NFL Draft News & Analysis

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Reviewing Mike Renner's first-round mock

Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) throws a pass against the Georgia Bulldogs in the third quarter during the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

It's that time of year.

This week on It's Just Football, PFF's Mike Renner and Trevor Sikkema reviewed PFF's first 2023 NFL mock draft, which saw five quarterbacks go in the first round. Here are some of the highlights from that discussion.

Click here to view the mock in its entirety, along with all the analysis that came with it. You can also tune in to It's Just Football on Youtube, weekdays from 11 a.m. ET.

1. Indianapolis Colts: QB Bryce Young, Alabama

via mock trade with Bears

“When you have a team that doesn't need a quarterback drafting at No. 1 overall and a quarterback deserving of a No. 1 overall pick, that's just begging for a trade to happen…

Independently, watching all three of these quarterbacks, I don't see how you can have, from a football-playing perspective, anyone else at No. 1. The only thing that you worry about is the size.” — Mike Renner

2. Houston Texans: QB Will Levis, Kentucky

“I think, truthfully, this is where he ends up going — No. 1 or No. 2 — because that's the kind of athlete and that's the kind of tools he has.” — Mike Renner

Related: 2023 NFL Draft: Will Levis and the inexact science of QB evaluation

3. Arizona Cardinals: EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

“It's going to be in the eye of the beholder, this one, the debate between Will Anderson and Jalen Carter. Right now, I just think of the need at edge for the Arizona Cardinals — they need a pass-rusher.” — Mike Renner

6. Detroit Lions (via Rams): DT Bryan Bresee, Clemson

“After Jalen Carter, this is it. There is not another defensive tackle that offers that, which is high-end athleticism, high-end production that you feel good about making an impact at the NFL level. So if you're the Detroit Lions, and that qualifies as a need for you, you're not going to find another guy like Bresee.” — Mike Renner

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

“This is one where free agency, trades, pre-draft is going to determine what ultimately happens with the Raiders. Because if they are left out in the cold with the quarterback-swapping that always happens every offseason, they are going to be drafting quarterback…whether it's C.J. Stroud, whether it's Anthony Richardson — they are going to be in that mix…

I would imagine at the moment the plan is to go for a veteran. I think that's where this roster is built… but I do think that their need is so desperate that should they not, or if they're getting a one-year rental like a Tom Brady, this could still make sense.” — Mike Renner

9. Carolina Panthers: QB Anthony Richardson, Florida

“I think [Richardson's] range starts here and goes all the way down to, I'd say, the mid-20s. But he's not coming out after one year as a starter because he got a third-round, Day 2 grade. He's coming out because he got some assurance that he's going to be a top-25 pick in this class.” — Mike Renner

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via Saints): S Brian Branch, Alabama

“This is an elite slot guy. Add him to James Bradberry and Darius Slay on the outside, an elite slot corner like Brian Branch who has a 90.7 run-defense grade and an 86.4 coverage grade — he is incredible if you flip on the tape from him at Alabama this past fall…

Maybe No. 10 is a little rich, but again, it's kind of a team fit — the team is ready to win now and is missing that in their defense.” — Mike Renner

11. Tennessee Titans: OT Paris Johnson, Ohio State

“The guys that succeed, the guys who are elite tackles in the NFL, they look like Paris Johnson. They are 6-foot-6, they are 310, they have 34-inch arms, and they move like he does.” — Mike Renner

12. Houston Texans (via Browns): WR Quentin Johnston, TCU

“Johnston is a project in some ways, but he's also a freak in other ways. He is a guy who is going to provide value even if he never becomes this complete wide receiver. He reminds me of D.K. Metcalf in that regard. D.K. you just knew that on go-balls he was going to be a handful.” — Mike Renner

13. New York Jets: OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern

“He has a very versatile body type for the offensive line, whether it is tackle, whether it is guard, whether it's center, truthfully. Peter Skoronski is a good offensive lineman. He is a very high-floor lineman in this draft class.” — Mike Renner

14. New England Patriots: CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois

“Great cornerback class, but I think Witherspoon just feels like a Belichick pick. Belichick has talked about his draft philosophy over the years, and it's not height, length, size, speed. It is intangibles and how guys play the game of football. And if you flip on Devon Witherspoon's tape, he plays the game of football the correct way. — Mike Renner

“I watched his tape last night…he can click and close maybe better than anyone I've scouted in the last five years.” — Trevor Sikkema

15. Green Bay Packers: TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

“Michael Mayer is actually the in-line blocker and receiving weapon that they've been looking for at the position, and I think they'll become enamored with him.” — Mike Renner

16. Washington Commanders: CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon

“Christian Gonzalez could go higher because he's scheme-versatile. He is, to me, a guy who can play press, play off. He has the smooth hips that you want. He's just a very sound, all-around corner.” — Mike Renner

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Cam Smith, South Carolina

“[Smith] plays the game the right way, sees the game of football at a high level, has very good instincts and is very versatile, as well, which is something that will be coveted for the Steelers defense.” — Mike Renner

18. Detroit Lions: RB Bijan Robinson, Texas

“Bijan Robinson behind that offensive line, with Ben Johnson returning as offensive coordinator and Jamaal Williams being a free agent, there's a lot to like about this pairing. I think he will be used creatively there, I think his skills will be maximized, and I think it would take that offense to a level that, even with Jared Goff, could get you to a Super Bowl.” — Mike Renner

21. Jacksonville Jaguars: OG O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida

“O'Cyrus Torrence is a guard. You're not playing him at center; you're not playing him at tackle. You are playing him at guard… This is an ‘invest in not getting Trevor Lawrence Killed' pick.

O'Cyrus Torrence is the single best pure guard prospect in this class. Monster guard at 347 pounds. I actually looked this up the other day: Over the last 20 years, not a single 340-plus-pound guard has gone in the first or second round. Torrence will be the first because he's been that good for Florida this past season.” — Mike Renner

25. Los Angeles Chargers: WR Zay Flowers, Boston College

“Zay Flowers is what [the Chargers] are missing. We talk about that offense just not having separators, and I think it's time, unfortunately, for the Chargers to bite the bullet and say, ‘Keenan Allen, your contract is too much for your level of performance right now.' And I think parting ways with him may be in the cards this offseason.” — Mike Renner

26. Dallas Cowboys: LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas

Micah Parsons has moved completely on the ball. This pick gives you what Micah Parsons was as an off-ball because he's an off-ball linebacker who can rush the passer at a high level, so basically you have a Micah Parsons on the ball and a kind-of Micah Parsons off the ball, and I think that would just take this Cowboys front seven to an insane level.” — Mike Renner

27. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma

“[The Bengals] just can't keep rolling into the playoffs with the tackle position being as much of a liability as it is right now… If you had a tackle duo that was competent, you'd probably have a Super Bowl already if you're the Cincinnati Bengals.” — Mike Renner

28. Minnesota Vikings: QB Tanner McKee, Stanford

“He's one of the most accurate quarterbacks in this draft class. He's one of the most NFL-ready quarterbacks in this draft class, obviously hailing from an NFL-style, pro-style system in Stanford that is admittedly dated, which is why his numbers very much suffered in that offense. But if you go throw for throw, he's right up there with the top guys in the class.” — Mike Renner

29. Denver Broncos (via 49ers): CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State

“[Porter's] press technique, his physicality, it is elite. He is as good as it gets and he held up well against the Ohio State receivers last year… I do think that athleticism is still got to be something we need to see for a top-15 pick, but at this point in the draft, it is not an issue.” — Mike Renner

31. Kansas City Chiefs: TE Luke Musgrave, Oregon State

“This is a guy, come combine time, you'll start to see more and more. He's a low-4.5s guy; he is probably a high-30-inch verticals guy. He is an athlete.” — Mike Renner

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