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NFL Mock Draft 2023: QBs Dominate Top-4 Picks in Latest Projection

NFL Mock Draft 2023: QBs Dominate Top-4 Picks in Latest Projection article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: C.J. Stroud (left) and Bryce Young.

In a special collaboration with Action Network, you’ll find the debut version of Nick Guarisco’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft below.

Guarisco (@FantasyLawGuy on Twitter) ranked in the top six in mock draft accuracy from 2019-2021 at NFL Mock Draft Database, which grades the accuracy of mock drafts industry-wide, including longtime draft analysts like ESPN’s Mel Kiper.

In his second Action Network NFL mock draft, Guarisco moved one of the top-four quarterbacks out of the top 10 and created potential betting value at the top of the board in terms of defensive players.

Check out Guarisco’s selections for all 32 NFL teams below.

Note: This mock draft was originally published right after news of the Packers-Jets trade involving Aaron Rodgers broke on Monday morning.

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2023 NFL Mock Draft

Click on a team for further analysis of Nick Guarisco’s NFL Mock Draft.

* means a trade involving these picks has been reported.
** means a predicted hypothetical trade.

1PanthersBryce Young, QB, Alabama
2TexansWill Levis, QB, Kentucky
3Titans**C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
4ColtsAnthony Richardson, QB, Florida
5SeahawksTyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
6LionsWill Anderson Jr., DE, Alabama
7RaidersDevon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
8FalconsNolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
9BearsParis Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
10EaglesJalen Carter, DT, Georgia
11Cardinals**Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
12TexansLukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
13Packers*Peter Skoronski, G, Northwestern
14PatriotsBroderick Jones, OT, Georgia
15Jets*Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
16CommandersBijan Robinson, RB, Texas
17SteelersDarnell Wright, OL, Tennessee
18LionsDeonte Banks, CB, Maryland
19BuccaneersMyles Murphy, DE, Clemson
20SeahawksZay Flowers, WR, Boston College
21ChargersJordan Addison, WR, USC
22RavensEmmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
23VikingsJoey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
24JaguarsBrian Branch, S, Alabama
25GiantsWill McDonald, DE, Iowa State
26CowboysMichael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
27BillsBryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
28BengalsDalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
29SaintsAdetomiwa Adeawore, DT, Northwestern
30EaglesKeion White, DE, Georgia Tech
31ChiefsAnton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
*The Dolphins forfeited their first-round pick. 

2023 NFL Draft Predictions

1. Carolina Panthers (from Chicago): Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Other Possibilities: C.J. Stroud
Young’s Projected Range: 1-2
Young’s Likely Landing Spots: Panthers, Texans

There are reasons to believe Carolina’s interest in Young is a masterfully crafted smokescreen designed to entice the Texans to trade up, but I’m putting the chances of that at between 5-10%. Young is a -1600 betting favorite to be the No. 1 Pick.

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2. Houston Texans: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Other Possibilities: DE Tyree Wilson, DE Will Anderson Jr., QB C.J. Stroud
Levis’ Projected Range: 2-4
Levis’ Likely Landing Spots: Texans, Colts

Houston wants to trade down and has made this pick “for sale,” which may be indicative of the team’s willingness to pass on a quarterback here. If Houston cannot trade down, it’s BPA (best player available in this case probably means DEs Anderson or Wilson) vs. whoever its QB2 is behind Young. At this point, more intel indicates that Levis is likely the Texans’ QB2 over C.J. Stroud.

As of this writing, I would rank the likelihood of Houston’s pick as followed: Levis, Tyree Wilson, Will Anderson Jr. then C.J. Stroud. Regardless, what the Texans do at No. 2 remains a mystery until the pick is announced.

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**3. Tennessee Titans: C.J. Stroud

Other Possibilities for Titans: QB Anthony Richardson, OT Paris Johnson Jr., OG Peter Skoronski
Stroud’s Projected Range: 2-11
Stroud’s Likely Landing Spots: Colts, Raiders, Titans

Tennessee should take the opportunity to draft its quarterback of the future, as opposed to waiting to see if Anthony Richardson or C.J. Stroud falls closer to No. 11.

Connections exist within the front offices of Arizona and Tennessee. Connections also exist between head coach Mike Vrabel and Ohio State. Thus, one can see why this is a popular trade scenario in mocks. Here, the Titans send two second-round picks to get the deal done.

If Tennessee remains at No. 11, the Titans should be expected to strengthen its offensive line.

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4. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Other Possibilities: QB Will Levis, QB C.J. Stroud
Richardson’s Projected Range: 4-22
Richardson’s Likely Landing Spots: Colts, Raiders, Titans, Seahawks (No. 20), Ravens, Vikings

All indications are that the Colts are taking the highest-graded quarterback who is available for this pick (and not moving up). I’m buying the narrative that Levis is the team’s preferred option, but I consider it a toss-up whether this will be Richardson or Stroud if Levis is taken beforehand.

I find some validity to the narrative that new head coach Shane Steichen would feel more comfortable taking a risk on developing an athletic talent than other coaches, based on his history with Jalen Hurts and others.

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5. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver): Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech

Other Possibilities: DE Tyree Wilson, DE Will Anderson Jr., DT Jalen Carter, CB Devon Witherspoon, QB Anthony Richardson
Wilson’s Projected Range: 2-8
Wilson’s Likely Landing Spots: Texans, Cardinals, Seahawks, Raiders

Seattle is highly likely targeting a defender here, and expectations should be centered around the defensive line. I believe the Seahawks are hoping that Tyree Wilson or Will Anderson Jr. fall (in that order). If not, that could be the circumstance to consider DT Jalen Carter. Seattle likes CB Devon Witherspoon a lot too.

Additionally, I can see Seattle being in on QB Anthony Richardson but more so for their second selection in the first round (No. 20), perhaps even if Richardson slides into the teens.

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6. Detroit Lions (from L.A. Rams): Will Anderson Jr., DE, Alabama

Other Possibilities: CB Devon Witherspoon, DT Jalen Carter
Anderson’s Projected Range: 2-6
Anderson’s Likely Landing Spots: Cardinals, Seahawks, Lions

Devon Witherspoon is getting a lot of buzz here, and for good reason, even aside from cornerback being a huge need for Detroit beyond 2024. Witherspoon has the passion for football that this regime covets and primarily plays in man coverage, which the Lions use at a high rate.

In this circumstance, however, Detroit cannot pass up the opportunity to take Anderson, a two-year team captain at Alabama. I’m not ruling out DT Jalen Carter or quarterback here, but Carter would be a departure from the high character, football-obsessed, culture-centered philosophy this regime has prioritized, while quarterback would be a departure from their pre-draft interest and public comments regarding Jared Goff.

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7. Las Vegas Raiders: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Other Possibilities: QB Anthony Richardson, CB Christian Gonzalez, OG Peter Skoronski
Witherspoon’s Projected Range: 5-8
Witherspoon’s Likely Landing Spots: Lions, Raiders

The Raiders have spent a lot of time with this year’s quarterback class, but in this case, the team prioritizes their draft picks and does not trade up. I would bet that Will Levis is the QB2 on Vegas’s board anyway.

With Vegas, I’m paying close attention to players who are cultural fits and players who New England would love, seeing as many decision-makers in the front office once worked with the Patriots. Accordingly, I’m honing in on Levis, CB Devon Witherspoon and OG Peter Skoronski. The Raiders are picking right in the sweet spot for one of the two great cornerback prospects in this draft class.

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8. Atlanta Falcons: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

Other Possibilities: DE Tyree Wilson, CB Christian Gonzalez, CB Devon Witherspoon, RB Bijan Robinson
Smith’s Projected Range: 8-19
Smith’s Likely Landing Spots: Falcons (8), Eagles (10), Jets (13)

Obviously, upgrading the pass rush is a primary objective. The Falcons have done a lot of homework on cornerbacks throughout the draft process. A star running back may entice head coach Arthur Smith, too. Smith plays a position of need, possesses great character, and has local ties.

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9. Chicago Bears (from Carolina): Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

Other Possibilities: DT Jalen Carter, OT Broderick Jones, OT Darnell Wright, OG Peter Skoronski, DE Lukas Van Ness
Johnson’s Projected Range: 3-13
Johnson’s Likely Landing Spots: Cardinals, Bears, Eagles, Titans

Chicago is looking hard at solidifying the offensive line by adding a plug-and-play right tackle. Valid arguments can be made for Chicago taking any of the top four O-line prospects. Consequently, I’ve seen all four mocked to Chicago throughout the process.

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10. Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

Other Possibilities: DE Nolan Smith, OT Paris Johnson Jr., OG Peter Skoronski, RB Bijan Robinson, DE Lukas Van Ness
Carter’s Projected Range: 5-10
Carter’s Likely Landing Spots: Seahawks (No. 5), Bears, Eagles

The Eagles should be expected to fortify the trenches here. Defensive tackle is the biggest need within, and this team is equipped well to mentor and coach up Carter, who may be red-flagged by some teams due to character concerns.

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**11. Arizona Cardinals: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Other Possibilities: DE Will Anderson Jr. | Trade Down: OT Paris Johnson Jr., CB Christian Gonzalez
Gonzalez’s Projected Range: 7-15
Gonzalez’s Likely Landing Spots: Cardinals, Raiders, Falcons, Packers

The Cardinals probably want to trade down with a QB-needy team and target CB Christian Gonzalez or OL Paris Johnson Jr. Many are pointing to DEs Tyree Wilson or Will Anderson Jr. here if the team cannot successfully move down. However, I’m not completely ruling out either Gonzalez or Johnson at Pick 3.

In any case, I do believe that Arizona pulling off a deal is more likely than not.

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12. Houston Texans (from Cleveland): Lukas Van Ness, DE, Iowa

Other Possibilities: DE Nolan Smith, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, CB Christian Gonzalez
Van Ness’ Projected Range: 9-20
Van Ness’ Likely Landing Spots: Texans (No. 12), Packers

I have a hard time believing new defensive-minded HC DeMeco Ryans will not come away with a centerpiece for his defense with one of the Texans’ first two picks. If the team decides to take a defender early on and punt the quarterback position until next season, wide receiver and cornerback should be in play here at No. 12.

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*13. Green Bay Packers: Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Other Possibilities: DE Lukas Van Ness, DE Myles Murphy, OT Darnell Wright
Skoronski’s Projected Range: 7-14
Skoronski’s Likely Landing Spots: Bears, Titans, Jets, Patriots

Historically, Green Bay prioritizes athleticism and adheres to measurable thresholds. Several players in this class fit the criteria.

While the cupboard is barren at tight end, it’s quite possible that the Packers address the position later in the draft, given the talent of the players available and the fact that this is seen as a historically deep tight end class.

JSN would complement WR Christian Watson perfectly while giving new QB Jordan Love the best chance to succeed. Defensive line would be my next guess, considering DE Rashan Gary’s ACL injury.

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14. New England Patriots: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

Other Possibilities: CB Devon Witherspoon, OG Peter Skoronski, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR Zay Flowers
Jones’ Projected Range: 9-19
Jones’ Likely Landing Spots: Bears, Titans, Jets, Patriots

If the Patriots want to compete with QB Mac Jones, then the team’s primary needs consist of offensive tackle, wide receiver and cornerback. It sounds like the team would be pleased with Peter Skoronski falling to No. 14. On the other hand, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba makes a ton of sense here, too.

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**15. New York Jets: Peter Skoronski, OG, Northwestern

Other Possibilities: OT Paris Johnson Jr., Broderick Jones, DE Nolan Smith, OT Darnell Wright
Van Ness’ Projected Range: xxx
Van Ness’ Likely Landing Spots: xxx

The Jets seek to land a premier offensive tackle prospect here in order to bolster the unit for QB Aaron Rodders. Accordingly, I believe New York would be thrilled if Paris Johnson Jr. somehow fell. Skoronski is a former team captain, though, an accomplishment which Douglas also prioritizes. New York will happily take him.

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16. Washington Commanders: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Other Possibilities: CB Deonte Banks, OT Broderick Jones, OT Darnell Wright, TE Dalton Kincaid, S Brian Branch
Robinson’s Projected Range: 8-21
Robinson’s Likely Landing Spots: Falcons, Commanders, Chargers, Cowboys, Bills

Washington may feel more inclined to draft an offensive player here, given the defense’s success comparatively. Further, the team will want to hide the quarterback by providing either extra protection or playmakers for new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

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17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Darnell Wright, OL, Tennessee

Other Possibilities: OT Broderick Jones, CB Deonte Banks, CB Joey Porter Jr., CB Emmanuel Forbes
Wright’s Projected Range: 9-19
Wright’s Likely Landing Spots: Bears, Commanders, Steelers, Buccaneers

The Steelers have been heavily focused on cornerbacks and offensive tackles throughout the draft process, and I would bet on the team coming away with both after their first two selections. The Steelers also have No. 32 to start the second round.

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18. Detroit Lions: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

Other Possibilities: CB Deonte Banks, DE Myles Murphy, RB Bijan Robinson, DT Calijah Kancey, OG O’Cyrus Torrence
Banks’ Projected Range: 16-23
Banks’ Likely Landing Spots: Commanders, Lions (No. 18), Ravens, Vikings

If Detroit takes a cornerback at No. 6, I’m guessing this pick will be either a pass rusher or guard. If Detroit does not take a cornerback with its first pick, I’m guessing this pick will be CB Deonte Banks.

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19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson

Other Possibilities: OT Broderick Jones, OT Darnell Wright, DE Lukas Van Ness, RB Bijan Robinson, S Brian Branch, QB Hendon Hooker
Murphy’s Projected Range: 15-24
Murphy’s Likely Landing Spots: Packers, Seahawks (20), Jaguars

Tampa Bay would prefer any of the top four offensive line prospects to slide to this pick. However, certain circumstances could force Tampa Bay to pivot to a BPA (best player available) approach.

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20. Seattle Seahawks: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Other Possibilities: QB Anthony Richardson, CB Deonte Banks, DE Myles Murphy, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR Jordan Addison, QB Hendon Hooker, C John Michael-Schmitz
Flowers’ Projected Range: 14-31
Flowers’ Likely Landing Spots: Patriots, Seahawks (No. 20), Ravens, Vikings, Giants, Chiefs

A slot receiver would pair perfectly with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on the outside, and Seattle has not signed anyone to replace Marquise Goodwin. Flowers mostly played as an outside receiver, but he has the skill set to play inside in the NFL. If the Seahawks somehow do not take a defensive lineman at No. 5, I believe the team absolutely would take one here, possibly Myles Murphy.

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21. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Other Possibilities: RB Bijan Robinson, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR Zay Flowers, DE Myles Murphy, TE Michael Mayer, TE Dalton Kincaid
Addison’s Projected Range: 20-Round 2
Addison’s Likely Landing Spots: Chargers, Cowboys, Round 2

There are connections between Addison and the Chargers coaching staff that are worth considering. Moreover, the Chargers should be wanting to add speed to this offense after several injuries to pass catchers last season. TE Gerald Everett is entering the final year of his contract, making that position a possibility.

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22. Baltimore Ravens: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi

Other Possibilities: QB Anthony Richardson, CB Deonte Banks, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, CB Joey Porter Jr., WR Zay Flowers, DE Myles Murphy, QB Hendon Hooker
Forbes’ Projected Range: 22-28
Forbes’ Likely Landing Spots: Ravens, Vikings, Giants, Cowboys, Bengals

Baltimore should be targeting cornerbacks and wide receivers, in that order. The additions of Odell Beckham Jr. and (to a lesser extent) Nelson Agholor, along with the presumed recovery of Rashod Bateman, may move the needle toward corner, a position that Baltimore has prioritized heavily over the years.

Accordingly, I have a tough time not mocking either Deonte Banks, Emmanuel Forbes or Joey Porter Jr. here.

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23. Minnesota Vikings: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Other Possibilities: QB Anthony Richardson, CB Deonte Banks, CB Emmanuel Forbes, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR Zay Flowers, WR Jordan Addison
Porter’s Projected Range: 17-Round 2
Porter’s Likely Landing Spots: Steelers, Vikings, Giants, Bengals, Eagles

Cornerback and wide receiver are the most major concerns, with CB possibly a better bet here due to the addition of defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

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24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Branch, S, Alabama

Other Possibilities: DE Myles Murphy, S Brian Branch, OG O’Cyrus Torrence, DT Bryan Bresee, TE Michael Mayer
Branch’s Projected Range: 16-Round 2
Branch’s Likely Landing Spots: Commanders, Jaguars, Giants

The Jaguars don’t have nearly the amount of pressing needs as they have in years past. Still, the offensive and defensive lines could be upgraded, and the players listed above are players I’ve heard that Jacksonville views favorably. Branch could start at safety immediately and given the team versatility in the secondary.

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25. New York Giants: Will McDonald, DE, Iowa State

Other Possibilities: CB Emmanuel Forbes, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, CB Joey Porter Jr., WR Zay Flowers, S Brian Branch, DT Bryan Bresee, C John Michael-Schmitz
McDonald’s Projected Range: 20-Round 2
McDonald’s Likely Landing Spots: Seahawks, Giants, Cowboys, Eagles

Most mockers will place a wide receiver here, but the secondary is a more dire concern, especially when considering contract situations beyond this season. Accordingly, I’m looking for New York to be high on Emmanuel Forbes, Joey Porter Jr. and Brian Branch. In this scenario, none are available, so the Giants add to the defensive line.

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26. Dallas Cowboys: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Other Possibilities: RB Bijan Robinson, OT Darnell Wright, CB Emmanuel Forbes, TE Michael Mayer, WR Zay Flowers, WR Jordan Addison, DE Will McDonald, RB Jahmyr Gibbs
Mayer’s Projected Range: 21-29
Mayer’s Likely Landing Spots: Chargers, Cowboys, Bengals, Saints

The Cowboys already have a great defense, per head coach Mike McCarthy, so I’m expecting this pick to be on the offensive side of the ball.

Dallas has brought in a lot of wide receivers for private visits, and the team could not have been pleased with the fact they had to rely on WR T.Y. Hilton down the stretch last season. An elite running back or tight end prospect could provide the offense with extra playmakers after losing TE Dalton Schultz and RB Ezekiel Elliott.

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27. Buffalo Bills: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

Other Possibilities: RB Bijan Robinson, WR Zay Flowers, WR Jordan Addison, LB Jack Campbell, DT Adetomiwa Adebawore
Bresee’s Projected Range: 24-Round 2
Bresee’s Likely Landing Spots: Jaguars, Bills, Bengals, Saints

The top four defensive tackles on the Bills roster all have expiring contracts, which makes the future at the position extremely uncertain.

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28. Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

Other Possibilities: CB Emmanuel Forbes, TE Michael Mayer, DT Calijah Kancey, OT Anton Harrison, RB Jahmyr Gibbs
Kincaid’s Projected Range: 16-Round 2
Kincaid’s Likely Landing Spots: Commanders, Chargers, Cowboys, Bengals

There exists a glaring hole at tight end despite the one-year deal given to Irv Smith Jr. The team has to like outstanding elite tight end prospects (Michael Mayer and Dalton Kincaid). If the team bypasses tight end, DT Calijah Kancey and CB Emmanuel Forbes are two players who I expect to catch Cincinnati’s eye.

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29. New Orleans Saints (from San Francisco via Miami and Denver): Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT, Northwestern

Other Possibilities: DE Myles Murphy, TE Michael Mayer, DE Keion White, DT Bryan Bresee, DT Adetomiwa Adebawore
Adebawore’s Projected Range: 27-Round 2
Adebawore’s Likely Landing Spots: Bills, Saints, Eagles, Chiefs

The Saints have a history of drafting bigger, longer defensive linemen while prioritizing athleticism. The Saints can do that here by taking either DTs Adebawore or Bryan Bresee, as well as DE Keion White.

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30. Philadelphia Eagles: Keion White, DE, Georgia Tech

Other Possibilities: DE Will McDonald, DE Keion White, RB Jahmyr Gibbs, DT Adetomiwa Adebawore, OG Steve Avila
White’s Projected Range: 24-Round 2
White’s Likely Landing Spots: Saints, Eagles, Chiefs

As I mentioned at No. 10 overall, injecting youth into the trenches will be a focus in this draft for Philadelphia.

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31. Kansas City Chiefs: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

Other Possibilities: WR Zay Flowers, DE Keion White, DE Will McDonald, OT Anton Harrison, RB Jahmyr Gibbs
Harrison’s Projected Range: 17-Round 2
Harrison’s Likely Landing Spots: Buccaneers, Bengals, Chiefs

The Super Bowl champions should be prioritizing offensive tackle, wide receiver, and the defensive line.

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