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) /
5 of 6
Zay Flowers is a round one selection in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – OCTOBER 05: Zay Flowers #4 of the Boston College Eagles runs the ball in the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Cardinal Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The electric Zay Flowers taken as WR2 and versatile Minnesota offensive lineman becomes the first center off the board in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Calijah Kancey. 21. player. 13. . Interior Defensive Line. Los Angeles Chargers

Brandon Staley had Aaron Donald when he was the defensive coordinator for the Rams. He gets his version of Donald for the Chargers in Kancey who is a player who has drawn parallels to the future hall of fame inductee; not simply for his collegiate origins.

A rising prospect over the past few months, Kancey has an exciting combination of short-area burst, pass-rush moves, and sheer explosion.

He may not become a true three-down player who can absorb double teams consistently due to his smaller frame and shorter arms, but his traits jump off the screen as an exciting QB hunter at the next level.

Kancey is worth a first-round pick and should blossom into a penetrative three-tech who will wreak havoc with his quick twitch and fast hands. Yes, the ex-Panther is slightly undersized, but he is a dynamic three-tech who offers genuine interior penetration. The Bolts capture lightning in a bottle.

Cornerback. Baltimore Ravens. Deonte Banks. 22. player. 26.

Watch this spot for Hendon Hooker as a hedge for a post-draft Lamar Jackson trade.

QB aside, the Ravens need help in the secondary and Banks is a feisty, sticky man corner who should excel at the next level. He will become an exciting playmaker for the Ravens and has the potential to pair well with slept-on second-year corner Jalyn Armour-Davis over the long term.

Wide Receiver. Minnesota Vikings. Zay Flowers. 23. player. 60.

A thrilling replacement for Adam Thielen. Zay Flowers could be the best receiver in the draft.

Flowers’ timing through the catch is exceptional, always snags the ball in stride, and is very creative with the ball in his hands. The Boston College product can cut on a dime and possesses the best change of direction ability in the class. He is simply electrifying to watch as he slashes between defenders in space.

Pairing him with Justin Jefferson will create the best tandem in the league.

24. player. 52. . Edge. Jacksonville Jaguars. Will McDonald IV

Mel Kiper beat me to the punch on this one in his recent 2023 NFL mock draft, but the sentiment is exactly the same. McDonald is an incredibly explosive athlete, built like a perfect replacement for Arden Key.

Furthermore, the Jags sent their outside linebackers coach, Bill Shuey, to the Cyclones’ pro day where McDonald put on a real show. McDonald injects more tantalizing athletic upside for this defense.

31. . Interior Offensive Line. New York Giants. John Michael Schmitz. 25. player

Schmitz is getting first-round buzz and is a much cleaner prospect on the interior than some of his peers. This is not a flashy pick for New York, but they must improve the interior of their offensive line and Schmitz has multiple contract potential, according to Jim Nagy.

Schmitz is undoubtedly the top pure center prospect this year and would be a solid pick that would help protect the Giants’ recent investment in quarterback Daniel Jones. Furthermore, he would be another building block on a line of young, cheap, developing talent, allowing him to grow alongside recent picks Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal.