top of page

Fred Wheeler Final Mock draft

Three months have brought us to tonight. Three months of debating quarters of an inch, tenths of a second, and how much prospects weigh in their underwear. Every play for the last two years has been examined for every missed read or false step a prospect has made and has been replayed ad nauseam to see if they've learned from it or not. It all comes down to tonight, or rather, the next three nights when this year's draft entrants will learn their fate.

This edition will be quick, just a line or two about each player and their fit with the team. The draft is tonight and you can join Yamo Media Online starting at 7:30p or on our YouTube page.

Carolina

Bryce Young - QB - Alabama - With ESPN's Chris Mortensen coming out with the news that Bryce Young will be the pick for the Panthers, Carolina gets their next Franchise QB and (hopefully) turns off the QB-go-round that's been in operation for the last few years.

Previous Selection - CJ Stroud - QB - Ohio State

Houston

CJ Stroud - QB - Ohio State - With the CJ Stroud/Manning Academy kerfuffle, even with all the noise on the internet about Houston not taking a QB, you have to wonder if they are fishing for a trade partner or is it real? Regardless of who they take, the Texans won't be much better next year, so, in theory, they could kick the QB can down the road.

Previous Selection - Bryce Young - QB - Alabama

Arizona

Will Anderson Jr. - EDGE - Alabama - If Houston decides to take a non-QB, the Cardinals find themselves holding a potential golden ticket. They can start taking trade offers for the #2 QB and potentially bring in a haul of picks over the next couple of years. Here though, they get their choice of everyone else.

Previous Selection - Same

Indianapolis

Will Levis - QB - Kentucky - Houston not taking a QB would have to mean Indy is on the phone to Arizona about moving up that one spot to #3 (and likely bidding directly against division foe Tennessee). Here though, I think they take Levis who, on paper, is just about everything you want in a QB.

Previous Selection - Same

Seattle

Jalen Carter - IDL - Georgia - I have to think that in January no one in Seattle's front office thought they had a shot at Jalen Carter, but a bunch of missteps by Carter later and the Seahawks have their shot at filling a huge need. The culture Pete Carroll has formed will keep Carter in check.

Previous Selection - Anthony Richardson - QB - Florida

Detroit

Devon Witherspoon - CB - Illinois - Trading away 2020 #3 pick Jeff Okudah to Atlanta creates a void in the secondary and as much as I would like to take Tyree Wilson here and have him opposite Aidan Hutchinson, 'Spoon makes a lot more sense.

Previous Selection - Jalen Carter - IDL - Georgia

Las Vegas

Peter Skoronski - OT/OG - Northwestern - To my mind the top three tackles in this draft are all about even, but I'm picking Skoronski for the Raiders because even if the concerns about him prove true he should be able to kick inside and play guard, another position of need.

Previous Selection - Christian Gonzalez - CB - Oregon

Atlanta

Tyree Wilson - EDGE - Texas Tech - This is a no-brainer for the Falcons who finished 31st in the league in sacks. Wilson gives them a solid EDGE player who is more of a power rusher than a speed rusher, that's not all bad as he does an excellent job of setting the edge in the run game.

Previous Selection - Same

Chicago

Myles Murphy - EDGE - Clemson - Just like Wilson for Atlanta, this is an equally easy pick for the Bears, they finished last in the NFL with a mere 20 sacks in 2022. Murphy was a leader at Clemson and I would expect the same in Chicago once he has his feet under him.

Previous Selection - Broderick Jones - OT - Georgia

Philadelphia

Bijan Robinson - RB - Texas - Yeah, yeah, tell me all about player valuation and how running backs don't get drafted this high "anymore". Are you telling me that you wouldn't have drafted Adrian Peterson or LaDainian Tomlinson this high? Because that's the type of player you're getting with Robinson. Also, how often does a team that was in the Super Bowl the season before have a shot at a player like this? Almost never.

Previous Selection - Nolan Smith - EDGE/LB - Georgia

Tennessee

Broderick Jones - OT - Georgia - A lot of people are going to point to the Titans as a spot that Anthony Richardson could go if he begins to drop. To me, Robinson is just a bigger version of Malik Willis who they drafted last year, for that matter you might think about making a play for Trey Lance and potentially keeping their #11 pick.

Previous Selection - Paris Johnson Jr. - OT - Ohio State

Houston

Jaxon Smith-Njigba - WR - Ohio State - If the Texans pass on a QB with their first pick and Anthony Richardson falls, this could be a landing spot. As it is, they took Stroud at #2 and I'm giving him his college receiver to help ease the transition for the both of them.

Previous Selection - Same

Green Bay

Lukas Van Ness - EDGE - Iowa - I always seem to end up with one or two selections where the fit seems to make so much sense that there's no improvement on it, this is one of them. I'm seeing a lot of mocks with Dalton Kincaid (TE - Utah) taken here, but remember last year when they kept trying to slot a receiver to the Pack? Yeah, it's deja vu all over again.

Previous Selection - Same

New England

Zay Flowers - WR - Boston College - I really do feel like Christian Gonzalez is the pick here. He offers amazing value and Billy B does love a good bargain. With that said, Flowers has zoomed up the charts from a third-round pick to (possibly) the first receiver off the board. He's a do-it-all receiver who can line up anywhere and if he gets some space it's 6.

Previous Selection - Devon Witherspoon - CB - Illinois

Jets

Paris Johnson Jr. - OT - Ohio State - At one point or another I've had each of the top three tackles going to Gang Green, much like the quarterbacks I have no idea what order they'll be selected in. Regardless, the Jets will get an offensive tackle, probably multiple, in this draft to protect their presumed new QB.

Previous Selection - Peter Skoronski - OT/OG - Northwestern

Washington

Christian Gonzalez - CB - Oregon - Another spot where you could see Anthony Richardson land, but again, I would think Trey Lance would be a better option. Instead, let's just go with the best corner still available to stabilize the Commanders' defense.

Previous Selection - Joey Porter Jr. - CB - Penn State

Pittsburgh

Darnell Wright - OT - Tennessee - The Steelers need help along the offensive line and Wright will get a chance to be their new left tackle. If he were to fail there a move to right tackle probably suits him better. The need for a corner can wait until the first pick in the second round (obtained by sending Chase Claypool to CHI).

Previous Selection - Cam Smith - CB - South Carolina

Detroit

Nolan Smith - EDGE/LB - Georgia - After taking a CB with their first selection, let's add a player who fills a pair of slots for the Lions. Given that Smith could line up as an end in pass-rush packages and play linebacker on other downs. He'll need to improve his moves and counters, but his high-energy and ability to pick through the trash to track down ball carriers is impressive.

Previous Selection - Bryan Bresee - IDL - Clemson

Tampa Bay

Bryan Bresee - IDL - Clemson - If there is a team that it would make sense for them to trade down and pick up extra selections, it's Tampa. If they're not trading away Devin White to move up, moving down makes more sense in this draft. Bresee isn't a high-effort player but running at him, even near him ensures he pours on the effort.

Previous Selection - Myles Murphy - EDGE/DE - Clemson

Seattle

Joey Porter Jr. - CB - Penn State - Nothing is for certain, but let's give the 'Hawks a bookend for last year's gem of a pick Tariq Woolen to remake their secondary. Porter gives the 'Hawks a pair of big rangy playmakers that could turn the secondary into a "No Fly Zone".

Previous Selection - Zay Flowers - WR - Boston College

Chargers

Jordan Addison - WR - Southern Cal - If Bresee or Nolan Smith falls to this spot on Draft Night I wouldn't be surprised to see them snapped up right away. If they're not it probably means the Chargers really like whoever they do select. Addison runs great routes and with both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams missing a good deal of time over the last few years adding another receiver makes sense.

Previous Selection - Bijan Robinson - RB - Texas

Baltimore

Deonte Banks - CB - Maryland - Despite me giving the Ravens (and potentially reading too much into GM Eric DeCosta's comments) a WR in the first three versions of my mock drafts the Ravens have a real need at corner. Banks gives them a long, lanky, athletic corner that will match up well against most outside receivers in the NFL. He doesn't tackle that well so run support isn't a strength, but he's a corner, not a linebacker.

Previous Selection - Quinten Johnston - WR - TCU

Minnesota

Quinten Johnston - WR - TCU - With the release of Adam Thielen the Vikes find themselves in need of a bookend for Justin Jefferson and while Johnston may not run the most polished routes I feel that playing opposite JJ he'll have enough space to make plenty of plays as he grows into his role.

Previous Selection - Jordan Addison - WR - Southern Cal

Jacksonville

Emmanuel Forbes - CB - Mississippi State - Yes, Forbes is slight (weighed 166lbs at the combine) but the S&C team will add some weight to his frame, you're taking Forbes because you need playmakers on this defense and with 14 career INTs (six pick 6s) Forbes will add just that.

Previous Selection - Felix Anudike-Uzomah - EDGE/DE - Kansas State

New York Giants

Jalin Hyatt - WR - Tennessee - The G-men need help at receiver, not exactly a shocking statement, they've needed help for a while now and it's time to invest in the position if you expect Daniel Jones to realize his full potential (assuming he hasn't already). Hyatt will give you a player who possesses legit track speed that will demand attention on vertical routes freeing up space for other Giants receivers.

Previous Selection - Same

Dallas

O'Cyrus Torrence - OG - Florida - I don't really expect the 'Boys to draft Torrence come this evening, no, I think they'll trade up to get the guy they want or maybe take TE Michael Mayer or Dalton Kincaid. That said Torrence will be a road grader clearing a path for Tony Pollard. . . IF they take him.

Previous Selection - Michael Mayer - TE - Notre Dame

Buffalo

Adetomiwa Adebawore - DL - Northwestern - I'm sticking with Adebawore as my pick for the Bills, he offers some versatility as he played primarily as an EDGE at Northwestern but many evaluators feel he'll be a fit as a disruptor in the middle of the line. Plays a little stiff though the hips but inside that won't be as big a factor.

Previous Selection - Same

Cincinnati

Dalton Kincaid - TE - Utah - I really wanted to take UND's OG Cody Mauch here but I feel that the Bengals will be looking to add weapons for Joe Burrow and Kincaid feels like a plug-and-play pick. Kincaid has a huge catch radius and is an impressive athlete, he'll get the job done in the run game but he'll never be confused with an extra offensive lineman.

Previous Selection - Emmanuel Forbes - CB - Mississippi State

New Orleans

Calijah Kancey - IDL - Pittsburgh - I'm not entirely sold on Kancey's ability to survive in the NFL, but I wasn't sold on Aaron Donald either. That might be unfair to both of them but when you have similar builds, play the same position, and went to the same school, what are you gonna do? Kancey's explosive first step could prove to be trouble for slower-footed guards so maybe?

Previous Selection - Dalton Kincaid - TE - Utah

Philadelphia

Will McDonald IV - EDGE/LB - Iowa State - Slight for an EDGE player but was able to win in college playing a 3-man front (and the accompanying double-teams) so that may bode well for him. He'll be relying mainly on finesse and speed but his length will help him stay disengaged from offensive tackles.

Previous Selection - Calijah Kancey - IDL - Pittsburgh

Kansas City

Felix Aunike-Uzomah - EDGE/DE - Kansas State - Offers good size and length as well as a good first step. Plays with good strength and makes sure to get his hands up in passing lanes if he can't get to the QB. Probably not athletic enough to drop into coverage regularly and his hands aren't violent enough to shock tackles.

Previous Selection - Will McDonald IV - EDGE/LB - Iowa State

With the first round complete we still have 5 teams that haven't made a pick so let's look deep into the second night and project who those teams could be targeting.

Los Angeles Rams (36th, 2nd Round)

Cody Mauch - IOL - North Dakota - Mauch will probably still be here at 36 and while it's entirely possible the Rams will be looking for an EDGE player or a corner here, they need to keep Matthew Stafford or whoever will be under center or their season will crater out just like last year, not that I care.

Miami (51st, 2nd Round)

Mazi Smith - IDL - Michigan - Can handle double teams and plays with great leverage, combined with excellent strength Smith can be a rock in the middle of a defense. I'm thinking he would work well as a rotational end in Miami's 3-4 on run downs or as a backup to Raekwon David at NT.

Denver (67th, 3rd Round)

Jack Campbell - ILB - Iowa - It might not be the most pressing need that Denver has, but adding Campbell to their defense will make them better, and after the trainwreck that 2022 was, improving anywhere is nothing to sniff at. His ability to process plays and put himself in a position to make plays is excellent, if not elite.

Cleveland (74th, 3rd Round)

Tuli Tuipulotu - IDL - Southern Cal - Should fit into the Browns' defense thanks to his experience playing both inside and outside. Stiff in the hips but shows very good hands that should trouble linemen as a rusher inside. He was the FBS sack leader in 2022, so that's a plus.

San Fran (99th, 3rd Round)

Blake Freeland - OT - BYU - His ability to pull and land heavy will be an asset for the Niners' in the run game. His long arms and ability to process info quickly make him an asset in the passing game and when dealing with blitzes. Leverage can be an issue but at 6'8" I think that's having to take the good with the bad.

That's it, everyone. The 2023 NFL Draft is upon us, in just a few hours we'll see NFL teams drafting their future cornerstones and by next Monday we'll see fans all over the league cheering or bemoaning the selections that will be made over the next three nights.

Good day, and good luck (unless you're the Rams).

Recent Posts

See All

Comentarios


bottom of page