Mel Kiper’s first round predictions for 31 picks

Who’s ready for another NFL draft with quarterback intrigue at the top? We lost a bit of that last year, with Kenny Pickett the only passer to go in the first two rounds. Well, as you’ll see below in my first mock draft for the 2023 class, there’s sure to be plenty of buzz surrounding these signal callers.

With two rounds of the NFL playoffs down, the order of the top 27 picks is set. It’s a little bit different this year because the Dolphins were stripped of their first-round pick for tampering violations, meaning there are only 31 picks in Round 1. The Bears have the No. 1 pick, while the Texans, Seahawks, Lions and Eagles have two first-rounders. Could we see a trade for the top of the board?

Let’s get into my early projections for the first round of April’s draft. I’m not going to predict any trades here – it’s still a little early to judge which teams could move up and what it would take to get there. As I’ve said before, this is just an exercise to show you all what I’m thinking three months after the draft, based on my Big Board rankings and what I’m hearing from executives, scouts and coaches around the league. Everyone is now ready for the Senior Bowl next week and the combine in early March.

Here we go, starting with Chicago at No. 1. I’ll use ESPN’s Football Power Index to project picks Nos. 28-31, and that model has the Chiefs beating the Eagles in the Super Bowl. Check out “SportsCenter Special: Mel Kiper’s NFL Mock Draft 1.0” at 5 PM ET on ESPN2 on Wednesday and you can watch me and my friend Todd McShay go through all 31 picks.

Miller: All 20 first-round grades
Reid: How do I see the round 1 shake up
McShay’s Rankings: Top 32 Prospects

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