Three-round 2023 NFL mock draft for all NFC South teams

Austin, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) warms up before the game against the Texas Longhorns during the first half at at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

With the bulk of free agency over and the 2023 NFL Draft just over four weeks away, it's time to fire up the PFF mock draft simulator to fill the remaining needs for all 32 NFL teams.

Today, we'll focus on the NFC South to see how the first three rounds could shake out. Want to see how you'd do as the general manager of your favorite team? Try PFF's mock draft simulator — you can trade players and picks and mock all seven rounds. Click here to start drafting!

Note: Each team's mock draft was run independently, so some players may appear twice, as these picks are simply what I would do in the given situation.

Atlanta Falcons

Round 1: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Round 2: CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State

Round 3: WR Nathaniel Dell, Houston

Drake London impressed as a rookie, and Mack Hollins is coming off a career year, but the rest of the Falcons' wide receiver corps has combined for just two career receptions.

Smith-Njigba averaged 4.01 yards per route run in 2021 to lead all college receivers, including teammates and 2022 first-round draft picks Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave.

Forbes might measure on the slighter side, but he has elite timed speed and recorded a combined 31 pass breakups and interceptions over the past two seasons.

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Carolina Panthers

Round 1: QB Bryce Young, Alabama

Round 2: EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State

Round 3: WR Michael Wilson, Stanford

C.J. Stroud is the favorite to go No. 1 overall, but Young is the top quarterback on the PFF big board. The Alabama signal-caller earned a 91.3 PFF grade in 2022, tied for the best in the nation, and he was actually even better in 2021 when he produced a 92.0 passing grade.

Wilson saw just 40 targets over the 2022 season but averaged a respectable 2.30 yards per route run, third among draft-eligible receivers from the Pac-12.

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New Orleans Saints

Round 1: DI Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh

Round 2: LB Daiyan Henley, Washington State

Round 3: QB Tanner McKee, Stanford

Kancey’s projection is all over the place depending on which mock draft you look at. He would be too good a value to turn down at the end of Round 1, though, coming off a season where he put up a 92.4 pass-rushing grade that led all players on the defensive interior. 

The Saints might have added Derek Carr, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look to take a swing if a player like McKee falls to the third round. McKee recorded just eight turnover-worthy plays over the 2022 season.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Round 1: OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma

Round 2: QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

Round 3: TE Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan

The scenario where Kentucky quarterback Will Levis slides to the Buccaneers — or at least falls far enough for them to move up to grab him — makes a lot of sense. But with that not happening here, I think the most logical fit is adding an offensive tackle, and Harrison is coming off a season in which he allowed just nine total pressures from 447 pass-blocking snaps.

It’s a reach per the PFF big board, but Hendon Hooker in Round 2 feels like a potential fit if the Levis scenario doesn’t happen. Hooker produced 17 big-time throws to just five turnover-worthy plays in 2022.

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