Rightly or wrongly, the NFL Combine is perceived to be an impact-maker for NFL prospects in terms of where they might land in the NFL’s annual selection event. Ahead of the activities in Indianapolis, we break down the top 25 players on our latest NFL Draft Big Board.
NFL Big Board Highlights Top 25 Prospects at the NFL Combine
As we highlight the top 25, you can find the full Pro Football Network 2023 NFL Draft Big Board right here.
1) Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
It’s a cigarette paper thin between Jalen Carter and Will Anderson Jr. at the top of our big board. However, Carter’s ludicrous athletic ability, paired with the physical tools to be disruptive as a 6’3″, 310-pound interior pass rusher, gives him a slight advantage as the No. 1 player in the class.
2) Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
A ferocious and productive pass rusher at the college football level, Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. has the speed and power to thrive at the NFL level. Despite his 6’4″, 235-pound frame, he’s a competitor in all phases of the game with the ability to impact the run as well as terrorize the quarterback.
3) Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Size and strength combine to make Myles Murphy an almost unstoppable force off the edge. At 6’5″ and 275 pounds, the Clemson EDGE has the frame and physicality to assert himself from any alignment across the defensive front, giving him plug-and-play potential while he develops the rest of his game.
4) Brian Branch, DB, Alabama
One of the biggest risers on the NFL Draft Big Board through the process, Brian Branch is the epitome of a modern-day defensive back who can play safety or as a nickel corner.
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There isn’t a more sure-tackling playmaker in the nation, while the Alabama prospect is fast and fluid as a coverage force.
5) Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
The “generational prospect” debate is tedious, but there hasn’t been a more NFL-ready running back to come out of college for a long time. Don’t overthink the Texas talent. Bijan Robinson is a well-rounded back with wide receiver-esque catching ability who can manipulate space as a pure rusher in an awe-inspiring manner.
6) Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The CB1 of our NFL Draft Big Board, Christian Gonzalez possesses all the attributes you look for in a lockdown NFL corner. He has the size, length, enticing athletic profile — in terms of both speed and fluidity, ball skills, and top-tier football intelligence to play outside in any scheme in the league.
7) Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Quentin Johnston established himself as the WR1 of the 2023 NFL Draft class as the season progressed. His alluring combination of size (6’4″, 212 pounds) and speed allows him to be a threat at the catch point and after the catch as a three-level threat who will establish himself as a quarterback’s best friend in the NFL.
8) Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Here come the quarterbacks! Despite concerns over his frame and how it will stand up to the rigors of the NFL, Alabama’s Bryce Young shades his competition with precision passing, poise in the pocket, out-of-structure ability, and leadership qualities that should allow him success at the NFL level.
9) C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
No size concerns for C.J. Stroud, who measures in at 6’3″ and 215 pounds as a prototypically sized NFL quarterback. The Ohio State QB can make all the throws, with the arm strength to make far hash to sideline throws look effortless. The CFB Playoff defeat to Georgia gave us a glimpse of Stroud’s creation ability too.
10) Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
Paris Johnson Jr. seamlessly transitioned to left tackle this fall and established himself as the top OT on our NFL Draft Big Board. A high-level athlete who should have run defenses quaking, Johnson’s size, power, strength, and refined technical ability make him a premier pass protector with early starting potential.
11) Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
Flying up boards despite relative inexperience, Lukas Van Ness has solidified himself as one of the top prospects on our big board. Van Ness is capable of generating unfathomable power from his 6’5″, 275-pound frame. While he can bowl over linemen with power, he also has impressive bend capacity.
12) Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Sitting atop a spectacular class of NFL prospects at the tight end position, Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer boasts an all-around skill set that will make him an alluring talent for any TE-needy team. A dangerous pass-catching threat due to his deceptive athleticism and ball skills, he’s also a technically refined blocker.
13) Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
In an impressive cornerback class, Joey Porter Jr. has established himself near the top. The Penn State product is a physical force in all phases of the game, with a combination of size and eye-popping athleticism allowing him to fly to the ball — or ball carrier. A true size, length, and physicality triple threat.
14) Antonio Johnson, DB, Texas A&M
A 6’3″, 200-pound do-it-all dynamo in the secondary, Antonio Johnson has been a disruptor from multiple alignments for Texas A&M. He’s physical enough to play down in the box, with the size, speed, and length to contest at the catch point in coverage.
15) Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Florida QB Anthony Richardson has proven to be one of the most divisive NFL prospects in this cycle. His place in the top 15 of our NFL Draft Big Board is predicated on his ludicrously high ceiling. Richardson has insane speed for a 6’4″, 236-pound QB, making him an elite creator who is blessed with a cannon for an arm.
“I know it’s a little bit of a roller coaster,” said Daniel Jeremiah during his recent media call. “I know he hasn’t played a ton, but teams are starting to look at some of these quarterbacks as lottery tickets, and this one has the biggest payout. That’s why I think you’re going to see Richardson go pretty high.”
16) Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
Perceived RB value shouldn’t impact a player’s positioning on a big board. Jahmyr Gibbs is a high-level prospect in his own right, with excellent vision as a rusher. He’s also a top-tier receiver who has the physicality and willingness as a pass protector, making him a true three-down NFL weapon.
17) Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo has established himself as an impressive playmaker at the college level, with elite speed for a 6’2″, 200-plus-pound cornerback. He puts his size to good use as a physical catch-point commander. Concerns about fluidity and some technical development needs might see his stock slide in April.
18) Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
There are several freak athletes amongst this crop of NFL prospects, and Tyree Wilson definitely checks that box. A built-in-a-lab EDGE, the Texas Tech terror measures in at 6’6″, 275 pounds, with gargantuan 36″ arms. His explosiveness allows him to weaponize that size, as does incredible power generation.
19) Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
Notre Dame’s Isaiah Foskey has made a living in college football backfields, and there is no reason to suspect that he won’t do so at the NFL level. One of the top EDGE prospects on our NFL Draft Big Board, Foskey has the length, power, and relentless motor to make an impact off the edge for an NFL team.
20) Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee might have some red flags against his name after missing time during his college career for medical reasons. However, from a pure talent perspective, the 6’5″, 300-pound DT is one of the best in the class, with the strength and power to destroy an offensive line.
21) Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
An ascending prospect on our big board throughout his final season in Norman, Oklahoma, OT Anton Harrison boasts exquisite physical tools and a high football IQ, in addition to being an explosive athlete in all phases. Harrison should continue the success of previous Sooners offensive linemen in the NFL.
22) Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Is there a more physical enforcer at the cornerback position in this class than Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon? He hits with wince-inducing ferocity while possessing the straight-line speed to impact the game behind the line of scrimmage. While he’s a backfield menace, Witherspoon has the ball skills of a top-tier cover CB.
23) Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
A consistent feature amongst the top NFL prospects on our NFL Draft Big Board, Darnell Wright is starting to receive serious national recognition. A powerful and violent pass protector with experience at both bookends, Wright has the athletic ability to impact the ground game at the second level.
“He’s a really talented guy,” former Tennessee offensive lineman Jerome Carvin said of his long-time teammate. “I think he’s the best offensive tackle in the draft, honestly. You see the guys he went against this year, the guys he shut down. He was a huge reason why our offense was the way it was this season.”
24) Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
There aren’t many more reliable pass catchers in the 2023 NFL Draft than Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid. Technique, catch radius, strong hands, the kid has it all. He’s also a savvy route runner with separation capacity due to his tempo control and twitch. He’ll challenge Mayer at the top of this TE class in April.
25) Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
One of the biggest question marks against Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III is whether a sub-5’10” CB can play outside in the NFL. His plethora of accolades and tape over the past two seasons, in particular, suggest he can. The epitome of a “size of the fight in the dog” player, Phillips plays with speed and physicality beyond his diminutive stature.
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