The Maryland Terrapins finished 8-5 in the 2022 season, culminating in a Duke’s Mayo Bowl victory over NC State. Who are the Maryland prospects to keep an eye on in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle, and what do the scouting reports say about their move to the pros?
Maryland 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Chad Ryland, K
Strengths: Eastern Michigan transfer who connected on 80% of his kicks last season. Outstanding kickoff man who gets terrific hang time and delivers end-over-end kicks. Has connected on a field goal of 50 yards or longer each of the past five years. Connected on over 50% of his field goals from 50+ yards throughout his college career.
Weaknesses: Struggled down the stretch of the 2022 season. Kickoffs can be all over the place.
Overall: Ryland was a consistent performer for both Eastern Michigan and then Maryland. He has the leg strength and accuracy to develop into a starter on Sundays but needs to improve some of the details of his position, yet comes with upside.
Deonte Banks, CB
Strengths: Athletic cornerback with outstanding size and lots of upside. Loses nothing transitioning off the line with opponents, runs downfield with receivers, and does a good job getting his head back around to track the pass in the air.
Physical, effectively positions himself against opponents to defend the throw, and knows where his receiver is on the field. Stays on the opponent’s hip in and out of routes, uses his frame to out-position opponents, and works hard defending the pass. Battles receivers, shows a nice burst to the ball, and physically beats down opponents.
Weaknesses: Must clean up his footwork in reverse and step up his production defending the run. Turned in just one year of big-time production on the college level. Played just two games as a junior in 2021 before suffering a season-ending injury.
Overall: Banks is an athletic specimen who really stepped up his game last season. He possesses the size as well as the ball skills to start on Sundays, but has to polish his game and prove 2022 was not the exception to the rule.
Want more information on Banks? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Dontay Demus, WR
Strengths: Polished receiver with outstanding size and speed. Fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage, quickly gets in and out of routes, and extends to make the reception away from his frame. Sells routes, adjusts to the errant throw, and easily makes the reception in stride.
Gets vertical and contorts to come away with the difficult catch. Possesses outstanding focus as well as concentration. Exposes himself to the big hit in order to come away with the catch. Quickly recovers off jams at the line of scrimmage, displayed sneaky speed prior to his injury, and tracks the deep ball. Consistent, reliable, and possesses soft, natural hands.
Weaknesses: Must work harder to finish blocks. Showed diminished speed and quickness returning from injury last season. Has never been overly productive on the college level.
Overall: Demus looked well on his way to becoming a top-100 pick in the 2022 draft before suffering a significant knee injury that cut his 2021 season short. He possesses the size and previously showed the speed to be a productive fourth or even third receiver at the next level. However, Demus must pass NFL exams and pick up where he left off in 2021.
Durell Nchami, LB
Strengths: Pass-rushing linebacker who flashed ability the past two seasons. Gets a lot of pressure up the field and easily bends off the edge. Can flatten, pursue from the back side, and make plays in space. Remains disciplined with assignments. Uses his hands well and is quick in his overall game.
Weaknesses: Plays to one speed and has an average closing burst. Marginally productive in college.
Overall: Nchami offers possibilities as a pass-rush specialist standing over tackle, but he must improve just about every aspect of his game. He’s worth a selection late in the draft, and at the very least, should find himself on a practice squad next summer.
Jacob Copeland, WR
Strengths: Reliable wideout with next-level size and speed. Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, effectively uses his hands to separate from defenders, and comes back to the ball to make himself an available target. Tracks the pass in the air, gets vertical, and uses his frame to shield away defenders. Nicely adjusts to the errant throw, gets down to scoop up low passes, and competes to come away with the difficult grab.
Quickly gets into breaks, runs sharp routes, and displays solid eye/hand coordination. Extends his hands to offer the QB a target and snatches the ball away from his frame. Plays heads-up football and effectively follows the quarterback across the field.
Weaknesses: Occasionally lets the pass get inside him. Really doesn’t play to his speed. Posted marginal production throughout his college career.
Overall: Copeland was a consistent receiver at Maryland and comes with upside. He must start to play to his measurables, but he has enough ability to develop into a fifth wideout on Sundays.
Want more information on Copeland? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Jacob Copeland, WR, Maryland | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Jaelyn Duncan, OT
Strengths: Athletic pass-blocking left tackle with a large upside. Fundamentally sound, quickly sets up in pass protection, and blocks with leverage. Stays square, easily slides off the edge, and displays outstanding lateral blocking range.
Agile, keeps his feet moving, and adjusts to knock speed rushers from their angles of attack. Displays outstanding blocking vision and recognizes blitzes or stunts. Light on his feet, quickly gets to the second level, and easily redirects to defenders blocking in motion.
Weaknesses: Must improve his blocking strength and rarely finishes blocks. Marginal run blocker. Branded as soft by coaches. Possesses average arm length for a tackle at 33 1/2 inches.
Overall: Duncan has been highly rated on my board the past three seasons. He’s an athletic and agile LT prospect who is outstanding in pass protection. He displayed many of these traits throughout the three days of Senior Bowl practices, and comes with a large upside. Duncan must improve his playing strength and really toughen up against the run if he’s to realize his potential.
Want more information on Duncan? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Jakorian Bennett, CB
Strengths: Underrated corner who turned in two productive seasons for Maryland. Fluid flipping his hips in transition off the line, tracks the pass in the air, and has a nice move to the throw. Effectively times pass defenses and has a burst to the ball out of his plant. Physical, explosive hitter who mixes it up with receivers. Works to get his head back around to find the ball and possesses good hands for the interception.
Weaknesses: Occasionally bites on ball fakes, which results in blown coverages. Very quick out of his backpedal.
Overall: Bennett was a solid cornerback at Maryland the past two seasons and showed a lot of ability during Senior Bowl practices. He possesses enough size and skill to line up in dime or even nickel packages at the next level. Bennett is worth consideration in the later rounds.
Want more information on Bennett? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Rakim Jarrett, WR
Strengths: Productive wideout with solid size and speed. Tracks the pass in the air, adjusts to the errant throw, and displays eye/hand coordination. Effective when extending his hands to make the reception away from his frame, looks the pass in, and gets vertical to grab the throw from the air.
Weaknesses: Timed in the low 4.4s at the Combine but does not display a second gear and cannot run to the long throw. Struggles coming away with the difficult catch despite his size. Loses focus and drops catchable throws.
Overall: Jarrett passes the eyeball test and occasionally plays to it, but he’s mostly an unpolished receiver with an inconsistent game. He must improve his overall fundamentals to have any longevity at the next level.
Want more information on Bennett? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Rakim Jarrett, WR, Maryland | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Spencer Anderson, OL
Strengths: Hard-working center who gets the most from his ability. Fires off the snap, is explosive at the point, and always looks for someone to hit. Sets with a wide base, starts with good knee bend, and stays square. Keeps his head on a swivel and works well with teammates. Strong, anchors in pass protection, and smothers opponents.
Weaknesses: Not light on his feet and struggles blocking in motion. Lacks footwork in space and cannot slide. Limited upside.
Overall: Anderson is a tough, intelligent lineman who plays nasty football, yet he’s an average athlete. He’s a small-area blocker who has experience at both center and guard, which enhances his next-level potential.
Want more information on Anderson? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Spencer Anderson, OT, Maryland | NFL Draft Scouting Report
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