As the calendar once again turns to December about half of the NFL teams need to think more about how they can improve themselves in the 2023 offseason vs. playing in the 2022 postseason.
A big part of that equate will next year’s NFL draft, set to start April 27 in Kansas City. Believe or not, the annual picking or the best college prospects is fewer than five months away. That makes it another great time for new overall big board and positional rankings.
Ahead of the conference championship games, here’s an updated and expanded look at the 70 prospects NFL teams should have highest on their watchlist for now:
MOCK DRAFT: Texans nab best QB and WR; Lions, Seahawks, Eagles use bonus top-10 picks on defense
NFL Draft prospects 2023: Big board of top 70 players
1. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama (6-0, 194 pounds)
Young has special athleticism and intangible qualities beyond his age. He also has a strong fluid arm and easy motion with which to generate the right zip for intermediate and downfield throws. He can work within an explosive passing game with accuracy but also offers some dazzling improv.
2. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama (6-4, 235 pounds)
Anderson is a freakish combination of strength, power, quickness and explosiveness. He has put it all together for top-flight production and is both relentless and technically sound. He will be hard to pass up at No. 2 overall, even vs. a franchise QB.
3. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State (6-3, 215 pounds)
Stroud is a sturdy and cerebral pocket passer. He reads the field and leads his team with superior intangibles. HIs arm and athleticism don’t wow as individual elements, but he is very accurate and adept at sidestepping pressure to deliver downfield.
4. Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia (6-3, 310 pounds)
The Bulldogs’ post-national championship front has had a clear new anchor with Travon Walker, Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt and Quay Walker all finding NFL homes. Carter is an absolute disruptive force inside, combining all those recent draftees’ qualities into a complete package.
5. Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson (6-5, 275 pounds)
Murphy has awesome explosive qualities and power for his size, too, to stand out as the second-best pass rusher in the class behind the incomparable Anderson. Murphy has terrific smarts, instincts and moves to help maximize his production.
6. Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame (6-4, 251 pounds)
Mayer is a top-10 overall prospect because of exceptional athleticism, hands and route-running skills for his position. He has still room to grow to use his frame and physicality even better as a receiver and blocker.
7. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (6-0, 215 pounds)
Robinson has unique burst with the big-play ability to take any run the distance with enough speed, vision and determination. He’s light on his feet for his size, a quick cutter who can shoot through holes. Robinson, given his receiving skills and classic profile as a feature back, is a rare mid first-rounder for the position.
8. Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame (6-4, 257 pounds)
Foskey, the Fighting Irish’s all-time sack leader, is technically sound and well-rounded pass rusher who also has a favorable blend of power and explosiveness. He could get better by becoming stronger vs. the run.
9. Jordan Addison, WR, USC (6-0, 175 pounds)
Addison was the highest-profile transfer of the offseason, leaving Pitt for a different wide receiver factory. He has terrific athleticism and speed with which to stretch the field. Like some recent previous Trojans, his best role in the NFL at first might be as a dynamic slot. He’s really found his groove with Caleb Williams as his QB.
10. Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson (6-3, 225 pounds)
Simpson is a tough and fast freight train of a second-level defender. He reads plays well and has good on-ball instincts. He is well-balanced vs. run and pass.
11. Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia (6-0, 205 pounds)
Ringo is an extremely athletic and physical corner, using every bit of size and frame well in aggressive coverage. He can make big plays on the ball but he just needs to work on being more consistent with his downfield technique.
12. Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State (6-6, 310 pounds)
Johnson finishes well with his athleticism and footwork in pass protection. He is a willing strong run blocker with the mentality for it but he needs some refinement to be more effective in that area.
13. Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern (6-4, 315 pounds)
Much like former Northwestern star turned Chargers left tackle Rashawn Slater, Skoronski has a great athletic profile. He has rare speed and quickness for his size and is a smooth and smart pass protector. He has good pedigree as the grandson of Packers legend Bob Skoronski.
14. Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson (6-5, 300 pounds)
What Bresee doesn’t have in pure quickness and explosiveness, he makes up for with strong technique and footwork to get into position to stuff the run. He also can get to the quarterback inside and is relentless in working his blocker.
15. Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina (6-0, 188 pounds)
Smith is another physically intriguing corner who uses his size and explosiveness well in coverage. He needs a little more work on technique and run support.
16. Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon (6-3, 250 pounds)
Noah is the younger brother of former Oregon offensive tackle Penei, who was a first-round draft pick of the Lions last year. Noah is a terror for offenses as a tackling and playmaking machine. He still has room to grow his game while in coverage.
17. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State (6-0, 197 pounds)
Smith-Njigba is following in the massive playmaking footsteps of Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson as a complete go-to receiver for Stroud. He can take over games with his speed, quickness and route-running. The hamstring injury will be far in the rearview mirror for the draft process, too.
18. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky (6-3, 232 pounds)
Levis, a transfer from Penn State, is a well-rounded prospect who has shown the arm, accuracy and athleticism to be an NFL starter soon. He is a solid pocket passer who excels at getting the ball out of his hands quickly.
19. Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU (6-0, 190 pounds)
Boutte is right there with Smith-Njigba in being a smooth well-rounded receiver with speed, quickness, hands and route-running. He can stretch the field on the outside and also can be fearless positioning his body to make tougher catches inside.
20. Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State (6-6, 313 pounds)
Fashanu has gotten more attention for some freakish physical qualities. While he’s still developing his blocking skills, the upside of his power and athleticism blend can’t be ignored for a high pro ceiling.
21. Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama (5-11, 200 pounds)
Gibbs is a game-breaking runner with the required elements of pure speed, quickness and explosiveness. He also reads his blocks well with good vision.
22. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU (6-4, 215 pounds)
From his size to his field-stretching speed, Johnston profiles well as a potential perimeter No. 1 in the NFL. He can make big plays but can also has reliable hands to help his consistency.
23. Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M (6-3, 195 pounds)
Johnson uses his wide range to make a lot of plays on the ball in coverage. He gets around everywhere well and is also reliable in run support.
24. Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech (6-6, 275 pounds)
Wilson is a versatile pass rusher with a massive frame. He is very athletic for his size and could be used at multiple front seven positions in the NFL.
25. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State (6-2, 198 pounds)
The son of the former Steelers and Dolphins star pass rusher has tremendous size and physicality for coverage and uses his reliable speed to make plays on the ball. He just needs to become more fluid and consistent.
26. Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia (6-4, 310 pounds)
Jones is very appealing because of his agility and natural footwork in pass protection. If he can get a little stronger, he can turn into a reliable all-around blocker for a long time.
27. Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia (6-3, 235 pounds)
Smith joined Carter in leading the latest iteration of Kirby Smart’s defense with his pure explosiveness and pass-rushing speed. He also is quick enough to get after against the run and in pass coverage.
28. Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State (6-4, 251 pounds)
Verse made the jump from FCS Albany and stayed productive to boost the Seminoles’ defense with 7.5 sacks. He offers great explosiveness and athleticism as a pass rusher who can produce well situationally at first before rounding out his run defense and coverage skills.
29. Brian Branch, S, Alabama (6-0, 193 pounds)
Branch is a natural cover man with a nose for the ball. He’s also getting more attention how he can finish physically in run support.
30. Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida (6-6, 312 pounds)
Dexter has become a disruptive athletic force with his massive frame in the vein of Georgia’s Jordan Davis, a first-rounder of the Eagles in 2021.
31. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (6-2, 201 pounds)
Gonzalez has learned how to use his long frame better to show a nice blend of agility and physicality in coverage that gets him some first-round consideration.
32. Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah (5-10, 183 pounds)
Phillips has also jumped into the first-round conversation with his strong ballhawking skills and six interceptions for the Utes.
33. O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida (6-5, 347 pounds)
Torrence is a powerful and nasty interior run blocker who uses his hands and feet well to gain an advantage over defenders.
34. Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma (6-5, 315 pounds)
Harrison is a physically impressive prospect with a great frame and wingspan to hold up well. He just needs to work more on his agility and technique as a pass protector.
35. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State (6-4, 255 pounds)
Anudike-Uzomah is a long, strong pass rusher who uses his smarts, instincts and variety of moves to the quarterback while works on becoming a little more explosive. He has posted 7.5 sacks in a breakout season for the Wildcats.
36. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida (6-4, 232 pounds)
Richardson has off-the-charts athleticism and the arm to deliver all of the throws with zip and touch. He just needs to work on his decision-making and mechanics to become more consistent and accurate in the NFL.
37. Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina (5-10, 175 pounds)
Downs has the athleticism and quickness to make a ton of big plays when working the open field on short-to-intermediate routes, especially after the catch.
38. Jordan Battle, S, Alabama (6-1, 206 pounds)
Battle is a well-rounded cover safety with the speed and quickness needed to stay with inside receivers. He used his return to school to become a more reliable run supporter and better tackler.
39. Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama (6-2, 225 pounds)
To’oToo is the typical athletic and rangy 3-4 linebacker for NIck Saban. He covers a lot of ground and is technically sound. He is relentless in his pursuit against the run and finishes with pop as a tackler.
40. Rashee Rice, WR, SMU (6-2, 203 pounds)
Rice is a strong receiver with great hands with savvy and versatile route-running skills. He just put up impressive regular-season numbers for the Mustangs (96 catches, 1,355 yards and 10 TDs).
41. Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse (6-8, 322 pounds)
Bergeron is a smart blocker with a good blend of power and agility considering his size. He can still become a little refined in his technique all-around.
42. Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor (6-4, 358 pounds)
Ika continues to develop strong inside pop with compact, athletic frame. He can be a solid run-stopping starter in a 4-3.
43. Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee (6-3, 215 pounds)
Tillman is the classic size-speed perimeter vertical threat who also finishes well in the end zone.
44. Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee (6-7, 270 pounds)
Wright makes the watchlist because of his massive frame and athleticism to match. He has refined his game well in a more dynamic offense.
45. Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse (6-0, 189 pounds)
Williams has the physicality and fearlessness to fare well in either man or zone coverage once he further develops his technique and nose for the ball.
46. Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland (6-6, 320 pounds)
Duncan stands out because of his experience and powerful, quick frame. Watch out for him rounding out his footwork and technique to become a more valued asset in pass protection.
47. BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU (6-3, 245 pounds)
Ojulari uses his smarts, instincts, array of moves and classic finishing burst to win as a pass rusher. He still needs to work on getting stronger and more physical against the run.
48. Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State (6-6, 272 pounds)
Harrison has the ideal frame and athleticism to become a dominant pro pass rusher with better usage of footwork, technique and leverage.
49. Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College (5-10, 172 pounds
Flowers was a bright spot in a rough season for the Eagles with 78 catches for 1,077 yards and 12 TDs. He can be a speedy slot or outside option in the NFL with great quickness in open field and toughness after the catch.
50. John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota (6-4, 320 pounds)
Schmitz is a classic power grading run blocker who could be a great long-term starter by developing his feet and technique better for inside pass protection.
51. Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, C, Georgia (6-4, 310 pounds)
Pran-Granger is a technically sound savvy blocker who gets the job done well by maximizing his quickness and power.
52. Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army (6-7, 260 pounds)
Carter has developed into a fine pass rusher with his freakish athletic frame with relentlessness and smarts that give him a high ceiling.
53. Blake Freeland, OT, BYU (6-8, 305 pounds)
Freeland has great size and raw skills that can refined well for pass protection given his established high floor as an outside run blocker.
54. Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss (6-0, 215 pounds)
Evans has great speed, quickness and burst. He can excel as a receiving-dedicated back in the NFL.
55. Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame (6-1, 192 pounds)
Joseph is a flat-out playmaker on the ball with dynamic athleticism and speed to cover all over the field. He is solid against the run and will try to follow Kyle Hamilton well into the NFL.
56. Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma (5-11, 184 pounds)
Mims makes big plays and does it both ways: Stretching the field deep and also showing the toughness and quickness to be a major force after the catch.
57. Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn (6-3, 256 pounds)
Hall has the suddenness, quickness and explosiveness to excel in the NFL and can raise his stock with a smooth pre-draft season.
58. Andrew Vorhees, G/C, USC (6-6, 325 pounds)
Vorhees is the traditional strong and powerful interior run blocker. He uses both his hands and feet to win his battles.
59. Carter Warren, OT, Pitt (6-5, 325 pounds)
There’s no question that Warren is a smooth and agile pass protector for the Panthers, but to get into the second round, he needs to show he can use his size and strength better in the running game.
60. Zion Tupuola-Fetui, EDGE, Washington (6-4, 241 pounds)
Tupuola-Fetui is a lanky pass rusher who gets the job done with quickness and athleticism. The question lies in developing the needed power and strength with a smaller frame to hold up against bigger, stronger NFL blockers.
61. Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama (6-2, 196 pounds)
Ricks has incredible size and length that allows him to stay with the biggest wide receivers in coverage. He can also outrun smaller wideouts and shows an extra gear in closing to make plays on the ball.
62. Blake Corum, RB, Michigan (5-8, 210 pounds)
Corum has the classic explosive qualities with his quickness and burst. He’s very elusive in the open field. The concerns for him staying on the field are size and blocking but he can be an ace change of pace.
63. Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State (6-0, 180 pounds)
Forbes is a confident big corner who doesn’t back away from No. 1 wideout challenges. He has the smarts and instincts to start well in man or zone coverage.
64. Kyu Blu Kelly, CB, Stanford (6-1, 190 pounds)
Kelly is what one might expect given his size, speed and aggressiveness profile. He is a big corner who goes after big plays in the Trevon Diggs mold but could benefit from more consistent coverage.
65. Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan (6-3, 337 pounds)
Smith is a productive and disruptive nose tackle made for reliable run stuffing and also making some big plays in the backfield.
66. Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State (6-8, 359 pounds)
Jones is a smart and sturdy pass protector who can blossom by learning to use his footwork and quickness better.
67. Rakim Jarrett, WR, Maryland (6-0, 190 pounds)
Jarrett is a route-running and hands technician who can settle into a strong slot receiving role in the NFL.
68. Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn (6-0, 213 pounds)
Bigsby is a well-rounded power runner who also incorporates some gamebreaking qualities with good toughness between the tackles.
69. Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU (5-9, 180 pounds)
Tomlinson is a smooth and fluid cover man, from short area to downfield. Because of his size, he projects as a long-time nickel.
70. Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee (6-4, 218 pounds)
Hooker has ideal size and backs that up with a zippy arm, quick release and good overall accuracy. He would fit well in a 49ers-like scheme such as the Dolphins and Jets try to run.
NFL Draft 2023 prospect rankings by position
- Bryce Young, Alabama
- C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
- Will Levis, Kentucky
- Anthony Richardson, Florida
- Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
- Phil Jurkovec, Boston College
- Tanner McKee, Stanford
- Bijan Robinson, Texas
- Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
- Zach Evans, Ole Miss
- Blake Corum, Michigan
- Tank Bigsby, Auburn
- Zach Charbonnet, UCLA
- Jordan Addison, USC
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
- Kayshon Boutte, LSU
- Quentin Johnston, TCU
- Rashee Rice, SMU
- Josh Downs, North Carolina
- Cedric Tillman, Tennessee
- Zay Flowers, Boston College
- Marvin Mims, Oklahoma
- Rakim Jarrett, Maryland
- Parker Washington, Penn State
- Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
- Arik Gilbert, Georgia
- Sam LaPorta, Iowa
- Erick All, Michigan
- Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State
- Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
- Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
- Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State
- Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
- O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
- Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
- Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
- Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
- Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland
- John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
- Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, C, Georgia
- Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
- Andrew Vorhees, G/C, USC
- Carter Warren, OT, Pitt
- Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
- Will Anderson Jr., Alabama
- Myles Murphy, Clemson
- Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame
- Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech
- Nolan Smith, Georgia
- Jared Verse, Florida State
- Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State
- B.J. Ojulari, LSU
- Zach Harrison, Ohio State
- Andre Carter II, Army
- Derick Hall, Auburn
- Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Washington
- Jalen Carter, Georgia
- Bryan Bresee, Clemson
- German Dexter, Florida
- Siaki Ika, Baylor
- Mazi Smith, Michigan
- Trent Simpson, Clemson
- Noah Sewell, Oregon
- Henry To’o To’o, Alabama
- Kelee Ringo, Georgia
- Cam Smith, South Carolina
- Joey Porter Jr., Penn State
- Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
- Clark Phillips III, Urah
- Garrett Williams, Syracuse
- Eli Ricks, Alabama
- Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
- Kyu Blu Kelly, Stanford
- Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU
- Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M
- Brian Branch, Alabama
- Jordan Battle, Alabama
- Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame
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