2023 NFL mock draft: Four top-10 QBs, Cowboys go CB, DL




 

The Dallas Cowboys will be in an interesting spot this offseason as they have numerous key contributors on expiring contracts. This includes names such as RB Tony Pollard, TE Dalton Schultz, LB Leighton Vander Esch and S Donovan Wilson, among others. While in an ideal world they all return, this isn't a realistic possibility and some holes will need to be plugged by those who come at a cheaper price tag.

Then comes April where Will McClay and the Cowboys' front offense put their drafting prowess to work, finding potential Pro Bowl and All-Pro caliber players over the course of draft weekend. Dallas' back-to-back playoff appearances speak to an open championship window, but the annual lack of free-agency means the draft is the way they'll continue to fight for relevancy. This doesn't happen in a vacuum, so here's a full two-round 2023 mock draft to see what kind of talent will be there.

1: Chicago Bears - Will Anderson, Edge, Alabama

 

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

2: Houston Texans - Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

 

Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

3: Arizona Cardinals - Jalen Carter, IDL, Georgia

 

Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

4: Indianapolis Colts - Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

 

Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

5: Seattle Seahawks - Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson

 

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

6: Detroit Lions - Quentin Johnson, WR, TCU

 

Patrick Breen-Arizona Republic
Ncaa Fiesta Bowl Game

7: Oakland Raiders - CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio St.

 

Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch
Ncaa Football Peach Bowl Ohio State At Georgia

8: Atlanta Falcons - Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech

 

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

9: Carolina Panthers - Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

 

Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

10: Philadelphia Eagles - Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

 

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

11: Tennessee Titans - Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio St.

 

Kyle Robertson-USA TODAY Sports

12: Houston Texans - Jordan Addison, WR, USC

 

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

13: New York Jets - Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

 

Oregon's Christian Gonzalez

14: New England Patriots - Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

 

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

15: Green Bay Packers - Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa

 

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

16: Washington Commanders - Bryan Bresee, IDL, Clemson

 

Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee

17: Pittsburgh Steelers - Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

 

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

18: Detroit Lions - Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

 

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

 

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

20: Seattle Seahawks - O'Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida

 

Syndication Gator Sports

21: Los Angeles Chargers - Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio St.

 

Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

22: Baltimore Ravens - Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn St.

 

Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr.

23: Minnesota Vikings - Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU

 

Scott Clause-USA TODAY Sports

24: Jacksonville Jaguars - Brian Branch, S, Alabama

 

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

25: New York Giants - Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia

 

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

26: Dallas Cowboys - Devon Witherspoon, CB Illinois

 

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys have almost completed their CB picture with the emergence of Trevon Diggs and 2022 fifth-round selection Daron Bland. However, the spot opposite Diggs has been trouble as teams often choose not to throw at him. Anthony Brown has held that position for quite some time but with the increased targets, he struggled before a season-ending injury in his final contract year. The Cowboys have cycled through one replacement after another down the stretch, with Kelvin Joseph, Nahshon Wright, Treyvon Mullen and most recently Israel Mukuamu and Xavier Rhodes getting a shot.

Witherspoon has been a recent riser and for good reason.

He plays much more physical and aggressive than his lean 6-foot, 180 pound frame would suggest which allows him to have inside-out versatility. In man coverage, he is sticky with great eyes and a knack for finding the ball. He is a more than capable zone defender but his skillset shines more in man coverage. As a run defender he is intense with his pursuit and technically sound as a tackler, bringing a physicality one would see from a box safety.

In Dallas, he would be the go-to guy to shadow the opponent's top speed threat while Diggs mans up on the bigger, slower guys while Bland excels in the slot.

27: Cincinnati Bengals - Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

 

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

28: Denver Broncos - Isaiah Foskey, Edge, Notre Dame

 

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

29: Buffalo Bills - Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina

 

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

30: Kansas City Chiefs - Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M

 

Texas A&M Aggies defensive back Antonio Johnson

31: Philadelphia Eagles - Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

 

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

32: Pittsburgh Steelers - Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi St.

 

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

33: Houston Texans - BJ Ojulari, Edge, LSU

 

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

34: Arizona Cardinals - Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia

 

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

35: Indianapolis Colts - Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma

 

Oklahoma's Marvin Mims Jr.

36: Los Angeles Rams - Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

 

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

37: Seattle Seahawks - Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlison, CB, TCU

 

Syndication Detroit Free Press

38: Oakland Raiders - Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

 

Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt

39: Carolina Panthers - Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

 

Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

40: Now Orleans Saints - Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida

 

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

41: Tennessee Titans - Rashee Rice, WR, SMU

 

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

42: Cleveland Browns - Isaiah McGuire, Edge, Missouri

 

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

43: New York Jets - Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

 

Tennessee offensive lineman Darnell Wright

44: Atlanta Falcons - Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama

 

Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

45: Green Bay Packers - Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

 

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

46: New England Patriots - Tuli Tuipulotu, IDL, USC

 

Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

47: Washington Commanders - Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa

 

Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta

48: Detroit Lions - Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon

 

Oregon's Noah Sewell

49: Pittsburgh Steelers - Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas

 

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

50: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah

 

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

51: Miami Dolphins - Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee

 

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

52: Seattle Seahawks - Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee

 

Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman

53: Chicago Bears - Ronnie Bell, WR, Michigan

 

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

54: Los Angeles Chargers - Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse

 

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

55: Detroit Lions - Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Edge, Kansas St.

 

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

56: Jacksonville Jaguars - Jarrett Patterson, OG, Notre Dame

 

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

57: New York Giants - Henry To'o To'o, LB, Alabama

 

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

58: Dallas Cowboys - Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor

 

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

One facet of the game that was under bright lights Monday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the importance of having a certified run defender. The Bucs have the incredible Vita Vea and Dallas was helped when they traded for veteran Johnathan Hankins. While the latter has been a crucial piece for the Cowboys defensive success this year, he is not a long term solution to a unit that struggles to defend the run without him. Enter the monstrous Siaki Ika.

Ika stands at 6-foot-4, 358 pounds and is a run-stuffing nose tackle who eats up space and gets into the backfield consistently. His frame and strength allow him to take on multiple blockers and easily defeat one-on-one blocks when left alone. For his size, he is an incredibly smooth mover with great short-area agility. He poses enough upside as a pass rusher to invest in him on Day 2.

The addition of Ika to the Dallas defense forces offensive linemen on an island against the likes of Demarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons, making this front seven that much more difficult to defend.

59: Cincinnati Bengals - Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland

 

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

60: Carolina Panthers - Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame

 

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

61: Buffalo Bills - Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn

 

Auburn Tigers running back Tank Bigsby

62: Kansas City Chiefs - Derick Hall, Edge, Auburn

 

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

63: Philadelphia Eagles - Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse

 

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire

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