Mock draft watch: Notable observations from Daniel Jeremiah’s latest projections
One of the most popular and respected NFL draft analysts, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, has released his latest mock draft projections for 2023.
As with every mock draft, there are some wrinkles in Jeremiah’s latest that raise some eyebrows or break with conventional groupthink. And it starts at the very top.
Bryce Young over C.J. Stroud at No. 1 overall
Most mock drafts have the Carolina Panthers taking Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud with the top pick. He’s the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 pick and those odd continue to grow in his favor.
Jeremiah opts to project Alabama’s diminutive Young over Stroud. Young is almost universally projected to go No. 2 to the Texans. It’s a defiant switch of expectation here, with Jeremiah noting,
The Panthers will do their homework on this year’s top quarterback prospects over the next month, but I believe Young is the best of the bunch and will emerge as their target.
Jalen Carter to the Seahawks
Carter is perhaps the biggest variable in this entire draft. A viable candidate to be ranked No. 1 overall on big boards, the Georgia DT has had a disastrous pre-draft process.
Here, Carter comes off the board to Seattle at No. 5 overall. He’s the second defensive player off the board, following Alabama’s Will Anderson at No. 3 to Arizona.
Lukas Van Ness in the top 10
Van Ness never started a game at Iowa, yet he’s a projected top 10 pick. Jeremiah slotted the Iowa DL to Philadelphia at No. 10. It’s the same projection made in our last mock here at Draft Wire.
Either we’re onto something, or we’re with Jeremiah in being on something…
Will Levis at 19, Hendon Hooker at 23
The Kentucky QB is generally slotted in the top 10, often the top four overall. In this projection, Levis falls all the way to Tampa Bay at No. 19.
That’s barely above Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, who is projected No. 23 overall to Minnesota. Hooker is expected to miss at least some of his rookie season as he recovers from a December ACL tear. He’s generally slotted in the second round, though Hooker’s uptick is trending across many mocks right now.
No Bryan Bresee or Brian Branch
Two players who appear in the top 20 of a lot of mocks and in the first round of nearly all projections. Bresee’s fall is somewhat understandable; his game tape at Clemson shows flashes of being a great starting D but also a lot of legitimate concerns about play strength and technical skills.
Branch has some size concerns for the position at just 190 pounds, but the Alabama safety proved to be a great tackler and reliable slot/nickel cover man for the Crimson Tide. It’s a weak safety class, so not seeing Branch in the top 31 picks is a little surprising.