Mel Kiper released an updated 2023 NFL mock draft this morning. He has the Chicago Bears trading down twice in this one. The more I think about it, the more I think this is a plausible, terrifying possibility. He has the Houston Texans trading to the first pick to take Bryce Young, and the Indianapolis Colts trading to the second pick to take CJ Stroud. That would give all three of the other teams in the AFC South good, young quarterbacks. No, thank you.
As for the Titans in this mock, Kiper went with Paris Johnson, Jr, OT, Ohio State. I really want the Titans to make a move to trade up and get the first overall pick to take Young, but if they can’t get Young or Stroud, I hope they get a stud left tackle that can play for this team for the next decade.
Here is what Kiper had to say about the pick:
This is the same projection as January’s mock draft, when I wrote that left tackle Taylor Lewan could be a cap casualty. Well, Lewan was released recently along with a handful of other veterans, leaving a gaping hole on the left side of the line. Johnson played some guard in college, but he came into his own as the Buckeyes’ left tackle last season, allowing just two sacks and 10 pressures as C.J. Stroud’s blindside protector. If he lands in Tennessee, he could play on the same line as Nicholas Petit-Frere, whom he replaced at left tackle for Ohio State. Petit-Frere, a third-round pick last season, played right tackle for the Titans as a rookie.