New League Year Mock Draft! Aaron Rodgers to the Jets, and Jalen Carter keeps falling

Why isn’t the new NFL league year a national holiday? I mean, the day after the Super Bowl should also be a national holiday, but as worn out as we all are after the two-day illegal tampering period has expired, and deals can now officially be consummated, I think we could all use a day on the couch.

In any event, after that blizzard of free-agent signings that are now finally signings at 4:00 p.m. EST, a lot has changed for most NFL teams regarding their plans for the 2023 NFL draft, which is right around the corner.

We’ll start with the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets. We would love to say that a trade sending Aaron Rodgers from the green-and-gold to Gang Green has happened, but the financials are somewhat complicated, and Rodgers has a list of demands that may include a new pony and to be the President of Greenland, so we must merely assume that the Jets will send the 13th overall pick to the Packers as part of that deal. We will do just that for the purposes of this mock draft, because quite frankly, we are tired of waiting for Aaron Rodgers.

Also, the trade between the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears that sent the first overall pick to the Panthers and a bevy of picks, along with receiver D.J. Moore to Chicago, is official. We believed at the time that the Panthers went up to grab Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, and we believe so now.

So, there are the Bears with the ninth overall pick, and what if Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter, the consensus best player in this class, keeps falling after he was charged last Wednesday with misdemeanors relating to the accident that saw teammate Devin Willock and a Georgia staffer Chandler LeCroy die in a January 15 accident? Carter’s performance at Georgia’s pro day just a week later didn’t help matters, and it’s tough to imagine a top prospect whose status may have fallen this far in a short space of time.

But given Carter’s legitimately generational talent, do the Bears take the risk? In this mock draft, the Bears do just that.

So, with all that business settled, here’s one version of how the first round of the 2023 draft might look after a tumultuous couple of days.

1. Carolina Panthers (from Chicago Bears): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

3. Arizona Cardinals: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

4. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

5. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos): Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

6. Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

7. Las Vegas Raiders: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

(Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports)

8. Atlanta Falcons: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

(Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports)

9. Chicago Bears (from Indianapolis Colts): Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

10. Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans Saints): Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

11. Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson Jr. OT, Ohio State

(AP Photo/David Dermer)

12. Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns): Jordan Addison, WR, USC

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

13. Green Bay Packers (from New York Jets): Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

(Syndication: USA TODAY)

14. New England Patriots: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

15. Green Bay Packers: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

(Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)

16. Washington Commanders: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

(Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports)

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

(Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports)

18. Detroit Lions: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

(Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

(Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports)

20. Seattle Seahawks: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)

21. Los Angeles Chargers: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

(Aaron E. Martinez-USA TODAY NETWORK)

22. Baltimore Ravens: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

23. Minnesota Vikings: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

(Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel)

24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

25. New York Giants: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

26. Dallas Cowboys: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

27. Buffalo Bills: Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

28. Cincinnati Bengals: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

29. New Orleans Saints: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

(Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports)

30. Philadelphia Eagles: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson


31. Kansas City Chiefs: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

(Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire