What will the 2023 NFL Draft hold for the Missouri Tigers? The program has had at least one player selected to the NFL every season since 2005. Are the Tigers in a strong position to continue their hot streak? Or will Missouri miss out next April? We take an early look at the potential 2023 NFL Draft prospects for the program ahead of the college football season.
Missouri prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft
Although Missouri has had two running backs selected in consecutive years, their biggest recent success has come from the defensive backfield. Cornerback Akayleb Evans was their highest drafted player in this last class. In 2021, Tyree Gillespie and Joshua Bledsoe added their name to a now 24 man strong DB contingent selected to the NFL. It is therefore no surprise that Missouri’s 2023 NFL Draft prospects are headline by another defensive back.
Kris Abrams-Draine, CB
Missouri cornerback Kris Abrams-Draine has earned early recognition as one of the top cornerback prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. Remarkably, he landed with the Tigers as a highly sought-after WR prospect. Having seen less than a handful of targets as a pass catcher in 2020, Abrams-Draine transitioned to CB where he led the Tigers with seven pass breakups while snagging three interceptions.
He possesses quick feet and flashes his WR experience with route recognition and ability to attack the ball at the catch point. While he’s still relatively inexperienced at the position and could be considered undersized at 5’11, 179 pounds, another productive season where he showcases continued development could see Abrams-Draine assert himself in the early rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Harrison Mevis, K
At 5’11” and 236 pounds, Harrison Mevis is an absolute weapon of a kicker prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. The junior kicker has never missed an extra point attempt at the collegiate level. Additionally, his six field goals made from over 50 yards have already tied a program record ahead of his third season for the program. Having proven to be strong-legged, Mevis showcased improvement in his field goal accuracy last fall. He made 85% of his field goals in 2020, improving to 92% in 2021. He’s comfortably one of the top kickers in the nation.
Trajan Jeffcoat, DE
A first-team All-SEC honoree in 2020, Trajan Jeffcoat has been one of the most consistent defensive contributors for Missouri over the last two years. He led the team with six sacks as a redshirt sophomore and contributed another three and a half last season while tallying 10 tackles for loss. At 6’4″ and 277 pounds, Jeffcoat boasts good size to be a threat off the edge in the NFL. He also showcases impressive athletic ability and motor. If he can improve his ability to disengage from blocks, he could earn a shot in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB
A season-ending ACL injury last fall prevented Missouri CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr. from building on an impressive freshman season. The 6’0″, 173 pounds playmaker had led the team with pass breakups in his first year in the SEC. Although he’s on the slender side, Rakestraw plays with a competitive fire and possesses the length to be impactful at the catch point. Meanwhile, he has quick feet and a high football IQ to break on the ball to make a play. If he returns fully healthy, he can assert himself as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect.
Jaylon Carlies, S
Although Missouri’s defense was abysmal against the run last season, they fared substantially better against the passing game. One of the big reasons for that was the play of Jaylon Carlies. In his sophomore season, the 6’3″, 215 pounds safety led Missouri with four interceptions. Meanwhile, he also showcased some acumen against the run with a goal line forced fumble against Kentucky and a stop on the line against Georgia. Carlies shows good speed, football instincts, and decent length while excelling on special teams.
Connor Wood, OG
With a new starting quarterback and running back, continuity on the offensive line will be key for any chance of Missouri’s success this season. That begins with former FSC All-American Connor Wood, who established himself as the starting right guard towards the end of last season. At 6’4″, 325 pounds, Wood has a stout physique and wasn’t routinely overwhelmed as a pass protector during his first SEC campaign. He excels in the ground game, with a mauler mentality and the athletic ability to contribute as a pulling guard.
Isaiah McGuire, DE
The team leader with six sacks last season, Isaiah McGuire could emerge as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect with another productive season. The Missouri defensive end also tallied 14 tackles for loss and a forced fumble in his junior season. Like teammate Jeffcoat, McGuire has good size at 6’4″ and 272 pounds. He’s demonstrated strength, ability to disengage from blocks, and flashes some impressive handwork and even a little bend off the edge.