The Saints worked their way back into the first round when the Broncos hired former New Orleans coach Sean Payton, but because it's the No. 29 pick, there's no chance the team will be in the running for the top four quarterbacks unless there's some plan to move way up the board. Instead, the Saints wait until the ninth pick in the second round (40th overall) to take Tennessee's Hendon Hooker, a legit Heisman Trophy candidate who tore his ACL late in the season and missed the Senior Bowl and likely won't be able to work out prior to the draft.
But what Hooker put on tape in 2022 should be more than enough to convince teams that he's a Day 2 talent all day long. And he could do for New Orleans what he did for the Vols: revitalize a flagging offense and get New Orleans right back in the playoff mix. (It helps to play in the NFC South.)
Meanwhile, in our first two-round mock draft of the 2023 cycle, 10 cornerbacks go off the board, followed by eight edge rushers and 14 offensive linemen (eight tackles, and three each at guard and center). Perhaps most surprising, five running backs are selected.
Keep reading to see all 63 selections.
And remember to check out With the First Pick, our NFL Draft podcast. Now that we're in full-on draft mode, I'm joined twice every week by former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. You can watch us live on the NFL on CBS YouTube channel, and you can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
On the latest episode, Rick and I talked about my previous mock draft, the picks he loved, as well as the ones he ... loved less.
As we get closer to the draft, we'll expand to several shows a week with CBS Sports NFL Draft analysts Josh Edwards, Chris Trapasso and Emory Hunt, as well as other folks in the CBS Sports family. You can follow me on Twitter at @ryanwilsonCBS for updates and reminders.
Remember: there are only 31 picks in the first round of this mock draft because the Dolphins were stripped of their first-round pick due to tampering.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Will Anderson Jr. EDGE
Alabama • 6'4" / 243 lbs
The Bears moved on from Robert Quinn before the trade deadline so they'll be in the market for an edge rusher this offseason, and Will Anderson is in the same pre-draft conversations as Chase Young and Nick Bosa when it comes to best non-QB players in a class.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Bryce Young QB
Alabama • 5'10" / 204 lbs
Bryce Young might be historically undersized by successful NFL QB standards but we don't care. He's been that good for Alabama, dragging that team to victory just about every week. And he did it with none of the playmakers that made life so much easier for Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones in previous years.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Jalen Carter DL
Georgia • 6'3" / 314 lbs
Jalen Carter, who was arguably the best defender on a 2021 Georgia 'D' that had five first-round picks, would be an easy pick for the Cardinals here.
Round 1 - Pick 4
C.J. Stroud QB
Ohio State • 6'3" / 218 lbs
Since Andrew Luck's retirement, the Colts have had little success turning to QBs nearing the end of their careers, and it's safe to assume that owner Jim Irsay will be looking for the team's next face of the franchise. CJ Stroud has flown under the national-media radar all season but some NFL teams will tell you he'll be in the running for QB1, and his performance in the semifinal game vs. Georgia showed that he can beat you with his arm and his legs.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 5
Tyree Wilson EDGE
Texas Tech • 6'6" / 271 lbs
The more you watch of Wilson the more you love his game. Not only what he put on tape at Texas Tech but his upside 2-3 years down the road. He's long, has the frame to add weight if needed, and he's a dominant, high-motor pass rusher who can take over games.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 6
Penn State • 6'2" / 194 lbs
Porter is the prototypical big, physical cornerback who looks like he belongs in the NFL. He can sometimes get a little too handsy downfield, but he checks many of the boxes of what team's look for when drafting DBs. Is this too early for Porter? Maybe ... then again, there is a premium on big, physical cornerbacks; in recent drafts Sauce Gardner, Derek Stingley Jr., Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain II were all taken early in the first round.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Will Levis QB
Kentucky • 6'4" / 229 lbs
It's hard to imagine that Jarrett Stidham would be in the team's long-term plans as a starter. And with Derek Carr set to be somewhere else in 2023 -- and Tom Brady officially-for-now retired -- drafting a QB seems to be a high priority. Levis, who definitely looks the part, was plagued by injuries and poor play all fall. That said, NFL teams love how he projects to the next level but he'll be a controversial talking point in the coming months.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Myles Murphy DL
Clemson • 6'5" / 275 lbs
Murphy turned 21 in early January, and while we'd like to see him play with more consistency ... he just turned 21 in early January. He has all the physical tools you look for in an elite edge defenders and it's easy to see him in a few years being dominant. And that, in large part, is what makes him such an interesting prospect.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Florida • 6'4" / 232 lbs
Richardson is one of the most exciting prospects in this class. The problem: he's short on experience, and while his physical tools are rare, the Panthers are in dire need of a starting QB right now. David Tepper could choose to go the free agency route (again), but that has been, shall we say, a crapshoot. At the end of the day, Carolina may have to move inside the top 5 if there's a quarterback they really want with Day 1 starter potential.
From New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 10
Oregon • 6'2" / 201 lbs
Gonzalez, a Colorado transfer, is a big-time athlete who is still growing into the position. He has the size, strength and speed to line up against NFL wide receivers; he just needs to improve in run support.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Ohio State • 6'6" / 310 lbs
Paris Johnson, who played left tackle for the Buckeyes this season, also has experience on the interior; either way, he is a Day 1 starter.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 12
USC • 6'0" / 175 lbs
Addison isn't a big target, but he's one of the most dynamic players in the country who can line up anywhere. The only question is whether Addison or Quentin Johnston will be WR1. Two different body types, two different playing styles, both dominant. The Texans could go OL here to help protect their investment in QB but this class is much deeper at offensive line than top-flight WRs.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Florida • 6'5" / 347 lbs
Torrence transferred from Louisiana and didn't miss a beat. He was dominant for Florida last fall, he was dominant during Senior Bowl practices, and if history is any guide, he'll be dominant in the NFL, too.
Round 1 - Pick 14
TCU • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Johnston's an above-the-rim playmaker whose athleticism and contested-catch abilities make him in the running for WR1. Mac Jones has a new offensive coordinator and now he gets a new downfield target.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Notre Dame • 6'4" / 265 lbs
Mayer is more Gronk than Kelce but that's not a bad thing. And in Green Bay he'll get plenty of chances, whether it's with Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love, or the QB behind Door No. 3. WR also makes sense here but, well, the Packers last drafted a WR in the first round 21 years ago.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Illinois • 6'0" / 180 lbs
Witherspoon had a great season for the Illini and while there will be questions about his slight frame, you wouldn't know it to watch him play.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Northwestern • 6'4" / 313 lbs
Skoronski is solid and consistent, which are two of the best things you can say about an offensive lineman. The biggest issue he'll face during the pre-draft process will be arm length and whether his NFL future is at tackle or guard.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Lukas Van Ness EDGE
Iowa • 6'5" / 275 lbs
Van Ness never started a game at Iowa but that's not the point. The point is that NFL teams love his size, his athleticism, and where his game could be a couple of years from now. Purdue's George Karlaftis went at the end of Round 1 a year ago, and USC's Drake Jackson went a round later; both players were high-upside prospects who exceeded expectations as rookies. Van Ness is in the same conversation but could be the best of the bunch.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Drew Sanders LB
Arkansas • 6'5" / 234 lbs
Sanders is a former five-star recruit who transferred from Alabama after the 2021 season and all he did was show out for the Razorbacks. He was an edge rusher for the Crimson Tide, but he lined up all over the defense for Arkansas and he's been a one-man wrecking crew when he's on the field.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Alabama • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Branch isn't the first name you hear about when the conversation turns to Alabama's defense, but maybe he should be. He's a sure tackler, can blitz off the edge, and is solid in coverage, and if Nick Saban trusts him, that's all you need to know about his NFL prospects.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Georgia • 6'5" / 311 lbs
Jones had had a strong '22 campaign for the Bulldogs, where he has faced some of the best defensive players in the country every day at practice for the last two years. He's not yet a finished product but he has the athleticism and strength to be a difference-maker when he puts it all together.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Deonte Banks DB
Maryland • 6'2" / 205 lbs
Maryland teammate and fellow CB Jakorian Bennett got much of the buzz in the fall, but Banks but together the type of season that will land you in the top-50 conversation. He's a fluid athlete who is also big, physical corner who can run and match up with NFL wide receivers.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Kelee Ringo CB
Georgia • 6'2" / 207 lbs
The Georgia-to-first-round pipeline continues. A year after five Bulldogs went in Round 1, expect a handful this time around too. Ringo is a long, physical corner who has matched up against some of the best players in the country.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Oregon State • 6'6" / 250 lbs
Musgrave was getting some late-first/early Day-2 buzz down in Mobile, and while he didn't have a great week, it was certainly easy to see why teams like him. He missed most of '22 with an injury but he's well built, long, and has the athleticism to consistently separate from both safeties and linebackers. His blocking is a work in progress but he'll be a contributor in the passing game from Day 1.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Ohio State • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Smith-Njigba barely saw the field during the 2022 season because of injuries but he's still one of the top wideouts in the class. It's easy to forget that he led the 2021 Buckeyes in receptions and that corps included first-rounders Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, and future first-rounder Marvin Harrison Jr.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Jalin Hyatt WR
Tennessee • 6'0" / 185 lbs
Hyatt wasn't in the first-round conversation heading into the 2022 season but he's a great example of a player taking advantage of his opportunities, thanks in large part to Hendon Hooker's Heisman Trophy campaign. Hyatt is a bona fide deep threat who consistently stacks defensive backs who were helpless to do much about it all season.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Texas • 5'11" / 215 lbs
Robinson is special, and while he is probably one of the best players in this class, he could still be around late in Round 1 because he's a running back. And yes, we know, the Bills used a second-round pick on James Cook a year ago. But Cook isn't an every-down back, and more than that, Nyheim Hines is the only other RB currently on the roster ahead of free agency. Adding a Saquon Barkley-type talent to this offense? There are worse things.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Oklahoma • 6'5" / 315 lbs
There was some thought that Harrison might return to Oklahoma for an NIL deal that was too good to pass up, but he's instead opted for the NFL. He's one of the top tackles in the class and now the question is whether he finds his way into Round 1 or goes early on Day 2.
From San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 29
Cam Smith CB
South Carolina • 6'0" / 188 lbs
Good news: The Saints got a much-needed first-round pick in the Sean Payton deal. Bad news: It's not nearly high enough to land the team a QB. Instead, the focus is on defense. Brady Roby and PJ Williams are set to be free agents and Cam Smith is a first-round talent who can be a Day 1 contributor.
Round 1 - Pick 30
BJ Ojulari EDGE
LSU • 6'3" / 250 lbs
Ojulari, whose brother played at Georgia and plays for the Giants, had a solid campaign for the Tigers, and he has many of the same explosive qualities that made his brother so hard to block for the Bulldogs. Ojulari could end up being better than Azeez, and that's saying something.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Keion White DL
Georgia Tech • 6'5" / 285 lbs
White was another player who had a great week at the Senior Bowl, and NFL teams love his size (6-foot-4, 280 pounds) and his motor. He consistently wins at the line of scrimmage and is good against both the run and getting after the quarterback. He may eventually end up going early on Day 2 but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him slip into the first round.
|Pick 32||Steelers (via CHI)||Nolan Smith||EDGE||Georgia|| |
|Pick 33||Texans||Darnell Wright||OT||Tennessee|| |
|Pick 34||Cardinals||Jahmyr Gibbs||RB||Alabama|| |
|Pick 35||Colts||Matthew Bergeron||OT||Syracuse|| |
|Pick 36||Rams||Cody Mauch||OG||North Dakota State|| |
|Pick 37||Seahawks (via DEN)||John Michael Schmitz||OC||Minnesota|| |
|Pick 38||Raiders||Dawand Jones||OT||Ohio State|| |
|Pick 39||Panthers||Isaiah Foskey||EDGE||Notre Dame|| |
|Pick 40||Saints||Hendon Hooker||QB||Tennessee|| |
|Pick 41||Titans||Zay Flowers||WR||Boston College|| |
|Pick 42||Browns||Siaki Ika||DL||Baylor|| |
|Pick 43||Jets||Dalton Kincaid||TE||Utah|| |
|Pick 44||Falcons||Julius Brents||CB||Kansas State|| |
|Pick 45||Packers||Tuli Tuipulotu||DL||USC|| |
|Pick 46||Patriots||Jaelyn Duncan||OT||Maryland|| |
|Pick 47||Commanders||Luke Wypler||OC||Ohio State|| |
|Pick 48||Lions||Roschon Johnson||RB||Texas|| |
|Pick 49||Steelers||Antonio Johnson||S||Texas A&M|| |
|Pick 50||Buccaneers||Bryan Bresee||DL||Clemson|| |
|Pick 51||Dolphins||Tyjae Spears||RB||Tulane|| |
|Pick 52||Seahawks||Josh Downs||WR||UNC|| |
|Pick 53||Bears (via BAL)||Tyler Scott||WR||Cincinnati|| |
|Pick 54||Chargers||Darnell Washington||TE||Georgia|| |
|Pick 55||Lions (via MIN)||Nick Saldiveri||OG||Old Dominion|| |
|Pick 56||Jaguars||Jartavius Martin||CB||Illinois|| |
|Pick 57||Giants||Joe Tippmann||OC||Wisconsin|| |
|Pick 58||Cowboys||Byron Young||DL||Alabama|| |
|Pick 59||Bills||Trenton Simpson||LB||Clemson|| |
|Pick 60||Bengals||Clark Phillips III||CB||Utah|| |
|Pick 61||Panthers (via 49ers)||Garrett Williams||CB||Syracuse|| |
|Pick 62||Eagles||Devon Achane||RB||Texas A&M|| |
|Pick 63||Chiefs||Gervon Dexter||DL||Florida|