2023 Draft Risers

2023 Draft Risers


2023 Draft Risers


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The NFL Draft is less than a week away and since early January we’ve seen players rise and fall. Scouts, GMs and coaches flooded to Mobile to watch the Senior Bowl, Indianapolis for the combine and they’ve met with hundreds of players between draft visits and pro day meetings. What players have risen their stock and will hear their name called far earlier than initially expected? 


S Anthony Johnson, Iowa State

February Rank: 367th

Current: 154th

Johnson has been flying up boards in the last month, the former corner at Iowa State (not the Virginia CB, who’s also good). He’s quick in his cuts while maintaining a physical nature vs the run and he doesn’t miss many tackles either, something that plagues physical box safeties too often. Johnson does well flipping his hips and running with receivers in deep zones. He’s new to the safety position and the learning curve shows but I have zero doubt he’ll develop into an NFL starter. 

IOL Chandler Zavala, NC State

February Rank: 345th

Current: 122nd

Zavala has seen his stock rise a fair amount in the last month, and he’ll likely be drafted late day two or early day three. He’s only played football for five years and only two seasons at the power five level. In 18 FBS starts he allowed just eight pressures. He’s a physical blocker who plays with an incredibly nasty streak. His run blocking keeps up this same level of nasty mentality. Zavala also posted a 9.49 RAS score with an elite 32.5 inch vertical and 1.78 10 yard split. He might need a year to develop but there’s Pro Bowl potential. 

CB Cory Trice, Purdue

February Rank: 347th

Current: 120th

A former safety, Trice is built like a linebacker playing corner (6-3, 206). Trice is going to be a scheme specific corner as he struggles heavily in zone coverage, but he’s one of if not the best press corner in the class. Trice is a fluid corner who’s seen his stock rise from a 5th/6th round pick to likely the mid 4th round largely in part to him silencing speed concerns after posting a 4.45 40. Trice has a lot of upside to develop into a rotational corner for a heavy man coverage team. 

DL Ade Adebawore, Northwestern

February Rank: 237th

Current: 44th

Adebawore put his name on the map during the Senior Bowl where he worked at defensive tackle instead of as an edge rusher. He’s a powerful interior rusher with a lethal quick step that is going to give a lot of NFL guards a problem. During the combine Adebawore posted an elite 4.49 40 yard dash with a 1.61 split while adding a 37.5” vert and 27 bench reps. He could potentially slide into the back end of the first round but will no doubt be a top 50 selection after potentially being a 7th round prospect just three months ago. 

CB/S Jartavis “Quan” Martin, Illinois

February Rank: 204th

Current: 88th

Illinois has three elite DB prospects this year and Martin has had the biggest journey to the top. At 5-11, 195 he’s an undersized safety but he’s versatile being able to rotate between free, strong and the slot. His hips and feet are fluid, and he’ll likely slide in as a pure slot corner for an NFL team. He tackles well and likes to get violent vs the run game. With 225 career tackles, seven interceptions, and 22 breakups it was only a matter of time till Martin got recognized. 

CB Deonte Banks, Maryland

February Rank: 128th

Current: 19th

Deonte Banks and Jakorian Bennett were two of the more underrated players coming into the draft process and Banks has really capitalized, raising his stock into a likely top 20 selection. Banks has prototypical size at corner being 6-0, 200 while also posting an elite 4.35 40 yard dash with a 42” vert and 11-4 broad jump. He’s able to play zone and man coverage at the same level, plays with fluid hips and likes to use receivers leverage against them. He’ll need to develop with his off man coverage at times but Banks has the traits, production and athleticism to become a starting corner for years. 

TE Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion

February Rank: 223rd

Current: 116th

In an elite tight end class, Kuntz has skyrocketed his stock largely in part to his elite size and athletic testing. The Old Dominion product stands at 6-7, 255 pounds and posted a 40” vert, 4.12 shuttle and 4.55 40 yard dash at the combine. He’s likely going to hear his name called on day two or early day three. He can block well and is an elite receiver, Kuntz has refined route running for someone his size and can make a play after the catch as well. 

IOL Jon Gaines, UCLA

February Rank: 290th

Current: 140th

Gaines was a standout on the UCLA offensive line, along with fellow prospect Atonio Mafi. He’s slightly undersized as a guard at 6-4, 300 and will need to add some weight to start in the NFL. Gaines can be a guard or center in the NFL and has experience at both, though his elite pre snap intelligence might make him best suited at center. Gaines likes to play through the whistle, especially in the run game. There’s a good development track still in line for him but a team could develop him into a starting caliber center. 

LB Jack Campbell, Iowa

February Rank: 111th

Current: 40th

This LB is viewed as weak, though I disagree, but regardless Campbell has put himself at the top of the linebacker class. The 6-5, 250 pound thumper from Iowa posted a 9.99 RAS score with elite marks in the 40 yard dash at 4.65 seconds and an impressive 37.5” vert to go with his 10-8 broad jump. Campbell is a traditional cover linebacker and defends the run at a high level as well. He’s just starting to his his stride posting 265 tackles, 11 for loss, four interceptions, nine breakups and three forced fumbles in the last two seasons alone. There’s a strong chance Campbell is the first linebacker off the board. 

HB Lew Nichols, Central Michigan

February Rank: 273rd

Current: 177th

Nichols is still somewhat slept on but the Central Michigan standout is going to be a steal for whatever team drafts him. One of the most productive running backs in the country, Nichols posted 615 rushes for 3046 yards, and 26 touchdowns while also adding 71 receptions for 575 yards and three scores. Nichols led the FBS in rushing during the 2021 season with 1848 yards. He plays with a ton of power and usually is going to break the first tackle. He’ll likely be a short yardage or rotational back in the NFL due to a poor 4.85 40 yard dash but he can be a versatile weapon for teams with creative coordinators. 

WR Michael Wilson, Stanford

February Rank: 337th

Current: 110th

Wilson dominated the Senior Bowl and put his name on the map. After struggling with injuries at Stanford he never got the ability to show his skill set and once he was healthy enough too there’s no denying the talent he has. Wilson is a refined route runner with an elite release package. He tracks the ball well and does a fantastic job after the catch as well. Wilson can develop into a starting X receiver for every team in the NFL, and he’s cemented himself as a top eight WR in the class. 


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