Broncos select EDGE Tyree Wilson in 2023 NFL mock draft

Touchdown Wire’s latest 2023 NFL mock draft has the Broncos selecting Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson in the first round.

In his latest 2023 NFL mock draft for Touchdown Wire, Doug Farrar has the Denver Broncos selecting Texas Tech edge defender Tyree Wilson with the 25th overall pick in the first round.

Denver acquired that first-round pick from the Miami Dolphins as part of the Bradley Chubb trade earlier this season. Miami acquired the pick that was sent to the Broncos from the San Francisco 49ers, which is why the pick is currently on pace to be in the mid-20s next April.

Denver’s original first-round pick was traded to the Seattle Seahawks earlier this year as part of the Russell Wilson trade. It’s currently on pace to be fourth overall. Farrar has Seattle selecting Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. at that spot in his latest mock.

Back to Wilson — he’s a 6-6, 275-pound defensive lineman who would presumably transition to playing outside linebacker if selected by the Broncos. Wilson totaled 99 tackles (including 27.5 tackles for losses) and 14 sacks over the last two years (23 games) with the Red Raiders.

The 2023 NFL draft will be held in Kansas City from April 27-29.

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Saints end up with Kentucky QB Will Levis in 2023 mock draft

The Saints ended up with Kentucky quarterback Will Levis in a recent 2023 mock draft. Their need for a QB has been well-established:

Hey, they wouldn’t be the New Orleans Saints without making divisive draft picks, right? The latest 2023 mock draft from our Luke Easterling over at Draft Wire has Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis falling out of the first round and into the Saints’ mitts at No. 36 overall. That’s, well, an interesting fit.

Levis took a step back this year after losing a lot of his supporting cast, including his offensive coordinator, several linemen, and his leading receiver (Wan’Dale Robinson, who was picked at No. 43 overall by the New York Giants this year). He’s still often being projected to go in the first round, and largely within the top 15 picks, but there’s a chance the NFL ends up viewing Levis more like Derek Carr (picked No. 36 in 2014), Andy Dalton (No. 35 in 2011), Geno Smith (No. 39 in 2013), or Colin Kaepernick (No. 36 in 2011).

We’ll just have to wait and see. New Orleans will certainly be in the market for a quarterback next year, either through the draft or in free agency. Their only passer under contract for 2023 is Jameis Winston, who hasn’t been let off the bench after the Saints tabbed Dalton as their starter. Winston could be a salary cap cut in the spring (saving north of $4 million), and a fresh start may be what he and the team both need best. It’s shaping up for yet another eventful Saints offseason.

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2023 mock draft ahead of NFL Week 13: Hendon Hooker projected to Jets

2023 mock draft ahead of NFL Week 13: Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker projected to the Jets

Redshirt senior quarterback Hendon Hooker’s collegiate career ended Nov. 19 at South Carolina.

The 6-foot-4, 218-pound quarterback suffered a season-ending injury versus the Gamecocks with a torn ACL in his left knee.

During the 2022 season, Hooker guided the Vols to wins versus Alabama, Florida and LSU.

In 11 games in 2022, he completed 229-of-329 passing attempts for 3,135 yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions. Hooker recorded 430 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 104 attempts.

Draft Wire released its latest 2023 NFL mock draft selections using the updated pick order after Week 12 NFL results.

Below is the latest Draft Wire first and second round 2023 NFL mock draft that includes Hooker and Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt.

2023 NFL mock draft: Who’s climbing up the board?

See which prospects have their stock moving in the right direction in this two-round projection for the 2023 NFL draft

How in the world is the college football regular season already over?

Yeah, it’s championship week in the college ranks now, which means this year’s top prospects only have a few more chances to impress NFL scouts on film before they head into the predraft process.

We’re also getting a clearer picture of what the top of next year’s draft order might look like, with just six weeks remaining in the NFL regular season.

That being the case, here’s an updated look at how the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL draft could shake out, using the latest updated order following Week 12 action:

*NOTE: The Miami Dolphins forfeited their first-round pick in next year’s draft as a result of the NFL’s investigation into tampering violations.

Dane Brugler’s 2023 mock draft sends Michigan DT Mazi Smith to the Saints

Dane Brugler’s 2023 mock draft linked Michigan DT Mazi Smith and Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker to the New Orleans Saints. Either of them would be a good fit:

Time flies by, doesn’t it? The college football regular season has wrapped up, with team shifting focus to conference title matchups and bowl game exhibitions — with many prospects considering whether to declare for the 2023 NFL draft. So it’s a good time to take stock of the upcoming draft class and see who might be a good fit for the New Orleans Saints.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler published his latest mock draft for 2023, including picks for teams currently without a first round selection — like the Saints, who aren’t scheduled to get on the board until the second round. Brugler is one of the most clued-in draft analysts around and always puts a lot of thought into his work, so it’s worth tuning in when he has something to say. And he has the Saints addressing one of their top needs in Michigan Wolverines defensive tackle Mazi Smith:

“The Saints are in quarterback purgatory right now, so we could always see a quarterback here (Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker?). If New Orleans doesn’t like the second-round QB options, defensive tackle is another potential need. The No. 1 player on Bruce Feldman’s preseason Freaks List for a reason, Mazi Smith has an impressive mix of athleticism and power and is expected to be an early second-round pick.”

We recently picked Smith ourselves in a seven-round mock draft simulator, though that scenario had him falling to the fourth round. Brugler’s take is informed by what he’s hearing from scouts and personnel around the league, so we should anticipate Smith to go off the board much more sooner than we maybe initially assumed. So what’s so appealing about him?

For one thing, the Saints don’t have a single defensive tackle under contract for 2023. Not one. David Onyemata and Shy Tuttle will both be unrestricted free agents, while Kentavius Street and Malcolm Roach are both expected to be restricted free agents (giving the Saints more options in retaining them). But for now they don’t have any players at the position signed for next season, so investing an early draft pick there makes sense.

And Smith would be worth it. He’s maybe the best run defender in the country and definitely one of the strongest players in college football. He’s got unique athleticism and the work ethic to match. Just look at his numbers from Feldman’s preseason Freaks List, which Brugler cited:

“The 6-foot-3, 337-pound senior has rare power and agility. So rare, in fact, it’s hard to find the right superlative to begin with. But let’s start with this: Smith does 22 reps on the bench press, but that’s with 325 (not 225). He close-grip benched 550 pounds. He vertical-jumps 33 inches. He broad-jumped 9-4 1/2. Smith, who had 37 tackles last season, has clocked a 4.41 shuttle time, which would’ve tied the best by any defensive tackle at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, and it would’ve been better than any defensive tackle weighing 310 pounds or more in the past decade. His 6.95 3-cone time would’ve been by far the fastest among defensive tackles in Indianapolis. The fastest was 7.33. Smith’s 60-yard shuttle time is 11.90.”

So it’s a safe bet that he’ll post a sky-high Relative Athletic Score just like other players the Saints have drafted as of late. The team values big athletes who can move well, and he fits the bill. Smith improved as a pass rusher as the 2022 season wore on, and a good position coach like Ryan Nielsen could probably get more out of him in the NFL. Whether the Saints bring back all their defensive tackles or just some of them (or if they decide to sweep the slate clean altogether), Smith would add a lot of juice to a group that hasn’t quite asserted itself as well as in years past. He’s someone to watch as the Wolverines advance further into the College Football Playoff tournament.

Brugler is right to consider quarterback here too, though. Neither Andy Dalton nor Jameis Winston are long-term answers for New Orleans, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see the team move on from both players in the spring. They’ll be active buyers in the market for a new passer. Brugler suggested Tennessee Volunteers star Hendon Hooker (who we’re fans of, despite his season-ending knee injury), and it’s likely he’ll be in play around the time the Saints are on the clock. But that’s something to worry about further next April.

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Colts select QB Will Levis in Dane Brugler’s mock draft

In Dane Brugler’s first mock draft, the Colts selected QB Will Levis.

The biggest question mark that will surround the Indianapolis Colts throughout the offseason will be the direction of the quarterback position.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic dropped his first 2023 NFL mock draft Wednesday morning, which featured the Colts addressing that position by selecting quarterback Will Levis out of Kentucky.

“Where the Colts go from here to address the quarterback position is a mystery. The veteran route obviously hasn’t worked, but is there a quarterback in this year’s draft worth targeting in the mid-first round? Though Will Levis has struggled to elevate the Kentucky offense this season, the Wildcats’ recently-fired play caller (Rich Scangarello) and a shaky supporting cast deserve blame as well. Levis still should check enough boxes (well-built, athletic, power arm, super competitive) to entice a quarterback-needy team, like the Colts, in the top half of Round 1.”

It should be noted that Brugler’s mock drafts aren’t conducted based on his own opinions but instead are based on “strictly what I’m hearing based on my conversations with scouts and front office personnel contacts around the league.”

While the quarterback class will be led by Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, there’s a good chance they are going within the top-10 picks. They were the only three quarterbacks drafted in this one-round mock.

Levis (6-foot-3, 222 pounds) is in competition for the QB3 spot in the class despite his underwhelming season at Kentucky thus far.

In 11 games, he’s completed 65.4% of his passes for 2,406 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

The draft season is just beginning to heat up and there will be a lot of names to monitor over the next five months. But Levis may be among the top names to watch throughout the process for the Colts.

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Dane Brugler sends Vikings a wide receiver in his first mock draft

A wide receiver would be an excellent addition to the Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings are in an interesting place for the upcoming draft. They could go a lot of different directions, but one common theme I expect to see is the Vikings taking a wide receiver.

In his first mock draft of the season, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler had the Vikings selecting Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

As a player, Smith-Njigba was a dominant force in 2021, including a record-setting Rose Bowl 347 yards and three touchdowns on 15 receptions.

Here is what Brugler had to say about sending Smith-Njigba to the Vikings.

“The Adam Thielen contract is tricky, but the Vikings could clearly use an upgrade there. Although it has been a lost season for Jaxon Smith-Njigba because of a hamstring injury, he has more than enough tape for teams to understand what he offers. With his route prowess and ball skills, he would be a great fit for what Kevin O’Connell wants the Vikings to be on offense.”

Will Smith-Njigba fit the prototype of what Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah? That is yet to be seen, but based on talent along, he would be a tremendous selection for the Vikings.

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Jaguars projected to take top tight end in latest 2023 mock draft

Is tight end the direction the Jaguars should go in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Wide receiver has been a popular pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars in mock drafts, but the looming addition of Calvin Ridley to the offense may have pushed the position down the list of offseason priorities.

In the latest mock from Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar, the Jaguars still aim to add a target for Trevor Lawrence, but it’s one with a little extra size.

With the team now slated to pick 11th overall following a Week 12 win over the Baltimore Ravens, the Jaguars are projected to take the top tight end of the draft class, Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer.

The Jaguars currently have a trio of tight ends — Evan Engram, Dan Arnold, and Chris Manhertz — all set to become free agents in the offseason. Luke Farrell, a 2021 fifth-round pick with 82 career receiving yards, is the only Jaguars tight end under contract for the 2023 season.

Regardless if the team brings one of the its impending free agents back, tight end is a position that could use a long-term upgrade and Mayer represents that possibility.

Mayer passed Tyler Eifert this season to become Notre Dame’s all-time receptions leader at tight end. With 67 receptions, 809 yards, and nine touchdowns this season, Mayer has already earned First-Team All-American honors from PFF. Mayer appears to be the clear-cut top player at his position in the 2023 NFL Draft, as Georgia’s Brock Bowers isn’t yet eligible.

Colts take toolsy QB in latest Touchdown Wire mock draft

In Touchdown Wire’s latest mock draft, the Colts took a high-upside QB.

The Indianapolis Colts are still focused on finishing the 2022 season but soon enough, we will be diving deep into what they will do with their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

Regardless of whether Chris Ballard is still the general manager, the Colts are likely among the teams looking for a quarterback. In Touchdown Wire’s latest mock draft, the Colts went with a high-upside option but one that will require a lot of work.

14. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

The 2023 Colts will have all kinds of decisions to make, starting with their next head coach. Whether it’s Jeff Saturday or not, this team also needs to nail down its long-term quarterback future, which has been in flux since Andrew Luck’s retirement. The Colts can move on from Matt Ryan in the new league year without a considerable financial penalty, but what if they kept him on the roster and selected a guy like Richardson, who has every physical took you want at the position, and his acumen has improved this season. My 4-Down Territory co-host Luke Easterling recently wrote a piece comparing Richardson to Josh Allen, and while that sounds nuts if you consider where Allen is now, it’s a very good comparison when you consider how unfinished Allen was when the Buffalo Bills drafted him.

Richardson could be the next dual-threat star in the NFL. He also could turn out to be much more of a project than anticipated. It’s a risk that the majority of quarterback-needy teams will have to address in the upcoming offseason.

In 12 games during the 2022 season, Richardson has completed 53.8% of his passes for 2,459 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He’s also added 103 carries for 650 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns.

Richardson will be an interesting case study. His numbers aren’t all that appealing, but the flashes of potential are clear when watching him play. He needs a lot of work between fine-tuning his mechanics and further learning how to read defenses, but these are the high-upside prospects that will intrigue teams in hopes of catching the next Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson.

The offseason will include a lot of talk about the direction of the quarterback position, and Richardson will be at the forefront of that discussion.

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2023 NFL mock draft roundup: Eagles load up on dynamic defenders, land RB Jahmyr Gibbs

We’re in Week 12 of the 2022 NFL season, and it’s never too early for 2023 NFL Draft projections and mocks with the 9-1Philadelphia Eagles in a position to reload on offense and defense

We’re now 12 weeks through the 2022 season, and it is never too early for 2023 NFL draft conversations centered around Philadelphia having multiple picks in round one.

Thanks to some draft night wizardry from Howie Roseman, the Eagles traded the No. 16 overall pick, No. 19 overall pick, and a 2022 sixth-round pick to the New Orleans Saints for the No. 18 overall pick, a 2022 third-round pick, a 2022 seventh-round pick, a 2023 first-round pick, and a 2024 second-round pick.

We’re tracking the Birds’ picks via Tankathon, and through the first quarter of the season, Philadelphia looks to be heading toward a top-ten selection.

The mock drafts are starting to heat up, and we have the roundup for this weekend’s action.