Preliminary Top 10 2023 NFL Draft Prospects
The 2022 NFL Draft has concluded and rookie mini camp and OTAs are underway; I turn my sights to the 2023 NFL Draft eligible prospects. Keep in mind this is part of a cursory evaluation completed during my evaluation of the 2022 NFL Draft Class. Here are my preliminary Top 10 2023 NFL Draft Prospects.
1. Will Anderson Alabama LB/EDGE
This dude would have been the number one player in the 2022 NFL Draft hands down if he was draft eligible. If you disagree, go eat a brick! He has the speed, bend and strength to both rush the passer and defend the run. You can get cute and drop him back into coverage if you want as he is no stranger to playing in space.
2. Bryce Young Alabama QB
Bryce Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, Associated Press Player of the Year, Davey O’Brien Award winner – Nation’s top quarterback, and the Maxwell Award winner – College Player of the Year was phenomenal last season and is my top quarterback heading into the 2023 draft cycle. One trait that I consistently see from Alabama quarterbacks is a sense of calmness in the pocket and Young appears to have this in spades. His ability to stroke it to all levels of the field and move within the pocket with grace and rhythm is almost artistic.
3. CJ Stroud Ohio State QB
Coleridge “C. J.” Bernard Stroud IV is the #1 QB and even #1 player for most draftniks and twitter verse folks that I am seeing and I can understand why. Stroud’s ball placement is scary good; and his ability to use the entire field, and manipulate coverage with his eyes is already pro caliber.
4. Jalen Carter Georgia DT
Jalen Carter caught my eye while scouting the Georgia defenders in the 2022 class. He not only stood out amongst all that talent but I believe he was the best of the bunch. Standing at 6’3 310 lbs. he moves and causes disruption as if he is the size of the prototypical 3-tech both in the run and pass game. Men this big shouldn’t be moving that fast. I debated whether or not he should be ranked first overall in this Top 10 2023 NFL Draft Prospect list.
5. Bijan Robinson Texas RB
I know the running back position gets poo pooed often. The mind set these days is that you can find a running back anywhere. Well I’m here to tell you that isn’t the case regarding Bijan Robinson. Scheme versatile; Robinson is the total package and you can’t teach what he has! Size, speed, patience, short area movement, runs with a low center of gravity, can beat you with both speed or power and he can catch. I believe he is one of the special ones!
6. Kayshon Boutte LSU WR
Boutte’s game is a trunk full of all the flashy superlatives you can give a receiver. Sudden, quick, twitchy, fast, explosive, elusive and yes he attacks the ball. If you give him an inch he might go a mile. If he stays healthy and the quarterback position continues to make strides he will be wide receiver #1 off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft.
7. Jaxon Smith-Njigba Ohio State WR
Some will say he is only being talked about because he was alongside 1st round picks Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. What if I told you he is better than those two?!?! Often within the Ohio State offense there are wide receivers WIDE open as a result of the scheme. However, Smith-Njigba bucks this trend a bit by winning with bodies draped on him as well as by breaking defenders off at the top of the route. I am expecting a big year and remember this is “Wide Receiver U.”
8. Nolan Smith Georgia LB/EDGE
Outstanding at the point of attack when setting the edge in the run game. He is able to engage and disengage at will. So much so, he is able to turn ball-carriers back into the pursuit. Word on the street is he was one of the voices in Georgia’s championship defense. Will we see Smith come off the edge to affect the passer more this year? I can tell you this isn’t on him but rather the Georgia defensive scheme. Still, I believe he has the requisite tools to pull it off.
9. Noah Sewell Oregon ILB
Coming in at 6’3 251 lbs. Noah Sewell is a tackling machine despite being held back by the style of defense that the Oregon Ducks are playing, in my opinion. There are plays being left out on the field for Sewell to make, if you can believe that. He is a see ball, go get ball type and will ask questions later.
10. Michael Mayer Notre Dame TE
You love to see when players are of a particular stature and they play to their size. Michael Mayer is one of those guys. At 6’4 251 lbs. Mayer plays above the rim using his big, wide, and strong frame making it virtually impossible for defenders to defend most if any passes coming his way. Then, the after the catch show begins, if he gets going.