Mel Kiper's first 2023 mock draft: Who he has the Seahawks picking
Are we not f**king tired of this yet? Seaside Joe 1423
ESPN’s Mel Kiper started this. He really, truly did. And though many of you see Mel Kiper as the “most evil” of all the mock drafters, in my opinion, he may be the only one who is pure. Not because his mock drafts are special, accurate, good, or predictive. We’ll get to that in a moment. But at least there’s something pure about being the first.
Kiper created draft obsession. He’s sort of like the George A. Romero of mock drafts.
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As the co-writer and director of 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, Romero is one of the parents responsible for the massive popularity of the zombie genre, which as of today has given us HBO’s latest attempt to have the biggest show of the moment with their adaption of the video game The Last of Us. “Zombies” have most definitely made others billions of dollars in movies, television shows, video games, books, and so on. But Romero hardly saw any of it.
The other parent of the zombie genre is: “Failing to copyright Night of the Living Dead and seeing it go into the public domain.” Basically, you can do whatever you want with Night of the Living Dead because nobody owns it and nobody owns zombies. Sure, Romero didn’t invent zombies and he was open about the fact that he stole a lot from the book I Am Legend, but we are not living in a mainstream sea of zombies today if not for a) Romero making Night of the Living Dead 55 years ago and b) Nobody having to pay anybody for the rights to show it, release it, remake it, or steal from it.
George A. Romero made that movie and 1978’s Dawn of the Dead and now you have The Last of Us and Shaun of the Dead and Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead and that’s great. But on the flipside, you also have Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead and that’s not so great. Mel Kiper invented the NFL draft media industry (this is not hyperbole, he really did) and I too share that obsession with the draft, so it can be great to have endless resources related to those three days of the year.
But now there are 1,000 different mock drafts a day, most of them ridiculously unoriginal, and anyone can use a mock draft generator to play the part of being a wholly uninformed GM and often that’s not so great.
Perhaps the difference is that Romero faded—or never even really made it—into mainstream Hollywood, so he was not often in the public eye. (Romero died in 2017.) Not even horror afficianados had any reason to have visceral opinions about Romero because his movies were b-quality and rarely worth seeking out, although he will always be respected as the godfather of zombies.
But it’s easier for NFL fans to hate Kiper because he doesn’t go away, he’s still the leading name in draft media, and as the architect of this sub-industry, it’s all to simple to paint him as the villain when his mock draft doesn’t do the thing that you wanted it to do for your team or favorite prospect.
Or Kiper is selectively a “genius” when his mocks and opinions line up with yours.
I’ve pulled you into today’s Seaside Joe* with the promise of Mel Kiper’s 2023 mock draft results after all, haven’t I? At least one of you who rarely or selectively opens the Joe e-mail decided you couldn’t miss this one because Kiper’s name is attached to it. That’s a fact! Even me, a person who decided long ago that mock drafts are merely “fan fiction for guys” and that I won’t obsessively create a new one every week like my rivals—in my opinion, everyone gets to make ONE MOCK DRAFT PER YEAR and then it should be illegal after you’ve made more than one…throw away the key—went looking for results of Mel Kiper’s mock draft today.
If you can’t figure out how to find them without being an ESPN+ member, you haven’t spent enough time on the internet and that’s probably a good thing.
*Welcome to Seaside Joe if you landed here from a Google search of Mel Kiper’s Mock Draft. This is the 1,423rd day in a row that I’ve sent out a free Seahawks newsletter. Subscribe today and join the Joe! There’s also tons of bonus content!
First of all, I want to point out that in Mel Kiper’s first mock draft of 2022, he had Malik Willis going 11th (he went 86th), Matt Corral going 20th (94th), and Sam Howell going 28th (he went 144th).
So if you don’t know by now that mock drafts often overrate quarterbacks at this stage of the process, whether intentionally for clicks or unintentionally, you’ve come to the right place.
By now, it will be easy for you to figure out (and therefore not violating the laws of paywall) that Kiper’s top-four is Jalen Carter to the Bears, C.J. Stroud to the Texans, Will Anderson to the Cardinals, and Bryce Young to the Colts. Here are his two picks for the Seattle Seahawks:
5. QB Will Levis, Kentucky
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