There’s a new Mel Kiper 2023 NFL mock draft this morning. The fact that the Carolina Panthers now own the top pick in the draft makes it less likely that both Bryce Young and CJ Stroud end up in the AFC South. The Panthers will most likely take one of those two guys. Kiper has them taking Stroud in this mock. He has the Houston Texans taking Young with the second pick.
He then has the Indianapolis Colts trading up with the Arizona Cardinals for the fourth pick and taking Will Levis. I would love this. Levis was so bad last year. People keep comparing him to Josh Allen. He ain't Josh Allen, but I hope the Colts think he can be!
The Chicago Bears being at nine now could be a bad situation for the Tennessee Titans. If they stayed in the top three or four it was likely that they would take one of the defensive studs in this draft - Will Anderson or Jalen Carter (though there are a lot of questions around Carter lately). Now that they are at nine it is increasingly likely that they will take an offensive tackle - which they did in this draft. They went with Paris Johnson, Jr. The Philadelphia Eagles followed that up with Peter Skoronski at ten. That takes the top two tackles off the board (I’m not here for the yelling about whether or not Skoronski is a tackle).
I think the pick for the Titans in this scenario would be Broderick Jones, but Kiper doesn’t agree. He had them taking Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech. It would be shocking if the Titans take a defensive player in this first round, but this could be a scenario where he is far and away the best player on their board. They would likely look to trade down, but it takes someone wanting to trade up to be able to trade down.
Here are Kiper’s thoughts on the pick:
Tennessee has used free agency to bring in Andre Dillard to play left tackle and Daniel Brunskill to compete for one of the guard positions, which means offensive line is less of a need now. And with Johnson and Skoronski off the board in this scenario, the Titans don’t have to force a lineman here. That’s why I’m in favor of them going after a high-ceiling edge rusher.
Wilson, who is recovering from a broken foot that meant he couldn’t work out at the combine, has elite talent in a 6-foot-6, 271-pound frame. He had 14 sacks over the past two seasons for the Red Raiders, showing excellent burst off the line of scrimmage. For a Tennessee team that just cut Bud Dupree and ranked 27th in percentage of sacks per dropback (5.3%) last season, he’d be an ideal fit. I’m not as high on Wilson’s tape as other people in the league I trust — he’s too inconsistent — but his flashes of brilliance as a pass-rusher make him intriguing.