2023 NFL Draft Final Position Rankings: Tight Ends

Let’s get right into the fourth group in my final positional rankings for the 2023 NFL draft: the tight ends . This is another interesting group; there is one guy locked in pretty much at #1 and then a few guys who could be in any order.

As always, I will be listing players at their expected NFL positions. Be sure to check out my mid-season rankings on the tight ends, and if you want to check out the draft database that I help update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.

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2023 NFL Draft Tight ends: The Top 5

  1. Michael Mayer, Notre Dame: Mayer was NFL ready as a freshman, at least from a physical stand point. He has ideal size and solid athleticism. His game does compare somewhat to Rob Gronkowski. He is an all-around tight end who should be a top 20 pick in the 2023 NFL draft.
  2. Dalton Kincaid, Utah: Kincaid, a transfer from San Diego, didn’t do much in his first year at Utah. He had a bit of a break out in 2021 while sharing snaps with Brant Kuithe. He put on a show against USC with 16 catches for 234 yards this past season. He is a little on the older side, turning 24 in October of his rookie year. His blocking is probably his biggest weakness. Kincaid has good hands and is a smooth route runner.
  3. Darnell Washington, Georgia: Washington is a mountain of a man at 6’7 264 pounds and ran a 4.64 4o-yard dash at the combine. He flashed some in 2020, but an injury derailed his 2021 season. He came back in 2022 and showed he can be consistent, having his best season yet. Already a good blocker, Washington showed improved route running this past season.
  4. Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State: Kraft had a big 2021 season with 65 catches 773 yards and 6 TDs. A lot was expected of him coming into 2022, but due to an injury he played in only nine games, missing five, and never seemed to be himself after he came back. Kraft has good size and athleticism. His blocking can be inconsistent, though.
  5. Sam LaPorta, Iowa: LaPorta has been a solid tight end since he stepped on campus. He is a solid all-around tight end who is probably a little bit better as a receiver. LaPorta is an adequate blocker. He is dependable and a hard worker. The former Hawkeye tested a lot better at the combine than many thought going in, meaning he might have more upside than initially thought. LaPorta does have a decent floor.

2023 NFL Draft Tight ends: Best of the Rest

6. Luke Musgrave, Oregon State: Musgrave is the son of Bill Musgrave, and has been a solid receiving tight end. He has shown improvement each season. At 6’6 253 and 4.61 40-yard dash speed, he has the size and speed to be an effective weapon in the passing game. His blocking leaves a lot to be desired.

7.  Josh Whyle, Cincinnati: Whyle has the new-age tight end size at 6’7 248 pounds and is a good athlete. He is not used in-line that much since his frame is lacking a little, but when asked to block he has done his job. While not the same level, he is in the Kyle Pitts mold. He has yet to meet the potential he flashed in 2020, but seemed to start in 2022.

8.  Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion: Kuntz is a Penn State transfer who couldn’t get on the field at PSU and subsequently transferred. He is a massive tight end at 6’7 255 pounds and ran a 4.55 40-yard dash with a 40″ vertical. He exploded in 2021 with 73 catches for 692 yards and 5 TDs. Big things were expected of him this past season. He got injured in Week 5 and didn’t play the rest of the season. His blocking has consistently been a weakness.

9. Cameron Latu, Alabama: Latu is a former edge, and it shows in his play. He plays a very physical brand of football. The former Crimson Tide tight end has shown potential in the passing game. He has solid size at 6’4 242 and runs in the 4.7 range. He showed flashes in 2021, but regressed some as a receiver. However, Latu showed improved blocking.

10. Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan: Schoonmaker is a late bloomer. He had a total of two catches in his first three seasons at Michigan. The former Wolverine was mostly used as a blocker until 2022, where he showed some flashes of potential as a receiver. He measured in at 6’5 250 and ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at the combine. One of the downsides is that he is already 24 years old

2023 NFL Draft Final Position Rankings: Wide Receivers

Let’s get right into the third group in our look at my final position rankings for the 2023 NFL draft: the wide receivers . This is another interesting group in that there seems to be some disagreement on the strength of the class. I feel it is a deep class, but not strong at the top.

As always, I will be listing players at their expected NFL positions. Be sure to check out my mid-season rankings, and if you want to check out the draft database that I update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.

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2023 NFL Draft Wide Receivers: The Top 5

  1. Quentin Johnston, TCU: Johnston flashed his potential last season, and big things were expected. After starting off slow, he then had two big games in the middle of the season and two towards the end. He has all the size, speed, agility, and upside to be a elite receiver; he just needs to find consistency.
  2. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State: JSN, as he is known, had an out-of-nowhere season last year: 95 catches, 1,606 yards, and 9 TDs. JSN started off 2022 a little slow then got injured and didn’t really play the rest of the season. Teams just need to understand his role in the NFL will be as a slot receiver, but he can be a really good one.
  3. Rashee Rice, SMU: Rice didn’t stand out statistically from 2019-2021, but that was because of the other receivers on the roster. He is big, long, and athletic. Has experience in the slot and the outside. He is a physical guy who can get YAC.
  4. AT Perry, Wake Forest: Perry is another in a line of big, long, and speedy receivers in this class. He blew up last year with 71 catches, 1,293 yards, and 15 TDs. He can do it all on the field and demonstrated improved flexibility in 2022. His numbers were down a bit, mostly due to Hartman missing the first couple games and having four other receivers around him that look to be NFL players.
  5. Cedric Tillman, Tennessee: Tillman is the quintessential tall, long, deep threat, but he is not just a deep threat. He has the strength and catch radius to produce on all three levels. He blew up in 2021 with 64 catches, 1,081, and 12 TDs. He was off to a good start in 2022 before he got hurt and ended up playing just six games and of course got overshadowed a bit by Jalin Hyatt’s season.

Best of the Rest 6-10

6.  Jordan Addison, USC: The former Biletnikoff winner had a ok season for USC, although down statically, and inconsistent. A good route runner who gets YAC, his size will be a hinderance at the NFL level. Because of this, he might have to primarily play out of the slot. Addison also had a poor workout at the combine.

7. Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee: The former Volunteer came out of nowhere in 2022, catching 67 balls for 1267 yards and 15 TDs; his previous season he only had 226 yards and 2 TDs. He has speed to burn, but weights just 176 pounds. 89% of his career snaps came in the slot and the route tree he was asked to run was limited.

8. Zay Flowers, Boston College: Flowers was really known as just a deep threat early in his career, but he really expanded his repertoire in 2022 and had a big season with 78 catches for 1077 yards and 12 TDs. His size at 5’9 182 will almost assuredly limit him to mostly playing out of the slot, but because of his speed he can still be a high impact player.

9. Josh Downs, UNC: Downs is of similar size and skill set to Zay Flowers, but is a little less dynamic. Downs is similar t0 Flowers in that he might have to play in the slot. That said, his size and frame (5’9 171) works well with his agility and speed. Furthermore, he did play most of his snaps in the slot.

10. Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss: Mingo is a player that has slowly climbed up my board since the start of the season and has really rocketed up since I was able to do a deep dive. He has everything you want physically and temperament wise. He does not stand out statistically due to the offense he played in. Mingo can beat DBs over the top, take a slant to the house, and bully DBs in the run game. The former Rebel still needs work of course, but has as much upside as anyone in the top 5.

2023 NFL Draft Final Position Rankings: Running Backs

Welcome to part two of my final position rankings. Today we focus on the running backs for the 2023 NFL draft.  You can see my mid-season rankings here. I will be listing players at their expected NFL positions. We will be going position by position. Let’s get going with the running backs.

This is a really deep group. We could see two taken in the first round, and a bunch taken on Day 2. After #2, I feel like any of the other top 10 guys could be slotted between 3 – 10. If you want to check out the draft database that I help update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.

Photo Credit: Texas Athletics

2023 NFL Draft Running Backs: Top 5

  1. Bijan Robinson, Texas: He has been the presumed #1 running back of the 2023 NFL draft class since at least two years ago. He has done nothing in his time to change that. He has continually improved year in and year out. He has everything you want in a featured running back. He can even play snaps as a receiver, he can block, he can do it all. Amazing vision and agility.
  2. Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama: Any other year and Gibbs is the #1 back in the class. Similar to Robinson in that he can contribute in all facets, just in a smaller package. Fast, explosive, quick, and can run routes. His pass blocking needs work. Gibbs has home run ability.
  3. Kendre Miller, TCU: Miller kind of came out of nowhere, having shared a backfield with Zach Evans in 2021. This year, he really showed he is one of the top backs in the class. The former Horned Frog has excellent vision and agility with solid speed. Miller has ideal RB size and improved as a receiver in 2022.
  4. Tyjae Spears, Tulane: Spears was in a similar situation to Miller in that he was sharing carries in 2021, so his potential was kind of hidden. He blew up in 2022 with over 1500 yards rushing and 19 TDs. Spears has reminded me a bit of Aaron Jones; he is quick, good speed, crazy vision, good hands, and really good contact balance for his size (5’10 201).
  5. Tank Bigsby, AuburnBigsby has good size at 6’0 210, with solid 4.56 speed. He has good vision and decent power for his size. The problem is he has not shown much growth since his freshman year. He has been an inconsistent pass protector and receiver. That said, he still has potential to be a good all-around back — if he can get in the right situation.

2023 NFL Draft Running Backs 6-10:

6. Roschon Johnson, Texas: Johnson came to Texas as a quarterback and transitioned to running back. Unfortunately for him, he was stuck behind the top running back in the class, but when he was able to get on the field he showed a lot of talent and upside as a running back. He has similar size to Robinson, but their running styles differ. Johnson is more of a power back. He also has a lack of wear and tear on his body going for him.

7. Sean Tucker, Syracuse: Tucker is a good back on a team with not a lot of talent. The fact that he was able to rush for over 1,500 yards in 2021 is a testament to how good he is. He has solid size at 5’9 and 207. His top-end speed is pretty average, sitting in the 4.5 range, but he accelerates quickly. He has also been a poor pass blocker and receiver in the past. However, he has shown improvements. There have been some questions on his vision.

8. Israel Abanikanda, PittsburghGood size and speed at 5’11 216 and 4.5 speed. He had a breakout season in 2022, and showed flashes late in 2021. Abanikanda had that crazy 322 yard game with six touchdowns. He is a very good runner with great vision, and is very slippery. Development in the passing game has been stunted. Blocking has also been inconsistent, which happens with a lot of college backs.

9. Devon Achane, Texas A&M: Achane is speed, speed, and more speed. He was stuck behind CJ Spiller the last two seasons, but he was still able to play over 300 snaps last season. He is almost the complete opposite of Spiller. Small (5’9 188), quick, and fast. He has shown flashes as a receiver, but has not been consistent. He will need to add another 10 pounds or more to handle the riggers of the NFL. His blocking is not good right now and will need work as well.

10. Chase Brown, Illinois: The 5’10 210-pound speedster with 4.43 speed lit up the combine. Despite his size, he is actually pretty good in pass protection. He was very productive the past two seasons on a pretty weak Illinois offense. Brown still needs to find some consistency.

2023 NFL Draft Final Position Rankings: Quarterbacks

We are finally here, my final position rankings for the quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL draft. Before we get started, refresh yourself on my mid-season opinions on these prospects. Let’s start with the first group, which is expected to be an interesting one. After the top two guys there will be a lot of different and interesting takes.

CJ Stroud leads the 2023 NFL draft class of quarterbacks
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2023 NFL Draft Quarterbacks: Top 5

  1. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State: Pretty easy pick for me. He has the most upside of the top two quarterbacks of the 2023 NFL draft class. He has ideal size and arm strength. He can make all the throws and really showed improvement against Georgia.
  2. Bryce Young, Alabama: You really can’t go wrong with either guy. Young is really smart and a better athlete than people think. But he is 5’10 and doesn’t have the arm that Stroud has.
  3. Anthony Richardson, Florida: He has all the upside in the world. After his combine workout, he has been compared to Cam Newton. He is just so inconsistent right now. He needs a year on the bench to learn.
  4. Will Levis, Kentucky: Will Levis hasn’t shown the growth that was hoped he would this season. He will also be an older rookie at 24. But he is still an elite athlete with elite size and arm strength.
  5. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee: Hooker is kind of like a mix between Young and Stroud physically. He has Stroud’s arm and size and Young’s athleticism and accuracy. The major flaws are his age and a torn ACL. It brings with it questions of how much upside is left, plus will he be able to even play as a rookie?

2023 NFL Draft Quarterbacks: Best of the Rest

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6.Tanner McKee, Stanford: McKee is a 23-year old junior who spent 2-years on an LDS mission. He has good size and can play from the pocket, and has shown improvement each season. His arm is decent and he sill has some upside, but as with some other quarterbacks in this class, how much?

7.Jaren Hall, BYU: Hall will be a 25-year-old rookie with one good season to his name. He is also on the smaller side, and has just a decent arm. But, he can move and is a good athlete. Same question goes to him as Hooker: how much upside is there left?

8. Clayton Tune, Houston: Tune has been very underrated throughout this whole process — even by myself. He has good size, athleticism, and a better arms than most think. In the last two seasons, he threw for over 7,600 yards, 70 TDs, while also rushing for over 1,00 yards and five TDs. Tune still has developmental upside and should be a solid back up, at the very least.

9. Tyson Bagent, Shepherd: Bagent played at a tiny Division II school, but he definitely wowed at the combine with a 9.15 RAS score, and showed he had an NFL arm and is a very good athlete. Bagent also threw for 4500 yards and over 40 TDs. He has some significant upside.

10. Holton Ahlers, East Carolina: Holton Ahlers is somewhat similar to Bagent, except he did it at the FBS level. He was a slow burn as a prospect who got a little better each season, which allowed him to fly under the radar a bit. He is a big quarterback who can run in the Ben Rothlesberger mold. His arm is good enough, and at the least he should be a solid back up.

Be sure to check out all of my previous work, and if you want to check out the draft database that I help update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.

Decoding The “Packers Way” Part 2

Welcome back to part 2! In this article we will be decoding the “Packers way” in regards to defensive players. As I stated in one of my previous articles the Packers have a certain way of doing things with regards to the NFL draft and their thresholds for prospects. You can also check out part one on the offensive players. We will be laying out, in simple terms and data, how the Green Bay Packers approach drafting defensive players.

I previously wrote about this back in April of 2021. In that article, I based most of my findings off of Ted Thompson’s draft picks. Now that Brian Gutekunst has had two more drafts, we can more clearly see his trends. I will still refer back to Thompson sparingly since Gutekunst did learn under Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson; the architects of the “Packers Way”. Some of that is connected to RAS. We will break it down by position.

Defensive line:

Under Ted Thompson, defensive linemen averaged a RAS score of 7.29. With Gutekunst, it has been 7.77, and if you take out Jonathan Ford it jumps to a 8.83; so it can be said that Gutey prioritizes athletes along the defensive line more than Ted did. They have all been at least 6’2 and 290 or heavier, so while he is a good player, do not expect the Packers to draft a player like Calijah Kancey who is probably about 6’0 275.

Gutekunst also has only drafted guys with 32″ arms or longer. The bare minimum vertical was 29″, where oddly enough seven draft picks dating back to Thompson all had. 8’6″ seems to be the minimum with broad jump, but it seems Gutekunst and company like guys closer to 9’0.

In regards to 40-yard dash times, there have been two players with slow 40 times, Johnny Jolly and Jonathan Ford, with both running over 5.45. After them though, the next slowest is a 5.14; with a lot of them running under 5.1. Both players seem to be outliers.

So, look for defensive linemen who run in the 5.15 or faster range. The slowest short shuttle was a 4.89, but most draft picks ran under 4.8. The slowest 3-cone was a 7.91, but the majority have run 7.65 or faster.

Edge rusher:
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When it comes to edge rushers, the Packers haven’t changed the type they target. Historically, they like guys who score high athletically. Since Ted came aboard, they have averaged an 8.21 on the RAS scale, and with Gutekunst it has been 8.65. What has changed, though, is the body type.

With Dom Capers in town they tended to go after the smaller and more bendy type edge rushers. Since Mike Pettine was the defensive coordinator, the front office has liked to draft longer and stronger guys who tend to be more power players. The Packers have drafted guys in the 6’4+ range and weighting 260 or more. All four of his picks have also had 34″ or longer arms, 33″ might be ok, but I wouldn’t look at anyone shorter than that.

The lowest vertical jump was 36″, so look for anyone with a 35″+ vertical. 9’9″ is the shortest broad jump since Ted took over as GM. It looks like Gutey prefers guys with 10′ or longer jumps. As for 40 times, the Packers clearly do not prioritize that, as you have one guy with a 4.45 and another with a 4.87. The slowest short shuttle was a 4.54, but most have been 4.4 or faster. When it comes to the 3-cone drill the slowest has been a 7.51, but most are 7.3 or faster.

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Gutkunst has drafted six linebackers in his time as GM. This is a position where he has taken a big departure from his predecessor . The average RAS under Thompson was a 5.98; under Gutekunst it has been a 9.06. So obviously a massive jump in required athleticism by the front office.

As for size, the minimum threshold is around 6’1, 230 pounds. The preference is probably about 6’3 240. Arm length has kind of been all over, with the shortest being 30 1/4″ and the longest 33 1/3″, but you could say 30 1/4″ is the minimum.

In regards to athletic testing, the lowest vertical jump was 32″. The shortest broad jump was 10’1″ — this seems to be a test the Packers prioritize with their linebackers. On to everyone’s favorite, 40 times. The slowest 40 time has been a 4.61, which makes this another prioritized test.

Short shuttle tests don’t seem to be as important, with the slowest being 4.46 and others in the 4.3 range. 3-cone drill, though, does seem to be something they key on, with the slowest being a 7.5 but the next slowest was a 7.25 and a lot of them being 7.1 or faster.

Defensive back:
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Now this is where the fun begins. There has been much hand wringing over the Packers thresholds at defensive back. The minimum height they will draft is 5’10 1/4″. It used to be 5’10 1/2″ under Wolf and Thompson, which they stuck to religiously. Gutekunst is a little more flexible, where he will make an exception if a player is worthy. Jaire Alexander is a great example, as he was 5’10 1/4 at the combine.


The Packers also like bigger corners, preferring guys who weigh in over 190. They also want guys with arms that are 31″ or longer. With safeties, they like guys who are “corner sized”: usually 5’11 or taller, 200 pounds plus, and 31″ arms or longer as well.


Now to the testing, The average RAS score of the corners is an 8.33. With vertical jumps, the minimum is 35″. As for the safeties, Gutekunst has only drafted one in his time so I will include Thompson’s picks as well. The average RAS is a 7.51, but I’m betting once Gutey drafts more it will be more like 8.0 or higher. Vertical jump would be the same as with the corners. The lowest broad jump was 9’11”, all the rest are 10’3″ or more so I would start with at least 10′. It’s a similar situation at safety with the broad jumps.

On to the 40! The slowest 40-yard dash since Gutekunst took over is a 4.56, and I would say that is probably where their threshold is for the corners. With regards to the safeties, the slowest was a 4.62 under Ted Thompson, but all the others were 4.56 or faster; so the 4.56 would be a good starting point, as well.

For the agility testing, the slowest short-shuttle for a corner was a 4.36, there was also some 4.33, 4.34, so I would say 4.36 is the threshold. At safety the slowest was a 4.4, and, as stated earlier, its probably lower than that now with Gutey, so I would stick with the 4.36. On the 3-cone drill, the slowest was a 7.15, but most corners have tested lower than 7. Similarly with the safeties, the slowest was a 7.16, but most were 7.03 or faster, so I would start there.