2023-04-24 · 3 min read · NFL/Football
Will Anderson- Linebacker/Edge Rusher- Alabama and Lukas Van Ness- Edge Rusher- Iowa

Pro Football Network | USA Today Sports

We round out the 2023 NFL mock draft with a look at the NFC West, a division that proved you don’t need a high-end selection to be immediately successful, Brock Purdy being the perfect example.
Two of the four teams in this division have a top-five pick at the time of writing this story, while the team to beat, San Francisco will not be on the clock until the third round.
Here are my projected first selections for each NFC West team when the draft takes place April 27-29 in Kansas City.
Arizona Cardinals- Round 1- #3- Will Anderson- Linebacker/Edge Rusher- Alabama
The retirement of J.J. Watt has left a massive hole in the Cardinals’ defensive line, which says a lot about how bad they were in that department last season, as Watt didn’t have nearly as good a campaign as we’re used to seeing.
Anderson was at times a one-man wrecking crew for the Crimson Tide, twice named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, finishing his Bama career with 62 tackles for losses and 34.5 sacks, the second-most in program history.
The 21-year-old native of Hampton, Georgia, is a fantastic athlete who can accelerate rapidly, has excellent gap discipline, plus a terrific combination of speed and strength.
He has a super strong lower body, is capable of exploding off the line of scrimmage and is an elite run defender who can destroy double teams.
Seattle Seahawks- Round 1- #5- Lukas Van Ness- Edge Rusher- Iowa
An edge rusher like Van Ness has a lot of qualities that Pete Carroll needs heading into another campaign where they will be expected to be playoff contenders.
Van Ness is a flexible and athletic edge rusher who looks like he was carved out of stone with excellent leverage at the point of attack and a high level of functional skills that can convert speed into power.
His spin move is NFL calibre, while his long arms make him a solid tackler, and he has strong hands that can get under the pads of offensive linemen and drive them back.
Los Angeles Rams- Round 2- #36- Emmanuel Forbes- Cornerback- Mississippi State
The man from Grenada High School owns the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) record for pick-sixes with six and he has a lot of qualities the 2021 Super Bowl champions could use.
He was a Second-Team All-American in 2022, showing great length and leaping ability, which allowed him to make plays.
With Jalen Ramsey out, this team needs a new dynamic cover man, and if there’s one position that can develop quickly from college to the pros, it’s that one; look at how seamlessly Sauce Gardner transitioned to an elite NFL corner.
Forbes has fluid movement, good instincts and can track the ball downfield while dominating when it comes to contested catches.
San Francisco 49ers- Round 3- #99- Andre Carter- Linebacker/Edge Rusher- Army
Andre Carter is a solid sideline-to-sideline playmaker, along with being a fluid, fast, and aggressive tackling machine.
He’s an explosive mover with excellent body control who is not just an edge rusher but a complete linebacker and an effective A-gap blitzer.
Carter is elite out of his stance, can ward off blockers with his violent hands, and has tremendous reaction time.
In college, he had 15.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, as his range and athletic ability proved to be difficult for other teams to contain.
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By: Joel Lefevre


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