2023 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Arizona Cardinals swap with Colts

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson (QB11)  participates in
Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson (QB11) participates in / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the Arizona Cardinals being relatively quiet so far in free agency, the time has come to talk more about the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Arizona Cardinals have a lot of options with the third overall pick. They can stand pat and take Will Anderson Jr., who is now the top defensive player in the pool given Jalen Carter’s latest mishap

In my previous mock, they traded down with the Las Vegas Raiders. But with Jimmy Garoppolo now sporting the silver and black, that move is a lot less likely. So in this scenario, the Cardinals swap places with the Indianapolis Colts, who only signed a stopgap in Gardner Minshew. 

So what does this latest mock look like? Let’s check it out. 

Arizona Cardinals, Colts swap picks in Mock Draft 3.0

1 - Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB/Florida

There are so many Anthony Richardson-Josh Allen comparisons going on, it’s alarming. But remember, Allen struggled early in his career, and he also went to a relatively good team in the Bills that had some stability-and the addition of Stefon Diggs probably helped…

And while the Panthers appear to be priming to build around Richardson, this is a guy who is nothing more than a physical phenom and little else. He’s also drawn comparisons to Cam Newton, notably from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein. 

But in all honesty, and it’s something I’m still sitting here trying to figure out. But hey, to each their own. Plus, if drafted, he’ll at least have Andy Dalton to pick up some valuable information from. If the Panthers do take Richardson and if they’re wise, they’ll “redshirt” him in Year 1 and just let Dalton toil through 17 games.  

2 - Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB/Alabama

Bryce Young may be small, but he’s a proven player who could thrive at the next level in Houston. And though the Texans haven’t been anywhere near a good team for a while now, Young would have a good, young running back in Dameon Pierce to take some pressure off of him early. 

Overall, the Texans are getting the best quarterback in the draft, as Young has shined in multiple seasons at the University of Alabama. And in my opinion, he carries far more upside than his predecessor, Mac Jones. 

3 - Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB/Kentucky

While some have compared Anthony Richardson to Josh Allen (and Cam Newton), if there is ever a Josh Allen comparison in this draft, it’s Will Levis. Like Allen, Levis produced, but he didn’t give you eye-popping numbers and he threw a few more interceptions than you would like. 

On the plus side, with Gardner Minshew in Indianapolis, Levis doesn’t have to play immediately. Instead, he can sit and watch until he’s ready to take the reins. And this will put him in a better position to succeed than Richardson and Young. 

4 - Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr., Edge/Alabama

And yes, the Arizona Cardinals get the best of all situations in this one. They trade down, accumulate draft picks, and still snag the best defensive player in the NFL Draft. 

Best yet, general manager Monti Ossenfort might just be getting started in this one. Especially if/when he ends up trading DeAndre Hopkins for a few more picks. 

Overall, the Arizona Cardinals will have added a tremendous addition to a defense that has potential to be one of the better young units in the league. And with a player brimming with potential and production, they can’t go wrong with Will Anderson Jr. 

Monti Ossenfort is starting to put his stamp on the Arizona Cardinals. dark. Related