Eagles trade up for a defensive stud in latest mock draft


Here’s our latest 2023 NFL mock draft with a huge trade from the Eagles in the first round:

1. Panthers (via CHI) – C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

After their blockbuster move up the draft board the Panthers pick the safest and most polished quarterback of the bunch. Stroud is the most accurate passer among the projected quartet of first-round QBs and has the size to set him apart from Bryce Young. Stroud will be lacking weapons in Carolina after the Panthers included D.J. Moore in their trade up to No. 1. But either way, Stroud was going to have to get used to throwing to lesser talent after spending his college career targeting Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Marvin Harrison Jr.

2. Texans – Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

I wouldn’t put it past the Texans to pass on a QB with Caleb Williams and Drake Maye looming atop next year’s class and Houston being armed with another pair of first-rounders in 2024. However, Young is too good to pass up. The big question is how his slight frame will hold up at the next level, but he’s clearly got the talent and poise at the position to be a star.

3. Cardinals – Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama

Cue the Jonathan Gannon sound effects as the Cardinals nab Anderson, who seems like a lock to be a perennial double-digit sack guy. He’s got special burst around the edge that will make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks, assuming they fix that horrendous turf in Arizona so he doesn’t slip on every play.

4. Colts – Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Shane Steichen takes on another QB who was pegged early in his college career as more of a runner than a thrower. The new Colts head coach helped bring the best out of Jalen Hurts and will try to coax some needed improvement out of Levis. The Penn State transfer has the tools to be an elite passer. He said of his decision to throw at the combine, “I’ve got a cannon and I want to show it off.”

5. Seahawks (via DEN) – Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

The Seahawks just re-signed Geno Smith, but they can easily move on after one season. It’s the perfect stopgap for the raw Richardson, who is still only 20 years old and has made just 12 collegiate starts. Pete Carroll certainly hasn’t slammed the door on the idea of drafting a quarterback, especially since they find themselves in the top 10 for the first time since 2010, Carroll’s first season in Seattle. This would be the fastest four quarterbacks have come off the board in NFL history.

6. Lions (via LAR) – Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The Lions struck gold using a top-10 pick on Penei Sewell out of Oregon back in 2021, so they go Duck hunting once again and land one of the cleanest prospects in the draft. Gonzalez tested through the roof in Indy and the Colorado transfer has all the tools to be a true shutdown corner opposite Jeff Okudah.

7. TRADE: Eagles (via LV) – Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

Carter’s stock might have dropped a bit in the wake of his recent arrest for reckless driving and drag racing, stemming from a fatal crash back in January. Surely the Eagles (and 31 other teams) are doing their due diligence to vet the player many experts have atop their big boards. Without that rather large question mark, there’s no way the Eagles would be in position to land a guy this talented. They make the move up three spots in an attempt to recreate the 2021 Georgia defense. Carter, much like his former teammate Jordan Davis, doesn’t have the eye-popping stats (just 3.0 sacks in each of the last two seasons), but it’s evident how much he can impact the game from the inside.  Roseman sends out the Saints 2nd rounder in 2024 to complete the deal with the Raiders.

8. Falcons – Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech

The Falcons pass rush has mustered just 39 sacks over the past two seasons combined, by far the fewest in the NFL. Heck, the Eagles nearly doubled that total this season alone! It’s clear Atlanta needs immediate help off the edge. Wilson and his massive frame (6-6, 86-inch wingspan) will provide just that.

9. Bears (via CAR) – Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

By the time this mock draft gets posted the Bears may have signed every remaining free agent. They also got Justin Fields a weapon in D.J. Moore via their trade down from the first pick. Now they add more protection for the quarterback.

10. Raiders (via PHI/NO) – Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State

The Raiders recent first-round history has been an abject disaster. Of their last six first round selections, only Josh Jacobs remains on the roster. After their move down from seven they get help along a porous offensive line to help keep the newly signed Jimmy Garoppolo upright.

11. Titans – Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson

Tennessee seemed like a logical landing spot for a left tackle after releasing franchise stalwart Taylor Lewan. Then they inked Andre Dillard to a 3-year deal. Perhaps they tab him to play inside at guard, but my guess is they at least give Dillard a shot at left tackle first. Thus, they steer clear of the big guys on offense and opt for a big guy on defense.

12. Texans (via CLE) – Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

After landing their quarterback with the second pick, the Texans get a twitched-up edge rusher to help transform the defense under new head coach DeMeco Ryans. They still have plenty of work to do on that side of the ball, but Smith gives them a bonafide piece up front. He crushed the combine with a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash. He should help compliment the additions they made in the secondary during last year’s draft.

13. Jets – Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

They hope he’ll be blocking for Aaron Rodgers, but until that deal is actually done, I’ll remain skeptical of something good happening to the Jets. That said, Joe Douglas absolutely slayed last year’s draft, picking both the offensive and defensive rookies of the year in Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner. It certainly helped that he had two top-ten picks, but Douglas made the most of them.

14. Patriots – Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Bill Belichick has shown time and again that he doesn’t need to draft top-level talent in the secondary to win. But just once I’d like to see him take an elite prospect and see what happens. With Witherspoon’s combination of ball skills and toughness, he has a chance to be special either way. With Belichick coaching him up, the ceiling is sky high.

15. Packers – Calijah Kancey, DT, Pitt

One of my favorite players in the draft, Kancey has drawn comparisons to fellow Pitt product Aaron Donald based on his size and speed. However, I will go out on a limb and predict he won’t be that good.

16. Commanders - Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

New offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy gets the best pass catching tight end in the draft to play the part of Travis Kelce in his offense. Unfortunately for the Commanders they’ll have Sam Howell playing the role of Patrick Mahomes.

17. Steelers – Joey Porter, Jr., CB, Penn State

Some picks are just meant to be. A tough-as-nails corner gets to sport the same black and yellow that his father wore for nearly a decade.

18. Lions – Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Since 2009, there have only been 11 tight ends taken in the first round. Somehow, the Lions have taken three of them: Brandon Pettigrew in 2009, Eric Ebron in 2014, and T.J. Hockenson in 2019. Why not go for a fourth? Mayer is the complete package and would surely be a Dan Campbell favorite.

19. Buccaneers – Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

After releasing starting left tackle Donovan Smith in a cap-saving move, there is an immediate need to bookend the other side of the line opposite Tristan Wirfs. While Wright flourished at right tackle himself, he has experience playing the left side and should help protect whatever bad option (Kyle Trask? Baker Mayfield?) the Bucs seem to be considering as their starting quarterback.

20. Seahawks – Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

“Hercules” wasn’t even a starter at Iowa but is a freakish athlete with legit production in limited reps (13.5 sacks over two seasons). The Seahawks added some inside pass rush juice with Dre’Mont Jones in free agency. They hope Van Ness can provide the pressure from the outside.

21. Chargers – Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan

The Chargers need a space-eater on the interior of the defensive line. Smith brings immense size (6-3, 335 pounds), strength (can supposedly close-grip bench 550 pounds), and has insane athletic ability for a big fella (33-inch vertical). He opted out of combine workouts but is sure to put up eye-popping numbers at Michigan’s pro day later this month.

22. Ravens – Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

Ravens GM Eric DeCosta was recently asked about the team’s inability to draft a top wideout and said, “if I had an answer, that means I would probably have some better receivers.” That drew the ire of 2021 first rounder Rashod Bateman, who clapped back that the GM needs to “stop pointing the finger.” Couple that with Lamar Jackson’s contract squabble and things seem to be going great in the charm city! DeCosta hopes he finally gets it right with Smith-Njigba and that pick, in turn, helps lure Lamar to sign on the dotted line.  

23. Vikings – Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

The Vikings seemingly took a defensive back in the first round every year under the previous regime and hardly ever got it right. But Branch offers some versatility in his ability to play both the slot and safety.

24. Jaguars – O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida

The Jaguars lose one offensive lineman from Florida in free agency (Jawaan Taylor to the Chiefs) so they replenish with another. Torrence will play inside so he’s not a one-for-one replacement, but the Jags could use an upgrade on the interior. Doug Pederson certainly knows the importance of keeping Trevor Lawrence clean.

25. Giants – Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

People in Philadelphia will surely shudder when they see a receiver from TCU come off the board in the first round. Unfortunately for Eagles fans, Johnston has more tools and production than his fellow Horned Frog, Jalen Reagor. A division rival helps fill their huge need for a playmaker in the passing game.  

26. Cowboys – Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

Mike McCarthy has pledged his allegiance to the running game as part of his play-calling takeover from Kellen Moore. However, a speed merchant like Hyatt is what they truly need to complement CeeDee Lamb. The Volunteer wideout gives Dak Prescott a legitimate deep threat.

27. Bills – Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

I believe Robinson will end up going higher than this but finding a landing spot for him in the teens without introducing more trades is tough. The Bills have lacked a true weapon in the backfield during Josh Allen’s tenure. They get him a potential generational talent to help lessen the load.

28. Bengals – Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

The Bengals secondary has already been stripped of two starters by free agency. Enter Banks, who posted the best composite testing numbers of any corner at the combine (4.35 40, 42 inch vertical).

29. Saints (via SF/MIA/DEN) – Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

The Saints use the pick they acquired in the Sean Payton deal to Denver to address a defensive line that just lost Shy Tuttle and Marcus Davenport in free agency. After adding Derek Carr, the Saints are clearly in win-now mode. If fully healthy, Bresee could be a plug-and-play Day 1 starter. He was one of the top recruits in the country coming out of high school and was dominating at the collegiate level before tearing an ACL. He didn’t quite seem like the same player last season, though.

30. Eagles – Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

If I had to bet, the Eagles will likely trade down into the second round with this pick to accrue a couple extra mid-round selections. But since this is only a one-round mock draft, I didn’t want to have you scroll all the way to the end only to see the pick was dealt.

If you’re trying to build a championship team, why stop taking champions? Howie Roseman goes back to the Georgia well once again, nabbing Ringo, who cemented Georgia’s second straight ring with a pick-six of Bryce Young in the title game. Ringo is one of the most athletic players in the draft, clocking a 4.36 in the 40-yard dash. He’s got great size for the position, measuring 6-2 and 207 pounds and has spent his offseason working with future Hall of Fame corner Richard Sherman. The Eagles have a clear need at the position and Ringo has the raw tools to be an elite player. I’d feel better about him realizing his full potential if Dennard Wilson were still coaching the defensive backs, but I wouldn’t pass up the chance to take him.

31. Chiefs – Jordan Addison, WR, USC

The Chiefs continue to stockpile young weapons for Patrick Mahomes. While Skyy Moore and Kadarious Toney are getting wide open running stop-motion in the red zone, Addision can potentially replace the on-field production of fellow USC product Juju Smith-Schuster without the off-field TikTok nonsense.

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