With multiple Kansas State NFL Draft prospects in the frame to be drafted this year, could we see the school have its best showing since the early 2000s? Here are the Kansas State scouting reports for their top prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Kansas State 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Adrian Martinez, QB
Strengths: Five-year starter on the college level coming off a somewhat successful campaign. Patient, sits in the pocket, and buys time for receivers. Senses the rush, stands strong against defenders or gets outside the pocket, and keeps his eyes downfield.
Stout, leaves the pocket only when necessary, and is a legitimate threat running with the ball. Scans the field, goes through progressions, and takes the safe underneath outlet when nothing else is available.
Weaknesses: Marginal passer. Lacks a downfield arm and struggles getting speed on longer throws. Inconsistent throughout college.
Overall: Martinez possesses terrific size, yet he’s been very inconsistent throughout his college career and is a marginal developmental prospect.
Deuce Vaughn, RB
Strengths: Very productive college back with a versatile game. Displays outstanding vision as well as running instincts, patiently waits for blocks to develop, and finds running lanes. Squeezes through the small openings of the offensive line, quickly cuts back against the grain without losing momentum, and shows a burst of speed.
Runs with good lean and behind his pads, beats defenders into the open field, and works runs. Terrific open-field ball carrier with a quick stutter step and the ability to make defenders miss. Productive pass catcher who runs sharp, crisp routes. Makes the difficult reception in contorted positions.
Weaknesses: Inconsistent pass catcher who drops easy throws. Not effective as a short-yardage back. Lacks height, possesses short arms, and has limited growth potential.
Overall: Vaughn lacks next-level measurables, but he’s been super-productive the past two seasons carrying the ball and catching it out of the backfield. He lacks upside, yet he has enough ability to be a change-of-pace back or third-down specialist on Sundays.
Want more information on Vaughn? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Ekow Boye-Doe, CB
Strengths: Thinly built defensive back who is best facing the action. Displays terrific awareness, mixes it up with receivers throughout the action, and displays a closing burst out of his plant. Quickly picks up assignments, shows good route recognition in zone, and sticks with opponents everywhere on the field. Gives effort defending the run and is quick moving up the field.
Weaknesses: Struggles staying on the receiver’s hip out of breaks. Slow getting his head back around to track the pass in the air and does a lot of faceguarding. Deep speed is an issue.
Overall: Boye-Doe has flashed ability the past two seasons, yet he has limitations. He offers possibilities in a zone system as a dime back, but Boye-Doe must play well on special teams to have a place at the next level.
Eli Huggins, DT
Strengths: Tough, intelligent defensive tackle who stays with assignments, uses his hands well, and gives tremendous effort. Smart, quickly locates the action, and stays with assignments. Finds ways to make plays.
Weaknesses: Does not consistently play with proper pad level. Plays like a marginal athlete with limited upside. Easily out-positioned by a single blocker.
Overall: Huggins plays smart, tough football and gets the most from his ability, yet he comes with marginal upside. An NFL defensive coach could take a liking to his style and intensity and keep him around as a backup defensive tackle.
Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE
Strengths: Athletic pass rusher who showed tremendous improvement in his game the past two seasons. Mobile, fluid, and strong for his size. Bends off the edge and can flatten then pursue from the back side. Plays with terrific pad level, is rarely off his feet, and knocks blockers back to penetrate the line of scrimmage.
Explosive, displays terrific first-step quickness, and forces his way up the field. Attracts a lot of double-team blocks yet finds ways to disrupt the action. Fights with his hands, moves well laterally, and gives effort in backside pursuit. Tough and plays injured.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Order
Weaknesses: Must add more bulk to his frame. Easily out-positioned from the action. Slow disengaging from opponents against the run.
Overall: Anudike-Uzomah has been a pass-rushing nightmare for opponents, accumulating 25.5 TFLs and 19.5 sacks the past two seasons. He possesses a tremendous amount of upside coming out of a three-point stance and can also play standing over tackle. Anudike-Uzomah should only improve as he physically matures and adds bulk to his frame.
Want more information on Anudike-Uzomah? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Jaylen Pickle, DT
Strengths: Athletic defensive tackle with nice size who flashes ability. Plays with leverage, works his hands, and keeps his feet moving. Moves well around the field, easily changes direction, and flattens off the edge. Flashes a terrific first step.
Weaknesses: Gets knocked off the line by a single opponent. Does not play like a bigger lineman. Was never a consistent starter. Minimally productive at Kansas State.
Overall: Pickle possesses the size, athleticism, and speed to play on Sundays, yet he’s been an inconsistent player who scouts are waiting to arrive.
Josh Hayes, CB
Strengths: Underrated cornerback who started his college career at North Dakota State. Instinctive, immediately picks up coverage assignments, and shows good anticipation. Quickly locates the ball in the air, takes proper angles, and is constantly around the action.
Feisty, mixes it up with opponents, and sticks with receivers everywhere on the field. Quick flipping his hips in transition, stays on the receiver’s hip, and tracks the pass in the air. Displays a burst to the ball out of his plant and gets a hand in to knock away passes. Physical and does not back down from a challenge.
Weaknesses: Deep speed is an issue. Lacks great lateral speed and cannot get to the sidelines in time. Must improve his backpedal.
Overall: Hayes was a productive collegiate defensive back for Kansas State as well as North Dakota State. Speed is an issue, but he possesses enough ability to line up as a dime back in a zone system that restricts his area assignments.
Julius Brents, CB
Strengths: Long, explosive athlete who is still developing his game. Flips his hips in transition, plays aggressive football, and battles opponents throughout the route. Works to get his head back around to track the pass and positions himself against receivers downfield to break up the throw. Displays good route recognition in zone and is effective when facing the action. Makes a lot of athletic plays on the field. Defends the run and willingly gets involved.
Weaknesses: Slow reacting to receivers’ moves off the line, which puts him a half-step behind opponents. Needs a lot of work on his fundamentals. Tends to spy on the quarterback, which results in receptions for opponents. Inefficient.
Overall: Brents possesses the size, athleticism, and ability teams want in a starting cornerback on Sundays, but he needs to polish every aspect of his game. He can play in man or zone when hitting on all cylinders, yet there’s a lot of inconsistency in Brents’ game. I suspect there will be bumps in the road before he’s NFL-ready.
Want more information on Brents? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Malik Knowles, WR
Strengths: Tall, surehanded receiver who also impacts games as a kick returner. Uses his hands to separate from defenders, shields away opponents with his frame, and gets vertical then adjusts or contorts in midair to make the reception.
Possesses terrific eye/hand coordination, comes back to the ball, and extends to offer the quarterback a target. Tracks the pass in the air, displays a sense of timing, and consistently catches the ball with his hands away from his frame. Fluid, smooth, and displays good vision.
Weaknesses: Lacks a quick release off the line, does not show a burst, and plays to one speed. Has a thin frame and struggles in battles. Turned in average production at Kansas State the past four seasons.
Overall: Knowles was a reliable pass catcher for Kansas State as a possession receiver running underneath routes. He’s been more flash player than No. 1 wideout, yet his ability as a return specialist could help him secure a spot on a roster this fall.
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