Which Mississippi State NFL Draft prospects could we see selected in 2023? Below, you will find the Mississippi State scouting reports for the top seven prospects from the school this year.
Mississippi State 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Austin Williams, WR
Strengths: Smart, tough wideout who is smooth, fluid, and displays good route discipline. Comes back to the ball to make himself an available target. Uses his frame to shield away defenders and displays eye/hand coordination as well as a sense of timing. Tracks the pass in the air, adjusts to the throw on crossing patterns, and makes the reception in stride. Fights to come away with the contested grab.
Weaknesses: Lacks a quick release off the line of scrimmage, doesn’t possess a burst, and plays to one speed. Plays like an average athlete with marginal speed and quickness. Comes off a disappointing season.
Overall: Williams is a sure-handed possession WR who lacks next-level speed and athleticism. His consistency catching the ball and propensity to find the open spot on the field could get him through camp this summer.
Cameron Young, DT
Strengths: Strong gap-occupying lineman who is impossible to move off the point. Flashes quickness off the snap, effectively uses his hands, and plays through the whistle. Clogs the middle of the line and takes on double-team blocks to allow teammates to make plays on the ball. Shows a lot of strength in his lower body, collapses the pocket, and bull rushes opponents off the line.
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Weaknesses: Not much of a playmaker and comes off a disappointing senior season. Lacks a great first step off the snap. Doesn’t consistently play with proper pad level. Lacks mobility and is a small-area defensive lineman.
Overall: Young shows potential as a nose tackle or 0-tech, though he must improve his overall technique and consistently play with leverage to have a future in the NFL.
Cole Smith, C
Strengths: LSU transfer who gets the most from his ability. Bends his knees, blocks with leverage, and stays square. Keeps his head on a swivel and displays outstanding vision. Effective with the shotgun snap. Squares into opponents and seals them from the action.
Weaknesses: Average athlete and minimally effective blocking in motion. Lacks footwork in space and struggles to adjust.
Overall: Smith is a hard-working center who comes with limited upside, yet his understanding of the position and approach to the game gives him an outside shot to be a backup center.
Collin Duncan, S
Strengths: Well-rounded safety with poor speed. Quick up the field to defend the run, gives effort, and wraps up tackling. Fights to get off blocks and make plays up the field. Tracks the pass in the air, gets vertical, and contorts to defend throws or intercept the pass. Displays good hands for the interception. Fluid pedaling in reverse and flips his hips in transition. Keeps the action in front of him.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t always play with a sense of urgency. Cannot drive to the ball out of his plant and lacks a burst. Deep speed is a concern.
Overall: Duncan flashed ability the past three seasons and has enough talent to make an NFL roster as a fourth safety if he plays hard on every down.
Emmanuel Forbes, CB
Strengths: Talented athlete who flashes ball skills. Smooth and fluid moving in reverse, quick flipping his hips in transition, and tracks the pass in the air. Gets vertical to defend throws and displays good hands for the interception. Fires to the ball out of his plant, has an explosive closing burst, and gives effort against the run.
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Weaknesses: Slow reacting to receivers’ moves off the line, which puts him a half-step behind opponents. Must be more consistent with his footwork in reverse. Has lapses. Possesses a thin build and struggles to get off blocks. More of a drag-down tackler who struggles to bring opponents down in the open field.
Overall: Forbes is a solid cornerback, but he’s overrated in many areas. His thin frame is a concern, and I struggle to see how he’ll be anything better than a nickel back on Sundays.
Want more information on Forbes? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Jalen Green, S
Strengths: Aggressive run-defending safety who must face the action. Physical, forceful up the field, and drives his shoulders through ball handlers. Fluid moving laterally, shows ability facing the action, and quickly picks up coverage assignments. Constantly around the action and wraps up tackling. Plays faster than his 40 time and stays downfield with receivers in coverage.
Weaknesses: Rarely gets his head back around to track the pass when paired in man-to-man coverage. Inefficient and takes improper angles. Doesn’t show a great burst to the ball out of his plant.
Overall: Green is a nice-sized safety with a well-rounded game who could be used in a zone system.
Randy Charlton, EDGE
Strengths: UCF transfer who flashes athleticism and pass-rushing skill. Bends his knees, plays with leverage, and quickly gets his hands up. Slides down the line of scrimmage and gives effort against the run. Gets leverage on opponents, displays a variety of pass-rush moves, and knifes between blocks to penetrate the line of scrimmage. Fluid moving about the field. Occasionally stands over tackle and displays good change-of-direction ability.
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Weaknesses: Out-positioned from the action by a single blocker. Has never been an overwhelming force.
Overall: Charlton is an underrated defensive line prospect who can be a situational pass rusher at the next level coming out of a three-point stance or standing over tackle. He offers growth potential and comes with an upside.
Tyrus Wheat, LB
Strengths: Athletic defensive front-seven prospect who can be used in a variety of roles. Breaks down well, displays strength, and consistently sheds blocks to make plays. Effectively uses his hands, is explosive, and has a closing burst.
Bends the edge, rushes the passer with balance, and blows past blockers to penetrate the line of scrimmage. Forceful, remains disciplined with assignments, and does more than just rush upfield. Displays the ability to drop off the line of scrimmage and play in space and holds up well against the run.
Weaknesses: Indecisive and has questionable instincts. Marginally effective in pursuing plays down the line of scrimmage.
Overall: Wheat was an all-purpose defender at Mississippi State who was used in a variety of roles. He possesses a terrific combination of size and athleticism, yet may not be able to handle a complex scheme. I personally like him as a pass-rush specialist standing over tackle, though Wheat also has ability coming out of a three-point stance.