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Jake Oliver’s First-Round Mock Draft

@DarthDbacks takes a look at Round One of the 2023 NFL Draft and shares his NFL Mock Draft with dynasty analysis for many featured players

The NFL is the best time of the off-season for NFL fans. It’s filled with hope, excitement, and celebration of seeing hundreds of young men achieve their life dream. They’ve worked their whole life to hear their name called during this three-day fest. Fans have waited a whole year to boo Commissioner Roger Goodell relentlessly to his face. It’s a beautiful time for all to see. At least, until your team doesn’t take the guy you wanted in the 2023 NFL Draft. That can create a lot of angst, but sometimes it pays off. Other times, it can go down horribly, like when the Raiders took Clelin Ferrell a few years ago.

This year’s 2023 NFL Draft is taking place on Thursday, April 27th, at 8 p.m. EST. Rounds Two and Three will happen on Friday, April 28th, starting at 7 p.m. EST. Rounds Four through Seven will take place all day long on Saturday, April 29th. The NFL is holding the draft in Kansas City, the home of the Super Bowl-winning Chiefs. Don’t be shocked if you see hundreds of thousands of fans celebrating the NFL fest.

This weekend, 259 men will learn where their future homes will be in the NFL. Let’s start off my mock draft with Round One!

First Round of Jake’s NFL Mock Draft

Teams without a First-Round pick: 49ers, Dolphins, Broncos, Rams, and Browns. Please NOTE, I will not be including trades, but I am including where I think players ultimately land regardless of where picked.

1.01 | Panthers via Bears: Bryce Young, Quarterback, Alabama

The Panthers traded up for a reason. It’s to get that quarterback they’ve been searching for since Cam Newton went down with an injury. The Panthers take the short but dominant QB1 of the draft in Bryce Young. That’s big news for your fantasy team. The Panthers have assembled an amazing coaching staff. They have a ton of support for their new quarterback. Plus, a young, good offensive line and some strong weapons like Miles Sanders, Adam Thielen, and Hayden Hurst. He’s easily worth the 1.02 or perhaps even 1.01 draft pick in Superflex leagues.

In those leagues, quarterbacks reign supreme, and it’s hard to pass up a long-term potential QB1. In 1QB leagues, he should easily be the favorite to go as the first quarterback off the board. Young will provide a steady stream of points through the air and can get yards on the ground. Mobile quarterbacks add to the value that you get on your team. He’s a clear-cut QB1, and only player you take over him is Bijan Robinson in Superflex leagues.

1.02 | Texans: Will Anderson Jr., Edge Rusher, Alabama

1.03 | Cardinals: Paris Johnson Jr., Tackle, Ohio State

1.04 | Colts: Will Levis, Quarterback, Kentucky

The Colts get the quarterback that fits their system to a tee. He has a massive arm, excellent height, better mobility than expected, and strong mental acumen. The Colts hired a QB whisperer in Shane Steichen who will develop Levis well. I’d put Levis as my QB2 in rookie drafts thanks to Steichen. That means he’s worth the 1.03 in superflex leagues and an early second in 1QB leagues. Levis’s floor in points is likely reminiscent of a much better Jay Cutler or Tony Romo. He will rack up the passing yards and throw plenty of touchdowns.

However, he won’t rush for a ton of yards, but when he does rush, it’s for big yardage. Perhaps he’s the next Justin Herbert? Time will tell, but I’m taking that upside of him putting up points under Shane, similar to Herbert all day long in the early first round in Superflex. Don’t let the 2022 tape fool you, Levis is far better than what Twitter says.

1.05 | Seahawks via Broncos: Tyree Wilson, Edge Rusher, Texas Tech

1.06 | Lions via Rams: Devon Witherspoon, Cornerback, Illinois

1.07 | Raiders: Jalen Carter, Defensive Line, Georgia

1.08 | Falcons: Anthony Richardson, Quarterback, Florida

The Falcons take a genetic wonder in AR. This is good news for him as he enters a system that he should thrive in. The Falcons have a rush-heavy offense which fits Richardson. He’s an extremely talented rushing quarterback, akin to Lamar Jackson. However, his throws and passing work need tremendous work. The Falcons can afford the time to develop him for a year behind Desmond Ridder. If Ridder struggles badly late in the season, the team can slide in Richardson to begin developing him even quicker. The team has potent weapons in Kyle Pitts and Drake London. Two massive and tall guys with extremely large catch radiuses will help the inaccurate Richardson. He’s got Josh Allen’s ceiling but Tyler Huntley’s floor.

Due to that, I wouldn’t recommend taking him before the 1.05 in superflex leagues or the early third in 1QB leagues. Yes, the rushing game is extremely nice and puts a great floor for his points. Yet, this is a passing league. If Richardson can’t throw the ball well, that will tank his career. Regardless, due to being a quarterback, Richardson should be taken over all players not named Bijan, Bryce, Levis, or Stroud. If you need a running back badly, I would take Gibbs over him. The same is true for wide receivers, go with Jaxson Smith-Njigba over him. However, do realize that you’re passing up a potential fantasy superstar.

1.09 | Bears: Christian Gonzalez, Cornerback, Oregon

1.10 | Eagles via Saints: Bijan Robinson, Running Back, Texas

The Eagles land a generational running back that fits their high-powered offense perfectly. Bijan will put up big numbers in the Eagles’ offense with clear and open running lanes. Teams won’t be able to defend the run-and-passing game. Bijan is a decisive running back that clears every fantasy prospect in this draft. He’s the clear 1.01 in 1QB leagues and Superflex leagues. The only name you could consider over him is Bryce Young in superflex leagues. Even then, I’m not sure I would. At minimum, Bijan will be an RB1 for the next five to six years. He’s got RB1 overall potential in dynasty. If he lands here, in a role tailor-made for him, then there’s no way you can pass on him.

1.11 | Titans: CJ Stroud, Quarterback, Ohio State 

In this NFL Mock Draft, the Titans likely did trade up somewhere to snag Stroud. He’s the QB2 for many but the QB3 for me. While he has a great arm and rushing ability, he doesn’t have the “it” factor separating elite quarterbacks from great quarterbacks. Regardless, he’s got an extremely high floor thanks to his strong passing work and rushing ability. That allows him to safely be taken at 1.03/4 or in the late second/early third round in Superflex and 1QB leagues respectively. Stroud won’t wow you with his numbers, but he should settle in nicely as a QB2 long-term, akin to Jared Goff. He’s a safe pick.

1.12 | Texans via Browns: Peter Skoronski, Tackle, Northwestern

1.13 | Packers via Jets: Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Wide Receiver, Ohio State

The Packers take their new WR1 after dealing with Rodgers. As ironic as it is, JSN would help the Packers tremendously. He’s the best route runner in the draft and easily the WR1. He’s got great body control and hands. JSN does it all. He’ll be safely taken as the WR1 in superflex and 1QB drafts. In Superflex, I’m aiming to take him somewhere between 1.05 and 1.07. If you need a wide receiver, there’s not a better one in this draft to take. He possesses a super safe floor with elite stardom potential as his ceiling. In 1QB leagues, he’s the clear 1.03 behind Bijan and Gibbs.

1.14 | Patriots: Broderick Jones, Tackle, Georgia

1.15 | Jets via Packers: Darnell Wright, Tackle, Tennessee

1.16 | Commanders: Joey Porter Jr., Cornerback, Penn State

1.17 | Steelers: Deonte Banks, Cornerback, Maryland

1.18 | Lions: Dalton Kincaid, Tight End, Utah

The Lions traded away TJ Hockenson last season and got a potential upgrade in Kincaid here. Kincaid has rare abilities at tight end with elite route running, speed, athleticism, and hands. He’s super similar to Travis Kelce, and that’s his ultimate ceiling if all things pan out. His floor is that of Zach Ertz. That’s a quality player to have. Kincaid plays strong, fast, and nasty. That fits the Lions’ mentality. If I’m in a Superflex rookie draft, I take Kincaid towards the end of the first or early second round. In 1QB, he should go by the end of the first for sure. If you have a tight-end premium league, Kincaid’s a lock to be the TE1/2 drafted and should go by the end of the first round. His upside in that kind of scoring is just too high.

1.19 | Buccaneers: Nolan Smith, Edge Rusher, Georgia

1.20 | Seahawks: Bryan Bresee, Defensive Tackle, Clemson

1.21 | Chargers: Zay Flowers, Wide Receiver, Boston College

The Chargers get a new wide receiver to help build their offense in future years. They know they won’t be able to hold onto Mike Williams and Keenan Allen beyond next year. Thus, they get a future replacement here in Flowers. Of course, Flowers will still put up good numbers in the meantime. Flowers plays like a much faster Keenan Allen. He’s got excellent speed, feet, and agility but doesn’t work downfield a ton. He’s a solid pick in rookie drafts, especially toward the end of the first round in superflex leagues. In 1QB leagues, I’d look at taking him around 1.07. He’s the WR3/4 in this draft class for me. Addison and QJ have a touch more upside than Zay, but Herbert will give Flowers excellent numbers.

1.22 | Ravens: Emmanuel Forbes, Cornerback, Miss St.

1.23 | Vikings: Lukas Van Ness, Edge Rusher, Iowa

1.24 | Jaguars: Brian Branch, Safety, Alabama

1.25 | Giants: Jordan Addison, Wide Receiver, USC

The Giants luck out and get a wide receiver they’ve been desperate for. Addison will help lift up quarterback Daniel Jones’ play immensely. After all, the Giants must do everything they can to prove that giving Jones that big extension was smart and worth it. Addison plays like an almost carbon copy of Tyler Lockett. Lockett is an excellent fantasy wideout, especially when he was the WR1 for the Seahawks. Knowing that Addison will be the top target in the Giants’ offense allows me to comfortably slot him in as the WR2 in this year’s draft. In Superflex drafts, I want him around 1.08/09, and in 1QB, give Addison at 1.05/6.

1.26 | Cowboys: Michael Mayer, Tight End, Notre Dame

Michael Mayer is a great tight end prospect. He’s been the TE1 of the draft for the past few months. He does everything well. He can pass-block, receive, run routes, and do anything you want done well. However, he’s not elite at anything. Mayer may not have the elite offensive upside as Kincaid does, but when you put him in the Cowboys offense, there are zero reasons as to why he can’t replicate what Dalton Schultz did. Mayer’s game is similar to Schultz. He should do exceptionally well in that environment and put up TE1 points weekly. In Superflex leagues, 1QB, and TEP leagues, Mayer is worth an early second-round pick. He won’t become a star, but a reliable and sturdy tight end is amazing.

1.27 | Bills: Quentin Johnston, Wide Receiver, TCU

The Bills finally find a reliable and potential high-upside running mate for Stefon Diggs in the wide receiver room. Josh Allen has a new downfield and large target to throw to. The Bills’ offense gets deadlier, and the pressure isn’t all on Diggs anymore. Quentin didn’t have eye-popping tape or numbers at TCU, but that was moreso due to the routes he was asked to run and the quarterback play. Johnston is an exemplary wide receiver that can blossom in the NFL. He’s got the best size/speed combo in the draft at wide receiver. QJ, with Josh Allen could become a dynasty superstar. His massive arm and accuracy will help QJ develop a ton. In Superflex and 1QB drafts, I’m eyeing QJ as the WR3 off the board at 1.08-10. He’s a strong bet to break out in the NFL.

1.28 | Bengals: Jahmyr Gibbs, Running Back, Alabama

The Bengals get their new running back of the future in Gibbs. This pick means that the Bengals will move on from Joe Mixon, either right away or by the end of this year. Gibbs is an elite playmaking running back that doesn’t require a full workload to impact the game in huge ways. The Bengals get a fiery pass-catcher for Joe Burrow, that is a threat to take it to the endzone every time he touches the ball. Gibbs is a near clone of Alvin Kamara or Jamaal Charles. He will put up tons of points, especially in PPR leagues. This is a smash landing spot for the RB2 in rookie drafts. Gibbs would be the RB1 nearly every other year, but thanks to Bijan, you can get Gibbs at a discount.

In Superflex leagues, I’m eyeing Gibbs at 1.04/05. In 1QB leagues, he’s the only guy you take at 1.02. He’s got RB1-potential written all over him. Jahmyr Gibbs should become one of the best running backs in the league, especially with Joe Burrow at quarterback, for the next half-decade. I’m all-in on Gibbs, especially if he goes to the high-scoring and vaunted Bengals’ offense.

1.29 | Saints via Denver via Miami via San Francisco: Mazi Smith, Defensive Tackle, Michigan

1.30 | Eagles: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Edge, Kansas State

1.31 | Chiefs: Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson

Let’s get ready for the chaos at the NFL Draft!

Be sure to tune into the Dynasty Nerds Youtube Page to watch our very own Dan Toomey and Tim Martens live stream the NFL Draft full of commentary, special guests, and of course, tons of dynasty analysis from your favorite Dynasty Nerds writers. It’s going to be tons of fun! It’ll take place over the first two days of the draft. Also, be sure to join our discord as we have tons of live events with our writers and analysts!

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