Charlotte’s 2023 NFL Draft prospects are led by QB Chris Reynolds and WR Victor Tucker

Charlotte's top draft-eligible players are led by their quarterback Chris Reynolds who deserves more national attention in 2022.

The Charlotte 49ers are a relatively young program, yet their success is well documented. Thanks in large part to their fabulous quarterback Chris Reynolds, the 49ers are set to make more waves in Conference USA this season and possibly send some athletes to the NFL draft. Which prospects should fans know prior to the 2022 college football season?

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Charlotte prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft

Chris Reynolds, QB

Receiving little national attention, Chris Reynolds recently came in ranked as the No. 26 overall quarterback on our starting QB rankings. Reynolds, a master of his craft, runs the Charlotte offense with ease. Whatever the game plan is, Reynolds will work the field with his arm or legs just fine. He has plenty of arm strength and plenty of ability to hit each level of the field.

Reynolds is a dark horse to go pro due to a lack of prototypical size, but he’s every bit of an elite starter at the collegiate level. When his illustrious Charlotte career is over, he may make for one top-notch quarterback in the USFL or XFL.

Shadrick Byrd, RB

An Iowa transfer, Shadrick Byrd brings versatility and speed to the 49ers. Just a season ago, he made All-Conference mentions as both a running back and kick returner as his value to any potential NFL team is not limited to the backfield. Byrd is a shifty runner with a terrific burst. As just a redshirt sophomore, he has plenty of time to hone his craft before he even thinks of entering the draft, but the chances are there for him to make an impact at the professional level.

Grant Dubose, WR

Grant Dubose possesses a ridiculous catch radius. At 6’3″, Dubose hauls in anything near him and has the speed to burn. Dubose runs crisp routes and has sure hands, all of which led to him leading the team in receptions and receiving yards a year ago. With another season of excellence at Charlotte, Dubose should be a factor in this or next year’s draft class at the position.

Victor Tucker, WR

A longtime 49er receiver, Victor Tucker is the program’s second all-time leading receiver. His 2,660 career receiving yards are the most for Charlotte since they joined the FBS level in 2015. Tucker is a concise route runner from the inside who simply gets open. He’ll catch anything in his range and even outside of his radius. And he’s a threat with the ball in his hands. He’s a complete threat.

Panda Askew, G

Absolutely a member of the College Football All-Name Team, Panda Askew has shown great growth in his two short seasons at Charlotte. Likely not on the radar for the 2023 NFL Draft, Askew is technically draft-eligible, and should he show more of the same growth in all blocking facets this fall, he could garner some serious attention for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Ashton Gist, G

One of the 49ers to start the lion’s share of games for Charlotte on the offensive line in 2021, Ashton Gist powered his way to some pretty impressive moments. He’s sound on the ground, but when it comes to pass protection, he offered a great base with a solid anchor. His slight frame is no issue as he understands leverage among the best in the Conference-USA.

T.J. Moore, OT

A Florida transfer, T.J. Moore spent four seasons as a reserve tackle for the Gators. In his first season back to action, Moore was solid for the 49ers off the right side. He’s a big man at 6’5″ and 300-plus pounds, but he moves incredibly well. With another season of action in front of him after logging just a handful of snaps since 2016, Moore could rebound and be a dominant force this fall.

Markees Watts, EDGE

One of the nation’s most underrated edge rushers, Markees Watts exploded onto the scene last season. He led the 49ers in sacks and tackles for loss while finishing third in total tackles. That’s a testament to his ability to get after the quarterback and stymie the opposing rushing attack. Watts is a bit undersized to play with his hand in the dirt at the next level, so getting his résumé in order with some off-ball rushes may do his draft stock wonders in 2022.

Kofi Wardlow, EDGE

After four seasons at Notre Dame, Kofi Wardlow moved to Charlotte, and it paid dividends from the start. He finished with seven starts prior to completing the year with what seemed like a nagging injury. Wardlow has that prototypical size for an edge rusher at 6’3″ and 245 pounds. He’ll be counted on to bring even more pressure off the edge opposite Watts this fall.

Jalar Holley, DT

There was a reason Jalar Holley was once stuffing running plays for Miami against Florida State. The big man from Queens two-gaps at will and is a great defender against the run. Increasing his ability to get after the passer will go a long way for Holley as he looks to get back in the backfield as he did for multiple sacks and pressures last season.

Geo Howard, CB

Yet another Power Five transfer that’s made a major impact in his time with Charlotte, Geo Howard came in from Purdue and made an immediate impact. Howard has great speed and terrific burst to the football to limit completions and force incompletions all the same. His compact frame gives him an advantage against physical receivers, and his speed allows him to make every catch contested in his coverage.

Trey Creamer, CB

The 49ers weren’t quite known for their takeaways last season, and Trey Creamer certainly was a reason for that. The ball-hawking cornerback was a constant force at knocking passes away at a high rate. His seven pass breakups led the team as he tied the school record for PBUs in a game with three. A member of the Athletic Director’s List and Commissioner’s Honor Roll, Creamer is a student of the game, and it shows.

Solomon Rogers, S

Anchoring the middle of the veteran-laden Charlotte secondary, Solomon Rogers has a bevy of game action over his three seasons with the 49ers. Rogers has excellent closing speed and a physical nature to his game, making him a fearful presence over the middle. He’ll bring the lumber in the rushing game or close the flats in the passing game on back-to-back plays with nothing lost.

Marcus Robitaille, S

There’s a lot to like about Marcus Robitaille’s game. A former Butler safety, Robitaille saw significant growth a season ago. He recorded his first collegiate interception as he showcased he can take away underneath passing lanes with his coverage ability. Robitaille also proved to be a presence against the run with 3.5 tackles for loss last season.

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

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