mock NFL Draft

On The Clock

By: Kipp Branch news services

Everyone these days produces their own version of an NFL Mock draft.

You do not have to be correct because most of these so-called experts are not. It is something fun to project. Keep that in mind. Here is my 2023 mock draft for the top ten picks with trades factored in.

Carolina Panthers: With the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft the Panthers select Bryce Young QB from Alabama.

I do not care how tall he is or what he weighs. The guy checks every box as a QB. He is accurate with a strong arm. He is mobile and played at a high level in the NFL equivalent of AAA Baseball the Southeastern Conference. Young steps in and has Carolina in contention in the weak NFC South.

Houston Texans: C. J. Stroud QB/Ohio State: Stroud showed me something in the Peach Bowl. Great pocket presence and show us some wheels when the pocket broke down.

Houston has twelve picks in this draft and can get respectable quickly in the weak AFC South.

Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson DE/Alabama: Anderson fills a need for Arizona.

Alabama has two of the top three picks in my mock draft and they did not make the college football playoffs in 2022. Head scratcher.

Baltimore Ravens: Anthony Richardson QB/Florida: The Ravens trade Lamar Jackson to the Colts and get Richardson who wowed at the combine and who is bigger, stronger, and faster than Jackson.

Seattle Seahawks: Jalen Carter DL/Georgia: Carter is the best prospect in this draft who Seattle loves.

I do not believe the smokescreen of Carter falling out of the top ten. This kid is too good to drop that far. Yes, he needs to make better decisions.

Pete Carroll will develop Carter into the best DL in the league before his rookie contract expires.

Tennessee: Will Levis QB/Kentucky: With Carter gone off the board the Lions trade out this spot with Tennessee and the Titans draft Levis.

Levis has the potential to end up being the best QB in the draft in 4-5 years. Tennessee is in desperate need of a QB.

Los Vegas Raiders: Christian Gonzalez CB/Oregon: Las Vegas needs help in the secondary.

Gonzalez is the highest rated corner on my board. In a division with great QB’s the Raiders must improve on the backend of their defense.

Atlanta Falcons: Tyree Wilson Edge/Texas Tech: With the QB’s gone the Falcons address a huge need, which is pass rush. Wilson can get to the QB. The Falcons need a lot of help on defense.

Chicago Bears: Peter Skoronski OT/Northwestern: The Bears after trading the number one pick to Carolina get must needed help along the line of scrimmage.

Philadelphia Eagles: Nolan Smith Edge/Georgia: The Eagles take Smith here to bring heat off the edge.

Philly is already strong on defense, so the rich get richer by taking Smith who stole the show at the NFL Combine by running a 4.38 forty. Insane speed off the edge.

Local Picks in the NFL Draft:

Round 4 Pick 125: The Los Angeles Chargers select Warren McClendon OL/Georgia: The former BHS Pirate McClendon is selected by the Chargers who need help protecting Justin Herbert in LA. McClendon will be versatile in the NFL and will be able to play both the guard and tackle positions.

Round 6 Pick 180: The Arizona Cardinals select Stetson Bennett QB/Georgia: This could be the perfect opportunity for Stet to come in and compete right away for a back-up job.

Kyler Murray is rehabbing a knee injury. Colt McCoy is an aging 36-year-old career back-up.

Bennett has all the intangibles you want in a QB. The biggest one is that he is a winner and has the physical tools to go with it now with his showings at the combine and Georgia’s pro day.

Arizona is a spot where Bennett could eventually be an NFL starter. The jury is still out on Kyler Murray in Arizona.


Mock Draft

By: Kipp Branch news services

Everyone who loves the NFL can come up with their own mock draft.

Draft junkies, like Mel Kiper Jr., have made a nice career out of player projections and mock drafts.

I’m delivering my first annual Kipp Branch official mock draft.

I use the word official because I’m just dumb enough to put this in writing so I can be graded against it. Here goes the KB Top Ten NFL Mock Draft with trades factored in:


First Round


Pick 1: The Jacksonville Jaguars select the best QB prospect in the history of QB prospects Trevor Lawrence from Clemson.

Lawrence will be handed the keys to the city of Jacksonville and the surrounding community will suffer from a lack of local barbers because every young man within 150 miles of Jacksonville will refuse to get their hair cut ever again. Long hair will the cool fad in North Florida and South Georgia.

Lawrence will lead this franchise to a Super Bowl by 2025.

Pick 2: The NY Jets select Zach Wilson QB from BYU.

This pick is set in stone after Sam Donald was traded to the Carolina Panthers.

I feel sorry for Wilson because he is about to get thrown to the wolves. The Jets are struggling and the New York sports media eats young QB’s alive.

Good luck Zach you need all the help you can get.

Pick 3: The San Francisco 49ers select, and yes, I’m calling it, Mac Jones from Alabama.

Jones reminds me a lot of Joe Montana coming out of college and San Fran is the perfect landing spot for Jones.

This will go down as a great pick 5-10 years from now.

Pick 4: The Atlanta Falcons want to draft Kyle Pitts from Florida, but they don’t want to draft him this high so they trade with the Denver Broncos and move back to pick 9.

The Broncos select Justin Fields QB from Ohio State.

The Drew Lock experiment is over in Denver. Fields takes over in Denver on day 1.

Pick 5: Remember the Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase combination at LSU in 2019.

Well, this duo is about to be reunited in Cincy. Bengals take the best WR in the draft with Chase.

Pick 6: The Miami Dolphins select Devonta Smith WR from Alabama.

The Heisman winner gives Miami a playmaker that they need. The Dolphins are all in on Tua so you better get him some weapons.

Pick 7: My Detroit Lions need everything and I mean everything.

Is Jared Goff the answer at QB? Hell no he is not, but there are bigger needs.

The WR position has been gutted; wait, the phone rings and it is Jerry Jones of the Cowboys who offers the Lions some draft capital to move back to pick 10.

The Lions accept and the Cowboys select CB Patrick Surtain II from Alabama to address that horrendous secondary.

Pick 8: The Carolina Panthers select Penei Sewell, the best OL in the draft. Perfect fit for Sewell with Carolina trading for Sam Darnold. A protect our investment pick.

Pick 9: After trading down with the Broncos the Atlanta Falcons get the guy they wanted all along and that is Kyle Pitts TE from Florida.

Pitts will be a monster matchup problem for opposing teams. Great pick by Atlanta.

Pick 10: My Detroit Lions after trading down with Dallas take WR Jaylen Waddle from Alabama to replace often injured Kenny Golliday, who left via free agency.

Bonus Pick-Pick 11: The Chicago Bears trade with the NY. Giants and land in at #11 and select Trey Lance QB of North Dakota State.

Lance develops into a superstar to go along with that defense and the Bears become a beast in the NFC over the next decade.

There you have it folks. Zero chance at being correct, but it is fun to speculate.