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2023 NFL mock draft: Who’s No. 1 and what the top of the board looks like after the college football regular season

The 2023 NFL Draft is nearly five months away. But it’s never too early to put together a mock draft.

Auburn v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The college football regular season is officially over, and while we still have just under five months until the 2023 NFL Draft kicks off, it’s time to start looking at what holes NFL teams will be looking to fill come April.

The draft order will see plenty of change over the coming weeks, but the Houston Texans are likely to lock down the No. 1 overall pick. They have only won a single game this year and it seems unlikely they’ll win many more with the Bears a full two games back of them at the No. 2 position.

Houston’s needs are numerous and varied, but the quarterback question may be the most significant for them. They benched starter Davis Mills in November, opting instead for backup Kyle Allen without much marked improvement. An elite QB could continue building around WR Brandin Cooks and RB Dameon Pierce and would be a very sizable piece of a puzzle that will take more than just a single draft class to put together.

The first pick of the draft will likely be coming out of Alabama or Georgia. Heisman-winning quarterback Bryce Young seems the most likely choice, especially if the Texans remain in the top spot; although Bama edge Will Anderson and Georgia DT Jalen Carter are also options. Carter has yet to play in the College Football Playoff, while Young and Anderson will be just two of many draft-eligible players who will need to decide whether they opt out of their bowl game.

Here’s a look at the potential first 18 picks of the 2023 NFL Draft, which covers the teams that are not currently projected to make the playoffs. We’ve provided each team’s needs and then some possible picks that could fill those needs.

1. Houston Texans, 1-10-1, .505

Team needs: Quarterback, run stopping DT, QB-harassing DE

Possible picks: QB Bryce Young, Edge Will Anderson, DT Jalen Carter, QB Will Levis, QB CJ Stroud

2. Chicago Bears, 3-10, .575

Team needs: Wide receiver, offensive tackle, EDGE, linebacker

Possible picks: WR Jordan Addison, WR Quentin Johnston, OT Broderick Jones

3. Seattle Seahawks (from Broncos, 3-9, .478)

Team needs: Defensive tackle, EDGE

Possible picks: Edge Will Anderson, DT Jalen Carter

4. Detroit Lions (from Rams, 3-9, .498)

Team needs: Cornerback, defensive line, quarterback

Possible picks: QB CJ Stroud, DB Joey Porter Jr., QB Will Levis

5. Carolina Panthers, 4-8, .449

Team needs: Quarterback, EDGE

Possible picks: QB CJ Stroud, Edge Myles Murphy, QB Will Levis

6. Philadelphia Eagles (from Saints, 4-8, .500)

Team needs: Safety, cornerback, running back

Possible picks: DB Joey Porter Jr., RB Bijan Robinson

7. Jacksonville Jaguars, 4-8, .502

Team needs: Cornerback, safety, offensive line

Possible picks: DB Malachi Moore, CB Kelee Ringo, OT Peter Skoronski

8. Arizona Cardinals, 4-8, .510

Team needs: Offensive guard, center, EDGE, cornerback

Possible picks: C John Michael Schmitz, CB Kelee Ringo, EDGE Tyree Wilson

9. Indianapolis Colts, 4-8-1, .507

Team needs: Quarterback, offensive tackle, cornerback

Possible picks: QB Will Levis, QB Hendon Hooker, OT Peter Skoronski, CB Christian Gonzalez, CB Cam Smith

10. Atlanta Falcons, 5-8, .444

Team needs: EDGE, linebacker, wide receiver

Possible picks: WR Quentin Johnson, WR Jordan Addison, EDGE Myles Murphy, WR Quentin Johnson

11. Green Bay Packers, 5-8, .563

Team needs: EDGE, linebacker, defensive tackle

Possible picks: DL Bryan Bresee, TE Michael Mayer, EDGE Isaiah Foskey

12. Las Vegas Raiders, 5-7, .439

Team needs: Offensive tackle, offensive guard, cornerback

Possible picks: OT Paris Johnson, Jr., CB Cam Smith

13. Houston Texans (from Browns, 5-7, .512)

Team needs: See earlier pick

Possible picks: EDGE Isaiah Foskey, DL Bryan Bresee

14. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-7, .539

Team needs: Offensive tackle, cornerback, linebacker

Possible picks: CB Cam Smith, LB Trenton Simpson

15. Detroit Lions, 5-7, .555

Team needs: See earlier pick

Possible picks: CB Jaylon Jones, QB Anthony Richardson

16. Los Angeles Chargers, 6-6, .442

Team needs: Offensive tackle, offensive guard

Possible picks: OT Broderick Jones, OT Darnell Wright, OL Dawan Jones

17. New England Patriots, 6-6, .534

Team needs: Offensive tackle, EDGE, linebacker

Possible picks: OT Jaelyn Duncan, EDGE BJ Ojulari, LB Drew Sanders, EDGE Nolan Smith

18. Washington Commanders, 7-5-1, .543

Team needs: Quarterback, offensive guard, linebacker

Possible picks: QB Anthony Richardson, QB Hendon Hooker, LB Drew Sanders, OG O’Cyrus Torrence