Just two more weeks of waiting, NFL Draft-obsessed football fan.
For the mock drafting community, the picture appears clearer on where all of the elite talents in the 2023 draft class will land. Projections seem to have been cemented for the top quarterbacks — C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis — while a fifth QB, Hendon Hooker, is quickly gaining momentum as a fifth first-round QB.
Hooker doesn't appear in the latest canvassing of the most popular first-round forecasts, but the plug-and-play potential of the 25-year-old Tennessee star is definitely intriguing for QB-needy teams. He was thisclose to being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' consensus selection at No. 19.
This is the fourth installment of the NFL Mock Draft Consensus, which is a snapshot of the prevailing opinions on the 2023 draft's first 31 picks (one fewer this year due to the Miami Dolphins' forfeited first-rounder for tampering violations).
Admit it: You're starting to get NFL Draft fever. Mock drafters have been afflicted with it for months. Let's see which way the wind has been blowing for each first-round selection.
|4.0||C.J. STROUD||QB||OHIO STATE|
|3.0 (9th pick)||Anthony Richardson||QB||Florida|
|2.0 (9th pick)||Will Levis||QB||Kentucky|
|1.0 (9th pick)||Anthony Richardson||QB||Florida|
C.J. Stroud barely edges out Bryce Young here in the latest projections. Some mock drafts even have Anthony Richardson going No. 1. The Ohio State QB gives new coach Frank Reich the best chance at developing a franchise QB and building a contender in Carolina.
As you can see, not much has changed here. The majority expects the Texans to pair their exciting young head coach, DeMeco Ryans, with the exciting young QB talent from Alabama.
|4.0||WILL ANDERSON JR.||EDGE||ALABAMA|
|3.0||Tyree Wilson||Edge||Texas Tech|
|2.0||Will Anderson Jr.||Edge||Alabama|
|1.0||Will Anderson Jr.||Edge||Alabama|
Will Anderson Jr. remains the popular, no-brainer pick to upgrade the Cardinals defense.
|3.0||C.J. Stroud||QB||Ohio State|
|2.0||C.J. Stroud||QB||Ohio State|
|1.0||C.J. Stroud||QB||Ohio State|
Anthony Richardson's stock skyrocketed with his spectacular combine workout. With the Titans looking to trade up to draft one of the top QBs, some projections have the Colts moving up a spot to make sure Richardson is Indy-bound.
|2.0||Tyree Wilson||Edge||Texas Tech|
|1.0||Tyree Wilson||Edge||Texas Tech|
For months, mock drafters have had the Seahawks happily selecting the top defensive talent available. Jalen Carter, who was considered a potential No. 1 overall pick before his off-field issues arose, might have Pete Carroll doing cartwheels (yes, even at age 71).
Some forecasts have the Lions trading down and still being able to draft Devon Witherspoon or Christian Gonzalez to bolster the back end of a defense that needs impact players. Detroit could double-dip on defensive help with its second first-rounder at No. 18.
The Raiders found their QB in free agency (Jimmy Garoppolo), but they didn't do much else to address their biggest needs. That's why mock drafters have Las Vegas focusing on defense (cornerbacks Christian Gonzalez and Devon Witherspoon, edge rusher Tyree Wilson) and offensive tackle (Paris Johnson Jr.). Right now, Gonzalez is the consensus pick.
|4.0||TYREE WILSON||EDGE||TEXAS TECH|
The consensus is that Atlanta desperately needs to upgrade a pass rush that recorded the NFL's second-fewest sacks (21.0). Tyree Wilson edges out Myles Murphy as the pick, but trading down to take Texas running back Bijan Robinson is gaining steam.
|3.0 (1st pick)||Will Anderson Jr.||Edge||Alabama|
|2.0 (1st pick)||Jalen Carter||DT||Georgia|
|1.0 (1st pick)||Jalen Carter||DT||Georgia|
The Bears should have their pick of offensive tackles. For now, Tennessee's Darnell Wright is the projected selection over Northwestern's Peter Skoronski and Ohio State's Paris Johnson Jr.
|1.0||Joey Porter Jr.||CB||Ohio State|
The Eagles could still opt for defense here (edge rushers Lukas Van Ness and Nolan Smith, defensive tackle Calijah Kancey). The popular opinion has Philly going offensive line and taking Peter Skoronski, who could play inside as well as tackle.
|2.0||Paris Johnson Jr.||OT||Ohio State|
|1.0||Paris Johnson Jr.||OT||Ohio State|
The Titans appear in the most mock-draft trade scenarios, angling their way up to select any of the top quarterbacks. However, no QB is forecast more to Tennessee than Levis, who has a big arm but will need time to develop.
|4.0||JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA||WR||OHIO STATE|
Iowa edge rusher Lukas Van Ness is also forecast as the Texans' second first-round selection. However, it makes too much sense for Houston to draft a talented wideout to grow with its new franchise QB.
|4.0||PARIS JOHNSON JR.||OT||OHIO STATE|
Mock drafters continue to deem offensive tackle as the Jets' top priority, presumably to help protect Aaron Rodgers. Peter Skoronski and Broderick Jones are listed as potential picks, but Paris Johnson Jr. is the clear consensus selection.
|3.0||Paris Johnson Jr.||OT||Ohio State|
There hasn't been a clear-cut opinion on what the Patriots might do here. Cornerback, namely Christian Gonzalez and Joey Porter Jr., has been a persistent suggestion, but the mock drafting community still believes Bill Belichick will go offensive tackle over wide receiver. Either way, QB Mac Jones will benefit.
|3.0||Michael Mayer||TE||Notre Dame|
|2.0||Michael Mayer||TE||Notre Dame|
|1.0||Michael Mayer||TE||Notre Dame|
For months, Michael Mayer, a 6-foot-4, 265-pound matchup problem, was the consensus pick. Dalton Kincaid, regarded by some as the best pass-catching tight end in the draft, is the new favorite big target for new starting QB Jordan Love.
|4.0||JOEY PORTER JR.||CB||OHIO STATE|
|3.0||Joey Porter Jr.||CB||Ohio State|
|2.0||Cam Smith||CB||South Carolina|
|1.0||Cam Smith||CB||South Carolina|
Mock drafters continue to believe the Commanders will draft a cornerback. It's just a matter of which one. Joey Porter Jr. is a physical corner who could make an immediate impact.
|2.0||Joey Porter Jr.||CB||Penn State|
Offensive tackle is the most common forecast, but in this exercise of ours, all of the top tackles are gone. Adding Clemson's Myles Murphy to the Pittsburgh pass rush isn't a bad consolation.
It might behoove the Lions to add another defensive piece, but the game-breaking talent of Bijan Robinson, the draft's top running back, will be too irresistible, according to most mock drafters.
|4.0||LUKAS VAN NESS||EDGE||IOWA|
As mentioned above, Tennessee's Hendon Hooker has emerged in the most recent mock drafts as the Bucs' QB for the future. However, defense continues to be the popular forecast, with Iowa's Lukas Van Ness edging Georgia's Nolan Smith as the edge rusher of choice.
|3.0||Jaxon Smith-Njigba||WR||Ohio State|
With Jalen Carter in tow at No. 5, the Seahawks could go offense here, such as WR Jordan Addison or even QB Hendon Hooker, but Pete Carroll keeps the commitment to upgrading his defense with uber-athletic edge rusher Nolan Smith.
[ MIAMI DOLPHINS FORFEITED FIRST-ROUND PICK DUE TO TAMPERING VIOLATIONS ]
Wideout continues to be a popular projection, namely Jordan Addison and Quentin Johnston. Calijah Kancey, an undersized game-wrecker in the mold of former Pitt great Aaron Donald, is the closest thing to a consensus pick.
|3.0||Zay Flowers||WR||Boston College|
The signing of Odell Beckham Jr. shouldn't change the need for playmakers at wideout, whether Lamar Jackson is the QB or not. Johnston is the deep threat that could complement OBJ and tight end Mark Andrews.
|2.0||Emmanuel Forbes||CB||Mississippi State|
The Vikings need to replace Adam Thielen, the veteran wideout who left for Carolina in free agency. Mock drafters prefer USC's Jordan Addison, who makes up for his lack of elite speed with elite route-running.
Tight end (Michael Mayer) continues to be forecast here for the Jaguars. Offensive tackle (Anton Harrison) and cornerback (Deonte Banks) are also projected. Alabama safety Brian Branch is the new consensus.
|2.0||Jaxon Smith-Njigba||WR||Ohio State|
|2.0||Zay Flowers||WR||Boston College|
|1.0||Jaxon Smith-Njigba||WR||Ohio State|
The most popular position here is wide receiver (Jordan Addison, Jalin Hyatt). Wisconsin center Joe Tippmann is the closest thing to a consensus pick.
Forecasts include Texas running back Bijan Robinson. Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee and Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta share the consensus honors.
|2.0||Antonio Johnson||S||Texas A&M|
Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds signed a big free-agent contract with the Bears. To fill the void, mock drafters have tabbed Arkansas' Drew Sanders and Clemson's Trenton Simpson as options, but Iowa's Jack Campbell is the popular pick.
|4.0||MICHAEL MAYER||TE||NOTRE DAME|
Offensive tackle (Anton Harrison, Dawand Jones) continues to be projected here, but the consensus selection is Michael Mayer, the Notre Dame tight end who could step right in and be another scary target for Joe Burrow.
The mock drafting community likes the idea of giving new QB Derek Carr a giant target like the 6-foot-7, 264-pound Washington, who's also a capable blocker.
Defense — specifically edge rusher (LSU's BJ Ojulari, Georgia Tech's Keion White) and cornerback (Kelee Ringo) — comprises most of the latest projections. Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs is the closest thing to a consensus.
|1.0||Lukas Van Ness||Edge||Iowa|
The popular opinion: The Chiefs continue to rebuild their offensive line by drafting Oklahoma tackle Anton Harrison after signing Jawaan Taylor to replace Orlando Brown Jr., who left in free agency. Some mock drafters see Andy Reid using this pick to help Chris Jones on the defensive line, choosing Michigan DT Mazi Smith or Kansas State edge rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah.