2023 NFL mock draft: College football is back with a loaded class

2023 NFL Mock Draft, CJ Stroud, Ohio State Buckeyes -REDO Ohio State QB CJ Stroud
2023 NFL Mock Draft, CJ Stroud, Ohio State Buckeyes -REDO Ohio State QB CJ Stroud /
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2023 NFL Mock Draft
2023 NFL Mock Draft, Gervon Dexter, Florida Gators – Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

26. Cincinnati Bengals: Gervon Dexter, DL, Florida

Gervon Dexter. 56. 26. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. DL. Florida

During their championship run, the Cincinnati Bengals were bringing some serious heat from the defensive line in waves. Over the second half of the season, the defensive line rotation was outstanding but the Bengals will be missing a key piece of that unit in 2022. That key piece — Larry Ogunjobi — has moved on to division rival Pittsburgh. The Bengals are bringing back both DJ Reader as well as BJ Hill, and they also drafted former Florida stud Zach Carter in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Chances are if they liked what they saw from Carter, they’ll also really like his former Gators teammate, Gervon Dexter. Dexter’s length on the interior defensive line combined with his nastiness and strength make for a deadly combination.

27. Detroit Lions: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. QB. Florida. 27. Anthony Richardson. player. 50

The Detroit Lions decided to go after help on the defensive side of the ball earlier on in this mock draft with Kelee Ringo from Georgia. Here, they take a shot on the upside of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, perhaps the most shocking inclusion in this first-round NFL mock draft. At 6-foot-4, 236 pounds, the physical and athletic tools are all there for Richardson. At this point, it’s merely the sample size that is too small.

One year as the starter for the Gators could be all NFL teams need to see from Richardson to sell them on his upside as a future starter in the league. The Lions have been building a great group of weapons for whoever is the quarterback in the post-Jared Goff era, whenever that time comes. This pick was acquired by the Lions in the Matthew Stafford trade. Perhaps it’s only fitting that, at some point, they use one of those picks to get a QB of the future.