The 2022 college football season is right around the corner, and I’m already getting excited about the talent in this 2023 NFL draft class. We have numerous potential franchise quarterbacks, elite edge rushers and more impact receivers.
After taking a little time off over the summer, I got back into the tape and started evaluating the 2023 group of prospects. Of course, a lot will change over the next eight months, with a full college football slate and plenty of pre-draft events. Consider that edge rusher Travon Walker wasn’t even in the first-round conversation at this point last year, but ended up going No. 1 overall to the Jaguars. Expect a lot of movement on boards before next year’s NFL draft.
I ranked my early top 50 prospects for the 2023 class as we head into the college season. That includes four quarterbacks who I think can be NFL starters, but we get things going with a pair of elite defenders. I also included position rankings for 200 players, and you can jump there to see how the best at each spot stack up. Let’s dive in, starting with a standout edge rusher.
Note: Underclassmen are marked with an asterisk.
1. Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama*
HT: 6-foot-4 | WT: 243 pounds | Grade: 97
Anderson used his excellent speed, great flexibility, explosive first step and powerful hands to post 17.5 sacks, 79 pressures, 125 tackles and 34.5 tackles for loss last season — all of which at least tied for No. 1 in the country. He locates the ball in a flash and then has a unique combination of redirect quickness and closing burst to capitalize. Anderson frequently overpowers blockers, and there aren’t enough good things to say about his motor and instincts for the game. Against the run, he excels at stacking, locating, disengaging and pursuing relentlessly.
2. Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia*
HT: 6-3 | WT: 310 | Grade: 95
Carter is far more disruptive than his stats — 45 tackles, three sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss in 2021 — indicate. He fires off the ball with an explosive first step, and he shows very good torso flexibility and excellent strength to advance his pass rush while engaged. He has every tool in the box necessary to emerge as a top-tier NFL pass-rusher early in his career. Against the run, Carter is strong, active and disciplined. He rarely gets stalemated in one-on-one situations, and he’s even strong/flexible enough to hold up against some double-teams.
3. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State*
HT: 6-3 | WT: 215 | Grade: 95
Stroud is my QB1 to begin the season thanks in part to excellent instincts, smooth delivery, strong arm and solid decision-making. He already sees the entire field at an NFL level and trusts his fast eyes. While his ball placement is a bit inconsistent at times, he has a large catalog of remarkably accurate throws under pressure. His touch and his timing are outstanding; Stroud completed 71.9% of his passes last season (fourth in the FBS) for 4,435 yards (fifth), 44 touchdowns (third) and only six interceptions.
4. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 194 | Grade: 94
Young completed 66.9% of his throws last season for 4,872 yards (second in the country), 47 touchdowns (second) and seven interceptions. He is a fast processor, and he has a quick release, but he’s still learning how to maneuver in the pocket to find clearer passing windows — a skill he will need in the NFL at his size. Young shows very good ball placement and touch on the perimeter on all three levels, and he knows how to lead receivers to yards after the catch, but his accuracy on anticipation throws over the middle could be more consistent. No moment is too big for him, and his advanced understanding of the QB position really stands out.
5. Nolan Smith, OLB, Georgia
HT: 6-3 | WT: 235 | Grade: 94
Smith has very good closing burst to the quarterback and quick hands, but he is still very unpolished with his pass-rush moves. He frequently lacks a plan and tries to win solely with his outstanding speed, though he does have an effective outside-in move and is able to occasionally get offensive tackles off-balance with stop-start moves. Smith is a menacing run defender, though. He creates a lot of havoc with how quickly he penetrates the backfield, and while he lacks size, he more than makes up for it with excellent leverage and hand placement. He sets a hard edge, has snappy hands to disengage quickly and shows excellent change-of-direction quickness. He registered 52 tackles (10.0 for loss) and 3.5 sacks in 2021.
6. Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 190 | Grade: 93
Boutte lines up at all three receiver spots in LSU’s offense, and he is sudden and explosive in all his movements. He consistently generates separation with his sharp cutting ability, outstanding speed and great acceleration. Then Boutte attacks the football aggressively in the air with confident and strong hands. He shows great focus, times his jumps well and can contort his body in the air. He is a big-time vertical threat who chews up cushion in a flash, but Boutte is also smooth and elusive after the catch. In 2021, he picked up 509 yards and nine touchdowns on 38 catches after missing most of the season with a leg injury.
7. Jordan Addison, WR, USC*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 175 | Grade: 91
Addison transferred from Pittsburgh to USC in the spring after finishing in the nation’s top six in receptions (100), receiving yards (1,593) and receiving TDs (17) last season. He has the second gear to stretch the field and wins 50-50 balls downfield despite a slight frame. He’s also an instinctive open-field runner with good burst, and he flashes good contact balance for his size. Addison does drop some balls he should catch, and he’s not a nuanced or polished route runner, but he consistently separates thanks to his burst and fluidity. Most of his production has come when he works out of the slot, raising some concerns about his ability to get off press coverage at the NFL level.
8. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 214 | Grade: 91
Robinson is a patient runner with quick feet and excellent burst through the hole. He is a big back who is difficult to get on the ground — his 81 forced missed tackles ranked sixth in the FBS last season — thanks to outstanding contact balance. He falls forward at the end of runs, and he has the strength to push the pile. Robinson ran for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, and he has averaged 6.5 yards per carry over his two seasons. He’s also an effective route runner and displays soft hands in the pass game.
9. Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame*
HT: 6-4 | WT: 251 | Grade: 91
Mayer’s best traits are his toughness and strength after the catch. He’s a bulldozer with the ball in his hands, and he generates yards by breaking tackles and carrying defenders — 365 of his 840 yards last season came after the catch. Mayer shows a lot of route-running savvy in setting up defenders at the top of the stem and locating soft spots in zone. He does a very good job adjusting to the ball outside his frame, and he shows strong hands in traffic and on contested catches, helping him score seven TDs in 2021. Mayer also has an edge as a blocker, though his technique is still a work in progress.
10. Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson*
HT: 6-5 | WT: 275 | Grade: 91
Murphy has the strength and length to stack and shed offensive tackles defending the run, but there is some room for improvement locating the ball and getting off blocks in time to make the play. As a pass-rusher, he can drive back tackles and rip under their inside arms to power upfield, helping him post 7.5 sacks last season. Murphy has the bend and closing burst to win with speed off the edge, and his strength, quickness and active hands make him a problem when he kicks inside. But he doesn’t always seem to have a plan or counter ready, and his tape is a little inconsistent.
11. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 197 | Grade: 90
Smith-Njigba is extremely agile with precise route-running skills, frequently gaining separation with his acceleration. He shows soft hands and very good body control, often snatching balls thrown outside of his frame, but I’ve seen some focus drops on tape. He does a good job tracking the deep ball and makes difficult over-the-shoulder catches downfield. Smith-Njigba also has the ability to string multiple cuts together to make multiple defenders miss in space. His 1,606 receiving yards were third in the country last season, and his performance against Utah in the Rose Bowl — 15 catches, 347 yards and three TDs — drew national attention.
12. Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia*
HT: 6-2 | WT: 205 | Grade: 90
A former sprinter in high school, Ringo can match speed with any vertical route and does an excellent job of contesting jump balls. However, his route recognition and eye discipline are still works in progress, and he has tight hips, which lead to redirection slowness and allows for too much separation surrendered to quicker receivers. Ringo has solid ball skills and the elite length to bat down passes when reaching around receivers. Last season, he hauled in two interceptions and allowed just 37% of opponent completions while in coverage (13th-best in the nation). In run support, he keeps blockers off his frame and lassos ball carriers in space.
13. Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson*
HT: 6-5 | WT: 300 | Grade: 90
Bresee is a dominant run defender with the upper-body strength to stack and shed. He has the quick hands and feet to slip and split blockers. And Bresee is effective running stunts, tracks the quarterback well and gets his hands up in passing lanes. He had a torn ACL in 2021, but he has 43 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss over 16 games since 2020.
14. Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State*
HT: 6-6 | WT: 315 | Grade: 90
Johnson started all 13 games at guard in 2021 but is moving to left tackle in 2022. His footwork and hand placement has really improved, and he has a quick set with balance. When he lands his punch, it jars defensive linemen. He’s an easy mover when mirroring and sliding, and a natural knee-bender with excellent lower-body flexibility. He has allowed only 6 pressures and 2 sacks over 452 career pass-block snaps. As a run blocker, Johnson fires out of his stance quickly and shows very good mobility.
15. Isaiah Foskey, DE, Notre Dame*
HT: 6-5 | WT: 260 | Grade: 90
Foskey has a quick first step and does a good job of using length and momentum to get offensive tackles on their heels, and he excels at chopping the ball loose when he gets home as a pass-rusher. He had five forced fumbles last year, tied for second most in the FBS. However, he lacks ideal torso flexibility, and if he can’t win with pure strength, he struggles at times to advance his rush while engaged. Foskey finished the 2021 season with 11.0 sacks, tied for 11th. Against the run, he has the length to lock out and locate the ball, and he does an above-average job of disengaging.
16. Arik Gilbert, TE, Georgia*
HT: 6-5 | WT: 248 | Grade: 90
Gilbert began his career at LSU before transferring first to Florida and then to Georgia, and he last caught a pass in 2020. He’s smooth and sudden, but he’s a raw route runner who relies purely on his great size and speed to separate. He does a great job of high-pointing the ball and securing it in traffic, and he shows impressive body control to adjust to passes outside of his frame — though he has too many drops. Gilbert has the speed to threaten vertically and is a strong runner after the catch. And he excels as a run blocker, consistently getting his hands inside, locking out and driving defenders off the line of scrimmage.
17. Andre Carter II, OLB, Army*
HT: 6-7 | WT: 250 | Grade: 89
Carter’s 15.5 sacks trailed only Anderson in the FBS last season, and he got pressure on 14.9% of his pass rushes (12th-best). He struggles to keep his hips down and has some problems generating speed to power, but he moves well for his size. He’s also a disruptive run defender who flashes the ability to slip blocks and shoot gaps, and he holds his ground when teams run at him.
18. Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 187 | Grade: 89
A versatile defensive back with experience on the boundary, at nickel and as a safety, Smith is highly instinctive and frequently gets early jumps by reading quarterbacks’ eyes, and he shows excellent foot quickness and fluid hips. He is a ballhawk with excellent vertical leap, length and soft hands, but he gets too handsy at the top of receivers’ stems. He has five interceptions over the past two seasons, and his 11 pass breakups tied for 19th in the country last year. Smith is also aggressive and physical in run support, and he shows impressive initial snap as a tackler.
19. Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
HT: 6-1 | WT: 210 | Grade: 89
In coverage, Battle has a quick pedal and is an easy mover. He shows good instincts and plays with very good balance and body control. His closing burst when the ball is in the air jumps out on tape. Against the run, he plays bigger than his size and flies to the football. Battle does a very good job of generating power in the short area, he takes good angles and he does a really good job of taking on and disengaging from blocks. In 2021, Battle had 51 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 defensive TDs.
20. Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern*
HT: 6-4 | WT: 294 | Grade: 89
Skoronski started all 21 games at left tackle during his first two seasons at Northwestern but has versatility along the line. He’s sudden with elite mirror-slide quickness and excellent quickness in his set. He shows great patience and does a great job generating leverage with his hand placement. Skoronski shows excellent awareness when working against stunts and twists, too. As a run-blocker, he takes excellent angles, has great range and is fundamentally sound. He’s not overpowering but almost always gets into great position, stuns with initial contact and has enough technique and lower-body flexibility to get movement with good torque.
21. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
HT: 6-3 | WT: 232 | Grade: 89
A former backup at Penn State, Levis now operates a quick-paced, quick-hitting offense at Kentucky where his fast decision-making fits perfectly. He has a relatively quick release and a strong arm — the ball jumps off his hand with velocity. Levis is light on his feet and shows good agility eluding the rush, knowing when to climb or slide to extend. And while he hangs tough in the pocket, he also knows when to tuck the ball and run. But I’d like to see him get more reps making full-field progression reads and downfield anticipatory throws. Levis threw for 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and he added 376 rushing yards and another nine scores on the ground.
22. Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin
HT: 6-4 | WT: 317 | Grade: 89
A former standout high school wrestler, Benton has an intriguing combination of size and power, and he plays with great leverage. He is still improving his quickness when disengaging from blocks, but he moves well once he frees up and pursues ball carriers. He has a chance to rise over the course of the season if his pass rushing takes the next step. Benton had just 2.5 sacks last year.
23. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State*
HT: 6-2 | WT: 192 | Grade: 88
Porter is instinctive, and he excels in press-man while also showing the recognition skills necessary for zone coverage. He has fast eyes when diagnosing screens and runs, and he uses his length, solid technique and physicality to reroute receivers off the line of scrimmage. He plays with very good body control, but he does have some tightness and tends to get handsy when he feels himself getting out of phase. He recorded 44 tackles, four pass breakups and an interception last season.
24. Noah Sewell, ILB, Oregon*
HT: 6-3 | WT: 251 | Grade: 88
The brother of recent high draft pick Penei Sewell, Noah Sewell has the active hands to slip blocks and the upper-body strength to stack blockers. But he struggles to recover when he takes a poor angle, and he’s a touch inconsistent as an open-field tackler. Noah Sewell reads the quarterback and breaks on the ball well in underneath zone, has the speed to carry tight ends down the seam and is competitive matching up with running backs out of the backfield. His 112 tackles were 17th in the FBS last season, and he also had 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, 6 pass breakups and a pick.
25. BJ Ojulari, OLB, LSU*
HT: 6-3 | WT: 244 | Grade: 88
Ojulari shows great take-off burst and good bend, and he puts a lot of pressure on opposing offensive tackles with his change-of-direction suddenness. But his speed-to-power moves frequently stall, and he needs to improve his lower-body strength to drive opponents back into the pocket. Against the run, Ojulari has great range, but his pads rise too quickly, and he lacks the lower-body strength to consistently set a hard edge. Ojulari had 7.0 sacks in 2021, and his 45 pressures ranked 19th in the nation.
26. Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami (Florida)*
HT: 6-4 | WT: 224 | Grade: 88
With a strong arm and good pocket mobility, Van Dyke leads receivers to yards after the catch when he has a clear pre-snap read and gets the ball out in rhythm. He keeps his eyes downfield as he climbs the pocket to avoid pressure, and he flashes the ability to adjust his release point and make impressive off-platform throws. But Van Dyke misses within the strike zone too often over the middle and is inconsistent throwing outside the hashes. His touch and timing on downfield passes need to get better, and I’d like to see him speed up his decision-making. His 80.1 QBR was 11th best last season, as he piled up 2,931 passing yards, 25 TDs and six interceptions in 10 games (nine starts).
27. Jermaine Burton, WR, Alabama*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 200 | Grade: 87
After catching 26 balls for 497 yards and five touchdowns with Georgia last season, Burton transferred to Alabama. He is primarily an outside receiver who accelerates quickly and does a good job timing his routes, and he is at his best in the quick and vertical games. Burton still needs some polish as an intermediate route runner, but he is a speedster who shows a true second gear when tracking the ball vertically. He can pluck away from his frame and makes some very difficult contested catches, but he needs more consistency in high-pointing the ball.
28. Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami (FL)*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 214 | Grade: 87
Stevenson is a scheme-versatile corner with the speed to turn and run with receivers. He shows good balance and burst getting out of breaks, and he recovers well. He reads the quarterback, plays the ball — not the man — and shows a good feel for route combinations in zone looks. But while Stevenson has the frame and length to compete for 50-50 balls, he’s not a ballhawk (one interception in 2021). The biggest concern is his tackling, as he frequently fails to wrap up. He had 40 tackles last season, but he missed 10.
29. John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
HT: 6-4 | WT: 320 | Grade: 86
Schmitz started four games in 2019, six games in 2020 and all 13 games in 2021, and he has never given up a sack. He has short-area suddenness and a lot of power at the point of attack, but his mirror-and-slide quickness and fluidity are average at best. He’s an effective zone blocker, and once he latches on, his overwhelming strength and nasty demeanor allow him to finish at an exceptionally high rate.
30. Ali Gaye, DE, LSU
HT: 6-6 | WT: 250 | Grade: 86
A native of Gambia, Gaye moved to the United States at age 12 and didn’t start playing football until eighth grade. He has a quick first step to put pressure on opposing offensive tackles and long arms to keep blockers off his pads. He should continue to improve his effectiveness on speed-to-power moves with increased strength and experience. Limited to four starts last season because of an upper-body injury, Gaye had 2.5 sacks. Against the run, Gaye is at his best in backside pursuit or when he’s uncovered and can flat-out chase.
31. Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 192 | Grade: 86
Outstanding instincts are Joseph’s top trait. He has fast eyes and reads route combinations quickly. A transfer in from Northwestern, Joseph is very adept as a single-high safety, two-high safety or as a robber, but he also has experience working in the slot and has enough length and fluidity to hold up one on one. And he’s rangy with very quick feet in his pedal and frequently gets early jumps on the ball — he has nine interceptions over the past two seasons. He is aggressive as a run defender, diagnosing quickly, but his poor angles lead to a lot of missed tackles (16 last year).
32. Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama*
HT: 5-11 | WT: 200 | Grade: 86
Gibbs is a quick runner who does a good job of sticking his foot in the ground and accelerating upfield. But while he has very good stop-start quickness, he lacks a second gear to run away from defenders in space. Gibbs shows good contact balance and vision when stringing together multiple cuts through the line of scrimmage, but he gets impatient at times and bounces too many carries to the outside. He is also a reliable pass-catcher who can adjust to throws outside his frame and transition upfield quickly after the catch. Before transferring to Alabama, Gibbs had 1,206 rush yards and eight touchdowns over two seasons at Georgia Tech (plus another 773 yards and five scores as a pass-catcher).
33. Kenny McIntosh, RB, Georgia
HT: 6-1 | WT: 210 | Grade: 85
McIntosh has a compact running style, running low to the ground with good lower-body flexibility. He is quick with a really good center of gravity, and while he is not overpowering, he also doesn’t go down easily. McIntosh is really smooth stringing together multiple cuts and frequently makes the first defender miss, but ball security has been a slight issue. In the pass game, he has reliable hands and is comfortable lining up in the slot and out wide. He has only 130 carries over three seasons, but he has averaged 5.8 yards per carry and scored six times on the ground.
34. Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 275 | Grade: 85
Kancey is a disruptive run defender who locates the ball, gets off blocks quickly and tackles well (12.0 tackles for loss last season), but he can get moved out of his gap by combo blocks. When rushing the passer, Kancey is effective running line stunts and doesn’t gear down when he gets held or doubled, helping him tally 7.0 sacks in 2021. He is undersized with limited positional and scheme versatility but has the skill set to quickly develop into a starting 3-technique in a base one-gap/four-man front scheme.
35. Henry To’oTo’o, ILB, Alabama
HT: 6-2 | WT: 228 | Grade: 85
To’oTo’o has very good short-area burst, sideline-to-sideline range and plenty of closing speed. He’s not a thumper, but he’s a reliable tackler with long arms to lasso ball carriers in space. He shows good instincts and burst as a blitzer but gets knocked off course too easily when reached. And in coverage, To’oTo’o can be a quarter-count late with his eyes too often but has the fluidity and change-of-direction skills to continue to improve. His 107 tackles were 28th in the nation last season, and he added 4.0 sacks.
36. Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina*
HT: 5-10 | WT: 180 | Grade: 85
Downs is a lightning quick and instinctive open-field runner who is highly dangerous after the catch. He has the second gear to run under the deep ball, and he flashes the ability to make tough over-the-shoulder catches. The slot receiver has the burst and quick feet to separate from man, and he finds pockets in zone looks. But Downs is a small target who doesn’t have the frame to win a lot of 50-50 balls and doesn’t always catch the ball clean. He was one of six receivers in the FBS to eclipse 100 receptions last year, helping him to 1,335 yards (10th most) and eight touchdowns.
37. Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor*
HT: 6-4 | WT: 350 | Grade: 84
Ika is a massive defensive tackle with the strength to stack blockers and occupy double-teams, and his ability to locate the ball stands out. He is an effective hands fighter who flashes good power when rushing the passer (4.0 sacks in 2021), but he doesn’t have the change-of-direction ability or closing burst to develop into an elite interior pass-rusher at the NFL level. Regardless, Ika is a run-stuffing nose tackle with the instincts and strength to develop into a starter early in his career. He had 35 tackles, including 9.0 for loss, last season.
38. Sedrick Van Pran, C, Georgia*
HT: 6-4 | WT: 310 | Grade: 83
In pass pro, Van Pran is still developing after 15 starts in 2021. He is strong against power rushers, showing the core strength and lower-body flexibility to sink his hips and stalemate. But his hand placement tends to be too wide, which impacts his ability to latch on and generate torque. And if he misses with his initial strike, he tends to get out over his skis or get too high — and then he loses balance and leverage. Van Pran shows very good initial pop in the run game, has adequate mobility and takes solid angles.
39. Dontayvion Wicks, WR, Virginia*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 205 | Grade: 83
Wicks quickly gains leverage getting off the line, tracks the deep ball well and has the speed to threaten vertically. He was fourth in the FBS last season with 21.2 yards per catch, and his 1,203 receiving yards ranked 17th. He drives corners off the ball and uses his hands to separate at the top of his routes when running hitches and comebacks, and Wicks finds pockets over the middle working out of the slot. He can win 50-50 balls and flashes the ability to make the first defender miss after the catch.
40. Brett Johnson, DT, California*
HT: 6-5 | WT: 300 | Grade: 82
Back for 2022 after missing last season, Johnson fits best in a base two-gap/three-man front but has the active hands and enough quickness to play inside in a base four-man front. He locates the ball, gets off the block and chases with good effort both as a run defender and pass-rusher. And while he’s not a massive space-eater, he flashes the ability to absorb double-teams thanks to his pad level and core strength. Johnson can push the pocket, too, but he doesn’t appear to close or change directions well enough to develop into an elite interior pass-rusher.
41. Zion Tupuola-Fetui, OLB, Washington*
HT: 6-4 | WT: 260 | Grade: 82
His production (12 tackles and a sack in 126 snaps) didn’t match his talent in 2021 after returning from a torn Achilles, but Tupuola-Fetui is an effective hands fighter who displays good speed to power and is at his best swiping the blocker’s hands off his frame and clearing his hips when rushing the passer. He has scheme and positional versatility; he plays off the line at times and appears comfortable dropping into coverage. Tupuola-Fetui wraps up, flashes good stopping power, has the strength to stack tight ends and rarely stays blocked.
42. Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse*
HT: 5-10 | WT: 210 | Grade: 82
Tucker is a patient inside runner with a good feel for cutback lanes. He has the core strength to push the pile and fall forward at the end of runs, along with the contact balance to run through arm tackles. But he’s also a quick open-field runner who can make defenders miss in tight space and make it tough to get a clean hit on him in space. His 1,496 rushing yards were sixth in the country in 2021, and he ran for 12 touchdowns.
43. Storm Duck, CB, North Carolina*
HT: 6-5 | WT: 205 | Grade: 81
Duck is a press-zone corner with the strength and balance to smother receivers underneath. He runs well enough to stay in receivers’ hip pocket and flashes good recovery speed. Duck has good feet for a taller corner but gets overly physical and grabby at times. With the frame to compete for 50-50 balls, he flashes good timing breaking up passes. He hasn’t had an interception since 2019 but has been limited to just 414 snaps over the past two seasons.
44. Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah*
HT: 5-10 | WT: 185 | Grade: 81
Phillips has the oily hips, quick feet and balance to shadow slot receivers, and he limits production after the catch. His size raises concerns about his ability to win 50-50 balls downfield, and while he reads the quarterback well, he gets caught out of position at times. He had 57 tackles, two interceptions and 12 pass breakups (tied for 10th in the nation) last season.
45. Will McDonald IV, DE, Iowa State
HT: 6-4 | WT: 245 | Grade: 80
McDonald is long, rangy and explosive, showing the foot speed and bend to win with weave and inside moves. He doesn’t gear down when he doesn’t win with his first move, and he gets his hands up in passing windows — but he needs to develop power moves. He began the 2019 season at linebacker before switching back to defensive end, and he’s on the lighter side for a 3-4 OLB prospect. In 2021, his 11.5 sacks tied for eighth in the country, his 15.9% pressure rate was eighth and his 15.5 tackles for loss tied for 26th. He also forced five fumbles, which tied for the second most.
46. Gervon Dexter Sr., DT, Florida*
HT: 6-6 | WT: 303 | Grade: 80
Dexter is more disruptive than his sack totals indicate (only 2.5 last year), and while he needs to be more consistent with his snap anticipation, he does a good job of getting into offensive linemen’s pads with good leverage and then using his strong lower body to walk them back into the quarterback. Against the run, he uses very good leverage to stand linemen up and gain early control. He has long arms and strong hands to control blocks, and his disengage skills continue to improve. Dexter was primarily a basketball standout until taking up football during his sophomore season in high school, so he’s still learning technique.
47. Layden Robinson, G, Texas A&M*
HT: 6-4 | WT: 320 | Grade: 80
Robinson had a breakout season as a first-time starter at right guard in 2021, starting all 10 games in which he played. He has prototypical bulk for the position and is quick in the short area. He fires out with a purpose as a run blocker and shows good initial striking power. The only time he gets into trouble is when he gets too far out over his skis.
48. Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama*
HT: 6-2 | WT: 190 | Grade: 80
Ricks is at his best in press-man coverage where he can use his length to reroute receivers off the line of scrimmage but lacks ideal redirection smoothness and recovery speed. He is aggressive and physical in coverage, and he diagnoses route combinations quickly and knows when to shift his eyes from the receiver to the quarterback. Ricks attacks the ball like a receiver, too. In run support, there’s room for improvement as an open-field tackler. A shoulder injury kept him to six starts last season while still at LSU, but he has five interceptions over 16 career games.
49. Nick Herbig, OLB, Wisconsin*
HT: 6-2 | WT: 228 | Grade: 80
The work ethic is the first thing anyone in the program mentions regarding Herbig. He flies around the field and excels when turned loose upfield. Herbig is a hard-hitter, but he is still developing his open-field tackling, as he comes in too hot at times. His 9.0 sacks tied for 26th in the country last season, and he had 66 tackles, including 13.0 for loss.
50. Rasheen Ali, RB, Marshall*
HT: 6-1 | WT: 201 | Grade: 80
Ali is patient and has the contact balance to run through arm tackles. He makes defenders miss — his 61 forced missed tackles were 13th in the country — but he lacks a second gear. Ali has good hands in the pass game, and he’s a competitive pass-blocker who has the strength to hold his ground. There are some concerns about the level of competition he has faced, but Ali’s 2021 tape is impressive. His 23 rushing TDs tied for No. 1 in the FBS, while his 1,401 rushing yards were 10th.
Grades for each player are in parentheses.
1. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State (95)
2. Bryce Young, Alabama (94)
3. Will Levis, Kentucky (89)
4. Tyler Van Dyke, Miami-FL(88)
5. Anthony Richardson, Florida (77)
6. Phil Jurkovec, Boston College (76)
7. Devin Leary, NC State (75)
8. Kedon Slovis, Pittsburgh (74)
9. Spencer Rattler, South Carolina (67)
10. Jayden Daniels, LSU (60)
11. Jaren Hall, BYU (55)
12. Tanner McKee, Stanford (50)
13. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee (49)
14. Jake Haener, Fresno State (41)
15. Sam Hartman, Wake Forest (40)
16. Bo Nix, Oregon (35)
17. Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina (32)
18. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA (31)
19. Brennan Armstrong, Virginia (30)
20. Ben Bryant, Cincinnati (30)
21. Malik Cunningham, Louisville (30)
22. Tanner Morgan, Minnesota (30)
23. Aidan O’Connell, Purdue (30)
24. Clayton Tune, Houston (30)
1. Bijan Robinson, Texas (91)
2. Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama (86)
3. Kenny McIntosh, Georgia (85)
4. Sean Tucker, Syracuse (82)
5. Rasheen Ali, Marshall (80)
6. Zach Evans, Ole Miss (79)
7. Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky (70)
8. Devon Achane, Texas A&M (68)
9. Tank Bigsby, Auburn (66)
10. Zach Charbonnet, UCLA (61)
11. Blake Corum, Michigan (60)
12. Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State (56)
13. Eric Gray, Oklahoma (55)
14. Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota (54)
15. DeWayne McBride, UAB (53)
16. Camerun Peoples, Appalachian State (51)
17. Tiyon Evans, Louisville (49)
1. Kayshon Boutte, LSU (93)
2. Jordan Addison, USC (91)
3. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State (90)
4. Jermaine Burton, Alabama (87)
5. Josh Downs, North Carolina (85)
6. Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia (83)
7. Cedric Tillman, Tennessee (80)
8. A.T. Perry, Wake Forest (80)
9. Dontay Demus Jr., Maryland (79)
10. Zay Flowers, Boston College (77)
11. Quentin Johnston, TCU (76)
12. Marvin Mims, Oklahoma (70)
13. Ainias Smith, Texas A&M (68)
14. Jacob Copeland, Maryland (67)
15. Elijah Higgins, Stanford (65)
16. Jayden Reed, Michigan State (63)
17. Josh Vann, South Carolina (60)
18. Justin Shorter, Florida (59)
19. Rashee Rice, SMU (58)
20. Kearis Jackson, Georgia (55)
1. Michael Mayer, Notre Dame (91)
2. Arik Gilbert, Georgia (90)
3. Sam LaPorta, Iowa (79)
4. Jaheim Bell, South Carolina (79)
5. Darnell Washington, Georgia (78)
6. Josh Whyle, Cincinnati (77)
7. Luke Musgrave, Oregon State (75)
8. Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion (67)
9. Jahleel Billingsley, Texas (61)
10. Will Mallory, Miami-FL (60)
11. Brant Kuithe, Utah (58)
12. Austin Stogner, South Carolina (57)
13. Dalton Kincaid, Utah (56)
14. Erick All, Michigan (51)
15. Ben Sims, Baylor (50)
16. Cameron Latu, Alabama (41)
17. Leonard Taylor, Cincinnati (40)
1. Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State (90)
2. Peter Skoronski, Northwestern (89)
3. Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland (72)
4. Ryan Hayes, Michigan (71)
5. Broderick Jones, Georgia (70)
6. Cooper Beebe, Kansas State (69)
7. T.J. Bass, Oregon (68)
8. Javon Foster, Missouri (67)
9. Zion Nelson, Miami-FL (66)
10. Anton Harrison, Oklahoma (60)
11. Jaxson Kirkland, Washington (59)
12. Dawand Jones, Ohio State (53)
13. Mason Brooks, Ole Miss (50)
14. Blake Freeland, BYU (48)
15. Walter Rouse, Stanford (45)
1. Layden Robinson, Texas A&M (80)
2. O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida (75)
3. Luke Wypler, Ohio State (72)
4. Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama (71)
5. Andrew Vorhees, USC (71)
6. Nick Broeker, Ole Miss (70)
7. Henry Bainivalu, Washington (69)
8. Javion Cohen, Alabama (68)
9. Matthew Jones, Ohio State (63)
10. Dylan McMahon, NC State (60)
11. Cody Mauch, North Dakota State (59)
12. Clark Barrington, BYU (55)
13. Braeden Daniels, Utah (41)
14. Mike Miranda, Penn State (39)
1. John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota (86)
2. Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia (83)
3. Steve Avila, TCU (73)
4. Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame (72)
5. Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan (64)
6. Nick Brahms, Auburn (63)
7. Grant Gibson, NC State (61)
8. Alex Forsyth, Oregon (45)
1. Myles Murphy, Clemson (91)
2. Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame (90)
3. Ali Gaye, LSU (86)
4. Will McDonald IV, Iowa State (80)
5. Zach Harrison, Ohio State (79)
6. Ochaun Mathis, Nebraska (78)
7. Derick Hall, Auburn (77)
8. Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech (76)
9. Habakkuk Baldonado, Pittsburgh (73)
10. Trajan Jeffcoat, Missouri (60)
11. Xavier Thomas, Clemson (55)
12. K.J. Henry, Clemson (43)
1. Jalen Carter, Georgia (95)
2. Bryan Bresee, Clemson (90)
3. Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin (89)
4. Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh (85)
5. Siaki Ika, Baylor (84)
6. Brett Johnson, California (82)
7. Gervon Dexter Sr., Florida (80)
8. Jermayne Lole, Louisville (78)
9. Colby Wooden, Auburn (76)
10. Zacch Pickens, South Carolina (76)
11. Jaquelin Roy, LSU (69)
12. Isaiah McGuire, Missouri (67)
13. Byron Young, Alabama (64)
14. Fabien Lovett, Florida State (63)
15. Tyler Davis, Clemson (60)
16. Ruke Orhorhoro, Clemson (59)
17. Darius Robinson, Missouri (56)
18. Justin Eboigbe, Alabama (52)
1. Will Anderson Jr., Alabama (97)
2. Nolan Smith, Georgia (94)
3. Andre Carter II, Army (89)
4. BJ Ojulari, LSU (88)
5. Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Washington (82)
6. Nick Herbig, Wisconsin (80)
7. Brenton Cox Jr., Florida (70)
8. Mohamoud Diabate, Utah (69)
9. Nick Hampton, Appalachian State (68)
10. Byron Young, Tennessee (66)
11. Dylan Horton, TCU (64)
12. Merlin Robertson, Arizona State (61)
13. Charlie Thomas, Georgia Tech (50)
1. Noah Sewell, Oregon (88)
2. Henry To’oTo’o, Alabama (85)
3. Trenton Simpson, Clemson (78)
4. DeMarvion Overshown, Texas (69)
5. Jack Campbell, Iowa (67)
6. Owen Pappoe, Auburn (61)
7. Justin Flowe, Oregon (55)
8. Dee Winters, TCU (50)
9. Kyle Soelle, Arizona State (38)
10. O’Rien Vance, Iowa State (33)
1. Kelee Ringo, Georgia (90)
2. Cam Smith, South Carolina (89)
3. Joey Porter Jr., Penn State (88)
4. Tyrique Stevenson, Miami-FL (87)
5. Storm Duck, North Carolina (81)
6. Clark Phillips III, Utah (81)
7. Eli Ricks, Alabama (80)
8. Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri (78)
9. Cameron Brown, Ohio State (76)
10. Tony Grimes, North Carolina (74)
11. Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU (73)
12. Kyu Blu Kelly, Stanford (72)
13. Riley Moss, Iowa (71)
14. Arquon Bush, Cincinnati (70)
15. Sevyn Banks, LSU (67)
16. Noah Daniels, TCU (66)
17. Lance Boykin, Coastal Carolina (60)
18. Sheridan Jones, Clemson (58)
1. Jordan Battle, Alabama (89)
2. Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame (86)
3. Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M (79)
4. Jalen Catalon, Arkansas (76)
5. Jammie Robinson, Florida State (74)
6. Josh Proctor, Ohio State (73)
7. JL Skinner, Boise State (72)
8. Trey Dean III, Florida (70)
9. Jay Ward, LSU (69)
10. Gervarrius Owens, Houston (57)
11. Kenderick Duncan, Louisville (40)
12. Demani Richardson, Texas A&M (40)
13. Latavious Brini, Arkansas (38)
14. Christopher Smith, Georgia (36)
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