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Smola's Mock Draft

By Jared Smola | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT


1. Cincinnati Bengals - Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

No drama here. Burrow is as NFL-ready as they come after chucking for 5,671 yards and 60 TDs in LSU’s pro-style offense last year.

2. Washington Redskins - Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

The Redskins make the smart move, snagging the guy many scouts consider the best player in this draft class. Young tallied 27 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss over the past 2 seasons.

3. * TRADE * Los Angeles Chargers (from Detroit Lions) - Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

There were whispers at the Combine that GM Tom Telesco had Herbert atop his draft board last year, before Herbert ultimately decided to go back to school. If that’s the case, the Chargers should be willing to move ahead of Miami to get their guy.

4. New York Giants - Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

The G-Men might have found their answer at QB. Now they need to protect him. New HC Joe Judge’s relationship with Nick Saban gives Wills the edge here over Iowa OT Tristian Wirfs.

5. Miami Dolphins - Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Who knows whether Tua or Justin Herbert is higher on the Dolphins’ board. But after stockpiling 2020 picks, I’d be surprised if they didn’t come away with one of them.

6. * TRADE * Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Chargers) - Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

The Lions add picks in their trade down and still land the guy they would have grabbed at #3.

7. Carolina Panthers - Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

New HC Matt Rhule loves to build around speed and athleticism. The 6’4, 238-pound Simmons clocked a 4.39-second 40 time and earned a 98th percentile SPARQ score at the Combine.

8. Arizona Cardinals - Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

I’d love to see the Cards fortify the offensive line with a stud OT. But it sounds like Brown might be higher on their board.

9. * TRADE * Atlanta Falcons (from Jacksonville Jaguars) - C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

The buzz is that Atlanta is trying to trade up and Jacksonville would like to move down. Henderson now sounds like a top-15 lock, with some teams reportedly having him graded higher than Jeff Okudah.

10. Cleveland Browns - Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

The analytics-driven Browns will be tempted to trade down here — and could get offers from teams like the Bucs, Broncos and Eagles. But it’d ultimately be tough to pass on Thomas considering their gaping hole at LT.

11. New York Jets - Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

The Jets have equally massive needs at OT and WR. But the depth in this WR class makes OT the higher-value pick here.

12. Las Vegas Raiders - CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

The Raiders get their pick of the WR litter. GM Mike Mayock loves tough, physical football players, so the guess here is that he prefers Lamb over Jerry Jeudy.

13. * TRADE * Philadelphia Eagles (from San Francisco 49ers) - Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The WR-needy Eagles make an aggressive move up the board for 1 of the class’ top 2 WRs.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Tristian Wirfs, OT, Iowa

The Bucs need to protect 42-year-old Tom Brady and would be thrilled if Wirfs drops to them here. Don’t be surprised if Tampa makes a move up for 1 of these top 4 OTs.

15. Denver Broncos - Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama

Denver currently has Tim Patrick and DaeSean Hamilton behind Courtland Sutton on the depth chart. Woof.

16. * TRADE * Jacksonville Jaguars (from Atlanta Falcons) - Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

Kinlaw might fall a bit further than expected on Thursday night due to medical concerns. He’s had surgery to repair a labrum in 1 of his hips, a back injury and problems with both of his knees.

17. Dallas Cowboys - K’Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU

The Cowboys are desperate for pass-rush help after losing DE Robert Quinn, who easily led the team with 11.5 sacks last year, to the Bears in free agency.

18. Miami Dolphins - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

The Fins start building around their new franchise QB with 1 of the highest-floor WR prospects in this class.

19. Las Vegas Raiders - A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

The Raiders need lots of help in the secondary and drafted 2 Clemson defenders (Clelin Ferrell and Trayvon Mullen) last year.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

The Jags have a massive need at CB, where they’re currently set to trot out D.J. Hayden, Rashaan Melvin and Tre Herndon.

21. * TRADE * San Francisco 49ers (from Philadelphia Eagles) - Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

Richard Sherman turned 32 last month. The ‘Niners add his potential heir apparent here.

22. Minnesota Vikings - Austin Jackson, OT, USC

The Vikings continue to build up their offensive line with the 20-year-old Jackson, who some scouts believe has the highest ceiling in this OT class.

23. New England Patriots - Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

A versatile and smart defender. Sounds exactly like a Patriots pick.

24. New Orleans Saints - Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

Need meets best available for the win-now Saints.

25. Minnesota Vikings - Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Vikings lost 3 CBs — Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander — in free agency.

26. Miami Dolphins - Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State

More help for Tua. Cleveland tested as a 92nd percentile athlete at the Combine and is a high-upside LT prospect.

27. * TRADE * Indianapolis Colts (from Seattle Seahawks) - Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

I expect someone to trade up into the back half of Round 1 for Love. The Seahawks are always looking to move down and stockpile picks. The Colts seem like a good landing spot for Love, who could learn under HC Frank Reich and QB Philip Rivers.

28. Baltimore Ravens - Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

The 1-year starter is a bit raw but has the tools to become the next great Ravens LB.

29. Tennessee Titans - Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

This 6’5, 350-pound mauler is a perfect fit for the smashmouth Titans.

30. Green Bay Packers - Jalen Reagor, WR, Packers

Aaron Rodgers’ window is closing, so the Packers get him some much-needed help at WR. Reagor would add speed to a group currently made up of possession-types in Davante Adams, Devin Funchess and Allen Lazard.

31. San Francisco 49ers - Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU

The ‘Niners get a replacement for DeForest Buckner.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan

He started all 26 games at center for Big Blue over the past 2 seasons but could also slide over to guard as a pro.


Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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