2023 NFL Draft Betting Guide: Mock 3.0 (Fantasy Football)
I’ll be talking with Kyle on Friday morning on the Fantasy Footballers DFS & Betting Podcast after Round 1 to break it all down!
As you’ll see below, I don’t have a ton of trades in my final mock. While I do think it’s better than 50/50 that the Cardinals trade back, and the Titans could trade up, we historically don’t see a lot of movement inside the top 10. Kyle pointed in his NFL Draft Headlines article that we tend to see more trades in mock drafts by bigger media personalities than we see in the actual NFL Draft. Josh Norris also noted something similar in this tweet:
Once the draft started…
2022: Zero trades inside the top 10
2021: One trade inside of the top 10 (Eagles from 12 to 10)
2020: Zero trades inside the top 10
2019: One trade inside of the top 10 (Steelers from 20 to 10)
Will 2023 be different?
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) April 22, 2023
Without further ado, here is my final 2023 mock. Enjoy!
*Odds accurate at time of publishing*
1. Carolina Panthers – QB Bryce Young
The Panthers seemed to have zeroed in on their target, and the betting markets agree. In the betting market, Young has bounced around this week between (-2000) to (-1400) to be the first overall selection. We’ll follow the betting world here and have the draft start at two.
2. Houston Texans – EDGE Tyree Wilson
At this point, the Texans seem content to stay and pick their top rated edge defender. Will Anderson is largely viewed as the “safer” prospect, while Wilson offers a higher ceiling. I do think it’s possible the Texans go with Anderson, but I’ll lean Wilson in this mock. In the betting markets, he’s (+300) to go second overall while Will Anderson is the favorite at (+125).
3. Tennessee Titans (via trade) – QB C.J. Stroud
I just mentioned that I don’t usually predict a ton of trades in my mocks, but this one is so obvious. Top to bottom, Arizona probably has the worst roster in the NFL, so I think they trade back even if they only get 50 cents on the dollar. Tennessee and New England are among the teams rumored to be interested in this pick. I have Tennessee coming up for C.J. Stroud thanks to Vrabel’s Ohio State connections.
4. Indianapolis Colts – QB Will Levis
The Colts have not been shy throughout the entire process – they seem locked into a QB with this selection. The question, of course, is which non Bryce Young QB is the selection for GM Chris Ballard? In this mock, Stroud is gone, so it’s between Levis and Anthony Richardson. I wouldn’t rule out the Florida Gator as the pick here, but the drumbeat on Levis to Indy is hard to ignore.
5. Seattle Seahawks – DT Jalen Carter
Jalen Carter was the odds on favorite to be the first pick in draft before all of the off the field concerns developed. Around the league, he’s largely viewed as the best talent in the draft, and Peter Schrager has been vocal that he’s not making it out of the top six. I think the Eagles are in play to come up and get him if he falls to six, but in this mock, Seattle take a swing for the fences. There’s been mixed reports on Seattle’s interest in the Georgia Bulldog, but Pete Carroll turns 72 in September, and the NFC is wide open. I have them going for a win now piece in Carter.
6. Detroit Lions – EDGE Will Anderson
The chalk pick here is Devon Witherspoon, and I do think Witherspoon, who is (-250) to be the first CB selected either goes to the Motor City or is taken by the Raiders at seven. But there’s a top five consensus player falling in this mock after Houston opted for the Texas Tech pass rusher. Will Anderson’s “slide” stops at six, giving Dan Campbell two bookend pass rushers that should cause havoc in the NFC North for years.
7. Las Vegas Raiders – CB Devon Witherspoon
Devon Witherspoon is (-250) on most books to be the first cornerback selected, and we’ve seen him rise up big boards over the last month. His over/under is currently sitting at 6.5, and there’s been a ton of buzz that both the Lions and Raiders (two CB needy teams) would love to have Witherspoon on their roster. In this exercise, Detroit takes Anderson, so the Raiders snag their corner to bolster a secondary that ranked among the league’s worst in 2022.
8. Atlanta Falcons – RB Bijan Robinson
Bijan Robinson is a top five player in this class regardless of position, yet it’s difficult to find a home for the Texas RB. Most scouts agree he’s not falling outside of the top 20, but when you consider that he’s this highly rated as a prospect in a weaker class, it’s more likely that he goes inside the top 12 than the top 20. Falcons GM Terry Fontenot has drafted premium positions (QB, T, EDGE, WR, CB) in the first two rounds at the lowest rate in the league over the last five years (Kyle Pitts 4th overall in 2021). Arthur Smith gets his bell cow back for one of the league’s most run heavy schemes.
9. Chicago Bears – T Darnell Wright
The Bears are reportedly in on Jalen Carter, and I do think if he falls to 9th overall, he’s the pick. However, in this exercise, Carter is off the board. Most prospect rankings around the industry would have Paris Johnson as the selection here, and I do think that makes a ton of sense. I’ve heard a ton of buzz around Wright to Chicago, however. He’s (+360) on FanDuel to be the 9th overall pick.
10. Philadelphia Eagles – EDGE Nolan Smith
The Eagles are a tough team to pin down in this scenario. Guys like Peter Skoronski or Lukas Van Ness were in consideration here as was Christian Gonzalez out of Oregon. However, Howie opts for the Georgia pass rusher, who has flown up draft boards over the last two months after he destroyed the Combine. Smith reunites with his college buddies, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean.
11. Arizona Cardinals – T Paris Johnson
The Cardinals could go a number of different directions given their depth chart, but this is a new GM, and Kyler Murray is coming off a torn ACL. I think Arizona listens to their franchise QB and gives him his preferred selection so long as he’s on the board. Kyler has been reportedly campaigning for the Ohio State LT, who could certainly be gone well before this. I’ve heard they’ve also done extensive work on Broderick Jones in the pre-draft process.
12. Houston Texans – CB Christian Gonzalez
I think this is a prime trade out spot for Houston if they want to, while there’s also rumors they could use this pick to move up for a QB after taking a pass rusher at No. 2. In this exercise, however, Houston goes best player available and nabs the Oregon corner to play across from last year’s No. 3 overall pick, Derek Stingley Jr. And for the record, I do think it’s crazy that there’s a world where Houston leaves this draft without a QB. I suppose Hendon Hooker is in player later if they want to move back up into Round 1.
13. Green Bay Packers – WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Oh, the irony. Of course, we know the Packers have not drafted a first round WR with Aaron Rodgers, but I do think there’s something to be said about Green Bay leap frogging New England in the Rodgers deal to get up to 13. New England has been said to have interest in JSN if he’s there, and the former Ohio State Buckeye would make for a perfect compliment across from Christian Watson. In the betting market, the Packers are the odds on favorite to select JSN (+185) and Smith-Njigba is (-430) on FanDuel to be the first WR taken.
14. New England Patriots – EDGE Lukas Van Ness
The Patriots are another wild card in this class who could go any number of directions with their first round pick. They could add to the offensive line with this pick, snag a WR or even take an edge defender here. In this mock, the talented pass rusher out of Iowa is the pick for New England. His over/under earlier this week was at 15.5, so this is certainly the range for LVN.
15. New York Jets – OL Peter Skoronski
The Jets have been linked to an offensive lineman for awhile, and the betting markets certainly agree. Over the last two weeks, they’ve ballooned up to (-300) to select an offensive lineman with their first selection. After completing the Aaron Rodgers trade earlier this week, it makes all the sense in the world to bolster their O-line and protect the future Hall of Famer. GM Joe Douglas has historically built through the trenches, and he does that again in 2023, taking Northwestern’s Skoronski.
16. Washington Commanders – T Broderick Jones
The Commanders seem to be in on two positions in the first round – offensive line and corner back. I think any one of Deonte Banks, Joey Porter Jr. and even Emmanuel Forbes are in play here, but Washington is reportedly going to give Sam Howell a legitimate shot to be their QB in 2023. It makes sense to protect him, and we all know Ron Rivera wants to establish it. After Jones, there’s a bit of a tier break in offensive tackle talent. Jones’ over/under is 14.5 with the over heavily juiced to (-200).
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Deonte Banks
Pittsburgh is reportedly interested in trading up for an offensive tackle, and Anton Harrison is in play. However, in this exercise, they take the corner out of Maryland and pass on Joey Porter Jr., who’s O/U is sitting at 19.5 with the over (-200).
18. Detroit Lions – CB Emmanuel Forbes
You could make a case for Joey Porter Jr. here, and I was between he and Forbes. After the Lions were gifted Will Anderson 6th overall, they address their secondary with Forbes. He’s undersized, but he was in Detroit for a pre-draft visit, and seems to fit Dan Campbell’s culture.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – T Anton Harrison
As I mentioned, I think there’s a chance Harrison goes earlier than expected. This is a difficult spot to peg down with Tampa having so many needs. This pick really feels like a wild card. I could see a corner here or even Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, but as it stands, this team doesn’t have a starting LT.
20. Seattle Seahawks – QB Anthony Richardson
Every year, we tend to see one QB fall in the NFL Draft. Outside of Bryce Young, I have no clue which one that might be. Levis falling wouldn’t shock me, while the league seems to be split on a guy like C.J. Stroud. Richardson is inexperienced, but he’s got the tools and a massive ceiling. As a result, I see him going to an organization where he can sit for a year or two behind a starter already in house. Geno Smith fits as a bridge QB option for Richardson, and Seattle has reportedly shown the most interest in the Florida QB. Richardson’s over/under is 4.5 with the over sitting at around (-300) to (-400) on different books.
Consensus Big Board vs. Draft Position:
– Malik Willis – 14 vs. 86
– Desmond Ridder – 33 vs. 74
– Matt Corral – 40 vs. 94
– Justin Fields – 4 vs. 11
– Drew Lock – 22 vs. 42
– Lamar Jackson – 18 vs. 32
– DeShone Kizer – 33 vs. 52
– Connor Cook – 43 vs. 100
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) April 26, 2023
21. Los Angeles Chargers – WR Jordan Addison
I’ve mocked this in all three of my mock drafts…which means this probably won’t happen. However, I can’t look past the connection between Addison and the current WRs coach in LA, Chris Beatty. Addison actually played for Beatty when both were at Pitt in 2021, and this is a need for the Bolts with Allen and Mike Williams both nearing the end of their time in powder blue. Lindsey Thiry, who covers LA for ESPN, notes that the Chargers are “anticipated to go with an offensive skill player” while Jordan Reid writes, “Sources close to the Chargers have been adamant about the team targeting a pass-catcher in the early rounds.” In the betting world, the Chargers are even money (+100) to select a WR with their first pick.
22. Baltimore Ravens – EDGE Myles Murphy
Baltimore could definitely be taking a corner here, while a WR like Zay Flowers makes a ton of sense. However, we tend to see Baltimore take a “best player available” approach in most years, and the talented Clemson pass rusher is largely considered a top 20 player in this class.
23. Minnesota Vikings – CB Joey Porter Jr.
The Vikings are in play for Hendon Hooker here, and in fact, they’re the betting favorite to take the Tennessee QB. While I think that’s certainly possible, this secondary was woeful in 2022. The Penn State corner’s slide stops here with Minnesota. Brian Flores needs playmakers in his secondary. Porter’s over/under opened at 16.5 a few weeks ago. It’s now O19.5 (-200).
24. Jacksonville Jaguars – OL O’Cyrus Torrence
The chalk pick here is Brian Branch, and I definitely think that’s in play. If he’s available, no one should be surprised if he’s the pick, but the Jags could also use some help on the offensive line to continue to protect Trevor Lawrence. OT Matthew Bergeron out of Syracuse is a sleeper here. Bergeron is (+150) to be a first round pick.
25. New York Giants – S/CB Brian Branch
The Giants have been linked to WR, but there’s also rumblings that they’ve got plenty of interest in the corners as well as someone like John Michael Schmitz. Wink Martindale gets a player he can move all over the formation. Had Branch tested better at the Combine, he probably would be off the board well before this, but he’s got some great tape and fits a need in New York.
26. Dallas Cowboys – TE Michael Mayer
I really think it’s possible that Mayer goes 8-10 picks before this, but in this exercise, Mayer falls to 26. He’s the betting favorite to be the first TE taken (-175), and The Athletic’s Dane Brugler (who has connections to the team) has said previously, “I just can’t see Dallas passing” if Mayer is available. This team lost Dalton Schultz to Houston in free agency and fits a major need.
27. Buffalo Bills – DT Calijah Kancey
Kancey is a guy who’s been trending up on draft boards and is considered very likely to go in Round 1. A defensive tackle fits here as Buffalo will need to plan to replenish their defensive line as early as 2024. Buffalo’s top four defensive tackles are all free agents after 2023. Kancey is (-450) on FanDuel to be a first round pick while Buffalo is (+150) to select a defensive lineman with their first selection.
28. Cincinnati Bengals – TE Dalton Kincaid
Kincaid is considered the best pass catching TE in the class, but he hasn’t been able to work out during the pre-draft process due to his back injury. There’s conflicting reports about Kincaid possibly sliding due to the lack of pre-draft measurables, but he’s seemingly a lock to go in Round 1, and Cincy could use a replacement for Hayden Hurst. Even after signing Irv Smith Jr. to a one-year deal, they reportedly tried to re-sign Hurst, suggesting they value the position.
29. New Orleans Saints – EDGE Will McDonald
Saints beat reporters I trust have indicated that adding to their front seven is a priority in round one, though I could see TE here or possibly an offensive lineman should one fall. Historically, this front office has prioritized athletic players with an elevated RAS score, and in the betting market this team is (-125) to select a defensive lineman with their first pick. McDonald fits the profile of a guy the Saints have taken in the past, and he fills a major need.
Will McDonald IV is a DE prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 9.66 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 56 out of 1605 DE from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/b2DexfV4f4 #RAS pic.twitter.com/m7L7mMJDuW
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 4, 2023
30. Philadelphia Eagles – RB Jahmyr Gibbs
Peter Schrager and Todd McShay have both confirmed earlier this week that Gibbs is very likely to go in Round one. Of course, it’s difficult to find a team for Gibbs in this 20-31 range, and in the real NFL Draft, I would not be shocked to see Philly move back into Round 2 if a team wants to come up for Hooker. In this exercise, however, they add the talented RB out of Alabama with Rashaad Penny only there on a one-year deal.
31. Kansas City Chiefs – WR Zay Flowers
This feels late for Flowers based on other mock drafts, but based off the way the board fell, the Chiefs snag the Boston College wide out, who worked out with Mahomes earlier this off-season. I do think it’s possible KC grabs an offensive lineman or takes a pass rusher if they prefer to go that route.