2023 NFL Draft: Final League-Wide Mock Draft

Nolan Smith is being projected to be the Falcons pick at No. 8 overall
Nolan Smith is being projected to be the Falcons pick at No. 8 overall / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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6) Detroit Lions: EDGE Will Anderson, Alabama

The Lions get to go with a true best-player scenario here with Will Anderson. While John Cominsky and Aiden Hutchinson were a good combination for them in 2022, adding another pass rusher that will allow either Hutchinson or Cominsky to slide inside on passing downs should help the Lions' defense.

7) Las Vegas Raiders: QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

The Raiders need a franchise quarterback. They haven't taken one in the first round since 2007 and haven't taken a quarterback since 2016. This is projecting a trade-up with the Cardinals so that they can get him. Stroud would be a long-term franchise quarterback for the Raiders.

8) Atlanta Falcons: EDGE Nolan Smith, Georgia

In this situation, the Falcons' top few choices are all off the board. Because of that, the best player available to them in their view would either be a cornerback like Devon Witherspoon or Christian Gonzalez, or one of Nolan Smith or Bijan Robinson. In this situation, Smith just feels like the right selection for this coaching staff. They are huge proponents of off-field character, and the team needs a defensive leader in the mid-level of the defense.

Smith's biggest strength is off the field with his leadership. But on top of that, he's an insanely good athlete who compares well with Vic Beasley at the position. However, he's as if Beasley had an indomitable love for the game. The Falcons would be able to rotate in Smith as a pass rusher early in his career, and long-term could see a vision for him that's reminiscent of what the Cowboys do with Micah Parsons down in Dallas.

9) Chicago Bears: OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee

The Bears had one of the worst offensive lines in 2022 and needed to upgrade at least three starters to build their line for the 2023 season. They decided to keep Braxton Jones and Cody Whitehair who were solid in 2022, but they went out and signed Nate Davis and have Teven Jenkins to use at guard. The Bears decide here to bring in Darnell Wright to play right tackle so that they can re-shuffle their line to have Whitehair back at his natural center position, Davis at left guard, and Jenkins and Jones filling the other two spots.

10) Philadelphia Eagles: RB Bijan Robinson, Texas

The Eagles have two first-round picks after their trade with the Saints last season, and because of that, they can take a risky pick on a blue-chip prospect like Bijan Robinson. One of the absolute best players at the running back position in the past few years to add to a young quarterback as a matchup nightmare would be the perfect move for the defending NFC champions to make.