This is the thing we all wait for when it comes to the NFL Draft: finalized rankings that can be absolutely torn to shreds by bystanders as the draft inches closer. Opinions on the 2023 class have ranged widely, but this ended up being a quality draft at the top with a lot of franchise talent for teams needing help on the offensive and defensive lines.
The top player on this big board ended up being Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter. He is one of the most talented defensive tackles to come in the draft in some time. When he’s healthy, he’s a rare 3 technique who can dominate the running and passing games with ease. He even has surprising flexibility on the edge for a player of his size, showing the ability to dip and bend on stunts when Georgia put him in those positions.
Three offensive linemen found their way into the top five of these rankings. Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright, Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. and Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski have the chance to be cornerstone offensive linemen for their future teams. Skoronski is the elite technician, Johnson looks like he was built in a lab to be an NFL offensive tackle and Wright has the best of both worlds. Those three lead off an offensive line class that finished with seven players in the top 25. The top of the offensive line class this year is very strong with a few home run swings to take on the second and third days of the draft.
Cornerback is a strong group this year as well, with Oregon's Christian Gonzalez and Illinois' Devon Witherspoon having the chance to be erasers in man coverage at the next level. Maryland’s Deonte Banks, Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. (yeah we’re old, buddy) and Georgia’s Kelee Ringo also have the abilities to emerge as top-flight corners as their careers progress.
The wide receiver class has depth that can develop into quality targets for a passing game. Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zay Flowers grab the top spots on this board, but Rashee Rice, Josh Downs and Cedric Tillman could be quality finds on the second day of the draft.
A few other favorite prospects who finished outside of the top 32: Cody Mauch, Kendre Miller, Kobie Turner, Chris Smith, Drew Sanders, Julius Brents, Siaki Ika, Matthew Bergeron and Tyjae Spears. Let’s come back to this in a few years to see how well the prognostication went.
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