Georgia Tech’s 2023 NFL Draft prospects include Jeff Sims and Hassan Hall

The PFN Draft Preview takes a deeper look into the potential 2023 NFL Draft prospects set to hit the field for Georgia Tech this season.

Prospects from Georgia Tech in the 2023 NFL Draft, or any recent draft for that matter, haven’t quite been on the forefront of everyone’s minds through the season and into spring. The switch away from the long-established triple-option offense hasn’t gone as quickly as one may have imagined. Nevertheless, Georgia Tech seems to be on the brink of turning the corner. And if their prospects for this year’s draft are any indicator, that corner may be turning sooner than later.

Georgia Tech prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft

Though they lost their most talented player to the transfer portal, this Georgia Tech team is certainly not void of talent in 2022. Here are their draft-eligible prospects with eyes toward the 2023 NFL Draft.

Jeff Sims, QB

One of the more athletically-gifted athletes at the quarterback position this season is none other than Jeff Sims. Though plagued with some inconsistency in his game, there’s no denying Sims’ tools from a QB perspective. Staying healthy, limiting mistakes, and leaning on what makes him a special player will go a long way towards developing his game, and ultimately, beating out the next player on this list for the job.

Zach Gibson, QB

Transferring in from Akron, Zach Gibson made a name for himself a season ago. It’ll be difficult to unseat the incumbent starter in Sims, but Gibson has the talent to do so. In just seven games a season ago, Gibson threw 10 touchdowns without throwing a single interception.

He’s a big-armed signal-caller with a baseball background that shows up on tape as he can launch accurate shots from all platforms. We’re likely a year away from hearing either one of these two in draft circles, but let it be known they’re on the radar.

Hassan Hall, RB

The hometown kid returns as Hassan Hall heads back to Atlanta for one final season. In four years at Louisville, Hall has accumulated a ridiculous total of 3,843 scrimmage yards. Hall takes the mantle from Jahmyr Gibbs’ transfer and presents a similar skill set. For his draft projection to increase, Hall will look to be more of a focal point and contributor in the passing game as he’s as sound as they come on the ground.

Dontae Smith, RB

A bruising back, Dontae Smith had quite a season in 2021, averaging nearly 7.0 yards per carry. His versatility and willingness to play special teams will pay big dividends for him as he can truly see the field in a myriad of ways. Smith, at 5’11” and 202 pounds, is a big back with great contact balance to utilize as he’ll play a complementary role to Hall in 2022.

Dylan McDuffie, RB

A Buffalo transfer added to the roster this summer, Dylan McDuffie ran for over 1,000 yards in 2021. He’s a sure-footed running back with an elusiveness to his game, but power and balance through contact are his bread and butter. McDuffie gives the Yellow Jackets a terrific three-back set to rotate through and keep their legs fresh.

Kalani Norris, WR

Averaging nearly 17 yards per reception and a TD catch once every four receptions, Kalani Norris is primed for a breakout season with sustained QB play. Norris, who likely sees an uptick in targets this season, can win all across the field. Primarily playing outside, Norris may be better suited to win from the inside with his quick release from the line of scrimmage.

Malachi Carter, WR

The team’s leading returner in yards and receptions from a season ago, Malachi Carter could set all-new career-high marks across the board in 2022. Carter is a big-framed receiver who is no stranger to plucking the ball out of the air in front of defenders. He also has very sure hands and the chance to dominate and bully smaller defensive backs.

Pierce Quick, OT

One of the highest-rated players on Georgia Tech in terms of recruiting profiles, Pierce Quick spent three years at Alabama but couldn’t quite crack the lineup. Quick offers valuable SEC experience under the tutelage of some of the greatest college football minds of this generation after transferring to Georgia Tech.

He’s a big man with a rock-solid base but hasn’t played meaningful snaps since 2019. If he can pick his game back up quickly as early reports indicate, Quick is a name that could rocket up draft boards.

William Lay III, G

A multi-game starter at both guard spots last year, William Lay III also has center experience from the 2019 season. A veteran on the offensive line, Lay is in line for a breakout year, as he’s entrenched in the starting role from the onset of the season. As one of the only mainstays through the Geoff Collins tenure, no one knows this offense better than Lay.

Keion White, DE

After sustaining an injury in the fall, the former Old Dominion edge rusher played just a handful of snaps last season. Keion White is a dominant pass rusher when healthy and uses his incredible frame and strength to bend the edge or push his way into the pocket all the same. A year of good health should put him right back into the backfield and right back into the draft cycle.

Ayinde Eley, LB

A tackling machine, Ayinde Eley presents a mismatch for offensive coordinators to attempt to solve. Eley is 6’3″ and 230 pounds, but he roams the middle of the field like a defensive back. He’s fast and terrific in coverage while also presenting an issue when he blitzes. Eley is also durable and presents a great motor to pursue ball carriers all over the field.

Charlie Thomas, LB

One of the better college football linebackers in recent memory returns for one final season in Atlanta. Charlie Thomas enters Year 5 for the Jackets on the heels of a career year. Thomas, though undersized a bit, uses his speed and football IQ to read and diagnose plays with the utmost speed. He’s no stranger to making plays in coverage as that aspect is likely his best.

Zamari Walton, CB

A savvy cover corner, Zamari Walton has length and speed for days. He’s truly a lockdown cornerback when presented the opportunity and rarely allows a big play. At 6’3″, Walton knows how to use his frame to bait quarterbacks while he can make up ground in coverage simply with his length that some smaller DBs cannot.

Myles Sims, CB

Another long CB, Myles Sims also stands 6’3″ for the Yellow Jackets. Sims is a smart corner with sound technique. He’s also proven to be a thorn in the side of opposing rushing attacks over the years. With a few new pieces in the secondary — and with Sims and Walton returning — this year could be special for Georgia Tech.

Jaylon King, S

With both Tariq Carpenter and Juanyeh Thomas gone, the role of both starting safety spots are open. Jaylon King has shown at times to be a valuable piece of the Georgia Tech secondary. When pressed into duty, King has responded with multiple pass breakups and has shown to be a sound tackler in all facets. With good size and great technique, this could be a breakout year for King.

Derrik Allen, S

Similar to King, Derrik Allen has a chance to showcase what once made him a Notre Dame signee. Allen has played meaningful snaps in a few games over his career but could be in line for a major increase with those aforementioned departures from the safety group in Atlanta. He’s got great size and a better recruiting pedigree. Once a top-10 safety prospect, Allen is primed for a big season in a starting capacity for the Yellow Jackets.

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