post season mock draft
The Carolina Panthers pick the slightly more pro ready quarterback in this NFL draft, although he's not my top quarterback on my board, and go forward with the first of the franchise changing quarterbacks. Bryce Young might be small at 5'10" and 205 lbs., which is the only reason why he's #2 on my list, but he's so good at quarterbacking an offense and is such an intriguing player that it's for me to knock the Panthers for going in this direction. Stroud in my opinion could be a better option but it's been reported for the last few weeks that Young is the apple of the Panthers eye and is the betting favorite to hear his name called first by the commissioner.
I do not agree with this pick as I think the Texans are potentially making a huge mistake by drafting Will Anderson Jr. over C.J. Stroud but the smoking rumor around the league is that Stroud has the same agent as Deshaun Watson, and we all know how that turned out for the Texans. Stroud is the best quarterback prospect in the draft in my opinion as he checks all the boxes you look for in a franchise quarterback and he would change life in Houston the moment he would step on the field for them. With being said, the selection of Will Anderson Jr. is hard to sneer at as he's the best overall prospect in the draft and a game-wrecking edge rusher that has HOF level talent and with new head coach Demeco Ryans looking for his Nick Bosa to kick off his tenure in Houston, there is no better prospect for him to select than the greatest Alabama edge rusher to come out of college since Derrick Thomas.
The Indianapolis Colts stunned that Stroud is available at the 3rd overall trade up one spot and give Arizona their 2nd rounder to draft C.J. Stroud and change the organizations future. Stroud is the most accurate quarterback in the draft with great size and more room to grow and new head coach Shane Steichen fresh off of coaching up Jalen Hurts to a Super Bowl appearance will take Stroud and set the Colts on a path to regain control over an AFC south division that's increasingly getting younger and more talented.
The question about where the generationally talented Jalen Carter lands in the draft get answered with his selection at #4 overall in the draft to the Arizona Cardinals where his insertion into the Cardinals defense should immediately improve the front seven immensely. New head coach Jonathan Gannon drafted former Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis last year whose presence helped solidify the Eagles interior and seeing the success of the more likely convinces him to draft the more talented Carter. Assuming Carters legal troubles stay in the past and Gannon can coach him back into shape, Carter should be a monster in the middle of Arizona's defensive front and be a game-wrecker for a decade.
The Houston Texans, likely unable to work out a trade with 49ers for Trey Lance as the rumors around that spread throughout the league like a fire, they move up in the draft with the Seahawks who miss out on the two generationally talented defensive prospects and take surprisingly Will Levis out of Kentucky who is the #4 best quarterback in the draft which may be a shock to some. Levis is more pro ready in my opinion than some are willing to admit and with Anthony Richardson, while generationally gifted athletically for the position, is more of a project than a sure thing at the quarterback position. Levis is a great athlete with a howitzer for an arm and can come into Houston and make a difference within his first couple years in the league with the potential to be a franchise quarterback very quickly.
The Dan Campbell regime has gotten off to a great start since his arrival a couple years ago and while some may believe that the Lions are potentially considering drafting a quarterback at #6, the potential of cornerback Christian Gonzalez is too good to pass up in the draft. Gonzalez has pretty much everything you look for in a shutdown cornerback prospect and after the Lions shipped off Jeff Okudah earlier in April, it's very likely in my opinion that draft his replacement in the former Colorado Buffalo.
The Raiders, likely disappointed in not being able to draft one of the top two quarterbacks as the rumors around them potentially trading up in the draft are squashed draft day simply move back in the draft and regroup and figure out if they draft the potential heir apparent to Jimmy Garoppolo. With new ownership taking the reigns in Washington, don't be shocked that sleeper to trade up for quarterback in this draft wakes up and takes the most athletic quarterback prospect to come out of college since Michael Vick. Anthony Richardson is a monster when he takes off from the pocket and his size and athletic ability give him limitless potential. He's a bit of project due to lack of experience but a big athletic quarterback with only one season under his belt never phased Ron Rivera when he drafted Cam Newton to kick off his tenure. With a very talented receiver corps and stout defense that's going to likely wreak havoc next season as players get healthier, mainly Chase Young, Anthony Richardson gets put into a good situation with an organization free from the clutches of Dan Snyder and under new ownership that's looking to make splash upon arrival.
The Atlanta Falcons need edge rush and interior defensive line help in the most desperate way possible and while the very slightly better prospect in Myles Murphy is available, the potential of Tyree Wilson is too much to pass up on. Wilson is a freak of nature that as the size and athleticism to play inside and out on a defensive line and his insertion into the defensive front of the Falcons gives them the defensive anchor that they have been lacking for years.
The Chicago Bears after pulling off the best trade in their teams history draft the most pro ready offensive line prospect in draft in Peter Skoronski. Skoronski is the most versatile and most technically sound player at both guard and tackle and he can line up where ever the Bears need him to play. Protecting their franchise quarterback in Justin Fields is the priority in Day one and drafting Skoronski gives the Bears the protector and road grader they have desperately needed for the last decade.
In what I would call the worst trade in NFL history last year with the Saints and Eagles, the Eagles take advantage of lowly Saints stupidity in 2022 by grabbing the best offensive weapon to come of college football since Saquon Barkley to turn this already dominant offense into a Godzilla level monster. While it shocked many that the Eagles let pro bowl back Myles Sanders walk in free agency, Bijan Robinson is certainly a great to why they made that decision as he's the polished player in the draft and is the favorite to win offensive rookie of the year in my opinion.
After trading away A.J. Brown to the Eagles in another stupid trade that Eagles came out on top and drafting Treylon Burks in his stead, the Titans needs another receiver in my opinion to keep up the rise in talent in AFC as they quarterbacks have all been drafted and their is no better player to compliment Burks than Jaxon Smith-Njigba out of Ohio State. JSN is the drafts preeminent route-runner with exceptional athletic ability and ball skills and would be the Yin to Burks Yang on offense and finally give the Titans the passing attack they have desperately tried to create for the past decade.
The Seahawks seeing an opportunity to move down with the Texans earlier in the draft grab the 2nd steal of the draft in Myles Murphy out Clemson. Murphy is the 2nd best edge rusher in the draft and more pro ready than some give him credit for and should make an instant impact under defensive genius Pete Carroll who is looking for the heir apparent to Frank Clark after his departure from the team years ago. Murphy is a very powerful and athletic NFL draft prospect that should an impact very quickly in Seattle and could develop into a game-wrecker within his first two seasons in the league.
It finally happened within the week of the draft, Aaron Rodgers is traded to the New York Jets for a significant amount of draft compensation and they get their which was to move past the Patriots in the NFL draft whom have similar needs and draft patterns and despite the flipping of picks, there is no change in the selection in my opinion. Perhaps in a slight to Rodgers or a stampage of confidence in Jordan Love, the Green Bay Packers do the unthinkable in their history and draft a receiver in the first round and a great on in Quentin Johnston out of TCU. Johnston is a big, athletic, sure-handed receiver that can not only win contested catches with ease as he's likely to see a lot of but also make magical things happen after the catch for extra yards. He'll be the #1 receiver candidate that the Packers have been starving for since Davante Adams was traded and put this offense it's best chance to at least stay relevant.
The New England Patriots are team in desperate need of talent on offense and the fans of the organization are one more receiverless first round from clamoring for Bill Belichicks job in 2023 but Belichick doesn't draft receivers in Day 1 or tight ends for that matter and goes with his instincts for defense and grabs the most intriguing defender in the draft in Devon Witherspoon. Witherspoon is one of the best defenders in the draft and certainly one of the most intense hitters available and drafting him would give the Patriots the defensive secondary that has kept this defense in the Top 10 of the league for the past decade.
Congratulations are in order for Joe Douglas and the rest of the Jets front office after pulling off the most significant trade in the entire offseason and firmly put the Jets in potential Super Bowl contention by acquiring Aaron Rogers for a relative discount compared to what other quarterbacks the past few years and the best thing the New York Jets can do for their new quarterback is to get him a bona fide mauler of a blindside blocker in Darnell Wright. Wright is slow but sure riser up draft boards this year as his athleticism and technical prowess are at NFL standards with a rare nastiness to make life difficult for opposing defenders and there is nothing New York Jet fans love more in an offensive lineman is a nasty side.
Josh McDaniels likely disappointed that he was unable to leave with a quarterback in the draft grabs the best player available in Michael Mayer whose game and skillset eerily matches up with his favorite NFL receiver Rob Gronkowski. The trading of Darren Waller was not a popular decision among Raiders fans around the league but drafting Mayer hear at #16 overall should appease the ravenous fan base and give quarterback Jimmy Garopollo the security blanket he needs at the position.
The offensive line troubles of the Pittsburgh Steelers have been a well documented subject for the past 5 years with very few attempts at correcting the problem but past season was the likely the final straw for the organization and getting Paris Johnson Jr. finally addresses the issue. Johnson is a bit raw but he's got all the tools and intangibles to be a dominant presence on the blindside for Kenny Pickett and should be a beast of tackle within his first few years in the league.
The Detroit Lions need a defensive tackle that can penetrate the pocket and force quarterbacks into the arms up and coming pass rush phenom Aidan Hutchinson and nobody did that better in 2022 than Pittsburgh tackle Calijah Kancey. While a bit undersized, Kancey has one of the fast get-offs I have seen since former Pitt Panthers Aaron Donald almost a decade ago and and their styles of player are eerily similar as well and combing his skillset with Hutchinson's should give the Lions one of the best defensive lines in the league for years to come.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made it known that they are going to give quarterback Kyle Trask a shot in 2023 and instead of potentially getting his replacement they take the best player available in Joey Porter Jr. out Penn State. The son of All-Pro linebacker Joey Porter Sr., Jr. plays hardnosed football they way his dad did for years except on the outside against receivers and is one of the most technically sound press-man corners that draft has to offer. He's got all the tools and intangibles to be a decade long starter at the position and I wouldn't be shocked to see him be on a pro bowl roster within his first two years in the league.
While the Geno Smith show in 2023 was both fun and inspiring, the odds that he can repeat his stellar year are not great and drafting his eventual replacement and back up become paramount in the back end of the NFL draft and the question of where Hendon Hooker will get drafted is answered at 20th overall. Hooker was the Heisman front runner before he tore his ACL and probably would be the 3rd quarterback picked in the draft if not for his injury and going to a classy and well run organization like Seattle ensures that he can develop at his own pace.
The Los Angeles Chargers have issues that need addressing all over the team currently and while fans might want to draft another receiver or tight end, the defensive line if a paramount need for them as Joey Bosa starts to enter his prime and needs interior pressure to maximize his potential. Bryan Bresee is a beast of defensive tackle that has potential to be game wrecker in ther interior and if not for a lengthy injury history in college he likely would be gone by now. His pick at #22 overall is a steal and should give the Chargers the defensive front they have need and sorely missed the past few years.
The Lamar Jackson Saga in Baltimore is going to be a topic for sports media for at least the next year and a half as his contract situation continually gets discussed but with Baltimore in desperate need of receiver help, the team appeases Lamar and takes one of the best route-runners and slot receivers available. Addison is a mismatch nightmare for most players and his ability to affect the game after the should be a huge addition for the Ravens.
The Trey Lance to Minnesota rumors have begun to swirl as they miss out on one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the draft but I doubt they make a trade with San Francisco in Day 1, especially if Kelee Ringo is available at #24. Ringo is a freak athlete at the cornerback position and would give the Vikings the pass defense they have sorely lacked the past few seasons and while Ringo is a bit raw, his ceiling at the position astronomical.
The Jacksonville Jaguars likely jumping up an down with absolute glee as Broderick Jones is still available on the board don't just call but run the card to the commissioner and grab the talented offensive tackle out of Georgia. Jones has phenomenal athleticism and power for the position and should be plug-n-play rookie at the blindside of the offensive line. He's raw as a pass protector but he's an NFL ready run blocker and should make this potential juggernaut of an offense into a bulldozing run game off the left side.
The New York Giants biggest need for the last few years in the league has been the receiver position and getting Daniel Jones another target to throw to is by far their biggest need in 2023. Zay Flowers is one of the most dangerous receivers in the draft after the catch and has the athleticism to develop into a bona-fide #1 receiver in the league and if their is anything Daniel Jones needs to elevate his game in the NFL, it would be a potential #1 receiver.
The Dallas Cowboys get one of the biggest steals in the draft with the selection of Dalton Kincaid out of Utah who is regarded by many as the best receiving tight end in the draft with elite route-running capabilities and suction cups for hands. Dak Prescott may have hit his ceiling as a quarterback and getting him more receiving targets is a huge need in 2023 and with Dalton Schultz leaving in free agency, getting Kincaid not only fills the void likely improves the position immensely and I would be shocked if Kincaid doesn't find his way onto a pro bowl roster in his career.
The Bufflao Bills have a Top 3 quarterback in the NFL in Josh Allen and a top 3 receiver in the league in Stefon Diggs but they lack a playmaker in the backfield to take the pressure off both players however Jahmyr Gibbs out of Alabama definitely would be the perfect pick for Buffalo at #27. Gibbs has elite speed and agility to go along with very rare versatility with his capabilities as a receiver and Buffalo would be nuts to pass on him.
The New Orleans Saints need to upgrade the pass rush in Day 1 of the draft as Cam Jordan gets older and Marcus Davenport is no longer in Louisiana, getting Will Mcdonald IV would be a very wise pick at #29. Will McDonald IV is a highly technically sound edge rusher that has a military arsenal of pass rush moves that can turn any offensive tackle into a turnstile. Although he's underweight for the position, he's stronger than his size would indicate and his lack of size never seemed to effect his play on the field.
The Cincinnati Bengals get one of the biggest steals of the draft by having Brian Branch fall to them after Jessie Bates tested free agency and got himself a fat contract in Atlanta. Branch has Minkah Fitzpatrick potential on the back end of the defense and is one of the most versatile prospects in draft and his implementation into the Bengals defense should lead to a mark improvement throughout.
The Philadelphia Eagles have few needs but one of them certainly edge rusher as Brandon Graham gets older and getting the Notre Dame All-time sack leader Isaiah Foskey would certainly help Brandon Grahams eventual departure not have a lasting impact. Foskey is a highly athletic edge rusher with the size and pass rush repertoire to take over for the Philly great and should hit the ground running in the NFL.
The Kansas City Chiefs have become a team that don't need #1 receivers as Patrick Mahomes proved by winning the Super Bowl and although they have a very good receiving core currently, they could always add talent to the position. Rashee Rice is a contested catch monster that can make magic happen after the catch and while he still has a ways to go as a route-runner, his quarterback in Pat Mahomes should mitigate any issues with him separating and getting open.