CommRadio Mock Draft 1.0
It’s that time of year again!
With the 2023 NFL Draft growing ever closer, it’s time once again for our CommRadio sports staff to predict how they see the first round playing out.
1. Carolina Panthers (via Chicago): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
It’s become more and more clear that Stroud has drawn the most interest from the Panthers organization. After trading up for the first overall pick, Stroud and the Panthers have met on several occasions so the second-team All-American could be tasked with being the next Panthers signal caller.
2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Houston finally finds its newestes signal caller that officially marks the upswing of the rebuild. He is the most poised pocket passer in this year’s draft and has the highest floor of the bunch. The Texans hold 10 picks in this year’s draft and will plan to use the other nine to get Young even more weapons at his disposal.
3. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
In a draft without many first-round quarterbacks, Anderson Jr. would be the no-doubt first overall pick. Instead, the Cardinals receive the gift of the best defensive player in the draft with the third overall pick.
4. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
This year’s high upside, dual-threat quarterback will find his new home in Indianapolis. The Colts do not want to keep having the veteran carousel anymore and can draft their potential quarterback of the future. Richardson does not need to start day one as they have Gardner Minshew on the roster, but Colts fans will be clamoring for him to start as soon as possible.
5. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver): Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
While quarterback could be a thought here, the Seahawks instead choose to build up their front seven with Wilson being the best edge rusher off the board at this point. The first-team all-american will look to help the Seahawks continue to build off a playoff berth last season.
6. Detroit Lions (via L.A. Rams): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Off the field issues aside, this is the best all around player in the draft. Motor City Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes have Detroit on the upswing with playoff aspirations. Carter would be the cherry on top to their defensive retool to make this Lions defense be a lot better than they were a year prior.
7. Las Vegas Raiders: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
With Levis arguably being the last first-round quarterback available in the draft, the Raiders don’t hesitate in picking a quarterback in the first round since they landed JaMarcus Russell. The Raiders did sign Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year deal, but with Levis being viewed as a project quarterback, that could work out perfectly with their timeline.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
The Falcons lack a pure pass rusher and have been for a long time now. They can plug Murphy in as a 3-4 edge to help Grady Jarrett and Arnold Ebiketie disrupt opposing passers to even assist the secondary that the Falcons have spent tons of money on.
9. Chicago Bears (via Carolina): Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
With the Bears having worked tirelessly in the offseason to build around Justin Fields, they use their first pick to continue to protect him. Skoronski can be that first building block for the Bears offensive line.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans): Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
With the star cornerback duo of Darius Slay and James Bradberry both almost departing from the team this offseason, Gonzalez brings immediate stability to that secondary and can be a menace to NFC receivers for years to come.
11. Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
Offensive line still looks to be the biggest need for the Titans even with their wide receiver room losing one of its leaders in Robert Woods. Johnson Jr. could help revitalize the ground game to where it was one of the best in the NFL with Derrick Henry plowing people over.
12. Houston Texans (via Cleveland): Jordan Addison, WR, USC
As stated prior, Young gets a new weapon in arguably the best receiver in the class in Addison. They honestly couldn’t go wrong with any of the top three, but Addison edges the other two out due to his great speed and strong hands down the field.
13. New York Jets: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
Now looking to protect Aaron Rodgers, the Jets probably want to build around the offensive pieces acquired in this free agency cycle. Especially with some injuries to work around on the offensive line, Jones would fit right in.
14. New England Patriots: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Bill Belichick would be jumping for joy to see Witherspoon fall to them at 14. Belichick loves his physical corners in his defense and is currently in major need of one. Witherspoon will fill in that gap nicely and help round out a very strong defense.
15. Green Bay Packers: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
It goes without saying how long the Packers have failed to add at the wide receiver position. Smith-Njigba would be the perfect player to help end that streak and add on to a receiver room that added Christian Watson last season.
16. Washington Commanders: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
A very fast, versatile, defensive piece who can play all over the field is exactly what Washington could use to reignite that defense. He will be able to compliment the strong pieces that Washington has already on that defense and elevate their game.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Despite the Patrick Peterson signing, cornerback still appears to be a need for the Steelers making Porter Jr. a perfect fit for this defense. Porter Jr. has been lockdown for Penn State in his college career and now adds a building block on a team with several on the offensive end.
18. Detroit Lions: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Might as well get Jared Goff another weapon for this high powered offense. Brock Wright is not going to do it as a premiere pass catching tight end, so they might as well go get a guy who was receiving Gronk comparisons at one of the best tight end producing Universities in the nation.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
The Bucs defense is not what it used to be, so Van Ness can bring some extra firepower to a team that is desperately trying not to rebuild.
20. Seattle Seahawks: O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
Well you just paid Geno Smith, so what’s the best thing to get for him now? Protection to ensure he stays vertical. The size and power of Torrence are unmatched, but he can also move well and stay balanced. Not only would this pick make Smith happy, but there will be a nice grin on Kenneth Walker’s face when he has huge holes to run through.
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
The Chargers already have their big bodied receiver in Mike Williams, so they could definitely use an absolute speedster to assist Justin Herbert. Flowers is another player that has been jumping up draft boards, so him in the first round is not really a surprise. Keenan Allen’s up-in-the-air future makes the choice easier as well.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
When mocking the Baltimore Ravens this year, fill a hat with all the viable wide receivers available and pick one. They need receivers so badly. Rashod Bateman has too many injury question marks, so picking Johnston would be a huge weight off everyone’s shoulder that can let the offense work.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
With the departure of Adam Theilen, Justin Jefferson will be quadruple covered if the Vikings do not pick up a receiver. Hyatt’s blazing speed can help stretch the field and be a great compliment to Jefferson who will garner most of the attention.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
As of lately, Banks has been jumping up draft boards and is the pick here for Jacksonville. His tall, lean figure has recently been the prized measurables for corners and his speed helps him track the receiver he’s on.
25. New York Giants: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
JMS is the next plug and play center to come out of college. It would be a shame if the Giants spent all that money on a Daniel Jones extension, just for him to be laying flat on the ground all the time. Schmitz would do a great job making sure that does not happen.
26. Dallas Cowboys: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
A Zeke-less Dallas is going to be something we will need to get used to, but they still have Tony Pollard on the franchise tag. With absolute stud young players that will need to get paid soon, Dallas will not want to put $10-million per year into a running back. Drafting the best running back in the class will not only free up cap space in the future, but if Robinson turns out how most experts expect him to, it will be a home run pick for Dallas.
27. Buffalo Bills: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
The Alabama transfer found his home in Arkansas and became an absolute menace for the Razorbacks. Sanders is a very versatile linebacker as he played all linebacker positions throughout his college tenure. He can fill the hole Tremaine Edmunds left and help retool this Bills defense while their Super Bowl window is still open.
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Brian Branch, Safety, Alabama
A talent that shouldn’t be on the board at this time falling due to a weakened positional value. Branch is easily a top-20 prospect in this draft but safeties do not get drafted very highly anymore. Branch will slide into the void Jessie Bates left to help the rest of the defense.
29. New Orleans Saints (via San Francisco through Miami and Denver): Bryan Breese, DT, Clemson
The Saints went best player available here as Breese was looked at as a top-10 prospect early on, but has lost some steam. The Saints desperately need defensive tackles and Breese will help violently fill holes in the run game.
30. Philadelphia Eagles: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
Brandon Graham can’t play forever, so drafting his heir would be a good idea here especially when he is huge with great agility. His quick footwork will not only help him in the run game, but disrupt the passer as well.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
With both tackles leaving in free agency, the Chiefs signed Jawaan Taylor to the left tackle slot. With a question mark on the right side, why not go draft a literal mountain to protect one of the best quarterbacks ever. Jones could be in the same boat as Mekhi Becton where size might be an issue, but if he can translate healthy to the NFL Patrick Mahomes will have his new favorite security guard.
Joey David is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism
Joey David is a second-year student from North Caldwell, New Jersey. Joey has media experience in CentreNewsDigest and is looking to continue to add as much experience as possible.