Welcome to Friday's edition of the With the First Pick newsletter, a hub of 2023 NFL Draft info for which I've set standards as high as Anthony Richardson can throw a football. After his pro day performance, we now know Richardson is a red-flag prospect for dome teams because of the potential damage his passes could do to the structural integrity of his home stadium.
If you missed Monday's debut, Tuesday's version, Wednesday's installment or yesterday's release, get out from that rock you're living under. We're rebranding the Pick Six newsletter through the end of April, and I, CBS Sports NFL Draft analyst Chris Trapasso, will be with you every step of the way.
This daily newsletter's sole purpose is to track everything transpiring in the NFL and spin it into a draft angle. I'm telling you -- this is the place to get the latest on everything draft related.
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Today's NFL mock draft 🔮: Lions go Georgia-heavy
Our awesome NFL Draft editor Kyle Stackpole stepped into the batter's box for swing at a mock draft with a little less than a month to go until the real thing. In his mock, Kyle sends two enormous and athletic Georgia Bulldogs to the Lions -- Jalen Carter at No. 6 and Darnell Washington at No. 18. Both are knee-biters on the field (in more of a figurative than literal sense), which will get Dan Campbell going more than the gallons of espresso he ingests in the morning. You can check out Kyle's full mock here.
More notable picks, for your perusal:
1. Carolina Panthers - Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
2. Houston Texans - C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
11. Tennessee Titans - Will Levis, QB, Tennessee
23. Minnesota Vikings - Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
30. Philadelphia Eagles - Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
'With the First Pick' podcast 🎧: Gushing on the Gators
The latest episode is all about Anthony Richardson hitting the ceiling of the Florida Gators' indoor complex during his pro day. OK, Ryan Wilson and Rick Spielman go a deeper than that on Richardson, but the ceiling shot is mentioned. At around the 15:00 mark, the guys discuss Florida interior defensive lineman Gervon Dexter Sr., who's long been on the draft radar and tested like an elite athlete at the combine, measuring nearly 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds. There's analysis on Gators guard O'Cyrus Torrence too. Listen to the entire episode here.
Prospect of the day 📈: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
- Notable combine results: 40.5-inch vertical, 11-foot-2 inch broad jump
- Combine measurements: 6-foot-2 3/4 inches, 208 pounds
- Current CBS Sports prospect ranking: No. 10
Our very own NFL staffer and Texan Garrett Podell had feet on the ground at the TCU Pro Day and Johnston shined, running in the 4.49 to low 4.50 range in the 40-yard dash. Johnston stood on his explosive jumps at the combine, electing not to do those drills yesterday. Impressively, Johnston was five pounds heavier than at the combine (208 vs. 213) and still ran darn fast for a human his size.
Johnston's YAC capabilities are an underrated strength to his game. He blends explosion, RB-like vision, and contact balance with the football in his hands. Is he a Mike Evans/Mike Williams combat-catch dominator? Not exactly, though the circus grabs do appear on film. Some teams may be concerned with Johnston's lack of experience running a "full route tree" but a "full route tree" is kind of like today's version of a decade ago when teams really wanted quarterbacks who had under-center experience in college. It matters, but not nearly as much as it once did. Check out Johnston's full, football-nerdy scouting report here.
Pro Day primer: Top prospects to watch 👀
Kansas State EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah
The man with the coolest name at the edge-rusher spot in this draft is somehow getting lost in this loaded outside pass-rusher group. FAU wasn't quite as productive from a pressure-rate perspective as his sacks would indicate -- 19.5 sacks in his last 26 games with an average-ish 13.9% pressure-creation rate in his Kansas State career -- but he has a loaded toolbox of tantalizing traits.
Burst, bend, high motor, and flashes of veteran-esque hand work should make Anudike-Uzomah a Top 50 selection. Frankly, if he went in the first round I don't think anyone would bat an eye in disbelief like this guy. At over 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds with arms extending over 33 inches, FAU is built like a modern-day outside rusher. He didn't work out at the combine, which is probably why his draft stock is currently floating somewhere in limbo. A big workout today and FAU will magically appear in many April first-round mocks.
Notable pro days next week: Clemson (Myles Murphy) on April 4, Alabama (Bryce Young!) on April 6
News & Notes 📝
- Travis Kelce speaks on Orlando Brown signing with Bengals. Kelce described it like this: "It's like watching your best friend just turn evil on you." The Chiefs did sign Jawaan Taylor to a sizable free-agent deal, but Brown's departure keeps OT an early-draft priority for Kansas City.
- Joe Mixon a cut candidate? Bengals exec Katie Blackburn said the following on Mixon to a group of media members: "We are gonna count on him until that wouldn't be the case. Could we get to that point? Maybe. But it would be down the road here and we'd have to see if that's what makes sense or not." Cincinnati will certainly be in the RB market in the draft.
- Could Lamar sit out the 2023 season? There have been multiple reports suggesting exactly that, and Cody Benjamin listed the merits for and against that decision.