2023 NFL Mock Draft: Huge names fall out of first round

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 17: Anthony Richardson #15 of the Florida Gators throws a pass in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 17: Anthony Richardson #15 of the Florida Gators throws a pass in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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Mazi Smith of the Michigan Wolverines is taken at 13 overall in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 15: Mazi Smith #58 of the Michigan Wolverines attempts to tackle Nicholas Singleton #10 of the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half of a college football game at Michigan Stadium on October 15, 2022 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images) /

Mazi Smith is a true freak of nature and is taken within the top 15 picks of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Offensive Tackle. Tennessee Titans. Peter Skoronski. 11. player. 35.

Tennessee needs an injection of talent throughout its offensive line.

Skoronski was an exceptional left tackle throughout his career at Northwestern but could kick inside at the pro level. Irrespective of where he finds his home, he is an explosive technician with a solid anchor and has a high floor.

The lack of length is a slight concern, but Skoronski will provide the Titans with a long term building block on a line needing a drastic overhaul.

Christian Gonzalez. 12. player. 10. . Cornerback. Houston Texans

Many mock a receiver here, but Robert Woods is an underrated signing that should help with the development of John Metchie, who had an injury redshirt year in 2022. The position can be ballasted later on.

Instead, the Texans address their secondary with the best player available.

Gonzalez offers length, natural instincts for the position, and the fluid athleticism needed to stick close to his man in coverage. He will quickly rise to the top of the depth chart alongside 2022 draft pick, Derek Stingley Jr, forming perhaps the best young duo in the league.

. Interior Defensive Line. New York Jets. Mazi Smith. 13. player. 30

Smith met with the Jets at the Michigan pro day and will be an ideal complement to Quinnen Williams on the interior of their defensive line.

Williams truly emerged as a one-man wrecking ball last season, but the presence of Smith will ensure that the fifth-year defensive lineman continues his upward trajectory into the uppermost echelon of players across all positions in 2023.

Smith will absorb blockers, allowing Williams to eat, as well as providing his own brand of pocket-collapsing havoc thanks to his overwhelming size and unparalleled athletic potential. The Jets’ defense becomes more intimidating with this pick.

player. 47. . Offensive Tackle. New England Patriots. Paris Johnson Jr. 14

Johnson has the potential to become a franchise left tackle.

He is not yet the finished article but has the frame and range to be a considerable asset in both the run and pass game. It is his smooth movement skills that allow him to stay in charge throughout reps and recover comfortably when things do get somewhat out of control.

Trent Brown will continue to start at left tackle for now but should eventually move back to his more natural right side. Alternatively, the Patriots could move on entirely from Brown and save a chunk of cap space, allowing Johnson to flourish on Mac Jones’ blind side.

49. . Edge. Green Bay Packers. Myles Murphy. 15. player

Murphy is a difficult prospect to project.

Some see him as the next best edge prospect after Will Anderson, others see him as a player who has taken it easy throughout his collegiate career, knowing that he can get by on his superior athletic gifts. The reality is that he is somewhere in between, meaning that the middle of round one feels right in this 2023 NFL mock draft.

As alluded to, Murphy is a phenomenal natural athlete and as a bigger edge prospect, should appeal to Green Bay. He has dominant reps, but very often leaves you wanting more and appears slightly stiff.

The ex-Tiger has not produced pressure numbers to the level of some of his peers but the Packers will be confident that they can coax more out of him. A Rashan Gary career arch for the Clemson product is not an unreasonable expectation.