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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Adetomiwa Adebawore is quickly rising up draft boards and is taken at number 20 overall in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MARCH 02: Defensive lineman Adetomiwa Adebawore of Northwestern participates in a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 02, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Adebawore, the top tight end and an elite running back among those taken between picks 16 and 20 in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft

player. 58. . Tight End. Washington Commanders. Michael Mayer. 16

If Sam Howell is to be the starter in 2023 then he needs all the help he can get. Michael Mayer will provide exactly that.

While he is not considered as explosive an athlete as some of his peers, Mayer is comfortably the best all-around tight end in the class. He has a sensational catch radius with excellent hands and routinely plucks the ball out of the air over the top and around defenders in traffic.

Mayer is tough as nails, an above average blocker, and will be an immediate safety valve for Howell. One of the safest prospects this year and offers excellent value in this 2023 NFL mock draft.

17. player. 55. . Edge. Pittsburgh Steelers. Lukas Van Ness

Offensive tackle seems like a perennial need in Pittsburgh, but Lukas Van Ness feels like a Steelers pick and would fill an immediate need as the third pass rusher behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith.

A gritty hockey background has served him well as he possesses a grizzled and violent mentality for the position, as well as the bend and agility of a player twenty pounds lighter.

Dripping with athletic upside, Van Ness has the burst and agility to play on the edge, as well as rotating down onto the defensive line as a five-technique in obvious passing situations.

The ex-Hawkeye is an incredibly enticing prospect and could go higher than this after an impressive combine. While he was never a full-time starter at Iowa, his best football is still to come and the Steelers will reap the rewards.

50. . Linebacker. Detroit Lions. Drew Sanders. 18. player

Sanders’ style of play fits this Detroit Lions team and the mentality that Head Coach Dan Campbell means to instill.

Bringing an aggressive mindset, Sanders is a three-down, hard-hitting, dynamic defender who is just at home in coverage as he is sifting through traffic against the run. The former Razorback allows Detroit to get creative at the second level.

Sanders plays with his hair on fire and will be used by the Lions to attack in any number of different ways, leading to him becoming a heart and soul player for the defense.

Running Back. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bijan Robinson. 19. player. 48.

This is a common pairing in mock drafts but makes so much sense. Leonard Fournette has gone and Rachaad White has not yet proven that he is capable of leading an NFL rushing offense.

Drafting the best rusher to have entered the league in half a decade will alleviate some of the pressure on Baker Mayfield as he beds into his new home.

Bijan is a top-five player in this class and the Bucs grabbing him at nineteen is an absolute steal, regardless of the depreciation in running back value over recent years.

Adetomiwa Adebawore. 20. player. 36. . Edge. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks made a splash in free agency by signing Dre’Mont Jones for their defensive line. Here they add more young depth to assist with the overhaul of the unit as they move into year two of their new scheme.

Adebawore blew the doors off at the combine with a performance that highlighted what a force of nature he could become at the next level. A 4.49-second 40-yard dash with a 1.61 split is incredible at 282 pounds. These numbers, alongside impressive 37.50” vertical and 10’5” broad jumps as well as a magnificent Senior Bowl scream first-rounder.

Possessing the length and explosion that the Seahawks look for in their defensive linemen, the team will not shy away from spending a high pick on such an enticing profile.