Who are some of the top sleepers at iOL in the 2023 NFL Draft? Here’s an early look at which interior offensive line prospects might emerge from relative obscurity, to eventually finding a home on the draft board next April.
2023 NFL Draft sleepers at iOL
The college football landscape is loaded with sleepers on the offensive line. It naturally comes with the territory. Players on the offensive line don’t log tangible stats, so it can be easy for solid performers to go overlooked for years. Here, however, we’ll put a spotlight on five iOL 2023 NFL Draft sleepers who deserve more praise heading into 2022.
Christian Mahogany, Boston College
2022 first-rounder Zion Johnson commanded a great deal of respect blocking at left guard for Boston College in 2021. But the man who played across from him at right guard, Christian Mahogany, might have an NFL future as well. While he likely won’t go quite as high as Johnson did, Mahogany has the traits to draw interest as a 2023 NFL Draft sleeper.
Interestingly, Mahogany might be a more imposing physical specimen than Johnson was. Johnson is a noticeably better athlete, but that’s a high bar to clear. Mahogany still gets out into space fairly well for his 6’3″, 335-pound frame. What’s particularly striking about Mahogany’s game, however, is his high-end power capacity and mauler mentality. That’s something that will undoubtedly win over scouts.
Sataoa Laumea, Utah
The Utah offense is expected to remain a venerable threat in 2021. Not just because of Cameron Rising or Tavion Thomas, but also because of the talent they have returning on the offensive line. Braeden Daniels could be a draft-worthy prospect at offensive tackle, but there’s also right guard Sataoa Laumea returning on the interior. Laumea, in particular, should have more buzz than he currently does.
Laumea is a stocky 6’4″, 312-pound blocker with great play strength and power capacity. Beyond that, he’s also a good athlete in space. Laumea gets off the line quickly and can easily flip his hips to adjust angles at the second level. Additionally, Laumea shows off strong technique in pass protection. There’s a reason he’s earned All-Pac-12 honors over the past two seasons. This year, he could leverage that play into a 2023 draft pick.
Loic Ngassam Nya, Wake Forest
Even after losing Zach Tom to the 2022 NFL Draft, there’s still reason to watch the Wake Forest offensive line in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle. This year, however, the team’s top talent might rest on the interior.
Loic Ngassam Nya, who started at both offensive guard spots in 2021, profiles as a notable 2023 NFL Draft sleeper. He was born in France and eventually moved to Cameroon, before finally coming to the United States in 2012.
Ngassam Nya didn’t start playing football until his junior year of high school. So while he’ll be an older rookie, turning 23 in December, he’s still fairly new to the sport — and ascending rapidly. The 6’3″, 303-pound lineman has an incredibly dense frame with great proportional length. With that length and density, he also shows off awesome upper-body torque and power capacity, and he maximizes his tools with tense physicality.
Kenneth Horsey, Kentucky
For his character alone, Kenneth Horsey is sure to have fans in the NFL scouting community. Horsey is a consistent academic standout, an active player in the community, and a survivor of open heart surgery, which was conducted in 2018 — an event that motivated him to become an advocate for heart health. Horsey has a future beyond football. But in the meantime, he’s aiming to make it to the NFL, and he has a good chance.
To this point, Horsey has started 21 games for the Wildcats, and he’ll once again be a major part of the blocking unit in 2022. At 6’3″, 300 pounds, Horsey’s a bit undersized, but he has room to get stronger. Still, he brings visible explosiveness off the line and has the ability to quickly flip his hips to redirect momentum in space. Moreover, he’s a sound pass protector with a steady base and tight hands. Especially for teams that employ zone-blocking schemes, Horsey should garner interest as a 2023 NFL Draft sleeper.
Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin
Ricky Stromberg and Jarrett Patterson are the first names that come to mind in the 2023 NFL Draft center class. And if we’re including underclassmen, then Georgia’s Sedrick Van Pran is also a worthy inclusion. But another center who deserves more respect on the national stage is Wisconsin’s Joe Tippmann. He enters 2022 as a supremely underrated draft prospect — and one of the best centers in the entire league.
Tippmann seems oversized for a center at 6’6″, 320 pounds. Naturally, that size does come with pad level inconsistencies at times. But more often than not, Tippmann manages his leverage very well. And more than that, he also shows great athleticism and power generation capacity off the line. He’s a tenacious, physical blocker with the tools to dominate the interior.
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