Bears

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Bears add wide receiver for Fields

Bears

Last week the quarterback play in the NFL and college left a lot to be desired. Yes, there were some exceptional performances, but overall, the position looks more flawed and less developed than early season reports projected.

This week's mock exchanges one quarterbacking prospect for a new passer, but still lists a defensive heavy draft board for 2023. 

And we're using Tankathon.com's projected draft order, and it's only been two weeks of the season, so don't come at us for the draft order.

1. Falcons: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Georgia

After two weeks, Atlanta is still "Falcon-ing things" up, which is basically allowing teams to score at will against them. The Falcons' 58 points surrendered during this 2022 campaign is tied for fourth worst in the league. Embarrassingly, on eight red zone attempts the opposition scored seven times this season for an 87 percent success rate. Drafting a talent like Anderson, whose career 46 tackles for loss and 26.5 sacks, would undoubtedly improve Atlanta's ability to limit opponents' scoring chances.

2. Titans: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Clearly, the Titans' passing "attack" misses the explosive element former primary receiver, A.J. Brown showcased when he played for Tennessee. As a team, the Titans' longest pass play (31 yards) is to its backup running back, Dontrell Hilliard. Conversely, Brown, who now plays for the Eagles tallied a 54 yard reception and is catching 71.4 percent of his targets. Drafting Addison, the reigning Biletnikoff Award recipient, whose 26 touchdowns in 27 career college games played might be something for the Titans to strongly consider.

 

3. Raiders: Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

It is unfair for someone Carter's size (6-foot-3, 310 lbs) to move as swiftly and forcefully past other humans like they were weighted blocking bags. Carter is extremely athletic, having performed as a lead blocker in goal line situations and scored a touchdown as an eligible receiver. His intimidating style and volatile approach to disrupting plays is next level must see TV.

4. Panthers: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State 

Stroud is well on his way to securing another Heisman bid (finished fourth for 2021 season) completing 72.9 percent of his throws for 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. An efficient passer, Stroud's pocket presence improved from last season and his average time to throw is an impressive 2.85 seconds (three seconds or less is considered good). Carolina may be in complete rebuild mode should they continue to struggle and Stroud would be an excellent piece to build around.

5. Bengals: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

The AFC Conference is littered with elite receivers (Ja'Marr Chase, Tyreek Hill, Davonte Adams, Stephon Diggs etc....) and in order to compete against them teams require top tier defensive stoppers in their secondary. Ringo is a physical specimen (6-foot-2, 210 lbs) blessed with 10.43 speed (100 meters) and NFL level agility to stay glued to receivers. 

6. Colts: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Young won't blow evaluators away with astounding physical gifts like NFL superstars Josh Allen (size), Patrick Mahomes (arm strength), or Lamar Jackson (speed); but he will impress scouts with his accuracy and tenacity as a winning field general. Since being named Alabama's starter, Young has posted a 16-2 win/loss record, won a Heisman Award and led his team to a National Championship appearance. 

7. Texans: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

Bresee plays with a brute force ugliness that doesn't apologize for making things difficult for opposing teams. A lean interior defensive talent (6-foot-5, 300 lbs), he demonstrates an unusual ability to get "skinny" between double teams, powering past them behind the line of scrimmage. Once he develops a counter move to compliment his bull rush, Bresee may see his stock rise higher throughout the season.

8. Eagles (via NO): Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Porter Jr. sports prototypical size for a corner (6-foot-2, 191 lbs) and enjoys mixing it up physically on the gridiron. Combative with receivers, Porter forced 10 pass breakups over the last 16 games played. An ardent supporter against the run, he's totaled 97 career tackles with an acceptable miss tackle rate of approximately 8.1 percent. Porter is quickly rising in the eyes of many talent evaluators 

9. Jets: Paris Johnson, OL, Ohio State

A natural athlete with easy lateral fluidity in and out of his sets, Johnson projects as a NFL left tackle. An intelligent player who executes blocks well into the second level of defenses, he's the type of agile blocker required in today's more open offensive style of play. Johnson's enviable blend of size, length, strength and awareness showcases a high ceiling worthy of a day one selection.

 

10. Texans (via CLE): Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Murphy keeps things simple, beating opponents with explosive surges that generally railroads them into playing on their heels. His ability to strike fast helps out leverage blockers, while his strength allows him to redirect his opponents, in a disregarding manner. Murphy can rush from either side and creates enough havoc to keep offenses off schedule and rhythmically challenged.

11.Steelers: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

Incumbent starting corner back, Cameron Sutton may seek to explore the potential riches of free agency. Should he leave and not be tagged by the Steelers, Pittsburgh may replace him with another Cam. Smith is a versatile pass defender who performs equally from the slot and boundary areas on the field. He's a patient defender who moves with quick feet, but is never panicked or overzealous in his coverage assignments. 

12. Cardinals: Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama

Decision making off the field (speeding ticket without insurance and marijuana possession) may have scouts assessing Ricks with a side-eye cautiousness regarding his first round selectivity. The talent is obvious (five career interceptions with two taken back for scores), but the need for maturity and commitment to the game is a prerequisite of NFL teams searching for day one playmakers. 

 

13. Lions (via LAR): Isiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame

Foskey's suddenness off the edge makes him a special talent that commands respect from offensive tackles. Unfortunately, offenses are beginning to see layered improvement in his game, making him more than just a speed rushing threat. His ability to chase down ball carriers for backside stops, plus his improved awareness in thwarting trap runs and screen passes, makes him extremely difficult to scheme against.

14. Seahawks: Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee

Quietly and steadily, Hooker is arguably becoming the quarterback other scouts hope no one is noticing. Essentially, since becoming the Volunteers' primary signal caller, Hooker's 36 touchdown passes to three interceptions (12-to-1 ratio) over the span of just 16 games is astounding. Keep in mind, he's achieved these numbers against the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Florida. People are beginning to notice and maybe the Seahawks are in that group on onlookers, too.

15. Commanders: Antonio Johnson, FS, Texas A&M

Johnson is a dynamic 6-foot-3 and 200 pound, long limbed enforcer in the defensive backfield. He can blitz the quarterback, cover any type of receiver and make bone-jarring tackles in run support. Johnson makes quick decisions and commits with measured abandon and ferocity that energizes his teammates. Like a coiled cobra, he strikes without mercy or guilt.

16. Patriots: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

The Patriots have been searching for a true number one receiver since Randy Moss left in 2010. Smith-Njigba may remind older Patriot fans of another slightly built, precision route runner from Ohio State, Terry Glenn. An efficient wideout, Smith-Njigba wastes little motion when leveraging defenders away from him, using angled cuts and smooth transitions into and out of his breaks on pass routes. 

 

17. Cowboys: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon

The Cowboys haven't really had an effective inside or middle linebacker since Sean Lee and Bradie James. Sewell possesses the size and athleticism to man the inside and thrive alongside all-world talent, Micah Parsons. This versatile hybrid defender is scheme friendly, and presents defensive coordinators with a plethora of formation options that would create mismatches in Dallas' favor.

18. Bears: A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest

Bills' quarterback, Josh Allen improved significantly once Stefon Diggs became his primary receiver. Currently, Eagles' signal caller, Jalen Hurts' progress has elevated due to the arrival of former Titans' number one target, A.J. Brown. Consequently, Titans' triggerman, Ryan Tannehill has regressed since Brown's departure. Taking Perry (6-foot-5, 205 lbs), a tremendous talent with a career yards per reception average of 17.5 and 18 touchdowns, might do wonders for Chicago's fledgling quarterback, Justin Fields.

19. Jets: Broderick Jones, OL, Georgia

Out of a possible 50 regular season games since New York's left tackle, Mekhi Becton became a member of the Jets (2020 draft), he will have only played in 15 of them. It is uncertain if the talented Becton can remain injury free, so taking Jones mid-first round could provide security against another Becton injury. Jones sets up quickly in pass coverage and demonstrates just enough nasty during run block assignments to justify day one selectivity.

20. Lions: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

Putting it bluntly, Detroit is incapable of preventing teams from scoring at will. Overall, the Lions rank 31st in total team defense. In addition, they're surrendering 32.5 points per game which is second worst in the NFL. Simpson is the type of three-down linebacker that lines up anywhere on the field. So far this season, he's lined up on the defensive front, in the slot and defended within the box. His versatility is exactly what Detroit could use to bolster its beleaguered defense.

21. Seahawks (via DEN): Gervon Dexter Sr, DL, Florida

Dexter's impressive natural strength and solid base help him maintain leverage against linemen at the point of attack. The ability to quickly shed blockers makes him problematic for plays headed in his vicinity. Extremely athletic considering his size and length (6-foot-6, 313 lbs), Dexter's flexibility will endear him to coordinators dreaming of where to align this scheme friendly defender.

22. Vikings: Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame

Joseph is a playmaking safety with ball hawkish skills, having picked off nine passes 25 games into his collegiate career. He can operate effectively in the deep middle portions of the field, or match up individually with move tight ends. His intelligence, athleticism, versatility and leadership qualities make him an ideal choice for any defense.

23. Ravens: Jaelyn Duncan, OL, Maryland

Balanced. It's the best one word description that captures Duncan's foremost attribute as an offensive lineman. Exceptionally sturdy and well positioned, he has the ability to shift laterally with quickness while retaining power when striking pass rushers. Scouts are treated to a display of his athleticism when Duncan pulls on run plays, punishing defenders along his path.

 

24. Dolphins (via SF): Garrett Wilson, CB, Syracuse

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, how does anyone know for sure it actually fell? One could analogize Williams collegiate football career much the same way. Most are unaware that he led the ACC in passes defended the past two years (18 total). Soon, scouts will see the forest for the trees and place Williams higher on their draft boards.

25. Jaguars: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah

Phillips is more quick than fast as a coverage defender, who wins through disciplined positioning and next level awareness. Much like the aforementioned Garrett Williams, Phillips led his conference (Pac-12) in passes defended (15) last season. 

26. Packers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Both of Green Bay's most utilized tight ends (Robert Tonyan / Marcedes Lewis) are free agents heading into 2023. Drafting, arguably Notre Dame's best and most accomplished tight end in school history, could only improve a passing game still reeling from the departure (trade) of All-Pro wideout, Davonte Adams.

27. Chiefs: Tony Grimes, CB, North Carolina

Ranked as the number one corner back coming out of Virginia (2020), Grimes performed admirably as an All-ACC Honorable Mention player last season, tallying 47 tackles with nine passes defended. His knack for mirroring wideouts and anticipating where receivers travel have evaluators' interests piqued.

28. Dolphins: FORFEITED

The Miami Dolphins forfeited one of their two first-round picks (plus a third-round pick in 2024) for tampering surrounding Tom Brady.

29. Buccaneers: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU

A silky smooth, route runner, Boutte is explosive out of his breaks and is most dangerous on slants and digs across the field. After the catch, he displays homerun scoring capabilities as a sleek runner who can muscle through arm tackles. Health will determine how far up or down he moves on teams' draft boards.

30. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State

Anudike-Uzomah might be a yoga master with the amount of bendable flexibility he exhibits during a pass rush. Last season, he amassed 14.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks which led to being named Big-12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year. 

31. Eagles: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Robinson's slip-n-slide, jump cutting prowess is so smooth and succinct, his efficient running style has many scouts salivating about his potential at the pro level. I know I'm dating myself, but Robinson reminds me of a quicker, leaner version of Hall of Fame running back, Emmitt Smith.

32. Bills: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

Skoronski is a sound technician whose fine point fundamentals ensure sufficient buoyancy against faster more athletic pass rushers. Utilizing a sound base, he routinely establishes a quick anchor on passing downs, but is agile enough to reset when needed. In the run game, his use of angles allows him to make effective blocks into the second level of defenses.

 

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