lbs
Buffalo could also entertain the idea of adding a slot receiver. Fans saw how much more effective the offense was with a valuable slot receiver. However, the Bills choose to invest in Josh Allen's protection instead.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Utah • 6'4" / 240 lbs
Cincinnati has some unsettled offensive questions regarding the future of Tee Higgins and/or Tyler Boyd. The loss of either obviously strips quarterback Joe Burrow of a weapon, so Dalton Kincaid bridges that gap.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 29
Lukas Van Ness EDGE
Iowa • 6'5" / 275 lbs
New Orleans may be forced to move on from Marcus Davenport this offseason, so the Saints respond by adding Lukas Van Ness to retain depth at that spot.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Jahmyr Gibbs RB
Alabama • 5'9" / 199 lbs
Philadelphia would probably look to trade back in this scenario, but it takes two to tango; would anyone be interested in moving up for someone still on the board? With Miles Sanders scheduled to hit free agency, the Eagles add someone to that room.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Nolan Smith EDGE
Georgia • 6'2" / 238 lbs
Kansas City adds an explosive pass-rusher to compliment George Karlaftis.
32. Steelers (via Chicago) - Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
33. Texans - Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
34. Cardinals - Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
35. Bears (from mock trade with Indianapolis) - Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
36. Rams - Cody Mauch, OG, North Dakota State
37. Seahawks (via Denver) - Keion White, EDGE, Georgia Tech
38. Raiders - Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
39. Panthers - Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
40. Saints - Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
41. Titans - Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
42. Browns - Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
43. Jets - Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
44. Falcons - Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
45. Packers - Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
46. Patriots - Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati
47. Commanders - Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
48. Lions - Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin
49. Steelers - Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
50. Buccaneers - Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami
51. Dolphins - Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
52. Seahawks - Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor
53. Bears (via Baltimore) - Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army
54. Chargers - Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
55. Lions (via Minnesota) - Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
56. Jaguars - Steve Avila, OG, TCU
57. Giants - Joe Tippmann, C, Wisconsin
58. Cowboys - BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
59. Bills - Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
60. Bengals - Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
61. Panthers (via San Francisco) - Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn
62. Eagles - Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
63. Chiefs - Gervon Dexter Sr., DT, Florida