With the college football season just around the corner, it's time to take a look at the next group of NFL hopefuls that could be available next April 2023.NFL draftin Kansas City. In this edition we will take a looklayout designand reconnaissance reports from MAC.
2023 NFL Draft MAC Prospects to Know
Ball State Cardinals
Ball State has had just one player selected in the draft since 2015 — Danny Pinter, a 2020 fifth-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts who is now starting for the team. They could end up with a late-round pick next April.
Amechi Uzodinma II, CB | Rating: 3.26 | Predicted round: FA
Cornerback Amechi Uzodinma II is someone I've evaluated over the last three seasons. He looked like a legitimate third-day pick early in his career at Ball State, but his game never took off. He was spotty last season, but when he's on his game, Uzodinma shuts down opposing receivers.
Jayshon Jackson, WR | Rating: 3.02 | Projected Round: FA and Yo’Heinz Tyler, WR | Rating: 2.85 | Predicted round: FA
Speaking of receivers, Jayshon Jackson and Yo’Heinz Tyler are UDFAs who could fill out the depth chart on Sundays.
Bowling Green Falcons
Receiver Scotty Miller was the last BGSU player selected in the draft, as he was a sixth-round pick of the Tampa Bay Bucs back in 2019. The program has four players who could be selected in future drafts, and receiver is leading the way.
Tyrone Broden, WR | Rating: 3.38 | Planned round: 6
Junior Tyrone Broden is a big, smooth wideout with sure hands. He plays to his size (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) while showing a nose for the end zone.
Karl Brooks, DL | Rating: 3.28 | Planned round: 7
Defensive lineman Karl Brooks decided to return for a second senior season and it could work out for him. Brooks is a hot prospect who shows plenty of athleticism on the court. He is agile, powerful and plays in all directions. Brooks can line up on the defensive line and appears to have the strength needed to be used as a two-gap DE. I currently have a seventh round grade on him.
Christian Sims, TE | Rating: 3.24 | Predicted round: FA
Tight end Christian Sims had his moments last season and is a solid pass catcher at the position with a good head on his shoulders. Sims is too small though and I'm not sure he has the speed teams want in a draftable tight end.
Davon Ferguson, CB | Rating: 3.02 | Predicted round: FA
Davon Ferguson is a great cornerback in college with superb ball skills. However, his size (under 5-foot-9) limits his appeal. Ferguson has enough to stand in line for small packages on Sundays.
Despite fielding competitive teams in recent years, there have been more hits than misses when it comes to the Buffalo Bulls' NFL draft prospects.
James Patterson, CB | Rating: 3.33 | Planned round: 6
The Bulls' best prospects can be found on the defensive side of the ball, with James Patterson ranking as my No. 1 prospect. The twin brother of record-breaking rusher Jaret Patterson, James is a dominant defender who shows great play and a lot of toughness as a linebacker. More of a two-down defender, Patterson doesn't get much depth on the drop and will likely be under six feet.
Elijah Blades, CB | Rating: 3.18 | Predicted round: FA
Well-traveled cornerback Elijah Blades might be the program's best prospect and the highest-rated Buffalo Bull since Malcolm Koonce when all is said and done. Blades showed plenty of ability as a freshman at Texas A&M, then transferred to Florida in 2021 only to be decommissioned. At the top of his game, he's a nice-sized corner with solid ball skills, but the Blades really need to get their act together.
Central Michigan Chippewas
CMU selected two forwards on the second day of April. Next year they may not have a player drafted at all.
Thomas Incoom, EDGE | Rating: 3.27 | Predicted round: 7-FA
If a player is selected late in the draft, it will be defensive end Thomas Incoom. Athletic and very quick, Incoom consistently finds his way behind the line of scrimmage to make plays. At 6-foot-1 and 261 pounds, he may not have the right placement on Sundays.
Lew Nichols III, RB | Rating: 3.15 | Predicted round: FA
Running back Lew Nichols III is a powerful ball carrier who picks up a lot of yards after initial contact and doesn't go down without a fight. Nichols also possesses a good amount of short-area speed. And while he's a great downhill ball carrier, I don't see enough perimeter speed or versatility in his game to warrant him being anything other than a late-round prospect at best.
Joel Wilson, TE | Rating: 3.07 | Predicted round: FA
Joel Wilson is an effective tight end who catches the ball well, but has average size and speed.
LaQuan Johnson, EDGE | Rating: 3.00 | Predicted round: FA
Edge rusher LaQuan Johnson showed a lot of potential in 2019, but has seen his game flat and not a factor on the field.
Eastern Michigan Eagles
Eastern Michigan has a handful of prospects on the cusp of late-round picks. That's a promising sign for a program that has only had three players drafted since 2010.
Marcellus Johnson, CB | Rating: 3.28 | Planned round: 7
Left fielder Marcellus Johnson is someone who really impressed me last season. He is a nimble blocker with excellent feet and solid mechanics. Johnson may not have the size to stick at left tackle, but he has enough ability to be considered a zone-blocking linebacker.
Jose Ramirez, EDGE | Rating: 3.26 | Predicted round: FA
Jose Ramirez has decided to return for a second senior season and could go into the middle portion of the third day of the draft with a big season. Ramirez is a tough passer who is used from the three-point stance and standing over the catch. I like him a lot better in the latter role, as he was dominant against Ohio last season when he almost exclusively lined up over the tackle.
Tanner Knue, WR | Rating: 3.12 | Predicted round: FA
Receiver Tanner Knue is a safe out who plays smart football. Knue runs great routes and catches everything thrown his way. His 40-yard dash time will dictate whether he is selected.
Samson Evans, RB | Rating: 3.11 | Predicted round: FA
Running back Samson Evans is a nice-sized ball carrier with excellent strength and underrated speed. He's a great short-yardage back with a nose for the end zone, but he needs to round out his game.
Sidy, Sow | Rating: 2.95 | Predicted round: FA
Unlike Johnson, guard Sidy Sow has great size — probably too much. Sow is someone who caught my eye as a sophomore, but has shown limited improvement and has become very big. When he's on his game, though, Sow can be a dominant force.
Kent State Golden Flashes
Kent State has just two players in the NFL and hasn't had a player drafted since 2014. The latter won't change anytime soon.
At best, KSU has a PFA and a UDFA on the depth chart. Safeties C.J. Holmes and Nico Bolden have the ability to flash and come with nice size, but they need to consistently play at a high level. Antwaine Richardson caught my eye as a junior at Maryland in 2018, but he hasn't done much since.
Miami's senior class is underwhelming, but the depth chart has two underclassmen to watch out for.
Brett Gabbert, QB | Rating: 3.41 | Planned round: 5
Brett Gabbert is a strong-arm quarterback like his older brother Blaine and can make all the throws. While Gabbert is relatively accurate and shows excellent passing position, he lacks classic guard size and constantly looks to targets. The latter must be fixed.
Matthew Salopek, LB | Rating: 3.37 | Planned round: 6
Matthew Salopek is a safety-sized player who would be a great fit in a one-gap system. He is smart, tough and flies around the football. Salopek really stands out in the pursuit.
Huskies of Northern Illinois
NIU is a program on the rise and should consistently compete for a MAC title going forward. They also recently drafted several quality players who are having productive NFL careers.
CJ Brown, S | Rating: 3.42 | Planned round: 5
I only see Day 3 prospects on the list right now, although I really like junior CJ Brown. Brown is a complete safety who shows plenty of resistance to the run and solid coverage skills. He will come up and take out ball carriers, but at the same time he can cover slot receivers downfield. Brown currently has a fifth round grade on my board.
Marques Cox, OT | Rating: 3.29 | Planned round: 7
Left tackle Marques Cox is someone who really impressed me two years ago, but his play has leveled off since then. He's a nimble blocker who's effective on the move, but Cox hasn't shown much toughness in his game lately and doesn't block with a nasty attitude.
James Ester, DT | Rating: 3.09 | Predicted round: FA
James Ester could move up the draft board with a big season. He is a super quick three-technique player who plays with great fundamentals and mobility.
Kyle Pugh, LB | Rating: 3.00 | Predicted round: FA
I'm looking forward to the return of linebacker Kyle Pugh, who looked like a legitimate third-day prospect in 2019 before COVID and injuries ended his career. Previously, he showed a lot of speed and explosiveness as well as a great header.
Toledo had two players selected in the April draft and a bunch of UDFAs signed after that. The Rockets' 2023 class will likely be UDFA-only, though there is plenty of underrated talent on the roster.
Linebacker Dyontae Johnson and defensive linemen Jamal Hines, Devan Rogers, Desjuan Johnson and Nate Givhan have all flashed ability over the past three seasons. All could go into the late rounds with big senior campaigns.
Quinyon Mitchell, CB | Rating: 3.28 | Planned round: 7
Out of the underclassmen ranks, cornerback Quinyon Mitchell is showing plenty of next-level ability. He has solid ball skills, has a physical game and has NFL size.
Western Michigan Broncos
WMU has had a receiver selected in the second round in each of the past two drafts. They may have a hard time picking one player next April, though a few Broncos could make it into the late rounds if they improve their games.
Offensive lineman Dylan Deatherage and running back La'Darius Jefferson are a pair of super seniors with futures in the NFL.
Jacob Gideon, OL | Rating: 3.29 | Planned round: 7
Redshirt sophomore Jacob Gideon is a legitimate next-level prospect for the future. He is a nasty blocker with a nice build who can block on the move and dominate opponents at the line of scrimmage.
Sean Tyler, RB | Rating: 3.28 | Planned round: 7
If there's one WMU player who will be selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, it's running back Sean Tyler. Small but extremely quick, Taylor is a creative defender who catches the ball well out of the backfield.
Corey Crooms, WR | Rating: 3.18 | Predicted round: FA
Corey Crooms is a speedy wideout with decent vertical speed and solid hands. He has a slight build and now has to prove he can be the No. 1 on a team with Skyy Moore moving on to the NFL.
Braden Fiske, DT | Rating: 3.18 | Predicted round: FA
Braden Fiske is a tall, explosive defensive player who beats opponents head-on and makes plays in every direction. He is a skinny front line defender who will need to get bigger and stronger to play on Sundays.
Like Will Ashcroft last year – even though Aaron Cadman was ultimately taken by the Giants with Pick 1 – Reid (187cm) is viewed by recruiters as this year's clear top AFL draft prospect. And by some margin. Reid can play across any line — and win games from any line.Who is the number 1 draft prospect for 2023? ›
Like Will Ashcroft last year – even though Aaron Cadman was ultimately taken by the Giants with Pick 1 – Reid (187cm) is viewed by recruiters as this year's clear top AFL draft prospect. And by some margin. Reid can play across any line — and win games from any line.Is 2023 a strong NFL draft? ›
For good reason; it is a very strong class. The talent is even better at edge rusher, cornerback and tight end, though, which is why fans should expect plenty of players at those positions being selected throughout Thursday and Friday as the first three rounds unfold. This big board is not a mock draft.Who will be the top quarterbacks draft prospects in 2023? ›
|1.||C.J. Stroud||Ohio State|
- Alex Ward, LS, UCF.
- Chris Stoll, LS, Penn State.
- Robert Soderholm III, LS, VMI.
- Matt Hembrough, LS, Oklahoma State.
- Bradley Robinson, LS, Ohio State.
Victor Wembanyama, the projected No. 1 pick, officially declared for the 2023 NBA draft on Friday and has submitted paperwork to the league office, he said on ESPN's "NBA Today."Who is the fastest player in the NFL draft 2023? ›
Michigan cornerback DJ Turner was the fastest player at the 2023 Scouting Combine, running a 40-yard dash in 4.26 seconds. Turner tied for the fifth-fastest time in the history of the Combine: No. 1: John Ross, WR, 2017 (4.22 seconds)Who is the youngest player in the 2023 NFL draft? ›
We see guys of all ages in the draft, especially with the additional eligibility due to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the Establish The Run's NFL Draft Prospect Database, the youngest player in the 2023 NFL Draft is Pittsburgh running back Israel Abanikanda. Abanikanda was born on October 5, 2002.Which qb has the strongest arm in 2023 draft? ›
- Anthony Richardson, Florida. Accuracy: 68. Arm Strength: 93. ...
- Bryce Young, Alabama. Accuracy: 72. Arm Strength: 73. ...
- C.J. Stroud, Ohio State. Accuracy: 74. ...
- Will Levis, Kentucky. Accuracy: 65. Arm Strength: 88. ...
- Hendon Hooker, Tennessee. Accuracy: 64. Arm Strength: 75.
- Strongest Arm: Will Levis, Kentucky.
- Best Deep Ball: C.J. ...
- Best Pocket Presence: Bryce Young, Alabama.
- Best Decision Maker: Bryce Young, Alabama.
- Most Accurate: Too Close to Call.
- Best Runner: Anthony Richardson, Florida.
- Best Outside of Structure: Bryce Young, Alabama.
2023 NFL Draft is deep with edge rushers: With 13 edge defenders in PFF's top 50, this year's EDGE class could be one of the best in recent memory. Wide receiver has less blue-chip talent: After a couple years of record-breaking wide receiver classes, this year's group isn't as stacked with Round 1 talent.Is the 2023 NFL Draft a weak draft? ›
The 2023 NFL Draft is unlike any draft we've seen in recent years. There are several high-profile quarterbacks -- five to be exact, with four of them considered possible/likely top-10 picks -- and a whole bunch of ... stuff. It's a very deep draft class, but the top-heavy talent is not there.Will Jake Moody get drafted? ›
99 Pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. With San Francisco's second pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected kicker Jake Moody from the University of Michigan. During the 2022 season, Moody appeared in all 14 games at Michigan as the team's placekicker and kickoff specialist.Who was the number 1 draft pick last year? ›
2021: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson, Jaguars. 2020: QB Joe Burrow, LSU, Bengals. 2019: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma, Cardinals. 2018: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, Browns.Who is the most accurate mock drafter? ›
Brendan Donahue, the #1 most accurate mock drafter over the past five NFL seasons according to The Huddle Report, gives you his 2023 NFL Mock Draft — making predictions for every team and every pick in the first round.Why are there only 31 picks in 2023 NFL Draft? ›
There are 31 picks in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft because the Miami Dolphins were stripped of their top selection for violations of league policies relating to the integrity of the game.What teams have had the most number 1 draft picks? ›
The Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams have each made the most first overall selections in history with seven. Of the first overall draft picks, 43 have been selected to a Pro Bowl and of those 43, fourteen have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Who is Mr irrelevant this year? ›
So there was extra attention around this year's “Mr Irrelevant” – Desjuan Johnson, a defensive lineman out of the University of Toledo drafted by the Los Angeles Rams as the 259th and final pick. “Just be getting picked, final pick, first pick, middle pick, everything [is] unique,” Johnson said, according to ESPN.Which college had most players drafted 2023? ›
- Buckeyes Wire.
- TCU Horned Frogs (eight picks)
- Michigan Wolverines (nine picks)
- Wolverines Wire.
- Eagles Wire.
- Alabama Crimson Tide (10 picks)
- Roll Tide Wire.
- Story originally appeared on UGA Wire.
Georgia holds the record for most NFL draft selections by a college in a single year since the NFL draft became seven rounds in 1994, setting the mark at 15 players in 2022. 2004 Miami tied 2021 Alabama for the record for most first-round picks at six.Who is the oldest player to get drafted? ›
Who is the oldest player selected in the NFL draft? It's quarterback Chris Weinke, who was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in Round 4 in 2001. Weinke, who was 28 years and 264 days old when he was drafted, had won the Heisman Trophy at Florida State in 2000, throwing 33 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions.Who is oldest player in NFL? ›
Who is the oldest player in NFL history? George Blanda is the oldest player to play in NFL history. Blanda was a quarterback and placekicker who played in the NFL for 26 seasons. He retired in 1975 at the age of 48.Who are the twins in the 2023 NFL Draft? ›
Sydney and Chase Brown are 23-year-old identical twins and played together for three years at Illinois. Now they are starting their NFL careers at the same time, after being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.How many QBs will be drafted in 2023 first round? ›
This year, 14 quarterbacks were selected in the 2023 NFL Draft with nine taken on Day 3. That is well above last year's total of nine quarterbacks selected. Here's a look at all QBs selected in this year's draft.Who is the best qb in the nfl 2023? ›
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes is the standard by which all NFL quarterbacks are now measured.