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
Nolan Smith, Georgia Bulldogs, 2023 NFL Mock Draft (Photo by Steven Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

8. Carolina Panthers: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

8. Pick Analysis. Georgia. 87. Scouting Report. EDGE. Nolan Smith. player

Can anyone tell if the Carolina Panthers are building something legit at this point? I can’t help but like the moves they are all making to upgrade the roster. Baker Mayfield getting a chance to redeem himself in a new spot with DJ Moore, Christian McCaffrey, and now Laviska Shenault as some of his weapons? The Panthers under Matt Rhule have invested heavily on the defensive side of the ball. It looks like they have one stud off the edge in Brian Burns, but getting a player like Nolan Smith in the 2023 NFL Draft? That would be a huge get.

Smith was part of the loaded Georgia defense last season but still managed to stand out with nine tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. Adding his speed off the edge would give the Panthers a dynamic pass rush duo with former first-round pick and Auburn star Derrick Brown on the interior.

9. New York Giants: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

QB. player. Will Levis. 9. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Kentucky. 31

The third quarterback to come off the board in the top 10 picks goes to a team in the New York Giants that desperately needs a long-term solution at the position. The Giants have been rolling with Daniel Jones since 2019, but it’s hard to fathom how he’s still the man under center at this point. Jones is getting a shot with new head coach Brian Daboll but we’ll see how long it lasts.

It would not be surprising at all to see them make a huge change in the 2023 offseason at the position and go after a player like Will Levis, who is a social media star and a fascinating prospect at the position. His size, athleticism, and arm talent are all top-tier. The fact that he takes mayonnaise with his coffee and eats bananas with the peel still on? Maybe some work to be done there.

I’m not going to sit here and say that Levis is a clone of Josh Allen, by any means, but his size and athleticism in combination with his big arm could play well with Brian Daboll.