Nate Powalie’s NFC North Mock Draft | 2023

Looking Ahead to the NFC North Draft Selections?

The 2023 NFL Draft is almost upon us. With that in mind, the NFC North teams have their own ideas lined up as to where they want to go. VikingsTerritory‘s Dustin Baker has notes here on some potential options for the Vikes at No. 23.

As the clock continues to tick down to Thursday night in Kansas City, here are some predictions about who gets what for their first-round choices. (Note: This is who I think will be taken, and I could be 100% wrong.)

Nate Powalie’s NFC North Mock Draft | 2023

Detroit Lions

nfc north mock
Sep 17, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) warms up prior to the NCAA Division I football game against the Toledo Rockets at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch.

The Athletic has a suggestion with a full 7-round Mock Draft for the Detroit Lions here. Detroit has two picks in the opening round on Thursday night, at 6 (acquired in trade via Rams) and 18. Again, I could be completely wrong about this choice. But, at No. 6, the Detroit Lions will select… Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Wide Receiver, Ohio State. [Stay Put]

Explanation of Pick

This may seem like a bit of a reach at No. 6, but the Lions will be without one of their star wideouts to start the 2023 campaign in Jameson Williams. They can help fill that void by grabbing Smith-Njigba, whose style of play is comparable to that of a Julian Edelman in some scouts’ eyes.

Chicago Bears

Mar 5, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski (OL41) during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Da Bears hold a total of 10 picks in this year’s Draft festivities, with the first being selection No. 9 in the opening round. After trading out of the top spot with the Carolina Panthers, the team trusts their young QB in Justin Fields. But they need some protection for him. Thus, at No. 9, the Bears will take… Peter Skoronski, an offensive tackle out of Northwestern. [Stay Put]

Explanation of Pick

Though people really see him as more of a versatile o-line threat, he predominantly stars as an offensive tackle. Skoronski only allowed six pressures on 474 pass-blocking snaps as a junior last season. The Park Ridge, Illinois product will be a great fit as a hometown kid.

Green Bay Packers

Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Utah Utes tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) before playing against the Southern California Trojans in the PAC-12 Football Championship at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, the big word on Monday was that Aaron Rodgers was leaving the NFC North. Now, the Packers look to build on the future at quarterback with Jordan Love. So, why not continue looking to expand the future? That’s why, at pick No. 13 (from the New York Jets), the Green Bay Packers are selecting… Dalton Kincaid, a tight end from the University of Utah. [Stay Put]

Explanation of Pick

The Packers really feel like they want to go all in with a young core surrounding Jordan Love. And Kincaid would make the most sense to help with the youth movement. He’s a bit small for a tight end (6-foot-3, 246 pounds), but he has natural receiving ability that can make him a top target for any quarterback.

And now, for the home squad…

Minnesota Vikings

Fox Sports Links
Nov 12, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Parker Washington (3) runs with the ball while trying to avoid a tackle from Maryland Terrapins defensive back Deonte Banks (3) during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Maryland 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports.

Okay, Vikings fans, I realize that there are quite a few needs to be addressed. But let’s get you some help in the secondary. Thus, at pick No. 23, the Vikings stay put and select… drum roll, please… cornerback Deonte Banks from Maryland.

Explanation of Pick

With three critical pieces of the Vikes secondary already gone this off-season, depth at CB is rather thin. The need is addressed right away with the selection of Banks here. One of the higher-rated corners in this year’s class, Banks can be an instant plug-and-play guy who can play with great speed and vertical. If he continues to work on his press coverage skills, I see him turning into a top-flight pick.

Final Thoughts on NFC North Draft Round 1 Choices

I think that all of the teams will stay put with their draft choices, and they’ll make their fan bases happy. Whether that is the case remains to be seen. But as the clock ticks to Thursday, the hype builds for the NFC North Draft’s future selections in the 2023 NFL Draft.