FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 25th, 2023
CHRIS SIMMS UNVEILS FIRST-ROUND MOCK DRAFT & ANALYSIS AHEAD OF 2023 NFL DRAFT
“They have a chance to get a guy here who fits the way Arthur Smith wants to play…He can be a better version of what Ryan Tannehill was when Smith was in Tennessee.” – Simms on Atlanta taking QB C.J. Stroud at No. 8
“It’s a draft in a year where there’s not a lot of superstar football players. He’s one of them.” – Simms on Philadelphia taking RB Bijan Robinson at No. 10
NBC Sports’ 2023 NFL Draft Coverage Continues This Week Across NBC Sports Platforms
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 25, 2023 – With the NFL Draft two days away, beginning this Thursday, April 27, NBC Sports’ Chris Simms has released his first-round mock draft on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast.
Simms, a third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2003 NFL Draft who played eight NFL seasons, was joined by NBC Sports’ Ahmed Fareed on Simms Unbuttoned to offer evaluation, insight and analysis on the draft’s top prospects and each team’s needs heading into the draft. On draft night, Simms and Fareed will also record instant reaction videos to every pick in Round 1; the full podcast will be released overnight. A bonus draft recap/reaction episode of Simms Unbuttoned will be available Friday, April 28, at 7 p.m. ET.
For a Simms’ complete breakdown of his first-round mock draft, click here to watch the full episode of Simms Unbuttoned. In the week’s leading up to the draft, Simms has provided a position-by-position breakdowns of the top prospects. Click here for a full playlist of Simms’ positional rankings along with more NBC Sports NFL Draft analysis.
NBC Sports NFL Insider Peter King yesterday unveiled his 2023 first-round mock draft, projecting Alabama QB Bryce Young to go No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers. Click here for King’s mock draft.
Tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET on Peacock, NBC Sports NFL analyst and fantasy sports pioneer Matthew Berry, in his first draft season with NBC Sports, will look ahead to the impact draft picks will have on the fantasy football landscape next season on Fantasy Football Happy Hour.
During the draft, Berry, along with co-hosts Jay Croucher and Connor Rogers, will report from the Fantasy Football Happy Hour set in Stamford, will provide instant video analysis and reactions for select offensive player draft picks on the NBC NFL YouTube channel, NBCSports.com, and NBCSportsEDGE.com; their discussion will be also available as a podcast to be released overnight. A draft recap/reactions episode of Fantasy Football Happy Hour will tape the following Monday, May 1. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio will also offer video commentary on every pick in Round 1. For a more detailed schedule of NBC Sports’ NFL Draft content, see the schedule at the end of the release. NBC Sports’ full 2023 NFL Draft content schedule is below.
For more NFL coverage, Peacock offers daily programming on the NBC Sports channel for free, including Pro Football Talk at 7 a.m. ET every weekday, Chris Simms Unbuttoned, The Peter King Podcast, Brother from Another, and The Dan Patrick Show. To learn more about the NBC Sports on Peacock channel and how to sign up, click here.
The following is Chris Simms’ first round mock draft:
|1) Carolina: Alabama QB Bryce Young||17) Pittsburgh: Tennessee T Darnell Wright|
|2) Houston: Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson||18) Detroit: Michigan DT Mazi Smith|
|3) Arizona: Alabama EDGE Will Anderson, Jr.||19) Tampa Bay: Oklahoma T Anton Harrison|
|4) Indianapolis: Kentucky QB Will Levis||20) Seattle: Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith|
|5) Seattle: Georgia DT Jalen Carter||21) LA Chargers: Boston College WR Zay Flowers|
|6) Detroit: Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon||22) Baltimore: Maryland CB Deonte Banks|
|7) Las Vegas: Ohio State T Paris Johnson, Jr.||23) Minnesota: Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker|
|8) Atlanta: Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud||24) Jacksonville: Clemson DT Bryan Bresee|
|9) Chicago: Northwestern G Peter Skoronski||25) NY Giants: Michigan CB DJ Turner|
|10) Philadelphia: Texas RB Bijan Robinson||26) Dallas: Minnesota C John Michael Schmitz|
|11) Tennessee: Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez||27) Buffalo: Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba|
|12) Houston: Florida QB Anthony Richardson||28) Cincinnati: Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs|
|13) *NY Jets: Pittsburgh DT Calijah Kancey||29) New Orleans: Iowa EDGE Lukas Van Ness|
|14) New England: Georgia T Broderick Jones||30) Philadelphia: Iowa State EDGE Will McDonald IV|
|15) *Green Bay: Utah TE Dalton Kincaid||31) Kansas City: Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy|
|16) Washington: Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer|
|*Draft was released prior to Jets-Packers trade|
On the 2023 NFL Draft
Simms on how he compiled his mock draft: “I’m going more on the ‘who I think each team will take’ approach this year, more predictive is the game plan…It’s not necessarily going to be true to my board, but true more to things I heard, whatever the consensus is out there. It’s not necessarily what I would do in that instance.”
Simms on Bryce Young to the Panthers at No. 1: “They’re comfortable with his size. They love his football brain and IQ and they feel like he’s a natural. They’re comfortable in the style of play they’re going to play with him.”
On Will Levis to the Colts at No. 4: “He’s very smart and we know he’s got some big-time tools…They feel more comfortable with him and his potential than C.J. Stroud…He’s definitely less raw than (Anthony) Richardson is. He’s ready to play quarterback more.”
On C.J. Stroud to the Falcons at No. 8: “They still have to have questions about Desmond Ridder. They have a chance to get a guy here who fits the way Arthur Smith wants to play…He can be a better version of what Ryan Tannehill was when Smith was in Tennessee. Great down the field thrower, underrated athlete. It’s not often you get a chance to get this type of quarterback.”
On Anthony Richardson to the Texans at No. 12: “Great spot for him. I know he’s highly valued within their organization. You’ve got (offensive coordinator) Bobby Slowik who came from the 49ers, he’s going to know how to do some of the quarterback designed stuff. To me, that’s the other aspect too – he hasn’t played football. You’ve got to play him right away. Take your lumps. Do it the right way.”
On Hendon Hooker to the Vikings at No. 23: “We all know this is Kirk Cousins’ last year there. They’ve got a chance here to build something with Justin Jefferson. They’ve got a guy here that’s ready right now, and I’m telling you, he’s, by a lot of people, viewed as way higher than the 23rd pick in the draft…To me, he’s got big-time starting quarterback potential and I would want him to have the option of the five years.”
On Bijan Robinson to the Eagles at No. 10: “I’ve got a pretty good feel that they like him. Bijan Robinson is, I think, universally a top-five player on most peoples’ boards. It’s a draft in a year where there’s not a lot of superstar football players. He’s one of them.”
On Jahmyr Gibbs to the Bengals at No. 28: “Gibbs is just so special…You put that guy in that West Coast offense with that quarterback and those receivers and they’re going to put you in a bind. I think they can get a good tight end in the second round so that’s why they go Jahmyr Gibbs.”
On Zay Flowers to the Chargers at No. 21: “Jaylen Waddle, Kadarius Toney, Brandin Cooks — he could be that type of football player. They’ve already got size at receiver, they need some of these weapon guys. They need a guy that can catch a five-yard pass and go up the sideline for thirty more yards…He’ll be able to run routes, beat people deep, be the reverse speed sweep guy. I think he makes a lot of sense for the Chargers.”
On Jaxon Smith-Njigba to the Bills at No. 27: “There are some teams that are like, ‘He’s definitely one of the top 15.’ And then I talk to other teams who have a top of the second-round grade on him. So there’s a disconnect in football. He’s a little all over the place. For me here, even with the injury concern, this is perfect. (The Bills) need him. (Stefon) Diggs on the outside, (Gabe) Davis on the outside, and now you’ve got Jaxon Smith-Njigba working the inside? Watch out.”
On Dalton Kincaid to the Packers at No. 15: “His back injury is being red-flagged and I don’t know how far that could make him fall, but we’re talking about a freak show tight end here. I mean he’s special and this is a coach who I know values tight ends…It’s not only a need for this football team, but a phenomenal football player. Definitely one of the 15 best players in the draft, just has this injury thing.”
On Michael Mayer to the Commanders at No. 16: “We know he can kind of do everything. He’s a good run blocker, he’s good in the pass game, the floor is high, and the ceiling could possibly be high as well.”
On edge Tyree Wilson to the Texans at No. 2: “Get their Myles Garrett, get their Nick Bosa…they get their edge rusher to make DeMeco Ryans’ defensive system what made it so successful in San Francisco. This is the guy that can be that type of presence that Nick Bosa was for his football team…I know there’s a contingent in that building that likes Tyree Wilson as a pass rusher and the guy.”
On edge Will Anderson Jr. to the Cardinals at No. 3: “He’s a safe, for sure thing. He’s a good player, just to me this is way too high…He’s safe — I think when you couple that GM in with it and the state of the organization, that’s why I went that way here.”
On DT Jalen Carter to the Seahawks at No. 5: “They’ve done their due diligence from what I’ve heard. It’s a desperate need for their football team. They’re not good enough up front. They can’t hang with the 49ers unless they get better up front. So, this is where, if Jalen Carter is on the board here, I totally expect it to be him…They’re not afraid of personality up there, in fact, to me, that’s the perfect place for the guy. They can handle personality, they can handle those type of guys.”
On CB Devon Witherspoon to the Lions at No. 6: “This is a special player…Has it all, can play off, can play bump. There’s really no weakness to the player and (the Lions) were horrible in that department last year so that’ll be a big help for the football team.”
NBC SPORTS 2023 DRAFT CONTENT SCHEDULE
Tuesday, April 25
Wednesday, April 26
Thursday, April 27 – Round 1 begins at 8 p.m. ET
Friday, April 28
Saturday, April 29
Monday, May 1