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, Baylor Bears, Siaki Ika – Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

14. Houston Texans: Siaki Ika, DL, Baylor

Siaki Ika. 14. Baylor. DL. player. 10. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis

In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans went after cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. with their top pick to upgrade a secondary that desperately needed it. In this 2023 NFL mock draft scenario, they had Alabama star pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. fall into their laps. Getting a couple of star prospects at key positions, the Texans look back at the trenches with this pick, acquired from the Browns in the Deshaun Watson trade.

Frankly, it’s hard to believe the Browns’ pick will be this far down the order with Watson missing the first 11 games of the season, but we’ll see. In any case, in this scenario the Texans continue to upgrade their defense with Baylor defensive lineman Siaki Ika, an LSU transfer who was a breakout player on the Baylor defense in 2021. He’s such an impressive specimen for 350 pounds and isn’t clunky with his movement skills at all.

The Texans invested a premium pick in Baylor defensive back Jalen Pitre in 2022 and there’s no doubt they saw what Ika is capable of as well.

15. Las Vegas Raiders: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

OT. Northwestern. 15. Scouting Report. Peter Skoronski. player. 28. Pick Analysis

There’s no team in the NFL that needs to find long-term reinforcements on the offensive line worse than the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders just cut 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood, a pick of the Jon Gruden/Mike Mayock regime, for nothing. Although Kolton Miller is a building block at left tackle, the Raiders need much, much more.

They might have the worst offensive line in the NFL in 2022, but they are going to have a chance to upgrade in the 2023 NFL Draft. Skoronski pitched a shutout at left tackle in his first outing of the 2022 season against Nebraska on nearly 40 pass-blocking snaps. He looks the part of a future NFL starter whether it’s at left tackle or somewhere else.

The Raiders would need him on the right side as a rookie. It’s a relatively thin offensive tackle class at the top but Skoronski looks like an immediate starter.