LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - OCTOBER 05: Micale Cunningham #3 of the Louisville Cardinals in action in the game against the Boston College Eagles at Cardinal Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - OCTOBER 05: Micale Cunningham #3 of the Louisville Cardinals in action in the game against the Boston College Eagles at Cardinal Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Former NFL Scout’s Shocking First Round Value Board 2.0

Reading Time: 9 minutes

I must warn you, what you are about to read is different than anything else in America. The First Round Mock Value Board is 100% based on what the game film says are the top 32 players in the 2023 NFL Draft.

If you are looking for the names Anthony Richardson, Will Levis, Bijan Robinson, Quentin Johnston, Jalin Hyatt, Peter Skoronski, Paris Johnson Jr., Will Anderson Jr., Adetomiwa Adebawore, Myles Murphy, Joey Porter Jr. or Brian Branch to be mocked into the first-round, you won’t find them here!


None of them produced first-round game film in 2022 and at First Round Mock, game film trumps everything!

What’s the thought process behind this?

The First Round Value Board at First Round Mock started to be built on August 30, 2022, and I’m still putting the finishing touches on it. It has included 186 articles that I have written on the site in 215 days, and it has included the study of 558+ college games (2021 and 2022).

It’s been a labor of love and pure passion for the game that has required 12-17 hours a day, 6-7 days a week.

Every evaluation at First Round Mock includes links to all the game film reviewed for the evaluations. This serves as built-in accountability no other draft platform in America offers.

Fans deserve to see for themselves whether or not prospects should be mocked to their favorite teams.

First-round value was established by the fact that this has become a pass-driven game (29/32 teams pass more than 50% of the time according to nflteamrankings.com), with a premium on those who can advance the ball through the air, or stop it from happening.

The criteria for making First Round Mock’s First-Round Value Board is prospects must have shown elite characteristics over a sustained period of time, which translate to what’s shown to be successful in the National Football League.


Top 5 picks

No. 1 Jalen Carter DT Georgia

A Super Bowl defensive centerpiece who physically takes over a handful of plays every game. Off-season noise, blah, blah, blah. Carter is the best player on game film in this draft class.

No. 2 Bryce Young QB Alabama

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – NOVEMBER 05: Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws the ball against the LSU Tigers during the second half at Tiger Stadium on November 05, 2022 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

A modern-day Fran Tarkenton (Hall of Fame quarterback). With his ability to create and extend plays, coupled with his on-point downfield ball placement, this Alabama field general has the greatest potential to turn around a struggling NFL franchise I’ve seen in 40 years.

No. 3 C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State

A modern-day Warren Moon (Hall of Fame quarterback). Armed with incredible quick pre and post-snap recognition and pinpoint downfield ball placement, Stroud is a rookie with the feel of a 10-year vet.

No. 4 Nolan Smith EDGE Georgia

ATHENS, GA – OCTOBER 08: Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Nolan Smith (4) in a defensive stance during a college football game between the Auburn Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs on October 8, 2022 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Better upside than Micah Parsons and similar speed (Parsons’ 4.36 vs. Smith’s 4.39 40-times). Plus, Smith doesn’t come equipped with Parsons’ mouth and he doesn’t take half the plays off. In a nutshell, phenomenal speed, pocket adjustment ability, and close.

No. 5 Calijah Kancey DT Pitt

If Mike Tyson was a football player he would be Calijah Kancey. A vicious and tenacious pocket wrecker who hits people like he wants to knock their teeth out.

Picks 6-10

No. 6. Emmanuel Forbes CB Mississippi State

The closest thing to Sauce Gardner in this draft class. A ball-hawk who loves to bait quarterbacks, if you don’t believe me, ask Will Levis.

No. 7 A.T. Perry WR Wake Forest

TAMPA, FL – DECEMBER 23:Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver A.T. Perry (9) makes a catch against the Missouri Tigers during the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl college football game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa FL on December 23, 2022. (Photo by Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Shades of Ceedee Lamb, Justin Jefferson, Al Toon, Keyshawn Johnson, and Dez Bryant. A dominant sized receiver who can take the top off a defense and swats away cornerbacks like they’re flies.

No. 8 Cody Mauch LT North Dakota State University

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 04: Offensive lineman Cody Mauch of North Dakota State speaks to the media during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 4, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

A modern-day Joe Jacoby ass-kicker with the best lateral foot speed and footwork of any offensive lineman in this draft. On game day, this is the first guy a team wants to walk off the bus.

No. 9 Anton Harrison LT Oklahoma

A nimble 315-pound dancing bear on the perimeter in pass pro who is equally as impressive sealing off lanes as a run blocker. Trent Williams 2.0.

No. 10 O’Cyrus Torrence RG Florida

Let’s start by saying 6-foot-5, 347 pounds. Let’s continue by saying his name will be mentioned in the same breath as the Colts’ Quenton Nelson. Torrence is a thick athletic brick wall in pass pro and a tenacious positional run blocker.

Picks 11-15

No. 11 Josh Downs WR North Carolina

The greats always make it look easy and Downs makes it look easy. A dynamic ideal No. 2 who’s an accomplished route runner with the ability to make quick and crisp changes of direction.

No. 12 Felix Anudike-Uzomah EDGE Kansas State

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 03: Defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah #91 of the Kansas State Wildcats sacks quarterback Max Duggan #15 of the TCU Horned Frogs in the second half at AT&T Stadium on December 03, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

If this guy played in the SEC, every mock draft in America would have Justin Tuck 2.0 mocked top-15. A relentless force who makes Will Anderson Jr. look like he’s in a coma on game film.

No. 13 Tuli Tuipulotu EDGE USC

It will be a different story on redrafts down the road when platforms realize they were sleeping on the nation’s sack leader (13.5). Equipped with brute bull rush power and a toolbox full of pass rush moves – – flat-out unblockable at times.

No. 14 Lukas Van Ness EDGE Iowa

A lean athletic frame with an insatiable appetite for quarterbacks. Ryan Kerrigan 2.0.

No. 15 Tyree Wilson EDGE Texas Tech

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – DECEMBER 28: Tyree Wilson #19 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders stands over Jaden Walley #11 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the second half in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on December 28, 2021 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

He’s like a human battering ram they use to break down doors on cop shows. An alpha male personality along the lines of Giants’ Kayvon Thibodeaux and Browns’ Myles Garrett.

Picks 16-20

No. 16 Christian Gonzalez CB Oregon

A polished technician who brings back memories of cornerback Shawn Springs. The safest first-round pick who produced the cleanest game film in this draft class.

No. 17 Michael Mayer TE Notre Dame

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 08: Tight end Michael Mayer #87 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish catches a 24-yard touchdown pass against the Brigham Young Cougars in the Shamrock Series game at Allegiant Stadium on October 08, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Let’s call him what he is – – a mismatch nightmare waiting to happen in the NFL. An athletic 6-foot-4, 264-pound rookie who runs routes like a seasoned All-Pro.

No. 18 Luke Musgrave TE Oregon State

CORVALLIS, OR – SEPTEMBER 03: Oregon State Beavers tight end Luke Musgrave (88) runs after the catch against Boise State Broncos safety JL Skinner (0) during a college football game between the Boise State Broncos and Oregon State Beavers on September 3, 2022, at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.(Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

He ran routes in college that looked more like star constellations than a route tree. Musgrave will dominate lesser athletic linebackers and safeties at the next level (that’s what they all are).

No. 19 Darnell Wright RT Tennessee

I had the opportunity to interview Wright pre-draft. The words thick, heavy, athletic, and nimble don’t all belong in the same sentence, but with Wright they do.

No. 20 Jordan Addison WR USC

A human pinball who darts all over the field. A dangerous multi-faceted offensive weapon who can be knocked off his routes – – provided anybody can touch him.

Picks 21-26

No. 21 Malik Cunningham QB Louisville

He’s who everyone thinks Anthony Richardson is. A lot of scouts are going to miss on him due to the fact he played in a slow-paced methodical ball control non-quarterback friendly system, but underneath it all, he has what it takes.

No. 22 Hendon Hooker QB Tennessee

An efficient quarterback who resembles Teddy Bridgewater right down to tearing the same left ACL. An ideal No. 2 behind an established starter where he can continue to heal and develop on a playoff-caliber team.

No. 23 Keion White EDGE Georgia Tech

An inconsistent battering ram who shows he can bend the edge or slip into a gap to disrupt the pocket. He’ll be a popular name in redrafts.

No. 24 Bryan Bresee DT Clemson

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 30: Bryan Bresee #11 of the Clemson Tigers in action against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on December 30, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

A modern-day Dave Butz, only more athletic. A rigid force of nature with good initial quickness and the ability to fire through gaps into the quarterback’s face.

No. 25 Drew Sanders LB Arkansas

The first linebacker I’ve ever seen who can line up inside against the run on 1st and 2nd downs and then double as an elite edge rusher on 3rd downs.

No. 26 Devon Witherspoon CB Illinois

If a prospect was ever made for the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s Witherspoon. What he lacks in short-area burst and flexibility, he makes up for with an aggressive edge.

Picks 27-32

No. 27 Deonte Banks CB Maryland

A tall lanky competitive corner with blitzing upside. Brings a bold presence to the field.

No. 28 Jaxon Smith-Njigba WR Ohio State

My favorite Ohio State receiver over the past two seasons. He has the flexibility and wiggle that will cause him to own secondaries at the intermediate route level.

No. 29 Darnell Washington TE Georgia

He’s like Seattle receiver D.K. Metcalf in the body of a 6-7, 270-pound tight-end. Plus, he can block.

No. 30 Zay Flowers WR Boston College

If John Madden were still doing games, Flowers would be one of his guys. A dynamic 4.42 (40) slot that toys with corners at the intermediate route level.

No. 31 Matthew Bergeron LT Syracuse

The second-best feet of any offensive lineman in the draft next to Mauch. A converted tight-end feel who lacks raw playing strength, but wow that foot speed…

No. 32 Broderick Jones LT Georgia

COLUMBIA, MO – OCTOBER 01: Broderick Jones #59 of the Georgia Bulldogs gets into position before the snap during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 1, 2022 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)

An unpolished athletic blocking bully who needs to learn how to consistently slide his feet to the backdoor of the pocket instead of ambulance chasing pass rushers.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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