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The top four QB prospects have headlined the 2023 NFL Draft cycle -- and deservingly so --  but in this mock draft, a current top NFL QB is involved in a trade. What if I told you that the San Francisco 49ers traded for Lamar Jackson? In return, the Baltimore Ravens get former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance, this year's third-round pick (No. 99) and first-rounders in 2024 and 2025.

In my first mock draft of the year, I tried to make it as realistic as possible with unexpected surprises and impactful trades. After the Carolina Panthers take Bryce Young at No. 1, my mock heats up with the Houston Texans taking a player no one would have expected weeks ago and the Indianapolis Colts giving their fans either an "oh no" or "oh yes" moment. And what about the move the Arizona Cardinals made? See, I have you intrigued already. 

My mock is filled with realistic actions we've all witnessed with past drafts that will keep you locked in until the final selection of the first round. Thanks for checking my mock out. Now let's get to it!

For more extensive draft content, check out our latest prospect rankings and mock drafts, as well as our NFL Draft podcast, "With the First Pick," featuring former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.

NFL Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
Alabama • Soph • 5'10" / 204 lbs
Projected Team
Carolina
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
The Panthers all along felt Young was the best QB in the draft.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Kentucky • Soph • 6'4" / 229 lbs
Projected Team
Houston
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
4th
Houston decides to surprise us all by selecting Will Levis. No one saw this happening two weeks ago.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Texas Tech • Soph • 6'6" / 275 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
2nd
The Cardinals believe Wilson is better suited for their new defensive scheme. This was the first surprise in my mock after Levis at No. 2, but it won't be the last.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Ohio State • Soph • 6'3" / 218 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Arguably the second-best QB was available at four. There was nothing to think about for Indy.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Georgia • Soph • 6'3" / 314 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
1st
The Seahawks get arguably the best player in the draft at five. If he's dialed in and focused, this move could create a new Legion of Boom.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Alabama • Soph • 6'4" / 243 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
This might be the easiest pick ever for the Lions.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Oregon • Soph • 6'2" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
1st
The top CB in the draft goes to a place where he's needed big time.
  Mock Trade from Atlanta Falcons
Round 1 - Pick 8
Florida • Soph • 6'4" / 244 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
3rd
It's trade time! Atlanta trades the eighth pick to Tennessee. In return, the Falcons get No. 11 and a 2024 second-round pick. The Titans get their future QB, and he has the luxury of learning while watching the Ryan Tannehill farewell tour.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Ohio State • Soph • 6'6" / 313 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
2nd
I love this pick. It fills a need, and with Teven Jenkins the Bears now have two bookend tackles.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Iowa • Soph • 6'5" / 272 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Eagles need to add depth on the defensive front, and that's what they do in selecting Van Ness. He didn't start one game over the past two seasons but combined for double-digit sacks, so clearly his future is bright.
  Mock Trade from Tennessee Titans
Round 1 - Pick 11
Illinois • Soph • 6'0" / 185 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
2nd
I love this move. Even with the Falcons trading for Jeff Okudah, who could depart after one year if the team doesn't pick up his fifth-year option, this selection makes sense.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Ohio State • Soph • 6'0" / 197 lbs
Projected Team
Houston
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Houston drafts the replacement for Brandin Cooks, and he'll be catching passes from Levis.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Georgia • Soph • 6'5" / 311 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
3rd
Mekhi Becton hasn't shown the ability to stay healthy, so it's smart to prepare for another injury with a potential future Pro Bowler.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Tennessee • Soph • 6'6" / 333 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
26th
POSITION RNK
4th
With Riley Reiff turning 35 this year, the Patriots grab the best RT in the draft.
  Mock Trade from Green Bay Packers
Round 1 - Pick 15
Northwestern • Soph • 6'4" / 313 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Buccaneers swap first-round picks and send a third-rounder this year to the Packers to move up four spots to select Skoronski. With the departure of Donovan Smith, the Bucs draft his replacement while keeping Tristan Wirfs on the right side.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Penn State • Soph • 6'2" / 194 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
4th
The NFC East is loaded with WRs, so Porter is a necessity for the Commanders.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Maryland • Soph • 6'2" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Pittsburgh
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Mike Tomlin loves athletic CBs with swag, and Banks has that.
  Mock Trade from Detroit Lions
Round 1 - Pick 18
Texas • Soph • 5'11" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
4th
The teams swap first-round picks with the Lions getting a third-rounder and the Chargers adding a fifth and a sixth. Austin Ekeler is mad, wants a new contract and asked to be traded. The Chargers answer his requests by selecting the most talented RB since Saquon Barkley.
  Mock Trade from Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 1 - Pick 19
TCU • Soph • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
1st
Another weapon for Jordan Love.
Round 1 - Pick 20
USC • Soph • 5'11" / 175 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
25th
POSITION RNK
4th
The former Biletnikoff Award winner would fit in nicely with Seattle's balanced offense.
  Mock Trade from Los Angeles Chargers
Round 1 - Pick 21
Mississippi State • Soph • 6'0" / 180 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
1st
Forbes is the best ball-hawking DB in the draft, with 18 interceptions and six pick-sixes in the three years at Mississippi State. Detroit is winning in my mock draft.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Georgia • Soph • 6'2" / 238 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
5th
The Ravens really value edge rushers. If Smith can refine his pass-rushing skills, look out!
Round 1 - Pick 23
Boston College • Soph • 5'9" / 182 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
24th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Vikings lost Adam Thielen, so WR depth is needed.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Georgia • Soph • 6'2" / 207 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
48th
POSITION RNK
7th
A secondary that was last in the NFL in pass defense last year desperately needs an upgrade. Ringo is a prototypical CB who could become a better pro than college player.
Round 1 - Pick 25
South Carolina • Soph • 6'1" / 180 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
32nd
POSITION RNK
5th
A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson. Need I say more?
Round 1 - Pick 26
Notre Dame • Soph • 6'4" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
1st
The best TE in the draft will fit in nicely with Dak Prescott.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Florida • Soph • 6'5" / 347 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
33rd
POSITION RNK
1st
The best guard in the draft will provide an attitude of toughness for the Bills.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Utah • Soph • 6'4" / 240 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
31st
POSITION RNK
2nd
Joe Burrow gets another weapon to throw to. Kincaid is a mixture of Zach Ertz and Todd Heap.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Pittsburgh • Soph • 6'0" / 280 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
30th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Defensive interior help is the biggest defensive need for the Saints, and they answer that need with Kancey.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Alabama • Soph • 6'0" / 203 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Eagles lost their Swiss Army knife, C.J. Gardner Johnson, via free agency, but by adding Branch, they add a younger Swiss Army knife.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Oklahoma • Soph • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
28th
POSITION RNK
5th
The two starting offensive tackles from last year's team are gone, so solidifying protection for Patrick Mahomes is a priority.