theScore's prospect rankings series breaks down the top players available in the 2023 NFL Draft position by position.
BOARD | DL | LB | CB | small
In a draft class full of undersized receivers, Johnston stands out. At 6'1" and 200 pounds, the TCU star has the build you'd expect from an outside wideout. Combined with his height, Johnston's speed and long wingspan make him a dangerous vertical threat . the Horned The Frogs product of the best receiver in this class is his rare ability after the catch. Wide receivers built like him usually only push to the middle or deep areas of the field. But Johnston is very agile in space and breaks a lot tackles This makes him not just a weapon on the field, but a threat even in the short game. He can do equal damage on screens and in the short passing game, as well as vertically. His only question mark is his hands - as he tends to catch the body — and his ability to get away.Still, Johnston's ceiling is sky-high thanks to his rare size, speed and YAC ability.
A year after debuting with Pitt, Addison continued his rise to the NFL with a productive season at USC. Wherever he plays, Addison has proven to be consistent in one area: running the field. In fact, it would be a challenge to name a better route runner in this WR class than him. Addison is able to perform a complete routing tree and can use a variety of techniques to create separation. His ability to control the pace is amazing and his versatility means he can play outside or in the slot. Although he lacks Burner's true speed, Addison is able to survive thanks to her cunning. His weight is perhaps the only real concern - adding doubt to his ability to handle NFL-caliber corners. While its ceiling may not be as high as other top competitors, its floor means it should be ready for a core job from day one. Addison did it in the ACC and Pac-12, and now he wants to go third and third and thrive at the next level. With his talent in road racing, he should be able to find success.
Smith-Njigba is perhaps the most divisive prospect of the year. There's no doubt that his ceiling is probably the highest of his peers and could push him to WR1 when pundits look toward the 2023 class. But Smith-Njigba's durability could be described as special after losing both games last season except for three due to a hamstring injury. Even though he shook up the college world in 2021, it's fair to point out that most of his production came in bursts. Still, it's hard not to be surprised by what the Ohio State star has shown when healthy. He is an excellent route runner who thrives on the end of his routes with smart footwork. He also shows excellent body control and concentration to make difficult catches in tight spaces. Smith-Njigba has the size to survive, but figuring out if he is limited at one spot or can be left out will be high on his next team's agenda. With his ceiling, you'd be foolish not to explore his potential.
The Tyreek Hill comparison may seem exaggerated, but it's hard not to see glimpses of the NFL star when you watch Flowers on tape. Despite standing just 5'10", Flowers plays for more than his size, and his natural athleticism makes him a serious weapon in other ways as well. Walking the Flower Trail is almost like witnessing the production of art. He has a quick release from the line of scrimmage, but can also defend against pressure with his lightning-quick footwork. More recently on the route, he can fool the corners, leading to an excellent break. His catch also makes him a serious challenge for defenses. While his ceiling may be somewhat limited due to his size and short arm length, which hinders his range, Flowers has all the tools necessary to overcome those issues. The bottom line for the interested offensive coordinators is simple: Put the ball in Flowers' hands and let his natural talent shine the rest.
If speed is the name of the game, it won't be long before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces Hyatt's name on draft night. The Tennessee product is an absolute blazer who has elite 4.4 speed. His shift into second gear is effortless and his ability to get vertical away from opposing defensive backs was unmatched in 2022. Hyatt was one of the driving forces behind the Volunteers' surge in 2022, winning the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the top recipient country. after scoring 15 touchdowns. He also has very reliable hands and is comfortable grabbing away from the body or in tight windows. Although he was largely untested in press coverage and his route tree was very rudimentary, Hyatt should have no problem translating his game-breaking speed to the next level.
While not big, Mims is bigger than most of its peers who excel in similar fields. While he played outside and in the slot in Oklahoma, it's unclear if he'll be able to repeat that in the pros. But his sudden release and leg from the line of scrimmage leaves plenty of optimism that he can do just that. With some proper position training, Mims could become a huge star in the NFL. After all, this is a player who made almost every touch a must-see move. The receiver plays bigger than his size, with more contested wins than expected, but his real calling card is his athleticism. With 4.38 speed, Mims can push downfield and is very smooth after the catch. In the right system, he should be able to continue his rise as he adjusts to life in the NFL.
Looking for a smooth slot receiver who can be a halfback safety blanket? Downs might be your guy. The 5-foot-5 player stays in the slot, where his body doesn't slow him down like it would outside. That said, the UNC product is a mature route runner who knows how to create separation using a variety of speeds to handle defenders. His early speed down the field also tends to leave defenders confused. Downs is a smart, instinctive player who quickly spots open areas when the play breaks down in the pocket. His strong hands also help him overcome his size. He may start his career as a player who benefits from manufactured touches, but there is room for him to be a high-volume pass receiver in the future.
Tillman had his star overshadowed by Hyatt in 2022 after an ankle injury cost him most of his senior year at Tennessee. However, that doesn't mean he doesn't have an interesting package to sell to NFL evaluators. Built like a perfect boundary receiver, Tillman shines in one-on-one situations thanks to his big hands and elite ability to track the ball through the air and then adjust to make tough catches. Just throw it at him and he'll make a move. While he has all the necessary traits to be a natural receiver capable of avoiding press coverage, Tillman will need to improve that area with NFL training. Speed isn't his calling card, as evidenced by his 4.54-second 40-yard dash time, but there's still enough promise to bet his stature, clutch hands and tool set could make him a starter of everyday life.
If you're looking for a mid-range lottery ticket, chances are Scott has the winning numbers. His dynamism immediately stands out on his tape, making him a threat at all levels of the field. Whether it's the short, intermediate or deep passing game, Scott has a winning strategy to make it work. Most of this comes from his advanced knowledge of street racing, which gives him a good understanding of handling and how to come back. His breaks at the top of the lanes are also hard and sudden. On the field, his 4.44 pace makes him a serious burner and allows him to do a great job tracking balls in the air. The Cincinnati product has all the makings of a middling talent that outperforms his draft class.
Mingo seems to climb the boards faster than his 4.46 speed and it's easy to see why. While her performance on paper doesn't draw much attention, her athleticism for her 6'1" 100-pound frame is surprising. While Mingo doesn't have top speed in the usual sense, his acceleration is dangerous for a man in his size.Combined with his strong arms, ability to create home runs while receiving and versatility to play in the outfield or even as a big play engine, there is no shortage of redeeming qualities.. Little projection is needed for the Ole Miss receiver, but if he hits the ceiling, you don't want to be the losing team.
Wilson is a versatile receiver who has no problem separating. However, the way there is not so simple. Stanford hasn't played more than six games in each of his last three seasons thanks to a series of injuries. Your medical history may be the only list long enough to challenge the number of your positive attributes. But if Wilson can turn around his injury luck — which is easier said than done — he'll surely find a home in the NFL. He has excellent size and has shown that he can produce from any lineup in the scheme of things. Despite his lack of real speed, he produced in many ways, especially his ability to clear corners with his smart route.
Rice may not be the most exciting prospect, but he has a tall frame and is equipped with the arsenal of talent needed to play a good role in the NFL. The bread and butter of his game is his consistency in going down with the football. His insane 41-inch vertical only helps his ability to win one-on-one situations. His post-catch generation is nothing to scoff at, especially for his size. There are concerns about whether he'll be able to get away while running the route, and his throws leave a lot of room. Fumbles also appeared from time to time. How much cap space Rice has in the package will depend on whether he can add to his profile at the next level.
Reed's athleticism doesn't come off the screen, but he finds ways to be successful. His 40-yard dash time of 4.45 seconds isn't too shabby. He uses his burst to quickly close gaps in coverage before making his moves. An expert at finding weaknesses in zone coverage to exploit, Reed also has enough yardage skills after the catch to make him a threat if not brought down. His talent in space also speaks for his three punt returns. While the arm length isn't anything to write home about, it drops more plates in tight windows than you'd expect. Reed has occasionally tried press coverage with mixed results. If he can find a way to adjust to the NFL's tighter coverage, he could carve out a nice role for himself. Otherwise, it may be destined for a strict slot role.
Once he's gone, there's no way to get Palmer. He set the college world on fire with his incredible speed, posting a 4.33-second 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine. The Nebraska product can easily accelerate into second gear, making it difficult for even the fastest quarterbacks to keep up. Most of his work has come from free releases, which begs the question of what the next level's best role is and whether he might be a good fit for the slot. While his game is one-dimensional, presenting primarily as a deep threat, defenses need to be cautious when Palmer is on the field.
There are no other receivers like Dell. His lack of size will undoubtedly be a red flag, as he could be reduced to a receiver who requires manufactured touches. But even then, that might not be an absolute problem - in the right offense with the right intelligence, Dell can be a dangerous player thanks to his elite skill and agility. Your running route is very sharp due to your ability to stop and change speed in an instant and smooth change of driving skills. There are enough to fill a top spot when it comes to Dell, but will there be enough to use him against NFL tackles and secondary physicality?
Other notable views
INGEN. Perry, Wake Forest
Andrei Iosivas, Princeton
Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
ParkerWashington, Penn State
Kayshon Boutte, LSU
Matt Landers, Arkansas
Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia
Rakeem Jarrett, Maryland
Charlie Jones, Purdue