With the 2023 NFL Draft fast approaching, the BSP Football staff found some prospects for draft fans to keep an eye on this weekend. The NFL draft is filled with prospects from all different college, so we figured we helped narrow things down a bit. Let’s see who our writers are keeping an eye on entering this years draft.
Jake Piccuito– Vilami Fehoko, Defensive Tackle, San Jose State
The man wreaked havoc this past year earning the fourth-most pressures in the entire country. Though he is weirdly shaped at defensive end, the tape speaks for itself. Fehoko’s success in college will translate to the NFL. With his ability to defend the pass and run well it makes him a tough task for any offense to game plan for in the NFL. Some advice, do not go his way unless you have Trent Williams as your tackle.
Brian Ramos– Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Wide Receiver, Ohio State
One player that is definitely an important name to keep an eye out for Jaxon Smith-Njigba the wide receiver out of Ohio State University. He definitely could be viewed as the best wide receiver in a generally deep class and he has the stats to prove it. His sophomore season he had 1,606 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. He could get picked anywhere from 15-25 overall in the first round.
Jacob Oskorus– Blake Freeland, Tackle, BYU
For someone who measured in at 6’8”, Freeland carries his weight well at 302 pounds as he has the agility and lateral movement needed to mirror edge rushers at the NFL level. Moreover, Freeland displays the athleticism necessary to even be a lead blocker in the run game. He’s quick out of his stance and moves smooth enough with light feet to get around the offensive line and open holes for his running back. In pass protection, Freeland is a fighter. He may not get ideal hand placement on his first punch, but thanks to how well he’s able to mirror rushers, he could be a steal for a team on Day 2.
When it comes to cause for concern, Freeland appeared to be bailed out by his athleticism very often. His footwork needs to be refined, which shouldn’t be a problem for NFL coaching, as he found trouble when facing better competition. It remains to be seen how he’ll hold up against the top competition the NFL brings with him playing against non-Power Five opponents for most of his career. Lastly, Freeland needs to add muscle. He doesn’t need to add much, but in order for him to be successful, it’d be nice to see him add around 10 to 15 pounds.
Nate Powalie– Joey Porter Jr., Cornerback, Penn State
If he’s not been taken, one prospect I have an eye on is Joey Porter Jr., a corner out of Penn State. One reason that Porter is an interesting person is that he’s the son of a longtime NFL linebacker in Joey Porter. And at 6-foot-2, he’s one of the taller defensive backs on the board. Porter works well pressing against receivers and in man coverage. He’s physical, too. He’ll be a great fit for any man coverage set.
Stuart Otto– Bijan Robinson, Running Back, Texas
I love what this guy brings to the table. Running between the tackles, catching out of the backfield, pass protection, and even lining up at receiver. He’s an all purpose back. Whatever offense he goes to he’ll immediately impact it. What’s interesting to me is how teams value him and where he ends up going in the draft. He’s a top 5 talent on most boards but the depreciation of the position could push him to the bottom of the first round.
Marthony Sanders– Kelee Ringo, Cornerback, Georgia
Ringo has great size for a press corner and had a pretty good ‘21 season, but regressed this past season. Now he’s falling somewhat under the radar as one of the top corners coming out of this class. He’s one to keep an eye on.
Matt Jakubosky– Bryan Bresee, Defensive Tackle, Clemson
It was a long season for Bresee who dealt with a kidney infection as well as a horrible loss in his family. The time away surely affected his production in 2022, but it does not change who the man is on and off the field. This is a player hungry to prove that he is the guy everyone thought he was when he came out of high school as the number one overall recruit, according to 247sports.com. Bresee is built like a freak at 6’5½” and 298 lbs. He is extremely explosive as his 40-yard (4.86s) and 10-yard (1.71s) are evidence of. He may need to pack on a little more strength, but this is a defensive tackle with size, speed, and explosiveness to be a difference-maker in the pros.
Justin Kirby– Xavier Hutchinson, Wide Receiver, Iowa State
Hutchinson’s a big body guy who is able to go up and make some tough catches. He stands at 6’3 205. He’s a guy that if he ends up with the right team inside of the right situation he’s going to be a game changer. Every year at Iowa State he improved. He’s coachable and can learn an offense. Once he gets comfortable dont be surprised if teams look at themselves and think “why did we pass on this kid”. I personally think he gets picked up late second to early third round.
Mason Wood– Karl Brooks, Edge, Bowling Green
Brooks is one of my favorite prospects in this years draft and I had him mocked to the Cardinals in my mock draft. Brooks was one of the highest graded edge rushers last season in college football with a blend of agility and skilled hands. He’s totaled 20 sacks and almost 75 hurries his last two years in college and I think you’ll see more of the same from him in the NFL. I hope the Cardinals draft him to help rebuild their defensive line. If they don’t, wherever he goes I expect him to be a gem. His career will be exciting to watch.
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