Trevor Lawrence were the clear No. 1 overall picks. And UNC's Drake Maye is QB2. Things get interesting, of course, when we get to QB3, and by our count, there could be seven (!) quarterbacks jockeying for first-round position., USC quarterback Caleb Williams feels like the surest of sure things, in much the same way Andrew Luck and
In talking to some people around the league, it sounds like Colorado's Shedeur Sanders will return to school (where he'll be in the conversation for QB1 in 2025), but we're including him in our mock draft 2.0 simply because we're so early in the process. But other names to monitor in the coming weeks, particularly when talking about who might be QB3, include: Texas' Quinn Ewers, Washington' Michael Penix Jr., Michigan's JJ McCarthy, Oregon's Bo Nix, Duke's Riley Leonard and South Carolina's Spencer Rattler.
And here we are with former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman talking up Rattler after the Georgia game last month:
Spencer Rattler has been one of my favorite college players to watch this season. @spielman_rick and I talked about his game vs. Georgia on the @NFLDraftCBS pod, and added bonus: gave Rick my comp and draft range for Rattler and he didn't reflexively hate it. Progress! pic.twitter.com/ACKMjVdcJF— ryan wilson (@ryanwilsonCBS) September 20, 2023
And remember, you can hear our in-depth draft coverage twice a week on "With the First Pick," our NFL Draft podcast. You can find us wherever you get your podcasts -- Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube.
Keep reading to see how many of these quarterbacks make their way into the first round, and how all 32 picks play out.
One more thing, and this is important: The draft order below was determined using Caesars Sportsbook's Super Bowl odds from before Sunday's games, but in reverse order. We know folks are going to be very angry about why we have their team picking so high, but it's not our fault (we also know that, based on records, the , but we won't go strictly by records until later in the season). These are your team's odds of winning a Lombardi Trophy this season.
Round 1 - Pick 1
USC • Jr • 6'1" / 215 lbs
It sure feels like only one other person on the planet can do what Caleb Williams does, and he currently plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. Credit to the Cardinals for playing hard this season, but if they have this pick, Williams has to be the guy.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 2
Ohio State • Jr • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Marvin Harrison Jr. has gotten off to a slow start to the 2023 season, at least by his standards, but he's the second-best player in the class and the best receiver in this class by a large margin.
From Carolina Panthers
Round 1 - Pick 3
Drake Maye QB
North Carolina • Soph • 6'4" / 230 lbs
There's a lot of blame to go around in Chicago, but the reality is that Justin Fields wasn't drafted by GM Ryan Poles and coach Matt Eberflus. And if Maye is on the board with another Bears first-rounder yet to come, it's hard to imagine he won't be their next face of the franchise.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Jared Verse EDGE
Florida State • Jr • 6'4" / 260 lbs
The Raiders could be in the quarterback business here, but the top two QBs are long gone. And with all the upheaval on the other side of the ball, beefing up the pass rush opposite Maxx Crosby could be the way to go.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Illinois • Jr • 6'2" / 295 lbs
Left tackle could be an option here, but any time your defense gives up 70 points in one game, there are going to be questions. Newton, meanwhile, is off to a strong start to the 2023 season. He played on an Illini defense last season that included No. 5 overall pick Devon Witherspoon and Day 2 selections, Quan Martin and Sydney Brown. The defensive lineman will be the next in line to hear his name called early in the draft.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Round 1 - Pick 10
JC Latham OT
Alabama • Jr • 6'6" / 360 lbs
Tristan Wirfs has been solid on the left side for the Bucs, so it stands to reason that the beefing up the right side would be a priority (with an emphasis on beef whenever we're talking about Latham). Yes, Baker Mayfield is on a one-year deal, and Tampa could target a QB here, for sure, but we addressed the O-line instead.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Nate Wiggins CB
Clemson • Jr • 6'2" / 185 lbs
Wiggins didn't play on Saturday after suffering a knee injury against Florida State last month, but he'll be back on the field this season. He's a long, rangy cover corner who needs to improve as a tackler, but his coverage skills are among the best in the country.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Amarius Mims OT
Georgia • Jr • 6'7" / 340 lbs
Mims suffered a serious ankle injury vs. South Carolina two weeks ago, and it's unclear when he'll return to the field, but expect to see his name in the first-round conversation; he only started one game in 2022, but he flashes special talent. The Titans could stand to upgrade the tackle position, and with the top left tackles off the board, they target a right tackle here.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Colorado • Jr • 6'2" / 215 lbs
Talk to people around the league and the sense is that Sanders will return to Colorado, where he could end up as QB1 in the 2025 draft class. But since it's early October and we're not even at the halfway point of the college season, we'll keep him in our mock draft 2.0 -- especially since Kirk Cousins (who is playing some of the best football of his career) is in the final year of his deal.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Round 1 - Pick 18
Chop Robinson EDGE
Penn State • Jr • 6'3" / 254 lbs
Both Josh Allen and K'lavon Chaisson are in contract years, and even if Allen returns, Chop Robinson's non-stop motor and playmaking abilities would be a welcome addition to this Jags' defense.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Washington • Sr • 6'3" / 213 lbs
We love Eugene Cyril Smith III, but we also love the way Michael Penix is playing this season for the Huskies. NFL teams have been impressed, too, and because the race for QB3 is wide open, expect Penix to continue to make his case.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Alabama thinks Kool-Aid has legit NFL cover skills -- the only question will be his deep speed, and that would be the only reason he'd still be available here. Otherwise, there's a lot to love about his game. Added bonus: he's an asset in the return game, too.
Round 1 - Pick 21
South Carolina • Sr • 6'1" / 217 lbs
Rattler has been so much fun to watch this season, and it's a testament to his hard work and maturity. He's one of the toughest players in college football and has special arm talent.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 23
Bralen Trice EDGE
Washington • Jr • 6'4" / 274 lbs
When healthy, the Texans offensive line looks pretty good on paper (and, to their credit, the backups have performed well over the first three weeks). Knowing that, coach DeMeco Ryans gets another young pass rusher to line up opposite Will Anderson Jr.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Keon Coleman WR
Florida State • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Trenton Irwin are all in contract years, and Keon Coleman has made the most of his early opportunities for the Seminoles after an impressive 2022 season at Michigan State.
Round 1 - Pick 26
JT Tuimoloau EDGE
Ohio State • Jr • 6'4" / 270 lbs
Romeo Okwara and Charles Harris could be headed for free agency, and suddenly the Lions are a team without a ton of needs. And imagine lining JT Tuimoloau and his game-wrecking abilities opposite Aidan Hutchinson.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Clemson • Jr • 6'1" / 230 lbs
Nakobe Dean has struggled to stay healthy, and Zach Cunningham is in a contract year. Meanwhile, we love Barrett Carter's game; he flies all over the field and while he's not as big as former Clemson first-rounder Isaiah Simmons, he's used in a similar role. He's more refined than Quay Walker coming out of Georgia but with that type of athleticism.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Rome Odunze WR
Washington • Jr • 6'3" / 215 lbs
Through the first month of the season, Odunze has been the beneficiary of Michael Penix's left arm, though that can go both ways -- Odunze consistently getting open has made life easy for his QB, too. Either way, he's a big-bodied wide receiver that feels like a great fit in Kyle Shanahan's offense.