Well, that was an eventful Friday evening. The Panthers moved from No. 9 to No. 1 overall for the right to get their franchise quarterback, and in the process, the Bears were the beneficiary of a ton of draft capital and wide receiver D.J. Moore. At first glance: Chicago wins this trade, but if Carolina's quarterback of the future turns out to be The Guy, nothing else will matter.
Of course, former Vikings GM Rick Spielman and I talked about it on an emergency With the "First Pick" podcast:
Also worth noting: Here's what CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones wrote about what new Panthers coach Frank Reich is looking for in a quarterback:
"There's so many different ways to play the position," Reich told Jones last week, "but at some level you got to be able to be an accurate passer. You got to have that toughness, you got to be a great leader, you got to be able to process information pretty quickly. At some level, you've got to be able to play from the pocket. I like all the movement stuff. There's guys that can move the launch point, get guys out of the pocket, but there's still that old school mentality of, 'Hey, there's going to be times in the game where you got to win from the pocket.' So those are some of the things you look for."
So who are the Panther's targeting? Spielman and I discussed that too:
Which QB are the Panthers targeting at No. 1? @spielman_rick offered some clues to look out for in the next few weeks: https://t.co/j8uzZxIscm pic.twitter.com/5ZmJSrYwjG— ryan wilson (@ryanwilsonCBS) March 11, 2023
In addition to the real-life trade, I also included a mock draft -- the Colts move up one spot to No. 3 to get a quarterback. And using colleague R.J. White's trusty trade value chart, here's the compensation:
Colts receive: No. 3 overall
Cardinals receive: No. 4, No. 164, 2024 second
Keep reading to see how the rest of the first round unfolds.
And one more friendly reminder: check out With the First Pick, our NFL Draft podcast because we're now live THREE times a week: every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm ET. You can watch us live on the NFL on CBS YouTube channel. And you can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Remember: There are only 31 picks in the first round of this mock draft because the Dolphins were stripped of their first-round pick due to tampering.
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
Bryce Young QB
Alabama • Jr • 5'10" / 204 lbs
Young came in at 5-10 1/8 and weighed 204 pounds at the combine and didn't take part in the drills. At the end of the day, it may not matter because if the Panthers consider him QB1 he's going off the board first. New coach Frank Reich has talked about the importance of size at the position but Young is the most NFL-read quarterback on the board.
Round 1 - Pick 2
C.J. Stroud QB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'3" / 214 lbs
Several league sources told us that the Texans were high on Young, but clearly not high enough to pay to move up one spot. Still, the team desperately needs a quarterback and Stroud, who some teams are convinced will be in the mix for QB1, is the consolation prize. Stroud was impressive during the 2022 season and even more so when we spoke to him in person, first at the Super Bowl and then at the combine. He's a better passer coming out of Ohio State than Justin Fields.
Mock Trade from Arizona Cardinals
Round 1 - Pick 3
Will Levis QB
Kentucky • Sr • 6'4" / 229 lbs
We've heard from sources that the Colts are also going to be in the moving-up business, and there may now be an elevated sense of urgency given that the Panthers have already secured the No. 1 spot. Levis spent a lot time at the combine explaining why the 2022 season went the way it did. In his defense, he was banged up, his offensive line had been decimated, he had a new offensive coordinator and he was working with young wide receivers. And Levis didn't make excuses for any of this when we spoke with him in Indy. The physical tools are undeniable, but is he the next Josh Allen?
Mock Trade from Indianapolis Colts
Round 1 - Pick 4
Will Anderson Jr. EDGE
Alabama • Jr • 6'4" / 253 lbs
The Cardinals move down, get some additional picks and still land arguably the best player in the class. Not a bad start for a new coach and general manager looking to right the ship in the Valley of the Sun.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 5
Jalen Carter DL
Georgia • Jr • 6'3" / 314 lbs
Jalen Carter, who was arguably the best defender on a '21 Georgia D that had five first-round picks, would be an easy pick for the Seahawks here. He left the combine only to return less than 24 hours later after meeting with Athens police. Where he is ultimately drafted remains an unknown, but he is a special talent, one who would be teaming up with pass-rush specialist Brandon Jordan, who was just hired by Seattle.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 6
Tyree Wilson EDGE
Texas Tech • Sr • 6'6" / 271 lbs
The more you watch of Wilson, the more you love his game. Not only what he put on tape at Texas Tech, but his upside 2-3 years down the road. He's long, has the frame to add weight if needed and he's a dominant, high-motor pass rusher who can take over games. He's had a foot injury that sidelined him late in the college season and kept him from participating in the Senior Bowl and the combine. The hope is that he'll be ready for his pro day.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Florida • Soph • 6'4" / 244 lbs
The Raiders are signing veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, and that makes a lot of sense. He's familiar with the system, he's as good as -- or maybe even slightly better than -- Derek Carr, and he'd give the rookie QB time to grow into the role. Richardson is one of the most exciting prospects in this class. The problem: He's short on experience, and while his physical tools are rare, Josh McDaniels has a track record of dialing up plays to put his QBs in position to succeed. Richardson told us at the combine that he wants to play Day 1, but it might be in his best long-term interest to ease him into that role. Either way, a few years from now he could be the best player in the league.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Oregon • Soph • 6'1" / 197 lbs
Christian Gonzalez, a Colorado transfer, is a big-time athlete who is still growing into the position. He has the size, strength and speed -- he ran a 4.38 40 at the combine -- to line up against NFL wide receivers; he just needs to improve in run support.
From Carolina Panthers
Round 1 - Pick 9
Myles Murphy DL
Clemson • Jr • 6'5" / 268 lbs
We're assuming that the Bears used all that salary-cap money to sign an offensive lineman like, say, Orlando Brown Jr.. And if that happens, expect them to sprint to the podium if Murphy is still on the board. The Clemson standout turned 21 in early January, and while we'd like to see him play with more consistency ... he just turned 21 in early January. He has all the physical tools you look for in an elite edge defenders and it's easy to see him in a few years being dominant. And that, in large part, is what makes him such an interesting prospect.
From New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 10
Lukas Van Ness EDGE
Iowa • Soph • 6'5" / 272 lbs
Van Ness never started a game at Iowa but that's not the point. The point is that NFL teams love his size, his athleticism and where his game could be a couple of years from now. Purdue's George Karlaftis went at the end of Round 1 a year ago, and USC's Drake Jackson went a round later; both players were high-upside prospects who exceeded expectations as rookies. Van Ness is in the same conversation, but could be the best of the bunch.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Ohio State • Jr • 6'6" / 313 lbs
Paris Johnson, who played left tackle for the Buckeyes this season, also has experience on the interior; either way, he is a Day 1 starter.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 12
Northwestern • Jr • 6'4" / 313 lbs
Skoronski is solid and consistent, which are two of the best things you can say about an offensive lineman. The biggest issue he'll face during the pre-draft process will be arm length and whether his NFL future is at tackle or guard. But like he told us at the combine, there are plenty of NFL offensive tackles who have long arms and struggle, too. That's not the final determinant of success.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Georgia • Soph • 6'5" / 311 lbs
Jones had a strong '22 campaign for the Bulldogs, where he has faced some of the best defensive players in the country every day at practice for the last two years. He's not yet a finished product but he has the athleticism and strength to be a difference-maker when he puts it all together.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Texas • Jr • 5'11" / 215 lbs
Robinson is special, and while he is probably one of the best players in this class, he could still be around late in Round 1 because he's a running back. That said, is there any team more unpredictable than the Patriots when it comes to the draft? Our co-host on the "With the First Pick" podcast, Rick Spielman, brought this up on an episode last week: Yes, the Pats need offensive line help, and wide receivers, but what better friend to a young QB -- and new (old) offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien -- than a workhorse back who can team up with Rhamondre Stevenson?
Round 1 - Pick 15
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'5" / 249 lbs
Wide receiver is an obvious choice here but we get push back every week because it's been 21 years since the Packers have taken a wideout in the first round. So tight end it is. Mayer told us at the combine that he loves the way Travis Kelce plays the position, and while he may not be quite that athletic, Mayer is already a better blocker. He's also a legit downfield threat who it's easy to imagine quickly becoming one of Jordan Love's (Aaron Rodgers?) favorite targets.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Tennessee • Sr • 6'5" / 333 lbs
There's been a run on QBs, pass rushers and offensive linemen over the first half of this mock draft and with plenty of cornerbacks still on the board -- and a need in Washington -- the Commanders go ... offensive lineman. Thing is, Wright had Day 3 grades coming into the 2022 season but was dominant for the Vols, capping it all off with a strong Senior Bowl week. He's a first-round talent all day long and don't be surprised if he's RT1 and maybe one of the first offensive linemen off the board -- this is a deep group at the top.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Penn State • Jr • 6'3" / 193 lbs
Porter finds his way to Pittsburgh, but this isn't nepotism; he is a prototypical big, physical cornerback who looks like he belongs in the NFL. He can sometimes get a little too handsy downfield but that doesn't mean he can't be dominant at the next level. The Steelers have drafted just two CBs in Round 1 since 2002: Chad Scott and Artie Burns. Porter Jr. has a chance to be special.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Illinois • Jr • 6'0" / 181 lbs
Witherspoon had a great season for the Illini and while there will be questions about his 180-pound frame, you wouldn't know it to watch him play.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Branch isn't the first name you hear about when the conversation turns to Alabama's defense, but maybe he should be. He's a sure tackler, can blitz off the edge and is solid in coverage. Plus, if Nick Saban trusts him, that's all you need to know about his NFL prospects. He ran a 4.58 at the combine but he plays much faster than that.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Nolan Smith EDGE
Georgia • Sr • 6'2" / 238 lbs
Nolan Smith missed part of the 2022 season with a pectoral injury, but he's is an electric pass rusher when healthy. He's also a freakish athlete -- he ripped off a 4.39 40 at the combine (and was mad about running too slow!). That motor is all over his tape and he'd fill a huge need in Seattle.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 196 lbs
Smith-Njigba barely saw the field during the 2022 season because of injuries, but he's still one of the top wideouts in the class. It's easy to forget that he led the 2021 Buckeyes in receptions, and that corps included first-rounders Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, and future first-rounder Marvin Harrison Jr.
Round 1 - Pick 22
TCU • Jr • 6'3" / 208 lbs
Quentin Johnston's an above-the-rim playmaker whose athleticism and contested-catch abilities make him in the running for WR1. Assuming the Ravens and Lamar Jackson get on the same page, finding a No. 1 WR is on the to-do list based on GM Eric DeCosta's recent comments.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Deonte Banks CB
Maryland • Jr • 6'0" / 197 lbs
Maryland teammate and fellow CB Jakorian Bennett got much of the buzz in the fall, but Banks put together the type of season that will land you in the first-round conversation. He's a fluid athlete who is also a big, physical corner who can match up with NFL wide receivers.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Dawand Jones OT
Ohio State • Sr • 6'8" / 374 lbs
We'll see if Jones ultimately find his way into the first round, but was hard to overlook just how dominant he was in one day of practice at the Senior Bowl. Yes, his footwork needs some fine-tuning but his huge frame, long arms and enormous wingspan more than make up for what he lacks in quickness. He's block-out-the-sun big, even when standing next to his offensive linemates.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Zay Flowers WR
Boston College • Sr • 5'9" / 182 lbs
Zay Flowers was virtually unstoppable at Boston College and that was with suspect quarterback play. He has a chance to be WR1 in New York -- and deservedly so -- and he also return skills.
Round 1 - Pick 26
O'Cyrus Torrence IOL
Florida • Jr • 6'5" / 330 lbs
Torrence transferred from Louisiana and didn't miss a beat. He was dominant for Florida last fall, he was dominant during Senior Bowl practices and if history is any guide, he'll be dominant in the NFL, too.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Georgia • Jr • 6'7" / 264 lbs
At the combine, Darnell Washington came in at 6-foot-6 1/2, 264 pounds with 11-inch hands and nearly an 84-inch wingspan. And while he's growing into his role as a receiver, he's essentially another offensive tackle when he's inline. Basically, he'd serve two roles in Buffalo: receiver in a high-powered offense that has needs at tight end and as an extra inline blocker.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'4" / 315 lbs
There was some thought that Anton Harrison might return to Oklahoma for an NIL deal that was too good to pass up, but he's instead opted for the NFL. He's one of the top tackles in the class, and now the question is whether he finds his way into Round 1 or goes early on Day 2.
From San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 29
Bryan Bresee DL
Clemson • Soph • 6'6" / 298 lbs
Bresee battled injuries in 2021 and suffered off-field tragedy last season. And while his tape was uneven in '22, he's a special talent whose best football is ahead of him.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Kelee Ringo CB
Georgia • Soph • 6'2" / 207 lbs
The Georgia-to-first-round pipeline continues. A year after five Bulldogs went in Round 1, expect a handful this time around, too. Ringo is a long, physical corner who has matched up against some of the best players in the country. His '22 tape could have been better but he has all the physical traits you look for in an NFL CB.
Round 1 - Pick 31
USC • Jr • 5'11" / 173 lbs
Addison isn't a big target, but he's one of the most dynamic players in the country who can line up anywhere. Addison "only" managed a 4.49 40 at the combine, but the tape is the tape -- and it consistently showed that he was regularly the best player on the field who can win at all three levels. Now imagine him in Kansas City.