Daniel Jeremiah 2023 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Bryce Young, Will Levis, CJ Stroud Go Top 10

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 20, 2023

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman

In his first 2023 NFL mock draft released Friday, NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah projected three quarterbacks to go inside the top 10.

While Jeremiah has the Chicago Bears selecting Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter first overall, he mocked Alabama quarterback Bryce Young to the Houston Texans at No. 2, Kentucky quarterback Will Levis to the Indianapolis Colts at No. 4 and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud to the Carolina Panthers at No. 9.

Here is a full look at the top 10 selections in Jeremiah's mock:

  1. Chicago Bears: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
  2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
  3. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
  4. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
  5. Seattle Seahawks: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
  6. Detroit Lions: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
  7. Las Vegas Raiders: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
  8. Atlanta Falcons: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
  9. Carolina Panthers: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
  10. Philadelphia Eagles: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Jeremiah also mocked Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 22 overall, making four first-round QB selections overall.

While the predraft process, including the NFL Scouting Combine and pro days, will likely help determine which order the quarterbacks are selected, the trio of Young, Levis and Stroud have long been viewed as slam-dunk first-rounders.

If all of them plus Richardson go in the first, it would be a far cry from last year's quarterback class, which featured only one first-round pick in the Pittsburgh Steelers' Kenny Pickett.

While the Bears don't need a quarterback at No. 1 overall after taking Justin Fields two years ago, they are in a power position in that they could trade down with a quarterback-needy team and stack up more assets.

The Texans, Colts, Raiders and Panthers are among the teams picking inside the top 10 with a desperate need under center, while the Seahawks, Lions and Falcons can't be ruled out of taking a quarterback either.

As evidenced by Jeremiah's mock draft, the Texans will almost certainly take the first quarterback off the board if no trade up to No. 1 is made, and Young is the early favorite to be the pick.

Young won the Heisman Trophy and led Alabama to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in his first full season as a starter in 2021.

He put up huge numbers, completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 4,872 yards, 47 touchdowns and seven interceptions, and while the numbers weren't quite as good in 2022, he was still one of the best in the nation with 3,328 yards, 32 touchdowns and five picks.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in Jeremiah's mock is the fact that he has Levis going ahead of Stroud.

Levis has the look of a prototypical NFL quarterback due to his size and arm strength, but his college production leaves plenty to be desired.

After transferring from Penn State, Levis was a full-time starter for the first time in 2021, and he completed 66.0 percent of his passes for 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also did damage with his legs, rushing for 376 yards and nine scores.

Levis took a step back in 2022, though, completing 65.4 percent of his attempts for 2,406 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 picks. He also rushed for negative yardage.

Stroud is coming off the best season of the top three quarterbacks, having completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 3,688 yards, 41 touchdowns and six interceptions in leading Ohio State to the CFP.

He finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting and also finished fourth one year earlier when he completed 71.9 percent of his passes for 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns and six picks.

It isn't outside the realm of possibility that Stroud could turn out to be the best quarterback in the 2023 NFL draft class, and if the Panthers can get him at ninth overall, it would perhaps be one of the biggest steals of the draft.