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NFL Draft

Dave Syvertsen's Updated Top 96 Prospects for 2023

Dave Syvertsen, Senior Draft Analyst
01/21/2023 11:03PM ET

1. Jalen Carter - DT / Georgia – 6’3/310

Top player in the class to this point.  Absolute game wrecker that has the quickest path to the passer and can dominate multiple gaps against the run.

 

2. Will Anderson – EDGE / Alabama – 6’4/243

Dripping in talent across the board, looks like an edge presence that is created in a factory.  Has the versatile selection of moves to call on the same way Lebron James has when he needs to score.

 

3. Bryce Young – QB / Alabama – 6’0/190

The most important, and the most scrutinized, position in the game comes down to one trait when all is said and done; can he elevate himself and the team when the pressure is high? Check-plus-plus.

 

4. CJ Stroud – QB / Ohio State – 6’3/215

When things are on time and well protected, nobody makes it look better than Stroud.  Elite ball placement and shows the best blend of strength, accuracy, and touch in his throws.

 

5. Bijan Robinson – RB/Texas – 6’0/221

Most complete back we have seen since Saquon Barkley.  One could make the argument he will make a bigger impact as a receiver than a rusher but no matter the case, this superstar will simply gain a ton of yards and score a ton of touchdowns.

 

6. Peter Skoronski – OT/Northwestern – 6’4/294

Where he plays (could project inside like Zack Martin) will likely be dictated by who drafts him.  No matter what, he is a week 1 starter that is as close to a sure-thing “double” from the batter’s box as one will find in this class.

 

7. Brian Branch – S / Alabama – 6’0/193

Hybrid defensive back that will thrive in a system that brings a third safety on field in nickel packages.  Branch flies around putting his body on the line and stays reliable as a tackler.

 

8. Will Levis – QB / Kentucky – 6’3/232

When looking at tools-only, Levis has the most balanced set in the class and has played under two different NFL play callers since transferring away from Penn State.  Easy kid to fall in love with that requires a deeper look.

 

9. Kelee Ringo – CB / Georgia – 6’2/205

Genuine shutdown corner-caliber ceiling that stems from the combination of tools and ability to make plays on the ball.  Opposing quarterbacks are afraid to throw his way on deep routes much like they were against Sauce Gardner.

 

10. Myles Murphy – EDGE / Clemson – 6’5/275

This kind of size with this kind of speed I hard to find. He piles on extremely consistent effort and hunger that which creates wins from all angles and all situations weekly.

 

11. Paris Johnson – OT / Ohio State – 6’6/315

The move from guard to left tackle could not have gone much better.  Elite pass protector that still has some obtainable margin to add as he gains more experience on the outside.

 

12. Quentin Johnston – WR / TCU – 6’4/212

In a league where one on one matchups rule all in big moments, sign me up for the biggest freak at the position with multiple years of production and flashes of taking games over.  There isn’t anyone else with his blend of tools.

 

13. Broderick Jones – OT / Georgia – 6’4/310

One of the most abrupt ascents from in-season to right now in the country. First two steps are as fast as anyone’s, and he did not allow a sack all year.

 

14. Tyree Wilson – EDGE / Texas Tech – 6’5/270

We may see even more production in the NFL for Wilson than we have in college.  The power game and elite size will need to be molded by a defensive line coach, but he can win outside-in consistently.

 

15. Joey Porter Jr. – CB / Penn State – 6’2/196

Avatar body type that plays the game aggressive like his father, former Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter Sr.  Shows easy turn and run speed and locates the ball in a hurry.

 

16. Bryan Bresee – DT / Clemson – 6’5/300

Most attractive to the multi-front defensive schemes because of a versatile tool set that will wreak havoc between the tackles as a pass rusher.  Can also be an edge setter against the run at a high level.

 

17. Christian Gonzalez – CB/Oregon – 6’2/201

Another sizeable, fluid mover that likely grades out the best among the top tier of corners when it comes to route anticipation and stickiness underneath.

 

18. Jaxson Smith-Njigba – WR / Ohio State – 6’0/198

The next OSU receiver that will come into the league pro-ready right away.  Soft tissue injuries hindered his 2022 season but there is enough on tape to show the elite route running, ball skills, and after-catch ability to create from the slot.

 

19. Devon Witherspoon – CB / Illinois – 6’0/183

Little bit of a late bloomer compared to others that are this high.  The 2022 tape does not lie, though, as his movement traits and plays on the ball have no wasted motion and show explosive finishes.

 

20. Trenton Simpson – LB / Clemson – 6’3/230

Ideal fit for where the off-ball linebacker position is heading.  A game built on speed and range against both the run and pass will keep him on the field in all situations.

 

21. Jordan Addison – WR / USC – 6’0/175

The sudden shiftiness and body control give him an edge against man coverage and after the catch every snap.  Can line up anywhere and everywhere, giving an offense multiple options play to play.

 

22. Cam Smith – CB / South Carolina – 6’0/185

Rarely targeted, Smith shows the ease throughout all his lower body joints to adjust weight, change direction, and explode.  His feel for routes and concepts will not go unnoticed by evaluators, especially when coaches get involved.

 

23. Jahmyr Gibbs – RB / Alabama – 5’11/200

Georgia Tech transfer proved his smooth, yet explosive movement traits translate to the highest level of college football.  Gibbs is equally dangerous as a receiver as he is a rusher when it comes to big plays.

 

24. Zay Flowers – WR / Boston College – 5’9/170

Elite movement traits and fast to the ball once he gets near it will overshadow the lack of size.  More than a slot-only, as the majority of his snaps have been out wide.

 

25. Dalton Kincaid – TE / Utah – 6’6/241

Aggressively making a case to be considered the top pass catcher at the position.  Reliable hands and fast to turn up field and create after the catch which is a vital prerequisite for a growing list of teams when scouting the position.

 

26. Jalin Hyatt – WR / Tennessee – 6’0/190

The breakout performer on the offensive side of the ball brings credible, real sub 4.4 speed to the table and burned SEC defensive backs all year.  Add in the ball tracking and one can easily make the argument he is the top deep threat in class.

 

27. Michael Mayer – TE/Notre Dame – 6’5/251

A complete, every down asset for the offense that can morph into one of the few dogs in the league that can be the focal point of an offense from the TE spot.

 

28. O’Cyrus Torrence – OG / Florida – 6’5/347

The personification of strength + size = power.  Torrence is a person-mover that has elevated his game with strides, not steps, when it comes to balance and control.

 

29. Anthony Richardson – QB / Florida – 64/231

The wildcard of the group has the least amount of starting experience at the position in this class.  That said, he can make a strong case to stand alone atop the list of physical ability.

 

30. BJ Ojulari – EDGE / LSU – 6’3/245

Ojulari has the best lockout game of the group, showing elite hand-strength to pair with bend, motor, and finishing traits that scream difference maker.  Everything is there.

 

31. Marvin Mims – WR / Oklahoma – 5’11/189

Easy and efficient mover that looks like he is on skates in the open field.  Attacks the ball and finds a way to manipulate angles in traffic, playing bigger than his size.

 

32. Nolan Smith – EDGE / Georgia – 6’3/237

Saw his season cut short due to a pec injury early in his eight games.  On the field, though, he proved over and over to be the most explosive pure speed rusher off the edge.

 

33. Clark Phillips – CB / Utah – 5’10/184

Elite-level ball production can hide the size concerns but there is a good shot he winds up as a nickel-only, which is fine.  Clearly does his homework between games and should give a safe, steady level of play.

 

34. Tuli Tuipulotu – DT / USC – 6’4/290

Man power and toddler-bend with a motor that could fuel a small country.  Can line up anywhere on the defensive line and create a mismatch that stems from a violent hand strike and use of quick adjustments.

 

35. Lukas Van Ness – EDGE/Iowa – 6’5/269

Versatile weapon for the defense that can and has lined up anywhere along the front and find a matchup that suits him best.  Every down threat with pro-ready techniques and recognition on a prototype-frame.

 

36. Kyu Blu Kelly – CB/Stanford – 6’1/189

Shows excellent anticipation and reaction to both routes and balls in the air.  Sees the whole field and will be a fit for zone-heavy schemes especially.

 

37. DJ Turner – CB/Michigan – 6’0/180

Quarterbacks have not had a lot of success throwing in his direction for two straight years.  His best play has come against his toughest competition, and he appears to be on a constant ascent.

 

38. Zach Charbonnet – RB / UCLA – 6’0/224

Traditional back that can pick up as many yards as anyone after contact.  Developed lower half and precise footwork along with elite ball protection will get him on the field early.

 

39. Rashee Rice – WR / SMU – 6’0/203

Physical presence in traffic matters.  Rice plays wide and long with the ball in the air and that tips the scale in his favor on 50/50 balls and back shoulder throws.

 

40. Luke Musgrave – TE / Oregon State – 6’6/250

He missed the majority of the ’22 season with a knee injury, but it shouldn’t impact the final draft grade much, if at all.  Ideal blend of tools that will create mismatches on all levels of the route tree in the passing game.

 

41. Darnell Washington – TE / Georgia – 6’7/270

A standout giant on a field filled with large men.  The sheer size and power he brings to the field is an ever-present weapon for blocking responsibilities (both in-line and in space) and after the catch (both in space and in traffic).

 

42. Antonio Johnson – S / Texas A&M – 6’3/200

Length is the initial standout trait to his game but the most impressive one is the lower body fluidity and ease to accelerate complements the versatile role that shows up everywhere on defense.

 

43. Henry To’oTo’o – LB / Alabama – 6’1/230

An on-field general with the kind of anticipation and footwork that gets him to the meeting point in a hurry.  Reliable tackler and has grown as a cover man against the pass.

 

44. Jordan Battle – S / Alabama – 6’1/215

On-field coach that straps them up and brings action to the mantra of a defense.  Lead-by-example type that can play every role of a safety and will interchange smoothly between them.

 

45. Matthew Bergeron – OT / Syracuse – 6’5/322

Similar to how I felt about Zion Johnson in both 2020 and 2021, Bergeron has the look of a sure-thing quality pro whether he plays inside or outside at the next level.  The body control and consistent hands are unconditional.

 

46. Jack Campbell – LB / Iowa – 6’4/248

Brings a plus-frame that plays stout and strong inside but excels in space in coverage with quick feet and a feel for route concepts.  Every down force that can morph into a green dot defender.

 

47. Drew Sanders – LB / Arkansas – 6’5/232

A breakout performer that blends the old school with new age of traits at inside linebacker.  Has the speed and length to factor in coverage against tight ends but stays disciplined against the run and is now blossoming as a pass rusher.

 

48. Rashad Torrence II – S / Florida – 6’0/202

Love to see a back-end defender fly around and throw his body into oncoming traffic the way Torrence does.  An absolute missile with plus-closing speed and a gravitational pull to the action.

 

49. Anton Harrison – OT / Oklahoma – 6’5/315

Wide-framed smooth criminal that stays within himself and trusts the process snap to snap. Limited ceiling / high floor type that will start early in his career at either side.

 

50. Kendre Miller – RB / TCU – 6’0/220

Brings a high elusive rating to the table but shows the proper decision making to run defenders over when necessary, as well.  Has the look of an every down back and has cleaned up the skill set across the board each season.

 

51. Jartavius Martin – CB / Illinois – 6’0/195

Battle tested cover man that has improved his entire career.  Can make a case to be named the top run defender in the position but his game includes so much more.

 

52. Dawand Jones – OT / Ohio State – 6’8/370

Immediately becomes one of the largest humans in the NFL the moment he gets drafted.  Jones has elevated his hand-combat game will give the offense an edge enhancer in the running game right away.

 

53. Zach Evans – RB / Mississippi – 6’0/215

Transferred into the SEC and proved his production was no fluke.  Even though he may not be a feature guy at the next level, the big play ability and top tier speed at his size will be attractive to anyone needing a spark in the backfield.

 

54. John Michael-Schmitz – OC / Minnesota – 6’3/315

Overwhelming power at the point of attack has been a vital component to the strong running game.  Leader-of-the-line type that has a spot in a starting lineup for a decade-plus.

 

55. JL Skinner – S / Boise State – 6’4/220

A creative defensive coordinator is going to have a lot of fun with him.  The radius that stems from both his size and speed respectively will be a weapon across multiple domains.

 

56. Jordan McFadden – OT / Clemson – 6’2/305

Likely to move inside at the next level but he does have the length and pass-protecting prowess to move outside in a pinch.  A plus athlete with heavy hands that doesn’t have many losses on tape.

 

57. Cody Mauch – OT / North Dakota State – 6’5/306

The NDSU program continues to breed NFL-caliber talent and Mauch has a credible shot at being the top one to come out. His tenacity and ability to stay sticky will be a fit for zone schemes whether he settles in at guard or tackle.

 

58. Keeanu Benton – DT / Wisconsin – 6’4/312

Heavy handed penetrator that showed an array of rush moves to pair with the natural power presence and length.  He saves his best career football for 2022 and showed the every down impact he can have. 

 

59. Josh Downs – WR / North Carolina – 5’10/175

Stereotypical slot with the water bug suddenness as a route runner and after the catch.  Will be a chain mover right away that can excel with an accurate thrower and system designed around getting the ball out in a hurry.

 

60. Cedric Tillman – WR / Tennessee – 6’3/215

Had some of his 2022 season taken off the board by an ankle/foot injury.  Still one of the top downfield threats in the class with his combination of size, speed, and ball skills.

 

61. Riley Moss – CB / Iowa – 6’1/195

A feel for the game in every way and will pair that with elite movement traits in short areas.  Anticipation skills and ball reactions could get him on the field right away in a nickel role.

 

62. Deonte Banks – CB / Maryland – 6’2/205

One of the more physical cover men in the class will bring a heavy hitter to the edge in run defense as well as solid coverage traits.  Triangle numbers are going to turn heads.

 

63. Tyler Scott – WR / Cincinnati – 5’11/185

Vertical threat that has started to come into his own as a route runner throughout the entire tree.  Big play potential across multiple forms that will move the chains and put points on the board.

 

64. Hendon Hooker – QB / Tennessee – 6’4/218

Not many quarterbacks transfer into the SEC and then see their level of play skyrocket.  Hooker has scored 80 touchdowns and threw just 5 interceptions since becoming a Volunteer (23 starts).

 

65. Ivan Pace Jr – LB / Cincinnati – 6’0/235

Took a step up in competition and responded with a third-best in nation 20.5 tackles for loss in addition to 10 sacks.  Muscle-packed frame that goes from zero to sixty in an instant creates tremendous angle advantages.

 

66. Davis Allen – TE / Clemson - 6’5/251

Coaches call him the best blocking tight end they’ve had since Dabo took over.  But it is the career-year as a pass catcher and low drop rate that gives him the wider lensed-upside that teams are going to feel comfortable with.

 

67. Tucker Kraft – TE / South Dakota State

The top small school position player in the class can make a case for the top combination of passing game traits at the position.  The upcoming two months are going to be vital for him after missing more than a month with an ankle injury.

 

68. Zach Harrison – EDGE / Ohio State – 6’6/268

Blossomed at the ideal point of his college career.  Dripping with the measurables and showed a different level of anticipation and reaction this season, which were the two major question marks.

 

69. Isaiah Foskey – EDGE / Notre Dame – 6’5/260

After his second straight double digit-sack season, Foskey brings a wide arsenal of ways to beat one on one blocking.  He is a notch above others when it comes to the power game.

 

70. Tyrique Stevenson – CB / Miami – 6’1/214

Strong and fast trigger that will show up in several ways, several situations.  Will add attitude to the secondary right away and has all the traits you want for physical coverage schemes.

 

71. Julius Brents – CB / Kansas State – 6’3/203

One of the longest corners, maybe longest, in this class with evolving movement traits to pair with.  Aggressive style will be a force against the run and could be a good defensive back coach away from stardom.

 

72. Mohamed Ibrahim – RB / Minnesota – 5’9/210

One could make a teach-tape on how to play running back by just using Ibrahim’s 2022 film, a year after a torn achilles tendon.  Just three fumbles over 770 career touches.

 

73. KJ Henry – EDGE / Clemson – 6’5/250

Took his game to another level in ’22 with constant pressure off the edge as the footwork has vastly improved and he has developed an array of secondary rush moves.

 

74. Devon Achane – RB / Texas A&M – 5’9/185

Falls well below the desired bulk metrics most teams will use at running back but the world class speed will overshadow some of that.  Proved he can handle a lot of touches and plays with consistent toughness.

 

75. Felix Anudike-Uzomah – EDGE / Kansas State – 6’4/255

Moldable piece of clay with natural power and twitch from head to toe that can stun the blocker on initial contact.  Easy bend with proper angles up the edge are they key traits that have led to the high pass rush success rate.

 

76. Jaelyn Duncan – OT / Maryland – 6’6/288

The struggles in pass protection cause some concern but the traits are still there.  Easy body control and bend with accurate hand placement should keep him in the mix for a slot on day two, and rightfully so.

 

77. Deuce Vaughn – RB / Kansas State – 5’6/175

One of the more unique players in the draft that someone could easily fall in love with and create a portion of the playbook just for him.  Loves the game and plays like it, true hunger when he gets the ball.

 

78. Ryan Hayes – OT/Michigan – 6’6/301

Did not allow a sack in 2022 including matchups against Georgia and Ohio State.  Could project to guard at the next level but no matter where he ends up, one of the safer bets in the class to be a solid starter.

 

79. Darnell Wright – OT / Tennessee – 6’5/347

Things have started to click for the former five-star recruit that had an up and down career.  Wright is a massive blocker with good enough feet and a wicked strike to initially win the engagement with both power and speed defenders alike.

 

80. Emmanuel Forbes – CB / Mississippi State – 6’0/180

A playmaker in every sense of the word.  Has the feel, anticipation, and elite reaction-based movement traits that will create turnovers at the next level. 

 

81. Andrew Vorhees – OG / USC – 6’6/328

Just under 3,500 career snaps at three positions will get the attention of coaches that need a versatile backup right away.  Solid and dependable blocker that is hard to fool, hard to beat one on one.

 

82. Siaki Ika – DT / Baylor – 6’4/354

There are not many humans on this planet that can move like this at that size.  Ika has the look of one of those guys that produces more in the pros than he does in college if he finds the right fit.

 

83. Tanner McKee – QB/Stanford – 6’6/226

A pure pocket passer that looks to be creeping toward a high level when everything around him is on schedule.  A hard evaluation because of the porous offensive line but he has several well-developed traits.

 

84. Christopher Smith – S/Georgia – 5’10/188

The size concerns need to be at least partially overlooked, as Smith may be the smartest defensive back in the class.  Right place, right time at all times with back-end versatility.

 

85. Eric Gray – RB / Oklahoma – 5’10/214

A prototype body attached to a versatile skill set that translates to pro football very well.  Gray has a good shot at being that rookie back that produces way more than those drafted ahead of him if he is put in the right system.

 

86. Jammie Robinson – S / Florida State – 5’11/203

One of the best tackling back seven defenders in the class that improved by leaps and bounds in man coverage against receivers.  Plays his best football downhill but good enough to stay back in certain looks.

 

87. Sean Tucker – RB / Syracuse – 5’10/205

Homerun threat in the open field but also proved to have every down, between the tackle ability.  A true three-down back with precise footwork and balance.

 

88. Byron Young – DT / Alabama – 6’3/299

The face of versatility among this class’s defensive linemen.  Has lined up all over the front with a nice combination of hand strength, bend, and closing speed.

 

89. Tank Bigsby – RB / Auburn – 6’0/213

On the surface level, this is an every down-every situation type back with an aggressive style.  Will play twitchy and assertive with the ability to adjust at the final moment, creating plenty of yards after contact.

 

90. Blake Freeland – OT / BYU – 6’8/307

Multiple years of starting experience on both sides with excellent pass protection numbers.  Brings a nasty attitude to table, plays pissed off.

 

91. Derick Hall – EDGE / Auburn – 6’3/255

One of the most productive edge defenders in the SEC since the halfway point of 2020 brings elite burst and length to the table and is always in attack mode.

 

92. Adetomiwa Adebawore – DT / Northwestern – 6’2/275

Unique skill set and body type will need specific usage but no matter what, this is a pass rush specialist that needs to in a third down package somewhere.  Sudden first few steps and slippery style make him a menace to deal with one on one.

 

93. Ji’Ayir Brown – S / Penn State – 5’11/210

Explosive deep defender that can creep up to the line in certain looks and provide credible support.  Plays the game fast and rangy in coverage.

 

94. Andre Carter – EDGE / Army – 6’6/252

We did not see anything near the level of play he put on tape in 2021 (15 sacks / 59 pressures) but Carter’s tool set at a premium position almost has to land him somewhere day two.  His margin to gain is bigger than others considering where he plays ball right now.

 

95. Jaquelin Roy – DT / LSU – 6’4/315

Thick-bodied run defender has big time bull rush potential on passing downs as well.  Does a lot of the little things right when it comes to hand strike, bend, and absorbing attention.

 

96. Sydney Brown – S / Illinois – 5’10/211

Yoked up back-end defender that will appear all over the tape with his hyper-active style.  Showed tremendous improvement in coverage and playmaking to further enhance his high-versatility style.