With a mixed bag of results in recent years, what can we expect from the 2023 Fresno State NFL Draft prospects in terms of hearing their names called in Kansas City? With our Fresno State scouting reports, we examine the strengths and weaknesses of their top prospects for this year.
Fresno State 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
David Perales, EDGE
Strengths: Undersized and marginally athletic pass rusher who was constantly making positive plays for Fresno State. Used out of a three-point stance as well as standing over tackle, fires off the snap, and plays with proper pad level.
Fights with his hands, easily changes direction, and displays a variety of pass-rushing moves. Stout at the point, stays on his feet, and gives effort defending the run. Slides down the line of scrimmage, redirects to ball handlers, and wraps up tackling. Totals the past two seasons included 25.5 TFLs and 16.5 sacks.
Weaknesses: Lacks bulk and is easily disrupted by the initial block. Possesses average speed.
Overall: Perales has fallen under the scouting radar, but he was very productive at Fresno State and a nuisance for opponents every Saturday. He offers possibilities as a situational pass rusher and plays with a special-teams mentality.
Dontae Bull, OT
Strengths: Massive small-area blocker with an underrated game. Powerful, gets his hands into defenders, and knocks them from their angles of attack. Stays square, anchors in pass protection, or drives opponents off the line. Nasty and plays through the whistle.
Weaknesses: Lacks footwork and displays limited blocking range. Shows little in the way of agility.
Overall: Bull was a productive four-year starter for Fresno State, seeing action at both left and right tackle. Best in confined quarters, he has enough ability to get consideration in a power-gap system as a backup right tackle or guard.
Elijah Gates, S
Strengths: UCLA transfer who is best defending the run. Quickly locates the ball handler, fires upfield, and sacrifices his body to make the tackle. Keeps the action in front of him, effectively communicates with teammates in the secondary, and gives effort.
Weaknesses: Plays to one speed and lacks a closing burst. Slow getting his head back around, and struggles to track the pass in the air. Cannot flip his hips in transition.
Overall: Gates was a solid college safety, but he lacks the measurables and athleticism to play on Sundays.
Jake Haener, QB
Strengths: Washington transfer who was insanely productive at Fresno State. Patient in the pocket, always in control of the situation, and does a tremendous job spreading the ball around and using all his targets. Intelligent, improvises if plays break down, and works to make positive plays. Remains poised under the rush, steps up to avoid defenders, and gets outside the pocket to give himself a better view of the field.
Consistently keeps his eyes downfield looking for the open wideout. Possesses an outstanding sense of what’s happening on the field, takes a big hit in order to get the throw away, and leaves the pocket only when necessary. Possesses a quick release, throws with timing as well as touch, and knows where his receivers are on the field. Looks away from covered targets and goes to his secondary receivers. Lethal in the short and intermediate field, delivering magnificent passes with pinpoint accuracy.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Weaknesses: Struggles getting speed on deep throws or long lateral passes. Cannot rely on a strong arm to make plays or get him out of a jam. Not a sturdy quarterback who can withstand the rush.
Overall: Haener was a productive leader at Fresno State, yet he comes with average size and a poor arm. He’s a natural at the position with a great head for the game, and he’ll have a chance to make it as a third QB in a West Coast or timing offense.
Want more information on Haener? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Jake Haener, QB, Fresno State | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Jalen Moreno-Cropper, WR
Strengths: Reliable pass catcher who was incredibly productive at Fresno State the past two seasons. Fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage, extremely quick, and uses his hands to separate from defenders. Outstanding route runner who fires into breaks, then stays low on exit, and separates from defenders.
Tracks the pass in the air, displays a sense of timing, and looks the ball into his hands. Shows good route discipline, adjusts to the errant throw, and extends his hands to make the reception away from his frame. Displays quick footwork when the ball is in his hands and creates yardage. Shows a great sense of awareness. Plays with balance as well as body control.
Weaknesses: Not a stout receiver. Unnecessarily lets the pass get inside him at times. Doesn’t show himself to be a true vertical threat despite his 40 time.
Overall: Moreno-Cropper really stepped up his game the last two seasons and combines quick route running with next-level hands. He needs space to work and would be best in the slot or backed off the line of scrimmage, and comes with return possibilities.
Jordan Mims, RB
Strengths: Productive ball carrier with a nose for the end zone. Displays outstanding vision, runs with proper lean, and gives effort. Strong for his size, slides off defenders, and gets a lot of momentum going up field.
Effectively uses blocks, picks his way through the traffic, and runs with authority. Doesn’t go down without a fight and works to pick up yardage off initial contact. Solid receiver out of the backfield who extends his hands and makes the reception away from his frame.
Weaknesses: Possesses average size and isn’t a true short-yardage ball carrier. Lacks the speed and quickness necessary to turn the corner or beat defenders around the perimeter.
Overall: Mims is a well-built running back who is effective carrying the ball and catching it out of the backfield. He’s not a true three-down back but has enough ability to make a roster as a fourth ball carrier.
Nikko Remigio, WR
Strengths: Underrated slot receiver who also comes with return ability. Displays route discipline, eye/hand coordination, and focus. Settles into the open spot in underneath coverage, is effective when extending his hands to make the reception, and works to come away with the contested catch.
Easily adjusts to make the reception in stride, reaches back, and snatches the ball out of the air. Uses his frame to shield away defenders and easily tracks the pass in the air. Very quick. Consistently productive returning punts and kicks.
Weaknesses: Not a sharp route runner and rounds off breaks. Not a big-bodied wideout and struggles in battles. Unnecessarily lets the pass get inside him.
Overall: Remigio was very productive in a variety of roles at Fresno State last season after transferring from Cal. He’s a slot receiver prospect, but his greatest asset for the next level will be returning punts and kicks.
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