Sports writer Laurence Piper offers the last part of his NFL Mock Draft series, which will take place on 27th April

Written by Laurence Piper
Hi, I'm Laurence. I'm a 3rd Year BA History Student at UoB but this is my first year writing for Redbrick. I have been a member of the University American Football team since 1st Year having served on the committee and this past year as a team Captain. I mainly enjoy writing about all thing NFL but I'm also really into my music and literature.
Images by Twitter/@NFL

With the 2023 NFL Draft just around the corner on the 27th of April Sportswriter Laurence Piper offers his Mock Draft of the 1st round with the current order of picks unchanged. The Carolina Panthers are officially on the clock…

  1. Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young (QB) 

Earlier in the offseason the Panthers pulled off a monster trade with the Bears for this pick. Teams generally don’t sink that type of capital into a single pick unless they feel like there is a franchise Quarterback available. This year there are four QBs touted to go in the 1st round, but for me I think the right player for the Panthers to build around is Bryce Young. Saying that, I won’t be shocked if CJ Stroud ends up going at no.1 instead. The first two picks in this mock draft are interchangeable as both are excellent players with high ceilings.

  1. Houston Texans: CJ Stroud (QB)

With the talent available at QB, the Texans sitting at no.2 guarantees them to get a Blue Chip QB for the future. Young is the more proven player, with a Heisman and a National Championship to his name, but if the Panthers elect to take him first in spite of the questions about his height, then Texan fans will be happy either way with whichever QB they decide to take here.

  1. Arizona Cardinals: Willie Anderson Jr (DE)

I honestly think Arizona could trade this pick to a team wanting to jump ahead of the Colts in the QB sweep stakes. The Cardinals have too many holes to fill and teams like the Titans, Seahawks and Falcons are all teams to watch for. If Arizona elect to stick with this pick, they are best served taking the best pass rusher available this year. Anderson is dominant and will make an immediate impact to a team that has just lost JJ Watt to retirement.

  1. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson (QB)

Watching the Colts recycle ageing veteran QBs in the past seasons since Andrew Luck’s shock retirement has been painful. It has clearly not been a successful strategy for the team and now they find themselves desperate for a young playmaker at the most important position on the field. Richardson has shot up draft boards since his epic combine performance with some pundits having him going higher than this. There are questions about his ability to win but with an upside like his, the Colts would be foolish not to come out of the draft with a QB.

  1. Seattle Seahawks: Jalen Carter (DT)

Carter has had very recent off-field issues, but the fact that these problems haven’t tanked his draft stock is a testament to the player he is. Some people have him as the best defensive player in the draft and Seattle needs interior help. This pick just makes sense.

  1. Detroit Lions: Devon Witherspoon CB

The Jeff Okudah era in Detroit is over after he was traded for cents on the dollar to Atlanta. Okudah who was taken third just a few years prior leaves a sizable hole in the Lions secondary, and Witherspoon is arguably the best corner available in this mock draft. The decision to go DB here is logical, the debate will be who they go for.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders: Peter Skoronski (OT)

I believe that the Raiders have been unsuccessful in recent drafts. Alex Leatherwood was meant to be the tackle of their future, but moved on almost immediately. Skoronski is the best tackle in a draft that is thin at O-Line and the Raiders make a sensible pick that will protect their investment in injury prone QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

  1. Atlanta Falcons: Tyree Wilson (DE)

The Falcons are the first head scratchers on the board. They drafted Desmond Ridder last year but haven’t seen much of him playing. The question is do they move off him now of give him a chance to prove himself. I have them getting a stud pass rusher in this mock draft, and Tyree Wilson is a player that will help them get after the QB in a very winnable NFC South even despite their recent signing of Bud Dupree. QB Will Levis is a possibility though as is a WR to pair opposite their star TE.

  1. Chicago Bears: Darnell Wright (OT)

The Bears need to protect their young QB Justin Fields, and this pick is a sensible decision. Wright can slot in on the right side of their line as a day-1 starter to allow Fields more time in the pocket. The logic has to be make the pick that helps their young QB develop, but that also means I could see them look at a WR here.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: Calijah Kancey (DT)

The Eagles came just shy of a Cinderella story but now their star team has been depleted by free agency and they have some important holes to fill. If one of the top two tackles are available, I expect the Eagles to leap at the opportunity. However, as I have them being drafted by the time the Eagles get to pick a player in this mock draft, I think they look to the opposite side of the ball to develop their team with Defensive Tackle Calijah Kancey. Safety is a bigger priority, but the value just isn’t there at no.10.

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