2023 NFL mock draft: 2-round projections to be thankful for

While most NFL teams have at least a few things they can be thankful for this season, that won’t stop them from coveting some additional talent when next year’s draft rolls around.

A handful of teams are sure to be looking for new quarterbacks, while others will hate to be grateful for what picks they still have after trading away first-rounders that could end up being much higher than they anticipated.

Here’s an updated look at how the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL draft could shake out, using the latest updated order heading into Week 12:

*NOTE: The Miami Dolphins forfeited their first-round pick in next year’s draft as a result of the NFL’s investigation into tampering violations.

1. Houston Texans | Alabama QB Bryce Young

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Davis Mills just got benched, so it’s a safe bet the Texans will be looking for his long-term replacement here. It’s a tight race between Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud for this spot, but despite Young’s lack of ideal size, his arm talent, athleticism, competitiveness and intangibles win out.

2. Carolina Panthers | Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

If the Panthers end up in this spot, I’m sure they won’t mind picking whichever of the top two passers the Texans pass on. In this scenario, it’s Stroud, who would give them an immediate upgrade over the terrible carousel they’ve run through this year at the game’s most important position.

3. Chicago Bears | Alabama EDGE Will Anderson

(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Obviously, the Bears’ prime objective in the offseason needs to be building around Justin Fields on offense, but that can be done in many different ways. In this scenario, their best bet is to take the top overall prospect in the draft, as Anderson immediately replaces the impact the defense lost when they traded away Robert Quinn.

4. Las Vegas Raiders | Georgia DL Jalen Carter

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This is the ideal scenario for the Raiders, if they end up picking in this spot. Carter could make a strong case to be the best overall player in this class, regardless of position, and he fills the biggest need on this roster. His dominant, disruptive presence is exactly what this defense needs.

5. Seattle Seahawks (from DEN) | Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy

(AP Photo/Stew Milne)

The Seahawks absolutely crushed their 2022 draft class, but if there’s one unit on the team that still needs an infusion of top talent, it’s the defensive front. Murphy has the size, length and athleticism to be exactly what Pete Carroll and company love at the EDGE spot.

6. Detroit Lions (from LAR) | Florida QB Anthony Richardson

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Richardson’s 2022 campaign got off to a rocky start, but last week was the first time he’s thrown a pick in five games. He’s got the kind of rare skill set that makes him the closest thing to Josh Allen that we’ll see in this class, with similar boom/bust potential. The Bills are reaping the benefits of the boom, and a team like the Lions could easily do the same.

7. Houston Texans (from CLE) | Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson

(AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

After landing their franchise quarterback, the Texans need to address their desperate need for an impact player along the defensive front. Wilson’s massive frame, impressive length, and rare athleticism could easily make him a top-10 pick, and he’d be a great fit in Lovie Smith’s defense off the edge.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers | Penn State OT Olu Fashanu

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

You could argue that no team in the league needs something more than the Steelers need a franchise left tackle, and this scenario gives them the perfect opportunity to find one. Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski warrants consideration, but the 19-year-old Fashanu has impressive physical traits and a limitless ceiling.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars | TCU WR Quentin Johnston

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Jags could go in a couple of different directions here, but they should err on the side of helping Trevor Lawrence whenever possible. That means taking this year’s top pass-catcher off the board, and Johnston has an enticing combination of size, athleticism and ball skills to be an instant No. 1 target.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (from NO) | Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles have the best record in the NFL, but thanks to last year’s draft-day trade with the Saints, they could still end up with a top-10 pick. There aren’t many glaring needs on this roster, so opting for overall value should be their top priority. In this scenario, that means taking a plug-and-play blocker in Skoronski.

11. Arizona Cardinals | Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since Patrick Peterson left, the Cardinals have been missing everything he brought to the corner position. This scenario gives them the chance to replace those traits with Porter, the son of a Pro Bowl defender who brings the same kind of confidence and physicality his dad played with.

12. Green Bay Packers | Clemson DL Bryan Bresee

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It’s easy to put a pass-catcher here, but the Packers have some needs lurking on the other side of the ball, and there’s value to be had there. Bresee is a disruptive force with rare athleticism and explosiveness for an interior defender, and he’d be a bargain outside of the top 10.

13. Detroit Lions | Georgia CB Kelee Ringo

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Jeff Okudah is finally playing like a No. 3 overall pick, but the Lions could use an upgrade at the other corner spot. Ringo is big and athletic, with the length and ball skills to be a big-play machine at the next level, just like he’s been for the Bulldogs.

14. Indianapolis Colts | Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Kentucky’s Will Levis is probably the pick most would expect here, but I’m still not sold on him as a first-round prospect. If the Colts want to go quarterback here (and they should), Penix should be the next one off the board. He’s got all the traits of a franchise passer, and he’s having a fantastic season for the Huskies.

15. Atlanta Falcons | Texas RB Bijan Robinson

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Arthur Smith clearly wants to keep running his offense the same way he did in Tennessee, so he’s going to need a special running back to make it work. Cordarrelle Patterson turns 32 in March, so this might be the perfect spot for Robinson to come off the board.

16. Los Angeles Chargers | Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Rashawn Slater is already one of the NFL’s best left tackles, but the Chargers need a long-term upgrade on the right side to keep Justin Herbert protected. Johnson has a track record of success against top competition, and can play either side at an extremely high level.

17. Washington Commanders | South Carolina CB Cam Smith

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

This secondary needs a true shutdown artist to take over the No. 1 corner spot, and this gives Washington the perfect chance to do just that. Smith has the size, athleticism, physicality and ball skills to be that kind of player at the next level.

18. New York Jets | Georgia OT Broderick Jones

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries have ravaged this offensive line, leaving the Jets with more questions than answers at both tackle spots. Jones has been impressive this season against top competition, and has all the traits to quickly develop into a quality starter at a premium position.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting are both headed for free agency, so the Bucs could use another starting-caliber corner to pair with Carlton Davis III. Gonzalez has the size and length Todd Bowles loves at the position, along with the athleticism and ball skills to be an immediate playmaker.

20. Denver Broncos (from SF via MIA) | Florida State EDGE Jared Verse

Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos got this pick by trading away their best pass rusher in Bradley Chubb, so replacing him here would be a wise move. Verse has been one of this year’s fastest-rising prospects, and his explosiveness off the line could make him a dominant presence off the edge at the next level.

21. Seattle Seahawks | Baylor DL Siaki Ika

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

After getting a dynamic edge rusher in the top five, the Seahawks stay in the defensive trenches with this pick, addressing their need for interior help. Ika is a massive mauler who can single-handedly shut down an opposing offense’s ground attack.

22. New England Patriots | USC WR Jordan Addison

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

This offense needs more playmakers, and this scenario gives the Pats a perfect opportunity to add one of the best in this class. He may not be the biggest receiver, but Addison is a smooth route-runner with reliable hands and explosive, big-play ability after the catch.

23. Cincinnati Bengals | Clemson LB Trenton Simpson

(AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

Even if the Bengals end up keeping Jessie Bates III, this defense could use another versatile, athletic playmaker who can line up all over the field. Simpson can play in the box, in the slot, and just about anywhere else, and wreak havoc on opposing offenses.

24. Buffalo Bills | Washington WR Rome Odunze

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills have yet to find a consistent No. 2 receiver to take attention and pressure away from Stefon Diggs, and this is their chance to make find that guy. Odunze should be getting way more first-round buzz than he currently is, and it won’t be surprising if that changes between now and April.

25. Baltimore Ravens | Alabama DB Brian Branch

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

This secondary needs help at both levels, so the Ravens would be wise to land a versatile defender who can line up all over the field. Branch can play outside, in the slot, or on the back end, and bring the same athleticism, instincts, and big-play ability to every spot.

26. Tennessee Titans | Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

This offense desperately needs more playmakers in the passing game, but if you’re gonna play in this offense, you’d better be able to block. Mayer can do both extremely well, and would be a solid match of need and value for the Titans here.

27. Dallas Cowboys | Utah CB Clark Phillips III

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Trevon Diggs is obviously one of the best corners in the game right now, but the Cowboys need an upgrade on the other side of the field. Phillips isn’t the biggest corner, but his instincts, ball skills, and leaping ability have still made him one of the best playmaking corners in the nation.

28. New York Jets | Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel

If there’s a worse receiver situation in the NFL right now, I’d love to see it. The Giants desperately need an infusion of talent here, and they’ve got some solid options in this scenario. Hyatt has put up huge numbers in a breakout campaign, and deserves first-round billing.

29. Minnesota Vikings | SMU WR Rashee Rice

(AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)

Adam Thielen isn’t getting any younger, and the Vikings should find a younger understudy to eventually take over as Justin Jefferson’s running mate at receiver. Rice has flown up the draft board thanks to a stellar start to the 2022 season, and his size/speed combo would make him a perfect complement to Jefferson.

30. Kansas City Chiefs | Oklahoma OT Anton Harrison

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Thielen isn’t getting any younger, and the Vikings should find a younger understudy to eventually take over as Justin Jefferson’s running mate at receiver. Rice has flown up the draft board thanks to a stellar start to the 2022 season, and his size/speed combo would make him a perfect complement to Jefferson.

31. Philadelphia Eagles | Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel

Jalen Hurts has this offensive running on all cylinders, but a versatile, explosive weapon like Gibbs could help take the unit to another level. The Georgia Tech transfer has been an absolute stud for the Crimson Tide, and one of the most dynamic players in all of college football when the ball’s in his hands.

32. Houston Texans | LSU WR Kayshon Boutte

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

33. Pittsburgh Steelers (from CHI) | Mississippi State CB Emmanuel Forbes

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

34. Carolina Panthers | Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

35. Seattle Seahawks (from DEN) | Georgia TE Darnell Washington

Syndication: Online Athens

36. Los Angeles Rams | Notre Dame EDGE Isaiah Foskey

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

37. Cleveland Browns | Army EDGE Andre Carter II

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

38. Pittsburgh Steelers | Michigan DL Mazi Smith

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

39. Jacksonville Jaguars | Florida DL Gervon Dexter

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

40. Las Vegas Raiders | Florida OL O'Cyrus Torrence

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

41. Arizona Cardinals | Auburn EDGE Derick Hall

(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

42. Green Bay Packers | North Carolina WR Josh Downs

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

43. New Orleans Saints | Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker

(Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

44. Detroit Lions | Texas A&M S Antonio Johnson

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

45. Indianapolis Colts | USC OL Andrew Voorhees

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

46. Atlanta Falcons | Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

47. Los Angeles Chargers | Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

48. Washington Commanders | Kentucky QB Will Levis

(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

49. New York Jets | Notre Dame S Brandon Joseph

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Oregon LB Noah Sewell

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

51. Seattle Seahawks | Minnesota OL John Michael Schmitz

(AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

52. New England Patriots | Arkansas LB Drew Sanders

(AP Photo/Michael Woods)

53. Cincinnati Bengals | South Dakota State TE Tucker Kraft

Syndication: Argus Leader

54. Carolina Panthers (from SF) | Alabama LB Henry To'o To'o

Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

55. Buffalo Bills | Kansas State OL Cooper Beebe

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

56. Tennessee Titans | Ohio State OL Luke Wypler

(Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images)

57. Dallas Cowboys | Ohio State OT Dawand Jones

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

58. New York Giants | Washington State QB Cameron Ward

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

59. Chicago Bears (from BAL) | Maryland OT Jaelyn Duncan

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

60. Miami Dolphins | Washington State LB Daiyan Henley

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

61. Detroit Lions (from MIN) | Iowa LB Jack Campbell

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

62. Kansas City Chiefs | Kansas State EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

63. Philadelphia Eagles | LSU EDGE BJ Ojulari

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Story originally appeared on Draft Wire