Believe it or not, Georgia State is one of the hottest teams in college football, winning seven of their last eight games heading into the 2022 season. Can the Panthers parlay those performances into genuine 2023 NFL Draft potential? Which Panthers prospects could go professional with promising and productive play over the coming months?
Georgia State prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft
Last season was the best season in a short FBS history for Georgia State. A team that returns a ton of talent from last season’s eight wins that included a Camellia Bowl annihilation over Ball State, is giving hope for a tilt at a Sun Belt title.
At the very least, it should allow the Panthers to add to just three previous draftees from the program. Who are the players that could add their names alongside Robert Davis, Ulrick John, and Christo Bilukidi next April?
Tucker Gregg, RB
Georgia State’s 2023 NFL Draft prospects begin with running back Tucker Gregg. The fifth-year RB has already earned national attention, landing as the only Panther on the Shrine Bowl 1000 watch list. Gregg is coming off a season where he rushed for a career-high 953 yards and nine touchdowns. The 5’10”, 220-pound rusher averaged 5.0 yards per carry in 2021.
As you’d expect from a back of his stature, Gregg is a physical north-to-south runner who takes no prisoners working downhill. His strong lower body grinds out yardage, and he’ll lower the shoulder into contact. However, Gregg’s also got the footwork and lateral agility to cut and bounce outside, creating additional yardage opportunities.
Jamyest Williams, RB
A highly ranked and regarded high school recruit in the 2017 class, Jamyest Williams has traveled a long road to the 2023 NFL Draft. A standout cornerback who tallied three interceptions in two seasons for South Carolina, Williams has been pounding the rock for Georgia State since his arrival in 2020.
Last season, he registered 859 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 6.9 yards per carry as part of a double-headed monster for the Panthers. Williams poses a legitimate speed threat who can evade contact with the twitchy movements that you’d expect from a player who was one of the top high school cornerbacks in his class.
Darren Grainger, QB
In the age of the mobile quarterback, Georgia State QB Darren Grainger could definitely garner some attention in the 2023 NFL Draft. He might be considered on the slender side at 195 pounds, but at 6’4″, he passes the eye test in terms of size.
Meanwhile, there’s no mistaking Grainger’s ability to sling the football downfield. However, it’s the incredible creative mobility — particularly for his size — that could ensure that the former Furman flinger attracts pro attention. Grainger can scoot, shake, and break on his way to the end zone.
Jamari Thrash, WR
As a passer, Grainger spread the ball around last fall, with six different pass catchers snagging 20+ receptions. Of those, it was Jamari Thrash that led the way with 32 receptions and 452 yards. The fourth-year WR also added three touchdowns last fall.
The 6’0″, 180-pound Thrash showcases strong hands and good length. Meanwhile, he has the footwork to create space whether on release or during his route. Thrash also displays a good feeling for finding open space in zones to present as a genuine threat.
Malik Sumter, C
A part of the excitement over Georgia State this season is the return of all but one of their offensive linemen. In terms of 2023 NFL Draft prospects, center Malik Sumter is the player that is drawing the most attention early in the process.
Although he’ll be considered undersized at 6’1″ and 285 pounds, Sumter’s experience as a high school defensive lineman shows in how he goes into battle in the trenches. A genuine people mover in the run game, Sumter also has the athleticism to get out ahead of the action while packing a powerful, debilitating punch.
Travis Glover, OT
Another Georgia State offensive lineman to watch out for this season is left tackle Travis Glover. A full-time starter as a freshman at RT in 2019, Glover switched seamlessly to left tackle in 2020 and has started every game of his Panthers career.
As a result, he projects as an experienced and versatile prospect, with true NFL tackle size at 6’6″ and 323 pounds. As you’d expect for a man of his size, Glover has the ability to overpower even the best defensive linemEn, routinely opening rushing lanes for the Panthers’ ground game.
Antavious Lane, S
Starting a look at Georgia State’s defensive prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft anywhere other than Antavious Lane would be malpractice. It would be disrespectful. It would be wrong. The impactful safety already owns a sizeable piece of the Panthers’ record books despite just two playing seasons. His five interceptions last fall were a single-season record, and his nine career interceptions are also a program record.
No other Georgia State player has secured two interceptions for touchdowns, either. At 5’9″ and 180 pounds, Lane may get pigeon-holed as a slot corner at the next level, but he repeatedly showcases the ability to play above his size. He hits with bone-shaking physicality, reads the game to a high level, and has the speed to close and jump routes. Lane is the ultimate playmaker on the Panthers’ defense.
Bryquice Brown, CB
While Lane led the team in interceptions last fall, Bryquice Brown is the top returning producer in the secondary having tallied 10 pass breakups. The 6’0″, 186-pound junior CB also ended the regular season strong with two interceptions in the final two games.
While he has decent height, Brown is aided in his coverage by impressive length, which he also puts to good use as a tackler against the run game. Brown is regularly in good position to make a play and boasts an excellent athletic profile.
Jamil Muhammad, EDGE
Georgia State received a ton of their defensive production from the inside LB duo of Blake Carroll and Jordan Veneziale last fall. However, it’s junior OLB Jamil Muhammad who boasts the upside as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect.
A former quarterback, Muhammad only made the switch to defense during the 2020 season. He has the explosion, speed, and lateral agility to be a dangerous pass-rushing threat. The 6’2″, 245-pound EDGE also has great length and violence in his hands to cause forced fumbles.
Quavian White, CB
Not many players can boast the same résumé as Quavian White, a cornerback who has produced year on year since starting as a freshman in 2018. He’s snagged an interception in each season while breaking up at least two passes in all four seasons. His ability to play sticky in coverage will be alluring.
However, it’s White’s physicality and ferocity that he showcases as a tackler that should garner him some 2023 NFL Draft attention. Those of a sensitive disposition may want to avoid watching White against Ball State last season.
Thomas Gore, NT
At 6’0″, 270 pounds, Thomas Gore is not your traditional nose tackle. However, there’s nothing traditional about the impactful Georgia State defensive lineman.
After a productive campaign last season — 44 tackles, nine for loss, two and a half sacks — Gore is set to emerge on the national stage this fall. He’s explosive, boasts impressive lateral agility, shows the ability to execute different defensive concepts, and uses impressive hand work to routinely penetrate and make a play in the opposing backfield. Gore could be the under-the-radar prospect on Georgia State’s roster that no one is talking about right now. But they will come April.
Other potential prospects for Georgia State in the 2023 NFL Draft
- Pat Bartlett, G
- Johnathan Bass, OT
- Shamar McCollum, EDGE
- Blake Carroll, LB
- Jordan Veneziale, LB
- Jaylon Jones, CB
- Aubry Payne, TE
- Michael Hayes, P/KO
- Jacorey Crawford, EDGE