If you’re a draft junkie, then odds are you’ve already conducted around 2,000 2023 NFL Draft mocks on Pro Football Network’s Mock Draft Simulator. And it’s not even August yet. We’ll talk to you about your startling obsession with the draft later. But for now, let’s dive into the MDS user data, and see which NFL draft prospects have been the most popular through the early summer months!
Top 20 most selected 2023 NFL Draft prospects in the MDS
The 2023 NFL Draft cycle will bring us some exciting new flexibility. We can now view user data from the MDS, across all user mocks. From one-round mocks to seven-rounders. From sorrowful Lions fans to greedy Rams and Buccaneers fans. We can gather data from every single user mock on the MDS. And we can use that data to draw conclusions regarding the perceptions of prospects.
The MDS user data allows us to look at a prospect’s total selections, as well as their average draft position, or ADP, across all mocks that include them. Taking this data into account, here are the top 20 most-selected prospects in the MDS through early July.
1) Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
It makes sense that arguably the most electric player in college football is the most selected prospect in the MDS to this point. In fact, it’s not even close.
Through all the user mocks conducted thus far in the 2023 cycle, Bijan Robinson has been selected over 5,000 times more than the next closest player. With a late-first ADP, Robinson is viewed as a Round 1 talent, as he should be. And it’s likely that Dolphins fans (who pick at 16th, 27th, and 48th) have been adding Robinson to Mike McDaniel’s offense at a high frequency.
2) Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
Over 5,000 selections behind Robinson, but still with one of the largest figures in the MDS records, is Clemson DT Bryan Bresee. Despite being drafted fewer times than Robinson, Bresee has a higher ADP, landing in the top 20 with his average draft slot.
Ever since he arrived at Clemson as a five-star recruit and an anointed future superstar, Bresee has been penciled in as a first-round draft choice. As the numbers show, he’s already earned such a reputation with his rare combination of size, explosiveness, and lateral agility.
3) Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
I have a sneaking suspicion Dolphins fans might have something to do with this, too. Joey Porter Jr. is the son of former Steelers and Dolphins Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter Sr., who put up 17.5 sacks for Miami in 2008. I’m onto you, Dolphins fans. Nevertheless, I get the impulse.
At his late second-round ADP, the younger Porter is an intriguing add at cornerback. He has all the length and athleticism you want on the boundary. And with every passing year, he’s continually growing as a playmaker.
4) Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
We knew we were going to see Will Anderson Jr.‘s name here eventually. The Alabama edge rusher is widely considered the top overall prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft pool, with mind-boggling production and disruptive capacity.
Predictably, Anderson is consistently one of the highest-selected prospects in the MDS data pool. He’s one of just three prospects with a top-five ADP, with the other two being quarterbacks. If the current odds hold, one of the Texans, Falcons, Lions, Jets, or Jaguars will come away with a blue-chip talent.
5) C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Rounding out the top five is Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud. He has the stats and the awards to back up his play, but the tape is perhaps the loudest of his endorsements. He’s a true franchise-caliber prospect with exciting upside.
On the surface, it feels like Stroud should be even higher on this list. But the MDS data takes in user mock drafts for all 32 teams, and only a select few teams are in the range or market for a franchise QB in the 2023 NFL Draft. Of those who are, however, one will be lucky enough to come away with Stroud.
6) DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
Most people would guess that the most-selected LB is either Oregon’s Noah Sewell or Clemson’s Trenton Simpson. In the case of the PFN MDS, both answers are wrong. The most-selected LB right now is Texas’ DeMarvion Overshown.
Though his late second-round ADP likely has something to do with it, Overshown has commanded the most selections at his position. He’s a familiar prospect with several years of production and even more familiar athletic upside. That upside is a tantalizing thing to bet on in the right range.
7) Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
It feels like Stroud and Bryce Young are doomed to battle for the QB1 mantle for the entire draft cycle. That curse clings to them both here. While Young comes in behind Stroud on our MDS selections list, he’s right on Stroud’s heels.
Through all the MDS user mocks conducted, Stroud has less than 400 more selections than Young. Both have top-five ADPs — an accurate reflection of both their talent and the positional value of a game-changing QB prospect. Time will tell if Young can overtake the Ohio State passer.
8) Olusegun Oluwatimi, C, Michigan
In a somewhat surprising development, there are three centers on this list. The most selected of whom is Olusegun Oluwatimi, a transfer from Virginia to Michigan.
Oluwatimi is one of just eight players to be selected over 25,000 times total in user mocks to this point. And interestingly enough, his ADP is barely in the top 100. That means that most of his selections have come in the middle-round range. For users doing multi-round mocks, Oluwatimi is a favorite to be a potential hidden gem and value deal at the center position.
9) BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
The 2023 NFL Draft edge rusher class is looking like another stacked group. But who behind Anderson has the most fans at this point? Looking at the MDS data, BJ Ojulari is the one who’s been picked most often after the Alabama star.
After breaking out with seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss in 2021, Ojulari now has a top 20 ADP in the MDS. He’s consistently viewed as a first-round prospect by users and has been selected more often than prospects like Myles Murphy, Nolan Smith, and others.
10) Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
The 2023 NFL Draft WR class is already causing a lot of chaos at the top, with prospects like Kayshon Boutte, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Jordan Addison all vying for the WR1 crown. But the most-selected WR in the MDS to this point is none of those players. Instead, it’s TCU WR Quentin Johnston.
Although Johnston’s ADP isn’t as high as the aforementioned WRs, he’s still consistently selected in Round 1 and has the most selections among wide receivers by over 4,500. No one has Johnston’s size-athleticism combo, and his ceiling is nearly unmatched.
11) Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
Trenton Simpson comes in as the second-highest linebacker behind Overshown on our MDS selections list. Although Simpson has been chosen around 4,000 times less than Overshown, his ADP is considerably higher — near the fringe of the first round. Thus, it can be inferred that Simpson’s lower selection count could be a product of scarcity, rather than interest.
Simpson doesn’t always get out of Round 1, and when he does, he doesn’t go far. A prospect with his athleticism and ultra-versatility is built perfectly for the modern NFL.
12) Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Stroud and Young are the obvious frontrunners at QB in the 2023 NFL Draft. But the uncertainty lies in who takes the third spot behind him. Right now, per MDS data, the most popular QB prospect behind Stroud and Young is Kentucky’s Will Levis.
With an ADP near the top 20, Levis has been a consistent first-round selection in user mocks thus far this cycle. Levis isn’t locked into that range just yet, but evaluators and spectators alike have already become enamored with his physical upside and steely toughness.
13) Tykee Smith, S, Georgia
The 2023 NFL Draft safety class appears wide open on the surface. Naturally, that can cause onlookers to gravitate to a more familiar prospect early on in the cycle. Right now, it looks as though that prospect is Georgia’s Tykee Smith.
Smith missed most of the 2021 season due to injury after transferring from West Virginia but now returns as a valued piece of stability on a UGA defense that’s experienced lots of turnover. His ADP of 122.1 is further proof that people are crazy and are already doing four-round mocks. Chill, people.
14) John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
A lot of center talent from the 2022 NFL Draft returned to school, granting the 2023 NFL Draft cycle an influx of resources on the interior line. John Michael Schmitz is one such prospect who returned, and now, he’s a favorite of users up front.
Schmitz is not only in the top 15 of total selections but has a top 50 or mid-second-round ADP. He’ll be a 24-year-old rookie, so it’s likely that he doesn’t go quite that high. But Schmitz is well-sized, tough as nails, and tirelessly consistent. Those are all invaluable qualities at center.
15) Justin Flowe, LB, Oregon
Surprisingly, Justin Flowe comes in ahead of his teammate Sewell when it comes to total selections in the MDS. As we’ve seen in previous examples, ADP and scarcity might have something to do with this. But Flowe still has a noticeably high ADP in early mock drafts — safely in late first-round territory.
It’s almost all projection for Flowe. He delivered bone-crushing hits as a five-star recruit in high school but has missed most of his two-year collegiate career due to injury. Onlookers are counting on a breakout from Flowe in 2022.
16) Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
Not only is Marvin Mims‘ placement in the top 20 most-selected prospects shocking, but so is his ADP of around 35 — just past Round 1 territory. Mims isn’t viewed in the same tier as Boutte, Smith-Njigba, Johnston, or Addison. And yet, MDS user data shows that he’s one of the most popular choices at WR just outside Round 1.
Mims is no doubt dynamic, with a career yards per catch of 19.1 across two seasons. But he’s at a crucial precipice with the Sooners in 2022. He stands as one of the most volatile inclusions on this list.
17) Jarrett Patterson, C, Notre Dame
One of the most prevalent trends across user data is users selecting center prospects in the Day 2 range of the 2023 NFL Draft. There are a host of potential candidates for the third center spot. Among them are Sedrick Van Pran, Joe Tippmann, Steve Avila, and Ricky Stromberg. But user data shows that Jarrett Patterson has the next highest selection count at the position.
Patterson entered the 2022 NFL Draft cycle as a highly-rated center. Thus, it comes as no surprise that his familiarity affords him good standing early on in 2023.
18) Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
After his dominant high school career and flashes of brilliance at Georgia Tech, it feels like the whole nation has been waiting for Jahmyr Gibbs to become draft-eligible. Entering his junior campaign, he now is. And we’re already seeing the interest skyrocket.
Gibbs is the 18th-most popular prospect so far and the second-most popular RB, with a mid-second-round ADP. That range aligns with the round billing assigned in his evaluation. He’s already an early-round prospect, and a strong season could see him climb even higher.
19) Jordan Addison, WR, USC
In an expected development, the defending Biletnikoff Trophy winner and high-profile USC transfer Jordan Addison takes home a spot on the most-selected list, coming in at 19th. Although he’s the third receiver on the list, Addison has the highest ADP of those three receivers and the fourth-highest ADP of the top 20 players.
A consistent top-15 pick in user mocks, Addison’s dynamic three-level ability makes him a coveted offensive weapon for NFL teams. A campaign catching passes from Caleb Williams could inflate his stock even more.
20) Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson
Bresee isn’t the only Clemson DT on the top MDS selections list. Coming in at 20th is Tyler Davis, another talented defender now entering his fourth season. Bresee has been selected almost twice as many times as Davis overall, but Davis still landed on the list with over 20,000 total selections through the current cycle. A lot of residual hype has remained after Davis’ stellar freshman campaign, but if he can stay healthy, he has the talent to be selected early. Between these two and Ruke Orhorhoro, Clemson’s interior line is stacked.