Bears

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Bears add on defensive line

Bears

Finally, the 2022 NFL season began and entertained us with blowouts and upsets during its initial week.

So far, no coaches have been fired and even though half the league's teams are winners, the losing half still believes it has a chance to be better.

And we're going to use Tankathon.com's projected draft order, and it's only been one week of the season, so don't come at us for the Rams having the No. 1 overall pick. But with the Tankathon draft order, we've reasoned out the most pragmatic prospect selections after week one of the 2022 football season

1. Lions (via LA Rams): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State 

Last season, Stroud finished as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, posting 4435 yards with a 71.9 completion percentage and 44 touchdowns to just six interceptions. He also set a Buckeyes' record for passing in a single game with 573 yards against tenth ranked Utah in the Rose Bowl. Stroud improved throughout the season last year, maturing as a passer and field general with an athletic upside Detroit's incumbent quarterback doesn't possess.

2. Seahawks (via DEN): Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Sure, Bryce Young won the Heisman Trophy last season, but what has he done for Alabama lately? Well, for starters, Young could lead the Crimson Tide to another National Title appearance and be the first repeat Heisman winner since Archie Griffin ('74 , '75). Cerebral and accurate, Young also exudes the kind of above average poise NFL teams covet from their franchise quarterbacks.

 

3. Cardinals: Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

Even though the Georgia Bulldogs had three defensive linemen taken in the first round this past draft cycle, several evaluators felt the best frontline defender wasn't even draft eligible. Utilizing his prototypical size and elite athleticism, Carter should overcome any opposing impediments and hear his name called on day one of the draft.

4. Raiders: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Georgia

Still not sure why Anderson didn't enter this year's draft, but he will definitely be a top-five pick in 2023. He finished fifth in Heisman voting, putting up obscene video game statistics (34.5 tackles for loss / 17.5 sacks / 101 total tackles) while dominating contests defensively. Anderson is the type of generational talent that could transform an entire organization's fortunes

5. Jaguars: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

Ringo is a classic man coverage corner back with excellent length and the speed to compete deep downfield. His 79-yard pick-six against Alabama in the National Championship game has only elevated expectations for the 6-foot-2, 205-pound defensive back. Ringo may be the most complete corner heading into the 2023 NFL Draft, demonstrating versatility as a boundary or slot defender with a penchant for stifling run plays.

6. Titans: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU

The LSU Tigers have developed some outstanding receivers who have flourished as professionals in the NFL (Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham, Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase). Boutte is the latest Tiger displaying elite level athleticism and playmaking skills which should make him a coveted asset heading into the draft. In 18 career games he recorded 14 touchdown receptions and has a SEC single game record of 308 receiving yards.

7. Dolphins (via SF): Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

After being named the Gamecocks' most outstanding defensive player this Spring, the 6-foot-1, 187-pound Smith expanded his versatility by excelling at the nickel back position. Expect Smith to improve upon last season's numbers, where he tallied 41 tackles, along with three picks and 11 passes defended. A patient and poised defender, Smith confidently plays with controlled physicality and disruptive efficiency.

8. Panthers: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

In two seasons at Clemson, Murphy demonstrated how disruptive a talent he is by registering 25 tackles for loss, to go with 12 sacks and five forced fumbles. Extremely versatile, he can play anywhere along the defensive front and dominate with an explosive first step that gets opponents routinely off balance.

9. Patriots: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

The son of former NFL star linebacker Joey Porter (Steelers/Dolphins/Cardinals), Porter  Jr. has a unique opportunity to make Penn State history. If selected on day one of the draft, he'll be the first cornerback from Penn State ever taken in the NFL's first round. If pedigree and histrionics are indicators of potential greatness, than Porter will be a highly sought after draft prospect.

 

10. Cowboys: Isiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame

A rangy, super athletic (recruited as a tight end) edge rusher (6-5, 260 lbs), Foskey can still add good weight without it affecting his athleticism. Having led the Irish in sacks (11) and tackles for loss (12.5), Foskey is just beginning to scratch the surface of his vast potential as a pass rusher.

11. Packers: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

The reigning Biletnikoff Award Winner (best receiver in the country) is picking up right where he left off last season, scoring touchdowns with his new team and improving his draft stock. Addison has increased his yards per reception each campaign, going from an 11.1 average in freshman year, to currently averaging 18.8 yards this year.

12. Jets: Paris Johnson, OL, Ohio State

Johnson spent time playing guard last season, and will now return to his more familiar role at left tackle for the Buckeyes this upcoming season. The scholar-athlete looks forward to combining what he learned blocking from the offensive line's interior, to his already elite athletic and physical approach to the game.

13. Lions: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon

New Oregon head coach, Dan Lanning is fresh off winning the National Championship as the defensive coordinator for Georgia, and was instrumental in the development of Travon Walker, the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Last season Sewell made 114 stops combined with four sacks and five passes defended. Imagine how much better Sewell could become under the tutelage of Lanning.

14. Bengals: Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama

Ricks is an instinctual cover corner who leverages his size and length to control and reroute receivers downfield. A savvy playmaker, his calculated risks produced five interceptions, converting two of them into scores in just 16 career contests.

15. Falcons: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

Arguably the best receiver of the 2023 NFL Draft class, Smith-Njigba finished last season tabulating five consecutive games over 100 plus yards, culminating with an electric performance in the 2022 Rose Bowl (15 receptions / 347 yards / 3 touchdowns). In case suspended wideout, Calvin Ridley doesn't return to form for the Falcons next season, taking Smith-Njigba is an excellent option going forward.

16. Colts: Garrett Wilson, CB, Syracuse

The redshirt sophomore from Syracuse is a universal disrupter on the gridiron. A hyper aggressive mindset enables an attacking mentality which creates sacks, defends passes and makes bone charging tackles. Williams should make an excellent press cover corner at the next level.

17. Chargers: Henry To'oto'o, LB, Alabama

Los Angeles still needs playmakers within its defensive second unit. To'oTo'o transferred from Tennessee and led the Crimson Tide in tackles last season (111), while adding four sacks and seven and a half tackles for loss. An excellent leader and astute field general, To'oTo'o could solidify a shaky Chargers' linebacking unit.

 

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

Johnson's athletic flexibility encourages coaches to position him all over the defensive landscape. He has lined up as a deep safety, in the slot corner spot and even as a linebacker. An intelligent defender, Johnson's fluid mental acuity quickly processes plays from any defensive alignment, making him extremely difficult for offenses to out maneuver.

19. Texans: Quentin Johnson, WR, TCU

It's a passing league and teams' can't have enough quality pass catchers with size. Johnston is listed at 6-foot-3 and 201 pounds and is a receiver friendly target, showcasing NFL caliber receiving skills coupled with effective openf ield running ability.

20. Bears: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

The former All-ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year (2020) tore his ACL early last season, but should be healthy by the beginning of the 2022 campaign. Should he improve upon his dominating form (4 sacks / 6.5 tackles for loss), Bresee could be the disruptive interior three-technique defensive lineman the Bears focus on in next year's draft.

21. Giants: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

An explosive athlete with a dazzling first step, Simpson is switching positions from strong side linebacker (SAM) to the weak side (WILL). Considering last season he registered 78 stops with six sacks and 12 tackles for loss, the move should only enhance his ability to create more chaos in opposing offenses' backfields.

22. Eagles (via NO): Jordan Battle, S, Alabama

Battle has improved each year at Alabama increasing his tackle totals from 30 to 66 and last season totaling 85. In addition to improving his run support, Battle became more of a coverage playmaker by intercepting three passes and returning two for touchdowns. He would have been selected this past draft, however returning for a fourth campaign may vault him into the first round. 

23. Buccaneers: Tyler Van Dyle, QB, Miami (FL)

Van Dyke sports a solid NFL physique with a powerful throwing motion that could thrive under the enormous shadow cast by Tom Brady's departure. Although not as experienced as his peers Stroud or Young, Van Dyke nonetheless engineered 25 touchdown strikes to just six interceptions in only 10 appearances last season.

24. Ravens: Andrew Vorhees, OL, USC

Vorhees plays to his size (6-6, 320 lbs) and displays ample knee bend in order to maintain an anchored base without losing leverage against opponents. Better in space than most defenders would suspect, his ability to reset and strike oncoming rushers utilizing interior and exterior twists, is what makes him first round material.

25. Steelers: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah

Phillips is a sturdy, compact boundary corner with excellent anticipation skills, who plays bigger than his average size would indicate. He registered 63 tackles, along with 13 pass breakups and two interceptions, showcasing his athletic energy and tenacity. Pittsburgh may lose several defensive backs to free agency and Phillips could be the answer.

 

26. Seahawks: Gervin Dexter, DL, Florida

Physically gifted with a great combination of strength and length, Dexter is uncommonly twitchy for a player his size. He's versatile enough to play along the defensive line and could fit in seamlessly with Seattle's style of defense.

27. Texans (via CLE): BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU

Ojulari is on the cusp of a breakout season this year, having tallied 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks in 2021. Possessing an offsetting explosive, first step comparable to his NFL playing sibling (Azeez Ojulari / New York Giants), BJ's suddenness makes life difficult for unprepared offensive linemen. 

28. Eagles: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Robinson is a three-down running back with an inside/outside skill set that makes him scheme versatile for today's modern NFL offense. Excellent vision and agility help him navigate toward open running lanes, whereas his size and speed propel him through tight spaces, or bounce outside heavily trafficked areas with ease. Robinson may be the first and only running back taken on the first day of the draft.

29. 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.

30. Vikings: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Notre Dame is a school that has routinely placed tight ends into the NFL, exporting eight in the last 12 years. Mayer may be better than all of his predecessors. Last year, he set single season school records for tight ends in receptions (71), yards (840) and touchdown catches (7). 

31. Bills: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

Another bloodline legacy prospect, Skoronski's late grandfather - Bob Skoronski - had a Hall-of-Fame career as an offensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers. Much like his ancestor, Skoronski exudes elite level pass protection skills and delivers powerful path clearing blows in the running game. Like grandfather, like grandson.

32. Chiefs: Tony Grimes, CB, North Carolina

Grimes has excellent size and length required for today's NFL boundary defensive backs. Displaying a fluid and smooth efficiency in his backpedal, Grimes deftly mirrors receivers narrowing their catching windows. Currently, he's defended 15 passes in just 23 games played. Grimes may be the most underrated corner worthy of a first day selection.

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