While the Arkansas 2023 NFL Draft prospects lack a sure-fire first-round pick, they have some intriguing potential Day 2 and Day 3 prospects. With the group headlined by LB Drew Sanders, we could see between three and five Arkansas players drafted in 2023. Let’s take a look at the Arkansas scouting reports for this year.
Arkansas 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Bumper Pool, LB
Strengths: Hard-working linebacker who gets the most from his ability. Instinctive, quickly diagnoses plays, and flies around the action. Displays good change-of-direction ability, plays with aggression, and gets outside the numbers to make plays in space. Effectively collapses outside-in to defend the run, breaks down well, and uses his hands to protect himself. Stays with assignments, gets depth on pass drops, and keeps his head on a swivel.
Weaknesses: Lacks bulk and gets easily blocked from the action. While he plays faster than his 40 time, Pool lacks true pursuit speed.
Overall: Pool was an incredibly productive run defender at Arkansas, totaling 412 tackles over the past four years. He lacks upside, but Pool plays with a tough, intelligent manner and comes with special-teams potential.
Dalton Wagner, OT
Strengths: Massive offensive line prospect who plays tough, intelligent football. Bends his knees well for a big man, fires into blocks, and is explosive at the point. Patient in pass protection, keeps his feet moving, and stays square. Keeps his head on a swivel and works well with linemates. Strong and easily knocks opponents from the action or controls them at the point of attack. Gets movement run blocking.
Weaknesses: Lacks lateral blocking range and is ineffective in motion. Struggles to adjust.
Overall: Wagner comes with outstanding length, long arms, and growth potential. He’s a size prospect who projects to right tackle but can only play in confined quarters.
Drew Sanders, LB
Strengths: Alabama transfer coming off a tremendous campaign. Forceful, plays with reckless abandon, and is constantly around the ball making positive plays. Instinctive, quickly diagnoses the action and flows to the action laterally. Immediately locates the ball handler, smoothly gets into space, and drives his shoulders through opponents to bring them down at the point of attack.
Easily gets off blocks, fires to the action, and effectively uses his hands to protect himself. Stays with coverage assignments. Occasionally comes out of a three-point stance, fires off the snap with a quick first step, and plays with proper pad level.
Weaknesses: Slow getting off blocks. Better making plays up the field against the run than in reverse. Doesn’t show flat-out pursuit speed.
Overall: After making minimal impact at Alabama, Sanders really jumped on the radar last season when he totaled 103 tackles, 13.5 TFLs, and 9.5 sacks. He’s a forceful defender who could be used at multiple linebacker positions in a variety of schemes, and Sanders should only get better with more playing experience.
Want more information on Sanders? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Jadon Haselwood, WR
Strengths: Florida transfer who displayed a lot of improvement in his game the past three seasons. Possesses nice size and big hands and plays tough, strong football. Extends or exposes himself to make the reception, reaches back and adjusts to the errant throw, and grabs the ball with his hands away from his frame.
Displays good route discipline, tracks the ball in the air, and consistently wins out for the jump ball. Uses the sidelines well and plays with outstanding balance.
Weaknesses: Must improve his route running, as he slows into breaks. Doesn’t show deep speed on the field.
Overall: Haselwood bolted for the draft after a terrific season at Arkansas and is a long wideout with upside. He must do a better job separating from defenders and become more of a red-zone threat, but he has the underlying ability to be a fourth receiver on a depth chart.
Want more information on Haselwood? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Jadon Haselwood, WR, Arkansas | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Latavious Brini, S
Strengths: Georgia transfer coming off a terrific season. Aggressive, hard-hitting, and gives effort against the run. Breaks down well, forces the action upfield, and drives his shoulders through ball handlers. Consistently squares and wraps up tackling.
Weaknesses: Gets caught upfield and out of position. Struggles getting off blocks. Better playing downhill.
Overall: Brini displayed a lot of improvement in his game last season and comes with next-level size. He’s more of a strong safety, but he may also get looks at linebacker in certain one-gap systems.
Matt Landers, WR
Strengths: Well-traveled receiver who began his career at Georgia before moving to Toledo and then having a career season at Arkansas in 2022. Tall wideout with soft, reliable hands. Uses his frame to shield away defenders, extends his hands, and makes the reception away from his frame. Shows good route discipline, plays smart football, and consistently finds the open spot in the defense.
Tracks the pass in the air, displays outstanding timing, and comes away with the contested grab. Adjusts to the errant throw, displays eye/hand coordination, and takes a big hit but holds onto the ball. Makes the difficult over-the-shoulder reception at full speed. Gives effort blocking downfield.
Weaknesses: Displays minimal quickness in his game and plays to one speed on the field despite his 40 time. Must do a better job coming back to the football out of breaks.
Overall: Landers comes off a productive season at Arkansas where he finally met the expectations of NFL scouts. He possesses a next-level build and comes with enough pass-catching skill to make an NFL roster as a fifth receiver.
Want more information on Landers? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Matt Landers, WR, Arkansas | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Ricky Stromberg, C
Strengths: Tough, power gap blocker who is best in a small area. Sets with a wide base, keeps his head on a swivel, and is always looking to hit someone. Explosive, strong, and stays square. Anchors at the point or turns defenders from the line to open up running lanes. Shows great recognition as well as awareness and does a tremendous job quarterbacking the offensive line. Effective with the shotgun snap.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Weaknesses: Gets tall as the play proceeds and doesn’t look like a natural knee bender. Lacks agility, which hurts his ability to finish blocks. Must be more consistent with hand placement.
Overall: Stromberg is a tough, nasty blocker who would do well in a power-gap system, yet he must play with better pad level.
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