The Serby Mock Draft 1.0 breaks from tradition and swings three trades at the top of this quarterback-crazed 2023 draft, including a move by Jets general manager Joe Douglas into the top 10.
Mock 1 features picks 1-10 — plus Giants GM Joe Schoen, with the 25th pick, drafting a downfield weapon for Daniel Jones.
1. Indianapolis Colts (from Bears)
C.J. Stroud (QB, Ohio State)
Reminiscent of 1997, when Bill Parcells, then the Jets GM and with holes all over the place, passed on selecting OT Orlando Pace with the first-overall pick and traded down. Bears GM Ryan Poles is in a similar boat, and answers the call from Colts GM Chris Ballard.
Jim Irsay has given up on Andrew Luck returning, or Jeff Saturday playing quarterback, and the fan base isn’t interested in another Carson Wentz or Matt Ryan. The first Buckeyes signal caller to be drafted in the top 10 since Art Schlicter in 1982 is no gamble. He’s the most polished QB in the class and bigger than Bryce Young, so Ballard leapfrogs the Texans to get his man.
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud.USA TODAY Sports
2. Houston Texans
Bryce Young (QB, Alabama)
Fired head coach Lovie Smith is forgiven for having the audacity to go for 2 to beat the Colts and surrender the first-overall pick in the process.
“We had Bryce at the top of our board,” GM Nick Caserio says, because of course. The kid is clutch and a winner, though some teams will be scared off by his underwhelming physical attributes (6-foot, 194 pounds, maybe). The good news is they can load him up in town with brisket enchiladas and tacos.
3. Arizona Cardinals
Will Anderson (OLB, Alabama)
J.J. Watt retired and Chandler Jones works in Las Vegas these days, so new GM Monti Ossenfort has his pick between this 6-foot-4, 243-pound pass-rush demon and disruptive DT Jalen Carter to allow his new head coach to pair with unrestricted free agent DE Zach Allen, once he is retained. Someone has to hound Brock Purdy, no?
4. Chicago Bears
Jalen Carter (DT, Georgia)
Poles’ phone is still ringing because two enticing quarterbacks are still on the board. But Poles wisely stays put and selects the best player in the draft — a 6-foot-3, 300-pound power player who could have started on the 1985 Bears defense. The 2022 Bears defense? It was last in sacks (20) and ppg (27.2). A sobering day for NFC Central RBs Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon and D’Andre Swift.
Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt will go to the Giants at No. 25AP
5. Carolina Panthers (from Seahawks)
Will Levis (QB, Kentucky)
Seattle GM Jon Schneider has never picked this high, and in this mock he doesn’t like heights. He trades back to accumulate more capital for the rebuilding that began last year with the trade of Russell Wilson. Carolina owner David Tepper isn’t the patient type, and he’s aware the Lions, Raiders and Falcons all could be eyeing quarterbacks, so he makes like Anthony Molina in “Draft Day” to implore GM Scott Fitterer to find their QB of the future. Sam Darnold can hold the fort until the toolsy 6-foot-3, 231-pound rook with the big arm is ready.
6. Detroit Lions
Devon Witherspoon (CB, Illinois)
Head coach Dan Campbell will see a path to a division title if Aaron Rodgers exits, so GM Brad Holmes resists reaching for QB Anthony Richardson and continues to ride or die with Jared Goff. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn needs a cornerback more than he needs another edge rusher, since he has the luxury of unleashing Aidan Hutchinson, so we give him a 6-foot, 181-pounder who plays with the kind of knee-biting edge that will delight Campbell.
7. Las Vegas Raiders
Peter Skoronki (OT Northwestern)
Owner Mark Davis spent most of the 2021 season icing down head coach Josh McDaniels’ hot seat. With Derek Carr gone, a McDaniels reunion with Tom Brady makes too much sense — especially with Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller in place. And Al Davis, the current owner’s legendary father, employed the oldest quarterback to play in a championship game in 43-year-old George Blanda after the 1970 season. But 46-year-old statues demand protection, and 2021 first-round OT Alex Leatherwood was a bust. A bookend for LT Kolton Miller is a must.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Anthony Richardson (QB, Florida)
The upside will prove irresistible to owner Arthur Blank, whose franchise passed on Justin Fields (and Mac Jones) two years ago and on Kenny Pickett last year before selecting Desmond Ridder in the third round. Richardson (6-4, 231) is almost as big as Josh Allen, with similar suspect accuracy entering the draft. Head coach Arthur Smith needs a stud to get the ball to TE Kyle Pitts and WR Drake London.
9. Seahawks (from Panthers)
Tyree Wilson (DE, Texas Tech)
“They” (not the ’Hawks) wrote Geno Smith off. He ain’t write back, though. But you knew that already. What we don’t know is whether he’ll get a lucrative extension as a free agent. If he remains head coach Pete Carroll’s guy, here’s a 6-foot-6, 275-pound freak. Someone has to hound Brock Purdy, right? Uchenna Nwosu (9.5 sacks) can’t do it alone.
Ohio State Buckeyes running back Miyan Williams (3) celebrates his touchdown with offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) and tight end Gee Scott Jr. (88) against Iowa in October.USA TODAY Sports
10. New York Jets (from Eagles)
Paris Johnson Jr. (OT, Ohio State)
Philly GM Howie Roseman does business with former teammate, Jets GM Joe Douglas — who is a mover and a shaker and senses the urgency to move up from No. 13 to leapfrog the Titans. Douglas passed on OT Ikem Ekwonu last season to draft Sauce Gardner and wishes he could count on Mekhi Becton. Garrett Wilson can give him intel on his athletic, 6-foot-6, 310-pound former teammate. Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo would welcome an Eiffel Tower in front of them.
25. New York Giants
Jalin Hyatt (WR, Tennessee)
A 6-foot, 185-pound deep threat with 4.3 speed for Daniel Jones. Hyatt would replace free agent Darius Slayton if he leaves for, say, the Ravens. Models his game after Davante Adams. Head coach Brian Daboll can ask his old buddy Nick Saban about Hyatt’s five TD catches that led to a 52-49 Volunteers win over Alabama. Would complement Isaiah Hodgins nicely.