2023 NFL Draft Mid-Season Position Rankings: Offensive Tackles

Let’s get right into the fifth group in our look at position rankings for the 2023 NFL draft: the offensive tackles . This group before the season started looked to be a bit of a drop off from the previous classes; but a few guys have stepped up and a few have seemingly come out of nowhere. This class looks to be another solid group. Picking a top 10 was difficult.

As always, I will be listing players at their expected NFL positions. Be sure to check out my previous part detailing 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.

Credit: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
2023 NFL Draft Offensive Tackles: The Top 5
  1. Paris Johnson, Ohio State: Johnson started at right guard in 2021 and played really well. He is a big man who plays with a lot of power. The question heading into 2022 was could he make the transition to left tackle? He has answered that question and then some. He looks to be #1 tackle in the class.
  2. Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State: Speaking of guys who came out of nowhere: Fashanu played just just a few snaps here and there in 2021 before starting their bowl game and balling out. But he was still a question mark coming into 2022. He has really shown his true potential. He is a huge man at 6’6 320 pounds with nimble feet and great core strength. He is just a redshirt sophomore, so his technique is still a work in progress, but he has Pro Bowl potential.
  3. Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland: Duncan is another big, dancing bear. Same size as Fashanu. The difference is he is essentially a 4th year starter and, while he has shown growth, it hasn’t been enough. The massive potential is still there. He just needs more consistency. His technique is also not where it should be. He probably needs a redshirt year in the NFL.
  4. Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse: Bergeron is another big dude at 6’5 324 pounds. He doesn’t have the athletic upside of the three ahead of him. But his floor is much higher — and he is still a good athlete in his own right. He has played both left and right tackle. He could see himself starting out at RT in the NFL as a rookie before moving to the other side. He has the experience and technique to start as a rookie.
  5. Anton Harrison, Oklahoma: Harrison is in a similar boat to Fashanu, and Duncan. He is a big dude at 6’6 309 pounds, but has the feet of a smaller player. He is his second year as a starter. He is pretty consistent from game-to-game. He seems to have one bad game a season. While consistent, he has yet to reach his potential.
2023 NFL Draft Offensive Tackles: Best of the Rest

6. Dawand Jones, Ohio State: Jones is a true mountain at 6’8 359 pounds with 36″ arms. He actually dropped 10 pounds from last season. Pass rushers have a very hard time getting around him because he is so big. Of course, what goes with that is he is not the quickest. For his size, he has decent quickness. He can also get out leveraged at times, too, due to his height. He has been really good in the passing game. The one thing that might give some teams pause would be he is a “one position only” player, only a right tackle.

7. Tylan Grable, UCF: Grable was a big sleeper coming into the season. I don’t think most in the scouting community knew much about him. He transferred up from Jacksonville State, and he has proven the stage is not too big for him. He has ideal size for a left tackle. Listed at 6’7 (probably closer to 6’6) and 290 pounds. He has the requisite feet, size, and arm length to be a starting left tackle in the NFL. He needs to add some bulk, but has the frame to do it.

8. Patrick Paul, Houston: Another sleeper entering the season. Paul has been starting at left tackle since 2020, but he only played two games that season due to injury. Paul has shown continual growth. He also has a brother Chris, who was just drafted by Washington. He has the size at 6’7 315 pounds, and the athleticism to stay at left tackle. The current Cougar may never be elite, but he will be very, very good.

9. Blake Freeland, BYU: Freeland fits the mold of the traditional BYU offensive lineman at 6’8, 307 pounds. The main difference is he isn’t 24 years old. He still has some upside, even though he has been a starter. Freeland has gotten better every year. He has been a four-year starter. I’m just not sure if he plays physical enough to be anything more than just a solid starter.

10. Cody Mauch, North Dakota State: Mauch has been a good blocker the last three seasons. He plays with the physicality that teams like. He also has good overall athleticism. The thing that might be an issue with certain teams is his arm length at only 32 3/8″. Some teams may see him as a guard. It will be important to see him at an All-Star game, since he plays in the FCS, to see him against better competition.

2023 NFL Draft Mid-Season Position Rankings: Tight Ends

Let’s get right into the fourth group in our look at position 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 number of 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 previous part detailing the running backs, and if you want to check out the draft database that I help update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.

Georgia tight end Darnell Washington is expected to be one of the top prospects at the position in the 2023 NFL Draft
Credit: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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 almost ideal size and athleticism. His game does compare somewhat to Rob Gronkowski. He is an all-around tight end who should be a top 15 pick in the 2023 NFL draft.
  2. Darnell Washington, Georgia: Washington is a mountain of a man at 6’7 270 pounds. He is also reported to run in the upper 4.6s. He flashed some in 2020, but an injury derailed his 2021 season. He has come back in 2022 and showed he can be consistent. Already a good blocker, Washington has shown improved route running in 2022.
  3. 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 has only played in two games so far. Against North Dakota this past weekend he had a good game with three catches for 53 yards. For an unranked guy coming out of high school, he has good size and athleticism. His blocking can be inconsistent.
  4. 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. He is a little on the older side. Kincaid will turn 24 in October of his rookie year. His blocking is probably his biggest weakness.
  5. Same LaPorta, Iowa: LaPorta has been a solid tight end since he stepped on campus. He is a solid all-around tight end, who doesn’t stand out in any particular way. He is dependable and a hard worker. The current Hawkeye just doesn’t have the physical upside of some of the other guys in this group. He does have the highest floor, though.
2023 NFL Draft Tight ends: Best of the Rest

6. Cameron Latu, Alabama: Latu is a former edge and it shows in his play. He plays a very physical brand of football. The current Crimson Tide tight end has shown potential in the passing game. He has solid size at 6’4 244 and runs in the 4.7 range. His arms are a touch short at 31 7/8″, that hurts his catch radius a bit. Latu still has untapped potential.

7. 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 6’8 250 pounds and runs in the 4.6 range with a 40″ vertical. He exploded in 2021 with 73 catches for 692 yards and 5 TDs. Big things were expected of him this season. He seems to be struggling so far with just 12 catches and 144 yards. His blocking has been a weakness.

8. Josh Whyle, Cincinnati: Whyle has the new age tight end size at 6’7 245 pounds and is an explosive athlete. He is not used in line that much since his blocking skills and his frame are lacking a little. While not the same level, he is in the Kyle Pitts mold. He has yet to meet the potential he flashed in 2020.

9. Jaheim Bell, South Carolina: Bell had a breakout season in 2021 after only catching one pass for 29 yards in 2020. He had 30 catches for 497 yards and five TDs. His production in the pass game is down this season, but he has been used in the backfield more almost like a FB/RB. He has 19 carries on the season already. Bell is on the smaller side for a tight end at just 6’3 232 pounds. He should be more of a move tight end/h-back in the NFL.

10. Luke Musgrave, Oregon State: Musgrave has been a solid all-around tight end. He has been consistent and shown improvement each season. At 6’6 250 with 33 1/8″ arms, he has the size and catch radius to be an effective weapon in the passing game. Having played just two games so far, he has 11 catches for 169 yards.

2023 NFL Draft Mid-Season Positional Rankings: Wide Receivers

Let’s get right into the third group in our look at 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 previous part detailing the running backs, and if you want to check out the draft database that I help update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.

Credit Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
2023 NFL Draft Wide Receivers: The Top 5
  1. Quentin Johnston, TCU: Johnston flashed his potential last season, and big things were expected. He started off the season slow. He then exploded the last three weeks and now looks to have moved himself into the #1 spot. He has all the size, speed, agility, and upside to be a elite receiver.
  2. Kayshon Boutte, LSU: Boutte looked like he was on his way to be the #1 wide receiver of the 2023 NFL draft class after his freshman season. He ended up getting injured and missed most of the season. He had 509 yards and 9 TDs in six games. He was expected to blow up in 2022, but really struggled the first five weeks. Has played really well the last two weeks, though, and has a similar level of upside as Johnston.
  3. Cedric Tillman, Tennessee: Tillman is the quintessential tall, long, and fast 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. If he can come back healthy, he could get taken late round 1.
  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, and 15 TDs. He can do it all on the field. He has shown improved flexibility in 2022. His numbers are down, mostly due to Hartman missing the first couple games and having four other receivers around him that look to be NFL players. He is a deep threat.
  5. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State: JSN, as he is known, had an out-of-nowhere season last year. He had 95 catches for 1,606 yards and 9 TDs. JSN started off slow and then got injured.
2023 NFL Draft Wide Receivers: Best of the Rest

6. Rashee Rice, SMU: Rice doesn’t stand out statistically, but he was also surrounded by two other NFL receivers from 2019-2021. He is big, long, and athletic. Has experience in the slot and the outside. He is a physical guy who can get YAC — yards after the catch.

7. Jordan Addison, USC: The former Biletnikoff winner is having a good season for USC, although down statically. A good route runner who gets YAC, his size will probably be a hinderance at the next level. He might even have to play out of the slot.

8. Josh Downs, UNC: Downs has a similar skill set to Addison, but not as good of a route runner. Is in a similar boat in the sense that he might have to play out of the slot a lot due to his size and frame (5’10 171). He has agility and speed.

9. Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State: Hutchinson seems to play well no matter what. A consistent route runner who uses his size and his leaping ability to make amazing catches; OBJ level catches. He is also averaging 108 yards receiving a game. The downside? His speed is just solid.

10. Rome Odunze, Washington: Just a redshirt sophomore, there is a good chance Odunze ends up returning for 2023 to improve his stock and get into the 1st. But with the class not being great at the top, he could declare hoping his upside gets him into the first. He has great size at 6’3 201, with the frame to add some weight/bulk and solid 4.5 speed. He already has 50 catches for 756 yards and 6 TDs. Odunze had a four game stretch where he averaged 140 yards a game.

2023 NFL Draft Mid-Season Position Rankings: Running backs

Welcome to part two of my position rankings. Today we focus on the running backs for the 2023 NFL draft. I will do this initial list and a final one after the season. I will be listing players at their expected NFL positions. We will be going position by position.

Let’s get going with the second group, which is expected to be a really good one. 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. Be sure to check out my previous part, and if you want to check out the draft database that I help update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.

Ole Miss running back Zach Evans, one of the top at his position in the 2023 NFL draft class
Credit: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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 be lined up like a receiver. Elite vision.
  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. He could improve as a pass protector.
  3. Blake Corum, Michigan: While he is on the smaller side at just 5’8 200, he doesn’t play like it. He has plenty of power in his lower body. He’s fast and cat quick. Also, despite his size he is a very good receiver out of the backfield. His size can, however, be a hinderance in pass protection.
  4. Zach Evans, Mississippi: Evans has all the potential in the world. He just has yet to play up to it due to different issues. Injuries, not being able to get on the field, etc. When he has been out there he has ideal size at 6’0 215 and sub 4.5 speed. He has yet to show much development as a receiver. He also could play with more power. If he has a big second half, he could supplant Corum. On the other hand, his messy recruitment could also raise red flags with certain teams.
  5. Tank Bigsby, Auburn: Bigsby has good size at 6’0 213, with solid 4.5 speed. He has good vision and decent power. The problem is he has not shown any growth since his freshman year. He has been a poor pass protector and receiver. That said, he still has potential to be a good all-around back.

2023 NFL Draft Running Backs 6-10:

  1. 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 almost 1,500 yards in 2021 is a testament to how good he is. He has solid size at 5’10 and 209. His top end speed is pretty average sitting in the 4.55 range. He has also been a poor pass blocker and receiver in the past. However, he has shown improvement in both early on.
  2. Kenny McIntosh, Georgia: Due to the massive amount of running back depth at Georgia, he had barely played until 2021, and even then played fewer than 200 snaps. He has ideal size for today’s NFL: 6’0 207. He has solid 4.5 range speed. As a receiver is where he has really separated himself from the other backs in the class. While not an elite runner, he is solid and he is already a solid pass blocker.
  3. Devon Achane, Texas A&M: Stuck behind CJ Spiller the last two seasons, he was still able to play over 300 snaps last season. He is almost the complete opposite of Spiller. Small (5’9 185), quick, and fast. He has shown flashes as a receiver, but has not been consistent with it. 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.
  4. Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh: Good size and speed at 5’11 215 and 4.5 range. He is having a breakout in 2022. He showed flashes late in 2021. Had that crazy 320 yard game. He is a very good runner with great vision. Development in the passing game has been stunted. Blocking has also been inconsistent, which happens with a lot of college backs. Could move up more if he shows more development.
  5. Zach Charbonnet, UCLA: Ideal size at 6’1 220 with 4.45 speed. But, while improved, his production in the passing game and as a blocker have not been good enough. Runs with power. Has a little bit of a stiff lower body which will hurt his ability to avoid hits. He would be good in a “thunder-and-lightning” backfield.

2023 NFL Draft Mid-Season Positional Rankings: Quarterbacks

Welcome to my first positional rankings of the quarterbacks for the 2023 NFL draft. I will do this initial list and a final one after the season. I will be listing players at their expected NFL positions. We will be going position by position.

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. 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.

Quarterbacks:
Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud leads the 2023 NFL draft class at the position
Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

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.
  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 a little small and doesn’t have the arm that Stroud has.
  3. 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. He may win the Heisman. The only major flaw is his age. It brings with it questions of how much upside is left? I have faith he will be a very good QB.
  4. Will Levis, Kentucky: Levis hasn’t shown the growth that was hoped he would this season. He will also be a little bit of an older rookie at 24. He is still an elite athlete with elite size and arm strength. But he needs to put it together. There are questions if he will be able to.
  5. Anthony Richardson, Florida: This is on the assumption he declares. He, like Levis, has all the upside in the word — maybe as much as Cam Newton had. He is just so inconsistent right now. The best thing for him would be to go back and play one more year.

2023 NFL Draft Quarterbacks: Best of the Rest

6. Tyler Van Dyke, Miami: Van Dyke is in a similar boat to Richardson. He has potential (not as much as Richardson, of course), but he started off the year so bad. He has come around lately, but still needs another year of seasoning.

7. Devin Leary, NC State: Leary is a very solid, smart leader type quarterback. He doesn’t have the arm of any of the guys ahead of him or the legs, but he is accurate and knows how to run an offense. He also still has some upside in him.

8. D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson: “DJ U” as he is known has really pushed himself back up the boards this year after a terrible season in 2021. He is a big, strong, athletic kid. He is like a power forward playing quarterback. If he continues his play he should continue to move up boards.

9. Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina: Even though he plays at a Group Of Five school, he has proven himself to be a very good college quarterback. His arm will hold him back a bit, but he is very athletic and can run. He might even show more potential in a pro-style offense.

10. 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, 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?