Here’s a quick reminder of the provisional draft order for the first-round. Carolina traded up to acquire the Chicago Bears’ No 1 overall pick. Houston have two picks in the top 12.
1) Carolina (from Chicago), Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
2) Houston, CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
3) Houston (from Arizona), Will Anderson Jr, LB, Alabama
4) Indianapolis, Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
5) Seattle (from Denver), Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
6) Arizona (from Detroit via LA Rams), Paris Johnson Jr, OT, Ohio State
7) Las Vegas, Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
8) Atlanta, Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
9) Philadelphia (from Carolina via Chicago), Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
10) Chicago (from from New Orleans via Philadelphia), Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
11) Tennessee, Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
12) Detroit (from Cleveland via Houston and Arizona), Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
13) Green Bay (from NY Jets), Lukas Van Ness, DE, Iowa
14) Pittsburgh (from New England), Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
15) NY Jets (from Green Bay), Will McDonald IV, DE, Iowa State
16) Washington, Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
17) New England (from Pittsburgh), Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
18) Detroit, Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
19) Tampa Bay, Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
20) Seattle, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
21) LA Chargers, Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
22) Baltimore, Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
23) Minnesota, Jordan Addison, WR, USC
24) NY Giants (from Jacksonville), Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
25) Buffalo (from New York Giants via Jacksonville), Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
26) Dallas, Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
27) Jacksonville, Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
28) Cincinnati, Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson
29) New Orleans (from San Francisco via Miami and Denver), Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
30) Philadelphia, Nolan Smith, LB, Georgia
31) Kansas City, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, DE, Kansas State
If I had to say one team had a great night, it would probably be the Philadelphia Eagles who probably weren’t expecting either Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith and now have both of them.
The 2023 NFL Draft continues on Friday and Saturday but that will be all for today’s live coverage here at the Guardian. Thanks to everybody who followed along with us for the last few hours. Ciao!
Still on the board heading into tomorrow’s Round 2.
Profile: Will Levis, quarterback, Kentucky
It was a tale of two seasons for Levis, who had a fantastic 2021 in Kentucky but struggled last year after injuries and a change in offensive coordinator. If he’s able to return to form, he’s the type of dual-threat QB who has earned comparisons with Justin Herbert. If not, he’s a strong candidate to become a perennial journeyman.
31. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, edge, Kansas State
The Kansas City Chiefs select hometown kid Felix Anudike-Uzomah, defensive end from Kansas State. Maybe a sentimental pick, it would be bewildering if Smith were still available, but it’s not like the Chiefs were in desperate need here.
The Chiefs pick is in! We’re almost through with Day One here folks!
With Carter and Smith, it feels like the Eagles might have aced the first round of this draft. Closing it out, we have the home team: the Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock.
Again: very unlikely they go quarterback here. Sorry Will Levis.
Profile: Nolan Smith, edge, Georgia
A quality edge rusher, he was having a great season with Georgia before it ended with a torn pectoral muscle. So, obviously, there are major durability concerns, amplified by his size. Still, Smith managed 110 tackles and 12.5 sacks in four seasons with the two-time champion Bulldogs.
30. Nolan Smith, edge, Georgia
Donna Kelce, mom to Travis and Jason Kelce, announces the Philadelphia Eagles pick at No 30 and, my stars, it is indeed Georgia edge rusher Nolan Smith.
The Philadelphia Eagles are on the clock for the second time after landing Jalen Carter earlier in the draft. Could Nolan Smith drop to them as well?
29. Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
And we have back-to-back Clemon players, as the New Orleans Saints select defensive tackle Bryan Bresee.
Again, a note that this first round is only 31 picks this time around thanks to the Miami Dolphins’ chicanery, so we just have three picks left here. The New Orleans Saints are next with pick No 29.
Profile: Myles Murphy, edge, Clemson
A contributor for Clemson since his freshman year in 2020, Murphy should come into the NFL with enough experience to help with the pass rush right away. Last year, in 13 games he totaled 40 tackles, 11 for a loss and 6.5 sacks.
28. Myles Murphy, edge, Clemson
Cincinnati Bengals are now on the clock. Actually, they just made their selection, taking advantage of Clemson DE Mylese Murphy still being on the board.
27. Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
The Jaguars had a need at offensive tackle with Cam Robinson’s looming suspension, so it made sense that they would go with Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison here.
I am hoping the Jaguars go with Georgia edge Nolan Smith here, just because it will be embarrassing to me if he falls out of the first round altogether after I had him at No 10 in my own mock draft.
Yes I am this shallow.
And maybe now the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to make their selection?
26. Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
The Cowboys select Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith, and that honestly is a fairly solid pick here considering who was available.
Britney Spears’s “Toxic”: great pop song or greatest pop song? In any case, that’s what’s playing as we get the announcement that the Dallas pick is in.
Dallas Cowboys are on the clock at No 26, I’ll try reallyy hard to be positive here.
This is the point in the draft where teams know exactly who they want and are willing to make small moves to ensure they get them. So, both the Giants and Bills have taken advantage of the Jaguars’ apparently belief that their guy will still be available at No 27.
Or maybe they’ll trade down again. Things get wibbly-wobbly late in the first round.
25. Dalton Kincaid, tight end, Utah
Never mind, the Jacksonville Jaguars trade the 25th pick to the Buffalo Bills, who select Utah’s Duncan Kincaid, the best tight end in the draft.
The Jaguars-Giants trade
24. Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
The Jacksonville Jaguars were supposed to pick here, but the Giants moved up to select Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks. Banks is a 6-foot-5 and yet super-speedy, He probablywould be a higher pick in a draft that wasn’t so stocked with talented CBs.
I know this isn’t a strong draft for tight ends, but it really feels we’re overdue for one to be selected.
The New York Giants have the 24th pick.
Meanwhile, the good vibes in Boston continue after the Patriots landed Christian Gonzalez after trading down as the Boston Celtics finally eliminate the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of their series.
23. Jordan Addison, WR, USC
The Minnesota Vikings continue this run on receivers with USC’s Jordan Addison. This feels like right about where Addison should have gone.
Flowers is the first BC receiver to go in the first round. As someone who has watched many many Boston College games over the last 15 years or so, this does not surprise me!
Next up on the clock, the Minnesota Vikings with pick 23.
Flowers should be able to come right in and start catching passing in the NFL. In his last collegiate season, he caught 44 passes for 746 yards and five touchdowns in his last season. (He also should not be dinged for the fact that he was stuck with 3-9 Boston College.)
22. Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Speak of the devil. As a gift to their QB, they Baltimore Ravens get Lamar Jackson a new offensive weapon with the previously mentioned Zay Flowers.
I do not think Baltimore will pick a quarterback. Just my expert opinion.
The Baltimore Ravens, who are already celebrating re-signing Lamar Jackson, are now on the clock with pick 22.
21. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
The Los Angeles Chargers go with TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston, a borderline first-rounder maybe. Boston College’s Zay Flowers might have been a better option, but in his junior season, Johnston caught 60 passes for 1,069 yards and six touchdowns. At this point in the draft, you’re really looking for best fit for your organization.
Email from Norval Scott
On Will Levis, you know the mayo thing isnt the weirdest thing about him – he’s deathly afraid of milk, to the extent that he screams if he sees it.
In exchange for this info, I challenge you to say something nice about the Cowboys when it’s their pick
In the words of Bart Simpson, I can’t say I’ll try, but I’ll try to try.
The Los Angeles Chargers go on the clock with the 21st pick as I take a quick look at the Celtics-Hawks score and cringe.
One of the best wide receivers in the draft, Smith-Njigba unfortunately missed nearly all of 2022 thanks to a hamstring injury, playing just three games and going touchdown-less. Still that 202: 1,606 receiving yards, for an average of 16.9 yards per catch. He also scored nine TDs in the span of 13 games.
20. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
A fantastic pick for the Seattle Seahawks as Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the best receiver in (an admittingly receiver-light) draft, falls to them with the No 20 pick.
What is causing Will Levis’s long wait? Maybe teams are turned off by the fact that he puts mayonnaise in his coffee. That’s a red flag right there.
The Seattle Seahawks, who have already cashed in the first-round pick they received from the Denver Broncos in the Russell Wilson trade to select Devon Witherspoon, will now be using their own pick at No 20.
19. Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
There’s some talk about the Bucs going with Will Levis to replace Tom Brady at QB (something of a downgrade) but instead Tampa Bay goes with Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey.
Next up with the No 19 pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making their first selection in the draft.
18. Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
The Detroit Lions, with their own pick go for defense by selecting Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell.
Okay, just a shoutout to the ad that just played on ABC that was set to the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Gravel Pit,” their best post “Wu-Tang Forever” single. I did not catch what it was advertising, but it made me smile.
I’m seeing double! The Detroit Lions are back on the clock!
After initially playing for Colorado, Gonzalez transferred to the University of Oregon last year. There he managed 50 tackles, seven pass breakups and four interceptions. Scouting reports compare him to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, which is a rather flattering comparison.
17. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
There we go, the Patriots trade down and still get a Top 10 talent in Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez.
Sometimes Bill Belichick knows what he’s doing.
The word around Forbes seems to be “ballhawk,” with a career record of six interceptions returned for touchdowns. This guy’s a potential perennial scoring threat on defense, although also a bit undersized.
16. Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
The Washington Commanders take CB Emmanuel Forbes at No 16.
The highlight of the night so far. The Jets should have drafted this kid.
The Washington Commanders are on the clock with the No 16 pick and the Patriots fan in me is attempting to convince them not to pick Christian Gonzalez.
15. Will McDonald IV, edge, Iowa State
The New York Jets select Will Mcdonald IV, defensive end from Iowa State. I will not even pretend I had anything prepared to say about this pick!
The Jets pick is the annual Make-a-Wish pick, where they select a young fan who has battled childhood disease to announce the selection. It’s all rather touching, and I say this as someone who is brutally cynical.
The New York Jets, who nailed last year’s draft and just traded for Aaron Rodgers are here to pick at No 15. It’s pretty much all gravy for them, as our broadcasters rightfully point out.
Yet another player with raw skills that have yet to be fully honed. His draft stock rose after an impressive performance in Georgia’s national championship win during his sophomore year, but he only played 19 games during his time in college. Jones may not be a player who can provide immediate protection but if developed properly he has the tools to be a difference-maker.
14. Broderick Jones, offensive tackle, Georgia
The Pittsburgh Steelers select Georgia tackle Broderick Jones. (Yes this is a tackle-heavy draft.)
So, instead, the New England Patriots will be picking at No 17, plus they will get an additional fourth-round pick.
So much for my prediction that the New England Patriots would not trade down as the Pittsburgh Steelers are instead on the clock here at No 14
Back-to-back reaches. A dominant defensive lineman who could instantly improve a team’s pass rush. Van Ness led Iowa with nine sacks but, as Dalton Wasserman of PFF noted, it’s unusual that he was only the 11th-most played player by snap count during his time with the team. Were there reasons that Iowa felt the need to hide him?