NFL Mock Draft: Georgia's Carter can't shake Bears at No. 3


This week, the football community lost a true innovator and passing pioneer in coaching trailblazer Mike Leach.

A two-time national coach of the year winner, Leach began his career as an assistant to Hal Mumme at Iowa Wesleyan. Leach and Mumme evolved passing tenets first learned at BYU to eventually create the air raid offense. Leach's wide open passing schemes would spread defenses laterally across the field and exposed gaps to be exploited. As a result, shorter, quicker players could compete against bigger, more physical athletes.

Today, undersized players are seen as assets in the NFL due to many of Leach's principles being used in the modern passing game. Now, a smaller quarterback like Kyler Murray can win the Heisman Award, become the first pick in a NFL draft and possibly have long professional careers. Thanks coach, rest in peace.

NFL Draft order courtesy of

1. Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Questions persist about Young regarding his physical stature and possible durability concerns playing quarterback in the NFL. Although he lacks prototypical size to play at the next level (6-foot, 194 pounds), Young performs at an elevated pace when executing game plans. Young is a phenomenal decision maker who delivers clutch moments full of accurate passes and timely results. Young's 75 touchdown passes (to 12 interceptions) indicates how effective he could be as a NFL quarterback.

2. Seahawks (via DEN): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State 

Four weeks ago, the Seahawks were trending upwards with a 6-3 record and a first place position in the NFC West division. Starting quarterback Geno Smith's play vaulted him into early MVP consideration and had him as an odds-on favorite to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Since then, Seattle has lost three of four games and Smith's play over that span hasn't looked as effective or productive. Smith is an unrestricted free agent in 2023 and Stroud's untapped upside may make him Seattle's choice with the second overall pick.

3. Bears: Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

More than likely, if the Bears remain in their current position they'll probably trade down for more draft capital. However, if Chicago makes a selection with the No. 3 pick, targeting Carter vastly improves the team's ability to pressure quarterbacks and stuff the run. Carter's quickness and power might help level an inadequate playing field for Chicago's inept defense.

4. Lions (via LAR): Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

Detroit's second overall pick in the 2022 draft, Aidan Hutchinson, is proving to be a brilliant selection and valuable asset. A noted pass rusher at Michigan, Hutchinson is producing from the edge this season with seven sacks in 13 games. Imagine if the Lions drafted Anderson and his career 34.5 sacks while starring for the Crimson Tide? It could happen and Detroit would possibly have the two youngest and best edge rushers in the game.

5. Eagles (via NO): Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Murphy keeps things simple, beating opponents with explosive surges that force them into playing on their heels. Murphy's ability to strike fast helps in out-leveraging blockers, while his strength allows him to forcefully redirect his opponents. Murphy can rush from either side and creates enough havoc to keep offenses off schedule and in a continuous state of flux.

6. Cardinals: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

A sound technician with exceptional upper body strength, Skoronski plays with a nastiness that discourages defenders ill equipped to handle his power. Arguably the best offensive lineman in this draft class, Skoronski routinely produces top notch performances. Skoronski is a respected pro prospect who flashes day one starting potential. According to PFF, Skoronski is the highest rated pass blocker (92.4) in the nation.

7. Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Levis may be the most unpredictable wildcard in the upcoming draft. Opinions on him range from surefire top 10 pick, to possibly being a mid-third round selection or even an over hyped Carson Wentz clone (and not in a good way). Unless the Colts trade up for either Stroud or Young, chances are they may talk themselves into taking Levis over any other quarterback in the draft.

8. Raiders: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia 

The AFC Conference is littered with elite receivers (Ja'marr Chase, Tyreek Hill, Mike Williams, Stephon Diggs, etc....). In order to compete against the teams featuring these wideouts, one needs teams top tier defensive stoppers in their secondary. Ringo is a physical specimen (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) blessed with 10.43 speed (100 meters) and NFL-level agility to stay glued to receivers.

9. Panthers: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

Wilson is the type of irritatingly effective edge rusher that opposing teams hate battling while also being the kind of versatile athlete emblematic of Carolina's defensive style of play. Wilson can either set the edge or maneuver beyond it, causing disruption and chaotic uncertainty in offensive backfields. Playing the opposite end from Carolina's best edge rusher, Brian Burns, Wilson could significantly contribute to formulating a formidable one-two pass rushing tandem for the Panthers.

10. Falcons: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

If only the Falcons' star interior defensive lineman, Grady Jarrett, had help alongside him when pressuring offensive lines. Should the stars align, Jarrett, a former Clemson Tiger, may get help from one of his Alma mater's current NFL hopefuls in Bresee. A lean interior defensive talent (6-foot-5, 300 pounds), Bresee demonstrates an unusual ability to get "skinny" between double teams and create chaos behind the line of scrimmage.

11. Jaguars: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Porter Jr. sports prototypical size for a corner (6-foot-2, 191 pounds) and enjoys mixing it up physically. Among the more experienced defensive back prospects in this draft class, Porter is extremely nuanced in various techniques for covering receivers, he's excellent in diagnosing routes and utilizing measured anticipatory skills that successfully frustrate pass catchers.

12: Texans (via CLE): Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Johnston is a legit aerial weapon with long striding acceleration, above average leaping ability and an impressive catching radius. As a boundary receiver, Johnston possesses NFL-caliber size (6-foot-4, 212 pounds) and speed (4.4 40-time) that should threaten opposing teams' coverage schemes. With a career average of 18.7 yards per reception,  Johnston is the type of deep threat NFL evaluators spend time convincing general managers to draft.

13. Steelers: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Gonzalez plays with a confidence that compliments his athleticism. His ability to pivot cleanly showcases an acceleration that gains immediate upfield access when Gonzalez challenges pass catchers. This long-limbed defender competes tenaciously for 50/50 jump balls, with an astounding 42 inch vertical that challenges any sort of catch radius. Pittsburgh's Cameron Sutton is an unrestricted free agent, so Gonzalez may be an affordable option to replace him.

14. Packers: Paris Johnson, OL, Ohio State

Thirteen games into the 2022 campaign, the combination of pressure and sacks is forcing quarterback Aaron Rodgers into making bad throws 15.8 percent of the time. Rodgers needs better protection, which strongly indicates an obvious need for a player with attributes like Johnson. Sporting an impressive wingspan (85 5/8 inches) and a thickly elongated frame (6-foot-6, 315 pounds), Johnson aggressively staggers many defenders with his power punches. A load to handle on running plays, Johnson is equally difficult to maneuver past on passing downs.

15. Lions: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Witherspoon performs on the field like a seasoned professional, playing with savvy aggressiveness and honed instincts. Assessing with patience and confidence, he is never in a hurry and almost always is in position to make plays. Witherspoon finished second in the Big Ten conference with 14 passes defended and three interceptions on the season. Witherspoon's closing speed, high football I.Q. and concept visualization skills make him an intriguing prospect to NFL evaluators.

16. Chargers: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon

Having recorded a bench press of 425 pounds, Sewell easily transitions weight room strength to on-the-field productivity. Powerful and rangy, Sewell is an athletically instinctive playmaker at 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds. Over the past 26 games, Sewell amassed 170 tackles and 20.5 tackles for loss, with eight passes defended and two interceptions. The Chargers could definitely use a versatile run stuffing deterrent like Sewell to help improve their 28th-ranked run defense.

17. Seahawks: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Foskey is similarly built to former Seahawk standout, Bruce Irvin (6-foot-3, 250 pounds). Seattle enjoyed great success when Irvin manned the defensive edge during the Seahawks back-to-back Super Bowl appearances (2013, 2014). Foskey wins with a ceaseless motor and a physicality that overwhelms opponents.

18. Jets: Broderick Jones, OL, Georgia

Jones may be the most athletically gifted offensive line prospect in the 2023 draft class. Jones' size (6-foot-4, 315 pounds) and impressive arm length allows him to sting and stymie aggressive power rushers. Jones' dominating physical attributes are suited to playing either tackle position at the next level and his amazing lateral quickness typically defuses pass rushers' attempts to speed past the edge, making him a highly sought-after commodity.

19. Buccaneers: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Aside from four-time Pro Bowler Mike Evans, the Bucs' receiving corps is either aging or constantly dealing with injury and missed games. Addison is an exceptional route runner, who can shift gears while making percise cuts which create organic separation from defenders. Displaying uncommon body control, Addison gracefully makes difficult catches appear effortless.

20. Titans: Jaylin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

From relative obscurity, Jalin Hyatt, a 6-foot and 185 pound junior ascended the collegiate receiver ranks to win this season's coveted Biletnikoff Award. Hyatt possesses phenomenal speed and make-you-miss agility, consistently frustrating defenders' attempts to stop him in the open field - his ability to accelerate and de-accelerate makes him dangerous either from the slot position or as a boundary receiver. The Titans desperately require a downfield threat to help their over used and under-supported running attack.

21. Patriots: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

Smith is a patient defender who moves with quick feet, but is never panicked or over zealous in his coverage assignments. Better in zone coverage than man-to-man schemes, Smith is athletically and technically sound enough to compete in a variety of ways. A smooth player with NFL caliber speed, Smith can perform as a boundary corner or a nickel slot defender on certain passing downs. 

22. Commanders: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Physically, there are several easy comparisons here to former NFL MVP and Carolina Panthers' quarterback, Cam Newton. Both players competed in the SEC, and ironically, Newton's initial college team was the Florida Gators. They have both demonstrated uncommon athleticism, speed, power and agility for men their size. Richardson's limitless upside mirrors Newton's entry into the NFL and if Washington drafts him, he'll have a chance to develop under head coach Ron Rivera, too.

23. Giants: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

Simpson is a do-it-all defender with elite athleticism and a versatile toolbox which allows him to dominate games, a special player with the ability to blitz off the edge, shed blocks to stuff ball carriers, or glide into space and eliminate underneath passing lanes. Efficiently, over his last 25 games played, Simpson tabulated 137 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks.

24. Dolphins: FORFEITED

The Miami Dolphins forfeited one of their two first-round picks (plus a third-round pick in 2024) for tampering surrounding Tom Brady.

25. Broncos (via SF): Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

Verse's aggressive and productive play has catapulted him onto draft boards late this season, much like last year's Seminoles standout, Jermaine Johnson II. Last season, Johnson materialized from obscurity to become the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a first round pick of the Jets. This year, Verse developed into an edge rushing problem for offenses, tallying 14.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.

26. Ravens: Rashee Rice, WR, SMU

Rice is a smooth operator on the field, running crisp routes with an elegance that mirrors the Cowboys' leading receiver, CeeDee Lamb. Sporting a solid 78-inch wingspan, his ability to extend past or over defenders' outstretched arms makes Rice a reoccurring red zone threat. The Ravens must provide superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson a healthy productive receiving option if Baltimore is ever to become a true Super Bowl contender.

27. Bengals: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

The one aerial weapon the Bengals are without is a seam-stretching tight end with blocking skills. Mayer would fit perfectly into Cincy's sophisticated passing schemes because of his effecient route running and NFL caliber catching prowess. Although he doesn't have downfield speed to threaten safties, Mayer does possess above-average quickness to control the middle of the field and size enough to screen off defenders from passes.

28. Cowboys: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

Entering the 2022 college season, Smith-Njigba was considered by some to be the number one option at receiver for the upcoming draft class. However, since suffering an injury in the opening game, Smith-Njigba's durability has been questioned, which has adversely affected his draft status. The Cowboys could benefit greatly if this multitalented route runner falls into mid-first round positioning. Dallas fans would do well to remember Smith-Njigba's single-game record of 347 receiving yards in the 2022 Rose Bowl.

29. Chiefs: Gervon Dexter, DL, Florida

Dexter's impressive natural strength and solid base help him maintain leverage against linemen at the point of attack. The ability to quickly shed blockers makes him problematic for plays headed in his vicinity. Extremely athletic considering his size and length (6-foot-6, 313 pounds), Dexter's flexibility will endear him to coordinators dreaming of where to align this scheme friendly defender.

30. Vikings: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah

Phillips is a sturdy, compact boundary corner with excellent anticipation skills who plays bigger than his average size would indicate. More quick than fast as a coverage defender, Phillips wins through disciplined positioning and next level awareness. On the season, Phillips' ubiquitous playmaking skills accounted for six interceptions, of which two were returned for scores. Phillips also defended six passes in just 12 games.

31. Bills: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Having led the nation in yards from scrimmage (1,894), NFL scouts are impressed with Robinson's entire repertoire as a complete running back. Aside from his instinctive running style and next level burst past flailing defenders, evaluators rave about Robinson's pass protection skill set and willingness to block. Yes, Robinson is an adept pass catcher and accomplished runner, but it'll be his pass blocking that could make him a day one starter.

32. Eagles: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M

Johnson is a dynamic 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, long limbed enforcer in the defensive backfield who can blitz the quarterback, cover any type of receiver and make bone-jarring tackles in run support. Johnson makes quick decisions and commits with measured abandon and ferocity that energizes his teammates. Like a coiled cobra, he strikes without mercy or guilt.

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