National Football League
Post-Super Bowl NFL mock draft: Bryce Young slips out of top five
National Football League

Post-Super Bowl NFL mock draft: Bryce Young slips out of top five

Updated Feb. 17, 2023 11:12 a.m. ET

The dramatic 2022 NFL season is now behind us. The Kansas City Chiefs hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, and 31 teams will now work to gain the same distinction. The most important element to doing so: building up your roster through the draft

The order is set. Here's one potential iteration of how April's first round could go.

1. Chicago Bears: Will Anderson, edge, Alabama

The best move here is to trade down and acquire more picks to bolster a roster that's very weak outside of Justin Fields. If they do stay here, there isn't an offensive lineman who rates highly enough to warrant the pick, so you boost the pass rush with the best edge rusher in the draft.


2. Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

The debate will rage for two months about whether to grab Bryce Young here or take Stroud. I've been consistent in having Stroud ahead all season. The Buckeye QB's frame (6-3, 215) will make him more durable in the league.

3. Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive tackle posted modest stats over the last two years — 6 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss — but because of his ability to dominate the interior and invite double teams, he can wreck offensive game plans and is a candidate to be drafted first overall.

4. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

He will rise during the draft process, despite a poor final month of stats with the Wildcats (6 TDs, 5 INTs, zero games over 215 passing yards). Above the shoulders, he's a big winner: Levis had a 4.0 high school GPA, graduated college in three years with a finance degree and was slated to compete his Master's degree in business in December with another 4.0. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, he's the most sturdy of the elite QBs in this draft.

5. Seattle Seahawks via Denver Broncos: Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson

The Seahawks can be bold and grab the best QB left, because they probably won't be picking in the top five again anytime soon, unless things go really, really badly. If they think Geno Smith can duplicate last season — I don't — then bolster the defense starting with Murphy (11 TFL, 6.5 sacks in 2022).

6. Detroit Lions via L.A. Rams: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Yes, Jared Goff was terrific last year in Detroit. He also carries the 18th-largest cap hit next year, and then 14th biggest in 2024. Look at how the Eagles and 49ers have built their rosters around QBs on their rookie deals. Detroit gets in position to do that by taking Young. The OL is elite, and the skill position players are very good. The OC is top five in the NFL.

Alabama's Bryce Young connects with Kobe Prentice for a 47-yard touchdown

7. Las Vegas Raiders: Broderick Jones, Tackle, Georgia

The Raiders will have to figure out their offensive line, which was spotty at best in 2022. The smart move is to trade down and pick up more picks, but if they stay put, Jones could instantly step in and provide protection for Brady at RT the way Tristan Wirfs did as a rookie in Tampa.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech

The Falcons were dead last in the NFL in pressure rate, and absolutely must get help defensively in the front seven. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound edge rusher has a great deal of upside.

9. Carolina Panthers: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

An ACL injury slowed him in 2021, and health issues suffered by Bresee and his family contributed to a down 2022. If he can return to the form that made him a dominant force as a freshman — when he was ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year — he can help vault the Panthers DL into the upper echelon in the NFC.

10. Philadelphia Eagles via New Orleans Saints: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois 

Darius Slay just turned 32; James Bradberry is 29 and a free agent. Witherspoon, an All-American, has an argument as the best cornerback in the draft. He allowed only 22 catches on 63 targets in 2022.

11. Tennessee Titans: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

Is he a guard? A tackle? Arm length will be scrutinized. But he started at LT for three seasons, Taylor Lewan is coming off ACL surgery and he turns 32 this summer. There isn't a QB to take a chance on here, but perhaps they make a move in free agency if the new GM doesn't like what he sees in Malik Willis.

12. Houston Texans via Cleveland Browns: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia

Smith nearly left Georgia for the NFL last year, but returned and had a strong season until a pectoral injury ended his year. A playmaker off the edge, Smith would help the foundation of a poor defense that doesn't have much talent.

13. N.Y. Jets: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State

The Jets could trade this pick in a blockbuster for Lamar Jackson, but otherwise they must identify a left tackle as Mekhi Becton has been a bust. In 449 pass blocking snaps, Johnson allowed zero sacks. 

14. New England Patriots: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

If you want to help Mac Jones, you have to get him some talent on the outside. With Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers slated for free agency, Belichick grabs a receiver in the first round for the first time since N'Keal Harry. 

15. Green Bay Packers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Aaron Rodgers loves Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan, and both are free agents. Save some money with Mayer, a three-year starter at Notre Dame who caught 18 TDs and will have an immediate impact on whichever team drafts him.

16. Washington Commanders: Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State

The Commanders front seven played reasonably well, even without Chase Young for nearly the entire season. Toss in a 6-foot-2, 200-pound rangy cornerback and Washington could revert back to being a top-five defense, like they were in 2020 when they made the playoffs. 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Anton Harrison, LT, Oklahoma

Pittsburgh's offensive line must be improved, because outside of center Mason Cole, everyone is replaceable. Harrison allowed nine pressures in 447 pass blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus. 

18. Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The 6-foot-2 corner has started every game in college since his freshman year - first at Colorado, then at Oregon. He'd instantly start opposite Jeff Okudah.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa

The Bucs defense is getting a massive overhaul due to age and free agency. Van Ness was only a three-star recruit, and he redshirted as a freshman at Iowa before blowing up the last two seasons on the defensive line. 

20. Seattle Seahawks: Brian Branch, S, Alabama

The Seahawks will be active in trying to move on from Jamal Adams, and bringing in the best safety in the draft is a step toward rebuilding the new Legion of Boom around Branch and last year's home run draft pick, Tariq Woolen.

Miami Dolphins (FORFEITED) 

21. L.A. Chargers: Isaiah Foskey, Edge, Notre Dame

The Chargers have to prepare to pay Bosa and Herbert, and that might begin with releasing Khalil Mack. The Chargers need to stop the run (still!) so this pick will come down to someone on the defensive line.

22. Baltimore Ravens: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

With Marcus Peters entering free agency, the Ravens can add Smith to play opposite Marlon Humphrey in a division with tons of talented receivers.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia 

The Vikings got excellent play out of Patrick Peterson this season, but he turns 33 in February. Ringo, playing alongside Cam Dantzler and Andrew Booth — the latter two who were injured this past season — would make up a formidable secondary. Now, the Vikings just need a front seven.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

The Jags have big needs in the trenches and could use another big-play receiver. Trevor Lawrence's protection will be paramount, as his offensive line graded out as one of the 10 worst in the NFL. Addison is a dynamic weapon who coach Doug Pederson can move all around the field.

USC's Caleb Williams finds Jordan Addison for a 35 yard touchdown

25. N.Y. Giants: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State 

Desperate for offense, the Giants should take a flier on a player who was considered a top-10 candidate heading into 2022. If the Giants give Daniel Jones a three-year deal and franchise tag Saquon Barkley, the last piece to the offensive puzzle is a game-breaking receiver.

26. Dallas Cowboys: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

Started his career at San Diego, transferred to Utah, and caught 16 TDs in the last two years. He's 23, and at 6-4, 240, could be plug-and-play if they lose Dalton Schultz in free agency. 

27. Buffalo Bills: Tuli Tuipulotu, DT, USC

The Bills had a dearth of playmakers in the loss to Cincinnati, scoring a season-low 10 points. But the reality is they were bullied in the trenches, and Tuipulotu played inside and out for the Trojans, registering 13.5 sacks last season.

28. Cincinnati Bengals: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

There's an obvious need in the secondary but also the offensive line. There is a slew of talented cornerbacks in this draft, and the Bengals are in need of one. They have drafted nine players from the SEC in the last four years.

29. New Orleans Saints via San Francisco 49ers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Let's be clear: Richardson isn't remotely ready to play QB in the NFL, and he needs to sit for at least a year. The Saints badly need a new signal-caller, and Richardson is extremely talented. He's no sure thing, but the talent is worth gambling on at this point of the draft.

30. Philadelphia Eagles: Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA

The Eagles have four pass-rushers who are free agents this offseason. Toss in the two DTs they picked up midseason, and it's very clear Philadelphia needs young pass-rushers. Latu briefly had to retire after his freshman year due to a medical issue, but returned last year and was a force for the Bruins.

31. Kansas City Chiefs: Cody Mauch, OL, North Dakota State

The Chiefs may lose some key free agents — potentially contributors like Jerick McKinnon, Mecole Hardman, Juan Thornhill or JuJu Smith-Schuster. What they can't do is lose both tackles (Orlando Brown and Andrew Wylie). If they need reinforcements, Mauch can play in multiple spots on the OL.

Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports betting analyst, and he also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on every show on the network. In 2017, McIntyre began producing gambling content on the NFL, college football and NBA for FOX Sports. He had a gambling podcast for FOX, "Coming Up Winners," in 2018 and 2019. Before arriving at FOX, he created the website The Big Lead, which he sold in 2010.

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