Preseason Mock Draft
Seattle is going nowhere fast in the 2022 NFL season with their lack of a quarterback as they plan to enter the season with Geno Smith at the helm and with the likelihood that Pete Carroll is gone after the season, ensuring that Seattle is an enticing destination for a good head coach is a must. C.J. Stroud is currently the betting favorite to be the #1 overall pick in the draft as he brings the size, athleticism, and arm talent to not survive but thrive in the NFL.
Assuming the Davis Mills experiment goes badly as expected, the Houston Texans will be looking for a new quarterback in 2023 to take the reigns. Bryce Young is looked at by many in the football world as an extremely close 2nd ranked quarterback, many have him as the #1 player in terms of overall talent, but his lacking size and bulk for the position is a huge concern heading into the draft.
The Chicago Bears need to build around their potential franchise quarterback in Justin Fields as this team lacking ability to produce on offense from the quarterback position has been an issue for the entirety of the Chicago Bears history. Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba lit the college football world on fire in 2021 with his electric route-running, stellar hands, and deadly athleticism and should make fellow Buckeye Justin Fields life a lot better.
Call me crazy but I think Desmond Ridder could get a fair chance at the Falcon's quarterback position in 2022 even if his team finds themselves hear at the #4 overall pick again and with the best player in the draft falling to them in Will Anderson Jr., it will be almost impossible for them to pass on him. Anderson Jr. is the best edge rusher to come out of college in the last 5 years and if he could have been drafted #1 last year, he would have without a 2nd thought by Jacksonville. He would be a game changing player for the Falcons the same way Aaron Donald is for the Rams and Micah Parsons is for the Dallas Cowboys and defense is something the Falcons desperately need.
I fully expect the Daniel Jones era to end in 2022 as Brian Daboll will more than likely want to start his rebuild of the team in his his image and not correct the previous administrations mistakes and he'll likely kickoff his tenure by grabbing the Kentucky quarterback Will Levis. Levis has the size, arm talent, and necessary athleticism to make NFL defenses pay for mistakes against him and if their was a player in this draft that will get compared to Daboll's former quarterback Josh Allen it will be Will Levis.
The New York Jets have continually been a dumpster no matter who is quarterbacking and because it's too early to tell if Zack Wilson is going to pan out or not they might as well get him some better protection than he has had. Peter Skoronski is the top offensive line prospect currently in the 2022 NFL draft rankings and given that the previous Northwestern offensive lineman to come out of the program in Rashawn Slater has been an absolute slam dunk pick for the Chargers, perhaps Skoronski can do the same.
The Philadelphia Eagles capitalized on the stupidity of the Saints front office in one of the most bizarre trades I have ever seen in all my years of analyzing football and kudos to the Eagles in this scenario as I believe the New Orleans Saints are in for a rough 2022 after losing their HOF head coach as well as having Jameis Winston throwing the football and it will be to the Eagles benefit after this team becomes the laughing stock of the NFL South. The Eagles capitalize by grabbing Jordan Davis's tag team partner in the interior during his time at Georgia in Jalen Carter who will be the gap shooting monster that Jordan Davis allowed him to be in college during their dominant championship run.
Regardless of whose the head coach in Carolina for the 2023 NFL season, unless Baker Mayfield has such an incredible season that they sign him to a new contract Carolina will be looking for a new young franchise quarterback in the NFL draft and their is no quarterback in this class that can bring the level of excitement and playmaking ability like Anthony Richardson. Richardson is a combination Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson at the quarterback position in his limited snaps at the position has shown elite level playmaking ability when he takes off with the football. His mechanics need work for sure and his ability to be a pocket passer is highly questionable but we have seen quarterbacks in recent years make plays and win games with their ability to take off on an unsuspecting defense and Carolina fans need some hope at the position which is something they have lacked for the last half decade.
The Washington Redskins issues at cornerback have been problematic for years and they will need to likely address the position come draft day. Eli Ricks has perrenial pro bowl potential at the position but has had a tumultous offseason with his run-in's with law enforcement and could find himself falling down draft boards if interviews don't go well. If he can keep his head on straight in the pros, he will be a total steal here at #9.
Lions probably will be thinking quarterback here at pick #10 but with four going in the top 10 the Lions need to reroute their draft and get the best offensive player available in Kayshon Boutte. He possesses electric athleticism, excellent hands, and after the catch ability and whoever is the quarterback in Detroit in 2023 with be extremely pleased with the option to throw it to this man.
If their is one thing Bill Belichick does better than any coach in NFL history it's draft defensive players when given premium picks and the Myles Murphy is certainly one of the most talented defenders players left on the board. Murphy has the same size and speed as 2022 #1 overall pick Travon Walker but is far more technically sound and if Bill Belichick is still coaching in 2023 and has a chance to nab this player, Patriot fans could be getting a real game-changing defender not seen since Willie McGinest.
The Houston Texans have their quarterback in Bryce Young and when without a top receiver prospect worth the 12th pick in the draft they do the next best thing and grab a pass rusher to affect the opposing teams quarterback. Andre Carter II is by far the best military school draft prospects since Roger Staubach and assuming he chooses to play football after West Point instead of military service, he could be a game-changer for the Texans. He possesses a rare combination of size and athleticism and has a knack for terrorizing backfields and after the Deshaun Watson fiasco as well as the tumultuous relationship this organization continues to have with their players and coaches, getting a upstanding citizen like Andre Carter II could be the best pick of their draft.
The Pittsburgh Steelers likely will be looking for offensive lineman to protect their new franchise quarterback in Kenny Pickett but the potential of Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Breese is too much to pass up on especially with age of Cam Heyward and the departure of Stephon Tuitt, Breese will be an absolutely tremendous consolation prize. He's a freak athlete that has been monstrous in the interior for the Tigers and if he can stay healthy, he very well could be a replacement for either player.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have their quarterback in Trevor Lawrence and enough receiver talent to make a difference but the tight position needs serious help and if Arik Gilbert out of Georgia can turn his immense talent into plays on the football field, it will completely change offense in Jacksonville. Arik Gilbert has been described as a bigger D.K. Metcalf and any tight end that can be described in that way is a dangerous offensive weapon.
The Philadelphia Eagles run on Georgia Bulldogs continues with the selection of Kelee Ringo whose interception in the 2021 College Football championship sealed the deal for the Bulldogs title run. He's a exceptional athletic specimen at the cornerback position with enough size to overwhelm receivers as well as the speed and agility to blanket any receiver he lines up against. He would solve a huge need on the Philadelphia Eagles defense in pass coverage.
If Pete Carroll is still the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks in 2023, I fully expect him to have cornerback on his mind come draft day and Pete has always loved taking players out of the PAC-12 and Kyu Blue Kelly fits the mold Carroll looks for in a cornerback. Blue Kelly is a tall corner with excellent athletic ability and was a nightmare for offenses to throw the ball two in 2021. He'd be a perfect fit for the Seattle defense.
The Indianapolis Colts will likely be moving from this spot to try and nab a quarterback but with no trades in this draft they grab the best overall player to fix a need of theirs and Broderick Jones is perfect for them. He's a big, nasty, and athletic offensive tackle prospect that could come into the locker room and be a plug and play left tackle next to one of the best offensive guards in the NFL in Quenton Nelson and create the most devastating rushing attack in the NFL as well give this team a good option as a pass protector.
Kyler Murray, while immensely talented, has been injured too often for comfort and his success in the NFL comes from his feet and ability to stay upright which requires offensive lineman that protect him. Cooper Beebe is the swiss army knife of offensive lineman in this draft with ample snaps at guard and tackle to make any team comfortable with his location. He can be reliable pass protector and run blocker for the Cardinals and finally give this team the consistency it needs in the interior.
I am under the assumption that Lamar Jackson is still in Baltimore when the 2023 NFL draft comes around and if so, getting him a bona fide route-running savant at the receiver position in Addison will help Lamar Jackson's effectiveness in the passing game tremendously.
The Miami Dolphins have put together a potentially deadly offense with the acquisition of Mike McDaniels and Tyreek Hill in the 2022 NFL offseason but McDaniels runs a run-based offense and getting him a elite running back prospect could give Miami the most potent offense in the league for years to come as well as give Tua the necessary weapons and relief in the run game he's been waiting for.
The Los Angeles Chargers have the fewer needs than most NFL teams in the draft as their scouting department continues to find the best talent available come draft day and again they let the board come to them and grab one of the most dangerous linebackers available. Smith was one of the best blitzers in college football in 2021 and fits the pass rush aggressiveness that the Chargers defense is trying to build.
The Minnesota Vikings Danielle Hunter has always struggled with injuries and nearly found himself off the team this offseason and getting his replacement should be a top priority of the Vikings come draft assuming he's let go. Felix Anudike-Uzomaoh has some interesting tools as a pass rusher with some of the best finesse moves in the draft.
Malik Willis appears to be the future in Tennessee as he's shown rare playmaking ability at the quarterback position that drives fans wild as well impressive arm talent and if I was a betting man, odds are he'll win the starting job at some point this season either by Ryan Tannehill injury or subpar play however the weak link on the Titans roster will be the receiving corps this year especially at the tight end position and I fully expect them address come April 2023. Michael Mayer is a very big, very powerful, and very good tight end prospect that has cornerstone receiver written all over him and would be a very good addition to Tennessee to get the best out of whoever plays the position.
Green Bay fans go into the draft every year screaming at their TV's for Green Bay to draft a receiver but always come way immensely disappointed but I fully expect Green Bay to struggle rushing the passer this year with Zadarius Smith leaving free agency for their rival Minnesota and replacing him is a much bigger need than people think. Isaiah Foskey is an athletic that brings a great deal potential as a power rusher off the edge and would perfectly fill the hole Smith left behind.
The Cincinnati Bengals have few needs on the roster but linebacker has been their biggest weakness for a while despite their productivity in 2022 and getting a highly athletic run stuffer and blitzer in Trenton Simpson would give the Bengals a third pass rusher potentially up the middle the same way Micah Parsons and Devin White do for their prospective defenses which could put Cincinnati over the top in 2022.
The Dallas Cowboys have guard and tackle issues currently on the roster but like usual they fully intend to rely on their depth to fix an issue that will likely bite them all season long but getting a starting level cornerback opposite Trevon Diggs. Emmanuel Forbes Jr. has elite ball skills and plenty of length and athleticism to line up man to man against any receiver in the NFL. .
The Kansas City Chiefs have very few issues on the team but their biggest need is at safety so far this season with Tyrann Mathieu leaving the team in the offseason. Antonio Johnson is so far the preeminent safety in the NFL draft of 2023 with the size, athleticism, and physical play style to give offenses fits and should give Kansas City to presence on the field that Mathieu once displayed.
Tampa Bay has had some bad luck this offseason with the interior of their offensive line getting injured or retiring from the pros and getting an immediate starter in the interior is the biggest priority next season. Andrew Voorhees is a big and highly technical offensive guard prospect that should see a huge boost to his stock if he has a productive season in Southern California under Lincoln Riley. .
The Las Vegas Raiders cleaned house from the GM on down last season after the John Gruden fiasco but their drafting over the years has been incredibly suspect with multiple high first round picks not panning out and incredible reaches in the first round forced this team to trade their 1st and 2nd round picks in 2022 for the one of the best receivers in the NFL in Davante Adams however Robert Beal Jr. is an ascending talent currently on the Georgia defense and a great season may even propel him higher. He would be a highly athletic presence off the edge that has the tools and intangibles to be a beast in the pros.
The Detroit Lions have become a very interesting team in 2022 but with a back end first round pick and no quarterback currently worth a selection they go and grab the brother of their potential pro bowl offensive tackle in Penei Sewell in Noah out of Oregon. Noah has been the heart and soul of a very productive Oregon Duck defense and comes in as one of the best pure middle linebacker prospects in the draft and should boost the morale of a team in 2023.
The Buffalo Bills have one of the best receiving corps in the league with a top 5 quarterback at the helm in Josh Allen and keeping the group loaded should be their biggest concern come draft day. Quentin Johnston is an ascending NFL receiver prospect with great length and size and his services on the Bills as a potential red zone target and playmaker is what this team would need to potentially repeat if my prediction of them winning the Super Bowl is correct.