The 2023 NFL Combine has come and gone. Players had the opportunity to strut their stuff in front of NFL executives, coaches and scouts in hopes of raising their draft stock come April. ESPN puts out several mock drafts, but the top authorities are the dynamic duo of Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. The former has released his first mock draft since the Combine, and it is evident there has been movement.
The mock draft covers the first round and is quarterback heavy at the top. McShay has the Bears trading back twice, but the first sees the Indianapolis Colts moving up to No. 1 to draft Bryce Young from Alabama. This is interesting because Young was largely touted as the unquestioned No. 1 pick, but Anthony Richardson was the talk of the town at the NFL Combine. Analysts were saying that he had the best quarterback performance at the Combine in the last few years. Richardson is mocked by McShay at No. 4 when Chicago trades down with the Las Vegas Raiders.
One of the bigger surprises is the Seattle Seahawks going with DE Tyree Wilson at No. 5. They were previously being mocked a quarterback, but they locked Geno Smith into a three-year deal, ending the immediate need for a replacement. There isn’t anything wrong with Wilson here, but it just seems surprising he is here without having worked out at the Combine. Other Combine standouts like CB Christian Gonzalez, OT/G Peter Skoronski, OLB Nolan Smith or DT Jalen Carter (depending on the results from his legal issues) could all make sense here.
The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a loss in Super Bowl 57. Running back Miles Sanders is a free agent, but McShay has the team finding their solution in the draft. He has the Eagles taking Robinson at No. 10, making him the highest-drafted running back since 2017. McShay has Robinson as the only running back taken in the first round, but 10 seems kind of high.
The wide receiver class has talent with the likes of Jordan Addison, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zay Flowers. McShay doesn’t think any of them will be the first wide receiver drafted, however. That honor goes to TCU WR Quentin Johnson at No. 14 to the New England Patriots. Yes, the Patriots need a wide receiver badly, and yes, Bill Belichick is known for making surprise moves, but I still think that Addison or Smith-Njigba is the first wide receiver to hear his name called on draft night.