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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Dallas Cowboys select Steve Avila at number 26 overall in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft
Steve Avila (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

The final six selections of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft push some huge names into round two

Interior Offensive Line. Dallas Cowboys. Steve Avila. 26. player. 123.

The Cowboys could go in any number of ways with this pick, but decide to strengthen the interior of their offensive line by taking one of the most quietly impressive prospects at the Senior Bowl this year.

Many onlookers at the event were praising the overrated O’Cyrus Torrence, but it was Avila who displayed his overwhelming strength, rock-solid anchor, and tone-setting mentality time and time again during drills.

Avila played left guard in 2022 but has his best season for TCU as a center in 2021, which is where he could find a home for Dallas as an upgrade on Tyler Biadasz.

Having said that, Avila gives the team flexibility over the long term at guard if they decide to keep sophomore Tyler Smith on Dak Prescott’s blind side and move on from Tyron Smith.

player. 16. . Wide Receiver. Buffalo Bills. Quentin Johnston. 27

Johnston’s ‘fall’ ends here as the Bills nab a bigger-bodied wideout who can ascend to a level that Gabe Davis may never reach.

Johnston is not the finished product but can already beat most corners easily on jump balls due to his immense frame. The former Horned Frog should not be pigeonholed into just this role though as he has legitimate ability after the catch with the ball in his hands; an impressive sight to behold for such a big man.

The Bills will be exhilarated by the prospect of trying to harness this skillset as both a red zone threat and field stretcher opposite Stefon Diggs.

. Cornerback. Cincinnati Bengals. D.J. Turner. 28. player. 56

Cincinnati addressed their offensive line in free agency for a second year running with the signing of Orlando Brown Jr, so they decide to mimic what they did during the 2022 rookie showcase by addressing their secondary in this 2023 NFL mock draft.

D.J. Turner is the cornerback currently going slightly under the radar in mock drafts but should hear his name called on day one in April. Genuine man-to-man skills and a competitive demeanor complement his precise and sudden movement mastery in coverage.

He displayed his explosive athleticism at the combine and was undoubtedly the most impressive corner prospect at the event from this standpoint. Hips, feet, speed, a desire to hit… what more do you want?

29. player. 15. . Edge. New Orleans Saints. Keion White

Major upside, albeit a touch older; White is in danger of being the forgotten man after being ranked as Daniel Jeremiah’s eighth-best prospect back in January. Admittedly, White has fallen to 27th in Jeremiah’s most recent list but this means that he offers solid value here for the Saints.

An underwhelming combine may have tempered expectations somewhat but he is an impressive specimen with tantalizing potential and the perfect successor to Cameron Jordan.

Initially, he will be part of a pass-rushing rotation as he refines some technical issues but White will grow into his role and show that he can play multiple alignments along the Saints’ defensive line.

30. player. 54. . Defensive Back. Philadelphia Eagles. Brian Branch

Branch manages to hang onto first-round status. He becomes the second fallen prospect who once had a blue-chip reputation to land in the lap of the Eagles.

Indeed, Branch is a Rolls Royce of a defender and slides comfortably into a defense that has just lost its top two safeties. He will be able to cover multiple spots and makes up for a perceived lack of athleticism with game smarts and instinct.

New defensive coordinator Sean Desai has demonstrated previously his preference for more three-safety looks in this nickel and dime age, and so Branch can be the crown jewel of this philosophy.

124. . Edge. Kansas City Chiefs. Derick Hall. 31. player

Wide receiver or right tackle could be options here with Josh Downs and Dawand Jones still available, but the Chiefs desperately need more depth at edge and they will be able to address their offense later on.

Derick Hall had an outstanding collegiate career, displays legitimate versatility in terms of how can align to stalk the QB, and will be an ideal replacement for Frank Clark. Admittedly, the Auburn edge defender is slightly lighter than the former Seahawk draftee but possesses a similar (and slightly better) overall testing profile.

Hall plays with a motor that always runs hot, is a true alpha and formally met with the Chiefs during the combine. An increasingly common pairing in mock drafts, Hall makes too much sense here as the final pick in round one.

Who would you like your team to take and who should have been included in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, or talk to me on Twitter @BenAMatthews