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April 27, 2023

Jimmy Kempski's full first-round 2023 NFL mock draft

Eagles NFL
042623BijanRobinson Aaron E. Martinez/USA TODAY Sports

We do not have the Eagles selecting Texas RB Bijan Robinson.

Over the last four months, we have published a half-dozen "Eagles-only" seven-round mock drafts. For the first (and final) time, here is our one and only full first-round NFL mock draft.

1) Panthers: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama: Young is very clearly the best quarterback prospect in this draft class, in my opinion, and it appears that the Panthers recognize that. 

2) Texans: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky: It's just too hard to buy into the idea that the Texans would not take a quarterback with this pick when there are arguably four quarterbacks worthy of top 10 consideration. As for who that quarterback will be, C.J. Stroud would be my choice, but there is enough smoke around a Levis pick that we'll slot him in here. 

3) Cardinals: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State: The Cardinals reportedly want to trade out of this spot. If it were going to happen it probably would have by now. Whether they stick and pick or find a trade partner with a small move back, there's a decent chance they could end up with Johnson either way. I don't think anyone is looking to do them any favors. Make them reach for a OT need at 3.

4) Colts: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State: If the Texans take Stroud, the Colts take Levis. If the Texans take Levis, the Colts take Stroud, like they do here.

5) Seahawks: Will Anderson, Edge, Alabama: Like the Cardinals, the Seahawks are reportedly looking to trade out, but with Will Anderson on the board, they simply say, "Screw it, we'll just take Will Anderson."

6) Lions: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois: This is a pretty easy match, in my opinion. Right or wrong, the Lions seem to want to prioritize building a culture of badass players under Dan Campbell, and Witherspoon is a badass corner with instincts, swagger, and toughness.

7) Eagles (trade with Raiders): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia: As detailed in our final Eagles-only seven round mock draft.

8) Falcons: Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech: The Falcons had a hilariously awful 18 sacks in 2021, the fewest in the NFL. In 2022, they only had 21 sacks, second-worst in the NFL behind only the Bears (20). That would be 39 sacks the last two seasons. For context, Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, and Josh Sweat combined for 38 sacks in 2022 alone. The Falcons did sign Bud Dupree and Calais Campbell this offseason, but I can't imagine they made those moves, dusted off their hands, and said, "Done!" Personally, I think it's crazy that the Falcons aren't being discussed more as a team that should be hunting a quarterback. But since they don't seem to be in the market for one, so this has to be a pass rusher, right? Wilson is an inside-outside versatile defensive lineman who can wear a few different hats along the Falcons' front, and he could fall to 8 due to injury concerns (foot).

9) Bears: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern: The Bears gave Justin Fields some additional help this offseason with a trade for WR D.J. Moore, and the signing of OG Nate Davis. They continue to build up the line in front of him with the selection of Skoronski, where he can play either tackle or guard.

10) Raiders (trade with Eagles): Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon: The Raiders need help all over, but they have dire needs at cornerback and along their offensive line. In Gonzalez they get the guy they likely would have taken at 7.

11) Titans: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida: The Titans are rebuilding, and Richardson can sit for a year while Ryan Tannehill finishes out his tenure in Tennessee.

12) Texans: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia: It's easy to envision DeMeco Ryans coveting Smith's leadership qualities, and the Texans certainly have a need for edge rushers.

13) Packers: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State: The Packers need to give Jordan Love more weapons in the passing game, and Smith-Njigba is a high volume slot receiver he can lean on. The Packers can use a tight end as well, but in a deep tight end class they can address that later.

14) Patriots: Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa: The Pats love versatile defenders, and Van Ness theoretically offers inside-outside versatility. Versatile players aside, the Pats are difficult to predict. I mean, they took a Chattanooga guard in the first round last year, lol.

15) Jets: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia: Jones always felt like a logical Joe Douglas pick at 13, and he should still be available anyway at pick 15.

16) Commanders: Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson: Montez Sweat is playing on his fifth-year option in 2023, and the Commanders will reportedly decline to exercise Chase Young's fifth-year option for 2024, meaning that both players are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents next offseason. 

17) Steelers: Joey Porter, Jr., CB, Penn State: The match of this player to this team feels almost cliché, but 🤷‍♂️.

18) Lions: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia: The Lions traded away T.J. Hockenson, which might make you think the Brad Holmes / Dan Campbell regime doesn't value the position. That feels unlikely to me, given that the head coach was, you know, a 10-year tight end in the NFL. Washington is a tight end's tight end, in that he's a tough, dominant run blocker, but he also has plenty of upside as a receiver, given his rare combination of size and athleticism.

19) Buccaneers: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee: Tristan Wirfs flips to LT, and the Bucs begin reloading on the offensive line for whoever they draft at quarterback in 2024.

20) Seahawks: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh: The Seahawks double-dip along their defensive front, adding an explosive interior lineman to their front.

21) Chargers: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas: Right around pick 20 is where first-round grades on players have pretty much dried up, at least among the positions of importance, and this is the first place where Robinson makes a hell of a lot of sense. 28-year-old Austin Ekeler is unhappy with his contract, and he's scheduled to be a free agent in 2024.

22) Ravens: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State: The Ravens have finished in the bottom half of the NFL in INTs in each of the last three seasons, and Forbes is a turnover machine.

23) Vikings: Jordan Addison, WR, USC: The Vikings need a legit No. 2 receiver so that opposing defenses don't just quadruple cover Justin Jefferson.

24) Jaguars: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland: Trent Baalke has infamously drafted for measurables over his career, and Banks certainly has those, at 6'0, 197, and 4.35 speed. 

25) Giants: Kelee Ringo, CB, Florida: The Giants continue on this run of corners, grabbing the last one before a significant dropoff. Ringo has consistently been mocked outside of the first round, but he's 6'2, 207, he's tough, and he runs a 4.36. He's gonna go Round 1. Adoree Jackson is in the final year of his contract, and the Giants don't have much else at corner.

26) Cowboys: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah: The Cowboys have holes at tight end after losing Dalton Schultz in free agency, and some believe Kincaid is the best tight end in this draft.

27) Bills: Brian Branch, S, Alabama: Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde are both 32 years old. Branch would be a steal for a Super Bowl contender this late in the first round.

28) Bengals: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame: Name the Bengals' starting tight end. Didn't think so. 

29) Saints: Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State: And this makes four tight ends in Round 1. Musgrave is an athletic pass catcher who can help free up Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed. 

30) Eagles: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama: I'll be honest. I don't think the Eagles will take Jahmyr Gibbs here. I think they'll trade out. But, I think Jahmyr Gibbs is more likely to go Round 1 than any other player I might list here, and I gots to make moves upward. 🤷‍♂️

31) Chiefs: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College: The Chiefs are actually kinda thin at receiver, and Flowers is an explosive playmaker for Andy Reid.

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