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2023 NFL Mock Draft – Will Ohio State Quarterback CJ Stroud to the Carolina Panthers be the First Pick?

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The 2023 NFL draft takes place on Thursday, April 27th, but it is never too early to look at who could go where. Ohio State QB CJ Stroud, Alabama LB Will Anderson, and Alabama QB Bryce Young are all in the running for the top pick. We take a look at how the first five picks could play out in the 2023 NFL draft.

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1. Carolina Panthers – CJ Stroud, QB | Ohio State

The Carolina Panthers has been a graveyard for quarterbacks since Cam Newton left the franchise. Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and PJ Walker have all had their shot and every single time it has been a dumpster fire. Matt Corral, who was a third round pick last year is probably glad that he is on IR.

CJ Stroud could be the answer to the Carolina quarterback problem. Heck, CJ Stroud could simply be the answer. Period. He has thrown for 1,737 yards and 24 touchdowns with a college QB rating of 207.6. That rating is 20 points higher than the next quarterback this season. Stroud is drawing rave reviews for his performances and is probably the current favorite to be the first pick in 2023.

2. Las Vegas Raiders – Will Anderson, EDGE | Alabama

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If the Raiders ended up in this slot, they should probably just go ahead and take the best player on the board. We doubt they are taking a kicker here this time.

Over his two and a half year college career, Anderson has 52 TFLs and 29.5 sacks in 30 games. It helps that teams are trailing Alabama a lot but those are monster figures. He is already second in career sacks for Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide program.

There is an argument that Anderson is the best player in the draft and we are not going to disagree with that.

3. Detroit Lions – Bryce Young, QB | Alabama

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Alabama at one point in mocks had the 1-2 picks with Young and Anderson. However, at the moment those picks are 2-3 with Bryce Young heading to Detroit. Poor Bryce.

Jared Goff probably isn’t the long-term answer for the Lions despite some respectable performances over the last couple of seasons. Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young offers tremendous upside and is the best quarterback on the board. Easy pick.

4. Houston Texans – Jalen Carter, DL | Georgia

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Jalen Carter is currently injured with a sprained MCL but even with the talent Georgia had on defense last year, he was popping on film. He could be a legitimate star in the league and providing the Texans take the best player on the board with this pick, Jalen Carter to Houston it is.

5. Washington Commanders – Will Levis, QB | Kentucky

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Will Levis is a bit of a character off the field. But NFL scouts and executives look like they believe that he can back it up on the field. We are not this high on Levis, but somebody will be and they will go and get their man.

It could be the Commanders who are currently trying to decide if Taylor Heinicke or Sam Howell will start in place of Carson Wentz for the next few games.

If Howell shows he can be a top-level starter then the Commanders would not need to go this way. However, he clearly has not shown that level in training yet, so if they were on the clock here, they could opt for Levis.


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