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Mocking the mock drafts: A surprise at the top

With a little over two weeks to go until the draft, and with somewhat quiet, what's a blogger to do? Go track down some on the Internet and mock the heck out of them, that's what.

For the next few days we'll go over a few of the mock drafts we've encountered. We'll point out where we think they've got it right. And we'll try to figure out what they were smoking on the ones that seem a little far-fetched.

So, without further ado, let's take our first victim…er, mock drafter. Today's comes courtesy of Fox Sports' Jason McIntrye. Jason is a co-host of The Herd and a Fox analyst.

With The First Pick…

1: — Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Would I be surprised? No. I stopped being surprised by picks made in the years ago. Trying to get into the heads of 32 Front Offices will drive you insane.

But I just don't see Richardson as the best in this draft. I'm thinking the Panthers go for here with C.J. Stroud a 25% possibility.

Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

2: — Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

If Jason is right, and Richardson goes to Carolina, look for Houston to get their pick of Young into Roger Goodell's hands about five seconds later. Houston will likely end up with Stroud instead.

3: — Will Anderson, , Alabama

This will be the pick here unless Arizona trades down, a possibility Jason thinks is most likely. But I doubt a move will be made until the first two picks are on the board. If Stroud is still available, someone is going to up to steal him from the Colts.

4: — C.J. Stroud, QB,

Assuming no trade happens with Arizona and Stroud is still there, it's a no-brainer pick. If Stroud is gone, I think they'll take Will Levis.

5: — Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech

If Arizona does trade down, the Seahawks will have a dilemma. Jason says they take Wilson, but if Anderson is still available, I think they take him instead.

6: Detroit Lions — Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Even if Levis is still around, I don't think this is the pick for Detroit. Goff showed signs of improvement and Detroit would be better off grabbing someone on the defensive side of the ball. Say, a from Georgia, perhaps?

The Draft Settles Down, Maybe

7: — Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

I honestly can't argue with this pick at all. The Raiders is in need of a lot of help.

8: — Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia

This is another pick I think Jason has nailed down, assuming that the Arizona trade does happen. Because if one of the four quarterbacks is still available here, look for Tennessee to move up and take him. Atlanta could pick up a few extra picks and still land a solid at the 11th pick.

9: — Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

The Bears need to protect their quarterback a lot better than they did in 2022. This would be a great start.

10: — Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

Personally, I think Carter is off the board by this point. Jason points out that if the Eagles do pass on him here, then there are some serious red flags out there. He has a good point.

Photo by Joshua L. Jones / NETWORK

11: — Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

The Titans need help at receiver and on the o-line. Jason has the right call here, if the Titans don't move up to nab a quarterback. If they don't shore up their line, it won't matter who they have at receiver or quarterback, as they won't have time to throw the ball.

A Dangerous Duo In Houston?

12: Houston Texans — Jaxon Smith—Njigba, WR, Ohio State

The top receiver in the draft teaming up with a potential franchise quarterback? Houston could be setting themselves up for a quality draft. Which makes me wonder if Stroud isn't their real target at the second pick.

13: New York Jets — Broderick Jones, LT, Georgia

If the Jets are really going to trade for , then they better make sure they have his blind side protected. I think this is pick they have to make if Rodgers joins the Jets.

14: , WR, Boston College

The way the Patriots operate, they could go with Flowers. Or a . Or… any position. Shoot, they could even trade out of the round. Who knows? For now, we'll say Jason has a slightly better than 50-50 chance at being right.

15: — Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa

The Packers will need to focus on their defense. With a new quarterback I suspect this unit will be on the field a lot in 2023.

Tomorrow: We'll look at the second half of Jason's mock draft.

Richard Paolinelli
Richard Paolinelli
Richard has covered sports at all levels - from local, prep, college, and professional - since 1984. He has been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys since 1969. Since retiring as a full-time sports writer in 2013, he has written and published several novels, two dozen short stories and two sports non-fiction books.

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