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Reacting To SB Nation’s First 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Not complaining one bit about this mock draft, no sir.

Louisville v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It’s officially, unequivocally, DRAFT SEASON BABY.

That’s right, the Chicago Bears are on the clock and your Houston Texans can only sit back and wait ‘till the guys up in Chicago wheel and deal their way to the draft haul of the decade. All thanks to your friend and mine, Lovie Smith. What a guy.

With the conclusion of the Super Bowl, SB Nation put out their first official 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Boy, it’s a doozy. They predict two trades - one that’ll directly impact the Texans theoretically, but could be the best case scenario.

Either the folks at the top of the SB Nation food chain are pulling my chain or they’ve heaved the first smoke grenade over the barricade of the NFL offseason.

Round 1, Pick 1 Indianapolis Colts (Via Trade with Chicago Bears): Will Levis, QB - Kentucky

TRADE: Chicago Bears receive: Fourth overall pick, 35th overall pick, 2024 first round pick

Indianapolis Colts receive: First overall pick

Hahahahahahahaha. Chris Ballard is my kind of general manager... for the Colts that is. If the Colts are truly that in love with Levis over Young, they should probably keep that to themselves. If they don’t want anyone to trade up to the third pick, held by the Arizona Cardinals, that does make sense too.

Levis has thrown 23 interceptions over the past two season at Kentucky. He’s the highest risk/reward QB I’ve seen since Lamar Jackson. Which, by all intents and purposes, was a hit for Baltimore. Yet you don’t see the Ravens overly enthused by their stock in their division right now. Levis has the ‘traits’ to be a starting QB, but from a habits standpoint the Colts will have to wean him off several excruciating tendencies.

However, it does bring up a very strong possibility that the Colts could and are inclined to trade up to the first overall pick. The Colts don’t not have the assets to trade up; an early first, an early second, and next year’s first. I think the Bears are going to make a team sweat more than this trade suggests. Here’s what Tennessee received to give the Rams the number one pick and Jared Goff (plus a fourth and sixth-round pick in 2016):

Tennessee: Rams’ first round pick (2016), two second-round picks (2016), a third round pick (2016), a first round pick (2017) and another third-round pick (2017).

Yeah, that’s a much larger bounty that hypothesized. But enough about what others will do, let’s see who becomes a Texan:

Round 1, Pick 2 Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB - Alabama

All is well that ends well, right? Houston avoids disaster and get’s what is to be assumed a ‘their guy’ pick at second overall in the draft. It sets course for the rest of the draft to surround Young with supporting talent while using the other TEN PICKS left to move up throughout the weekend and draft more of ‘their guys’.

Young brings a Heisman pedigree to Houston and begins a new era under center. For all of the concerns about his height, he’s the consummate pro this team needs to embark on a return to the playoffs in short order. His career will forever be tied to and compared against Will Levis; and they will see each other twice a year for the foreseeable future.

Here’s what the writer had to say about the Texans pick at two:

After Levis, Bryce Young goes off the board to Houston. With DeMeco Ryans coming in, there’s potential for another playcaller from the Shanahan tree to be involved in this offense. Young’s spatial awareness and ability to correct mistakes outside the pocket make him the perfect QB for this offense, and so does his accuracy at all three levels.

If the Texans can still walk away with Young at number two while the Colts mortgage their future, every fan in Houston will feel like it’s Christmas in April.

With that, let’s get to the 12th pick. here’s everyone projected to be selected between two and twelve in order:

Round 1, Pick 12 Houston Texans: Myles Murphy, EDGE - Clemson

In my opinion, there are 11 or 12 top-flight prospects. In much of my analysis, the Texans either get 1) their choice of the best WR in the class 2) trade back to picks 16-22 3) a top-flight corner or defensive end or 4) the 2nd best offensive tackle in the class.

In this scenario, SB Nation has the QBs pushing much of the positional talent back into the mid-round. If the Texans land their QB and then more QBs go off the board, it only means our pick will have better options.

Myles Murphy is the most well rounded edge product in this class. Yes, over Will Anderson. Murphy is an ideal 4-3 pass rusher who can play the run and knows how to parry multiple blockers. He has three years of quality production. His sack stats won't wow you - 4, 8, 6.5 respectively over his three years at Clemson.

Murphy would fit right in across from Jonathan Greenard and the other veteran ends the team plans to keep next year. He would jumpstart the defense across the board and be a welcomed addition to a DeMeco Ryans-run defense.

If the Texans can walk away from the first round selecting elite prospects at premium positions, it will be a fantastic day at the office. Talk about ideal scenarios - this would be one.

For fun, the best players on the board heading into the second round include Georgia OLB Nolan Smith, the Aggie’s safety Antonio Johnson (my personal pick), and elite receiver Jalin Hyatt. Hyatt would be the flashy pick and a fantastic pair with Young. The Texans would be off to the races in my reaction, but what’s your? Who else would you of rather us chosen in the SB Nation Mock?