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2023 NFL Draft: The perfect draft for all NFC teams that missed the playoffs

Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) looks on before the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

• Bears get their guy? There was a point where it looked likely that Jalen Carter would be the Bears' pick at No. 1 overall, so if they could land him at No. 9 after a trade down with the Panthers, it’s hard to see it as anything other than a massive win.

• Packers get their asking price: The Packers' perfect draft begins with the Jets blinking first and coughing up the 13th overall selection for QB Aaron Rodgers.

• What would you do as the GM of your favorite team? PFF's mock draft simulator features unlimited seven-round mock drafts, player and pick trades, turbo draft speed mode and PFF analysis on the best draft prospects. Try it today!

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


Mock drafts are fun, but one of the issues when looking at every team in the NFL is that the same player can often be the perfect fit for multiple teams.

Here, we look at every NFC team that didn’t make the playoffs and examine what an ideal draft would look like for them in a vacuum. 

Atlanta Falcons

Round 1: QB Anthony Richardson, Florida

Round 2: CB Tyrique Stevenson, Miami (Fla.)

Round 3: WR Marvin Mims, Oklahoma

It’s a theme of both this article and the AFC version — if you have a pick outside the top three and have a current or future need at quarterback, landing a player with Richardson's ceiling is close to perfect.

A Day 2 of Stevenson at cornerback and Mims, whose 603 receiving yards on catches 20-plus yards downfield ranked second in this class, would be a great continuation of the rebuild in Atlanta.

Arizona Cardinals

Trade: Arizona trades No. 3 overall to Las Vegas in exchange for No. 7 and a 2024 first-round pick

Round 1: EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

Round 2: CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State

Round 3: CB DJ Turner, Michigan; WR A.T. Perry, Wake Forest; WR Michael Wilson, Stanford

For the Cardinals to land Will Anderson Jr. at No. 7 overall after a trade with the Raiders, they would need four quarterbacks and the combination of Jalen Carter and Tyree Wilson to come off the board in the top six picks. However, landing a player who racked up 60 or more pressures in each of the past seasons while picking up a 2024 first-round pick would be a home run draft right away.

For a team unlikely to compete in 2023, a Day 2 that double-dips on cornerbacks and wide receivers would be a great way to look ahead to 2024.

Carolina Panthers

Round 1: QB Bryce Young, Alabama

Round 2: EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State

Round 3: WR Rashee Rice, SMU

The Panthers traded up to No. 1 overall, so anything other than landing the top prospect in this class — perhaps except gambling on the ceiling of Richardson — feels like a mistake. Young has produced passing grades of 91.0 or better in each of the past two seasons.

Anudike-Uzomah racked up 46 total pressures from 388 pass-rushing snaps in 2022 and would be a fantastic value pick at the top of Round 2.

Chicago Bears

Round 1: DI Jalen Carter, Georgia

Round 2: CB Julius Brents, Kansas State; C Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin

Round 3: WR Nathaniel Dell, Houston

There was a point where it looked likely that Carter would be the Bears' pick at No. 1 overall, so if they could land him at No. 9 after a trade down with the Panthers, it’s hard to see it as anything other than a massive win. Carter produced pass-rushing grades of 89.0 or better in each of the past two seasons.

The Bears could then add talent in the defensive backfield, at wide receiver and solidify the middle of their offensive line on Day 2.

Detroit Lions

Round 1: QB Anthony Richardson, Florida; CB Deonte Banks, Maryland

Round 2: CB Tyrique Stevenson, Miami (Fl.); WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee

Round 3: DI Moro Ojomo, Texas

Lions fans love Jared Goff — I get that. Still, you can’t convince me that adding a quarterback with Richardson's ceiling doesn’t have the potential to seriously improve the odds that the Lions contend for a Super Bowl within a few seasons if he works out in the NFL.

Whoever the quarterback is, adding a wide receiver like Hyatt, who had more yards on receptions 20-plus yards downfield than anyone in this draft class, to pair with Jameson Williams and Amon-Ra St. Brown feels like a scary prospect for opposing defenses.

Green Bay Packers

Trade: Green Bay trades QB Aaron Rodgers to the Jets in exchange for No. 13 overall

Round 1: WR Quentin Johnston, TCU; TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah

Round 2: DI Siaki Ika, Baylor

Round 3: Edge Isaiah McGuire, Missouri

When I did this for the AFC, I said that the perfect draft for the Jets started with landing Aaron Rodgers without giving up their first-round pick. The opposite is true for the Packers — their perfect draft begins with the Jets blinking first and coughing up the 13th overall selection for Rodgers.

Surrounding Jordan Love with as much talent as possible should be the goal, and Johnston at wide receiver and Kincaid, who led all tight ends in PFF receiving grade in 2022, would certainly do that.

Trade picks and players and mock all seven rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft — try free today!

Los Angeles Rams

Round 2: EDGE BJ Ojulari, LSU

Round 3: CB Julius Brents, Kansas State; CB Garrett Williams, Syracuse

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