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2023 NFL mock draft: Final projections ahead of Round 1

Julian Catalfo / theScore

Draft day is almost here.

We've got you covered with all the mock scenarios you could possibly need. First, theScore's Dan Wilkins makes his final projections for Day 1, as well as the first pick for each of the five teams without a first-round selection.

Navigate through the links below for parallel mocks from David P. Woods, one of The Huddle Report's most accurate mock drafters over the last four years, and the rest of our NFL staff.

Wilkins mock | Woods mock | Staff mocks

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

It sure seems like the Panthers have been locked in on Young for the better part of the last month, and it's tough to blame them. His size is a real concern, but it didn't affect him the least bit against SEC competition at Alabama. Young is the best quarterback in this class and the best bet for a Panthers team seeking a star under center.

Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

The Texans turn in a surprise pick by not only passing on a quarterback but also opting for Wilson over Alabama pass-rusher Will Anderson. The supremely athletic Texas Tech product may have a lower floor than Anderson, who's widely considered the safest prospect in the draft, but it's easy to understand why teams may think he has a higher ceiling.

Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State

Another surprise! There's been some late buzz about the Cardinals passing on one of the top defensive players to take an offensive lineman earlier than anyone else has been expecting. And we probably shouldn't hesitate to buy it. Arizona needs help all over the roster, and Johnson, a potential franchise left tackle, is a good place to start.

Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Levis as QB2 sounds crazy. Maybe it is. But it's easy to see why teams would be enticed by Levis' physical tools, and quarterbacks often come off the board in an order that differs from what the public may expect. It's worth noting that the Manning brothers seem to be particularly high on the Kentucky standout. Colts owner Jim Irsay has more say in this franchise-defining pick than anyone, and who would he trust more with quarterbacks than Peyton?

Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama

Quarterback is an option here, but Anderson falling to this spot presents an opportunity that Seattle likely can't pass up. Arguably the safest prospect in this draft, the Alabama star would be an important pass-rush addition up front.

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

The Lions were never going to force a quarterback pick, but Stroud being available later than expected should really make them think. This is an ascending team that likely won't be drafting in this range for the foreseeable future. And there is no long-term commitment to Jared Goff. Solidifying the most important position on the field is the smartest move Detroit can make to maximize the approaching competitive window.

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

The Jimmy Garoppolo signing may lead to Las Vegas passing on a quarterback here. Witherspoon's shutdown skills in man coverage make him a perfect fit for the Raiders' defense and a much-needed upgrade in the secondary.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

The Falcons probably don't want to make this pick at No. 8, given the positional value. But if they can move back and pick up some extra picks first, perhaps with the Eagles at No. 10, Robinson would be tough to pass up. The Texas star is a true complete running back who should quickly emerge as one of the NFL's premier players at the position.

Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

Skoronski is one of the best players in this class. He may not be a fit at tackle in the NFL due to a lack of length, but there's little doubt that he could be a dominant guard.

Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

Having a top-10 pick coming off a Super Bowl appearance is a rare enough opportunity as is. But the Eagles shouldn't necessarily be satisfied sitting back and seeing how the board falls. Even if it requires a minor trade up to No. 8, with the Falcons potentially willing to move back before taking Robinson, Philly could be aggressive in pursuit of Carter. An already-stacked team adding perhaps the most talented player in this class could be another big win for Howie Roseman.

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

The Titans have reportedly been among the teams sniffing around trade-up options for a quarterback. Getting to No. 3 would likely be too expensive from this spot, but it's possible a top passer falls right into their lap. Richardson has more upside than any signal-caller in this class, and he's not as much of a project as people seem to think.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

It's only fair to assume that the Texans would be hoping to land a quarterback at this spot after passing at No. 2. But that plan could blow up in their faces if signal-callers start to fly off the board in the top 10. Smith-Njigba is a potential No. 1 target for whoever Houston's future quarterback ends up being.

Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

Green Bay finally using a first-round pick on a receiver days after trading Aaron Rodgers to the Jets would be hilariously ironic. It remains a pressing need, but we've got enough historical evidence to suggest the Packers simply don't like using such selections on that position. Athletic pass-rushers are more their style, and Van Ness fits the bill.

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Gonzalez is a special talent. There truly aren't many defensive backs with his fluid movement skills. Most, including the Patriots, probably expected the Oregon product to be long gone by this point. Bill Belichick happily takes advantage of his slide to add another piece to his secondary.

Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

The Jets can be expected to continue bolster the offense around Aaron Rodgers. Wright is an immensely powerful tackle who profiles as a high-level starter at right tackle, and he's got experience on the left side, too.

Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

Kincaid isn't Travis Kelce - nobody is. But you don't have to look that hard to understand why some people have thrown that comparison out there. Arguably the most dynamic pass-catcher in this entire draft class, the Utah star could be a great fit with incoming offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

Jones is a freakishly talented offensive tackle who would fill Pittsburgh's most pressing need up front. He may need some time to develop, but his rare athleticism gives him an incredibly high ceiling looking to the future.

Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

The Lions circle back on corners after a dream scenario at No. 6 allowed them to make a major addition up front. Banks is a supremely athletic cover man who would immediately step in as a starter on the boundary for the new-look Detroit defense.

Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

The Bucs have to address the offensive line early in this draft. Harrison would step in as a Day 1 starter at left tackle, allowing Tampa Bay to keep Pro Bowler Tristan Wirfs on the right side.

Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

Another elite athlete for the Seahawks with their second pick of the first round. Smith's rare physical gifts give him obvious upside as a pass-rusher, and he's much more physical than you might expect in the run game.

*Miami Dolphins forfeit 1st-round selection (No. 21) as punishment for multiple violations of the NFL's anti-tampering policy

Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

The offensive coordinator change was step one for getting Justin Herbert some help. Step two is finding some vertical speed at receiver. Flowers provides that and more as a dynamic pass-catcher who can line up and make plays from any spot on the field.

Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Signing Odell Beckham Jr. took care of an important need for the Ravens ahead of the draft. Porter Jr., a size-speed corner with press man skills, takes care of another. The Penn State product would round out Baltimore's secondary as an immediate starter opposite Marlon Humphrey.

Jordan Addison, WR, USC

The Vikings have to find a running mate for Justin Jefferson for the offense to avoid taking a step back. Size is a concern for Addison, but he's an outstanding route-runner who knows how to create separation.

Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse

Upgrading the defense will be a major focus for the Jaguars, but it'll also be important to fill the void left by the free-agent departure of Jawaan Taylor. Bergeron is an athletic tackle who could be a particularly effective run-blocker at the next level. He's been getting plenty of late first-round buzz.

Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

Forbes has some major size concerns at a slender 166 pounds, but he's got the instincts and natural coverage skills to be a first-round pick anyway. This pick fills a major need for the Giants' defense.

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Unfair as it may be to compare prospects to Hall of Famers, Mayer has some Jason Witten to his game. And you can bet the Jones family saw the same thing. This fit makes plenty of sense for all.

Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

Most will have their eyes on an offensive playmaker here, but the Bills don't have to force it. There's also a glaring need at linebacker following the departure of Tremaine Edmunds, and Campbell is a potential every-down force at the position.

Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

Gibbs is an electrifying talent who isn't getting nearly enough attention leading up to this draft. With Joe Mixon seemingly on the way out sooner rather than later, the Bengals should take this opportunity to round out their skill-position talent with a game-breaking weapon. Gibbs could put up big numbers both as a runner and a receiver out of the backfield.

Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Murphy is talented enough to hear his name called much earlier than this, so the Saints would be thrilled to find such a perfect match of need and value. This pick provides some major juice to the New Orleans pass rush.

Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern

Philly continues to build in the trenches with the second of two first-round picks, this time on the defensive side. Adebawore is a freak athlete with intriguing inside-outside versatility as a pass-rusher. He'd fit in nicely on a stacked Eagles defensive front.

Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State

Anudike-Uzomah is an explosive edge rusher who flashes a deep arsenal of rush moves. Adding that kind of ability opposite 2022 first-rounder George Karlaftis, and having free-agent signing Charles Omenihu kick inside with Chris Jones on passing downs, would give the Chiefs a phenomenal pass-rush group.

Teams without 1st-round picks

Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State

Not having a pick until No. 36 isn't ideal when your roster is this bad. But the Rams should be perfectly content with a methodical rebuild after their aggressive roster-building paid off with a title. McDonald is the best edge rusher on the board after the first round.

Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa

Tight end is one of the few glaring needs on an otherwise stacked Dolphins roster. LaPorta isn't quite the complete tight end that George Kittle was coming out of Iowa, but there are some similarities in the way their skill sets were underused. He could be a star in this offense.

Luke Wypler, C, Ohio State

The Broncos pick Wypler to complete the overhaul of the offensive line. Wypler seems to be wildly underrated in the pre-draft process and should be a long-term starter at center.

Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane

With Williams alongside former first-round pick Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Cleveland would have a dynamic pair of coverage linebackers. The run defense can be addressed later if the Browns are presented with this type of opportunity in the third round.

Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse

Williams would be picked long before this spot if not for a torn ACL suffered in October. The 49ers' roster is in such a healthy place that the team can afford to be patient and capitalize on the potential value of stealing such a talented cover man this late on Day 2.

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