Mel Kiper Jr. is always up to stir the pot when it comes to NFL Draft rankings, and his first mock draft of the 2023 cycle does just that.

On Wednesday, the ESPN expert released his Round 1 projections and has Ohio State QB CJ Stroud, not Alabama QB Bryce Young, mocked to go to the Houston Texans with the No. 2 pick.

As you can see below, Kiper has 10 SEC standouts going in Round 1 — fewer picks from the SEC than most analysts are currently projecting:

  • No. 1 — Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia — Chicago Bears
  • No. 3 — Will Anderson Jr., Edge, Alabama — Arizona Cardinals
  • No. 4 — Bryce Young, QB, Alabama — Indianapolis Colts
  • No. 5 — Will Levis, QB, Kentucky — Seattle Seahawks
  • No. 9 — Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida — Carolina Panthers
  • No. 16 — Broderick Jones, OL, Georgia — Washington Commanders
  • No. 20 — Byron Young, Edge, Tennessee — Seattle Seahawks
  • No. 23 — Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State — Minnesota Vikings
  • No. 27 — Derick Hall, Edge, Auburn — Buffalo Bills
  • No. 30 — Brian Branch, DB, Alabama — Philadelphia Eagles

As the NFL Combine and Pro Days take place around the country, we’ll see how much Kiper’s projections change.

For now, everyone in the NFL ranks is scrambling for all the information they can get about top prospects from every league around the world of college football.