With our Ole Miss scouting reports, we look at whether their 2023 NFL Draft prospects can match up to the success of last year. Below you will find the scouting reports for the top eight players to declare from Ole Miss for this year’s event.
Ole Miss 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
AJ Finley, S
Strengths: Instinctive safety who is best facing the action. Quickly picks up coverage assignments, tracks the pass in the air, and possesses solid ball skills. Keeps the action in front of him, displays good change-of-direction ability, and gives effort defending the run. Fires upfield, squares into ball handlers, and wraps up tackling.
Weaknesses: Stiff and struggles redirecting to ball handlers. Lacks a burst and plays to his 40 time.
Overall: Finley is a hard-working safety with nice size and instincts. He comes with speed limitations and must be used in a system that allows him to play downhill.
Jonathan Mingo, WR
Strengths: Dependable wideout with nice size and above-average speed. Quick for a big receiver, sells routes, and works his hands to separate from defenders. Tracks the pass in the air and makes the tough catch in a battle or lays out for the difficult reception.
Displays terrific eye/hand coordination, adjusts to the errant throw, and grabs the ball in stride. Plays big football and takes a pounding, yet holds onto the ball. Smooth. Gives effort blocking downfield.
Weaknesses: While he ran well at the Combine, Mingo’s game lacks a deep burst. Not a true vertical threat. Showed a lot of inconsistency in the past. Had just one productive season at Mississippi.
Overall: Mingo really watched his game take off last season and is headed in the right direction. He possesses reliable hands and shows athleticism. Though he’s not a deep threat, Mingo is an outstanding receiver on underneath and intermediate patterns. He possesses a tremendous amount of upside potential, and if his game continues to improve, Mingo has the ability to develop into a No. 2 receiver on Sundays.
Want more information on Mingo? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Malik Heath, WR
Strengths: Underrated wide receiver who consistently comes away with the difficult reception. Quickly releases into pass routes, easily adjusts to the errant throw, and makes the reception in stride.
Tracks the pass in the air, gets vertical, and snatches the ball away from his frame. Nicely makes the reception on crossing patterns, takes a big hit, and holds onto the throw. Uses his frame to shield away defenders and protect the pass. Wins out for the contested throw.
Weaknesses: Must be more consistent catching the ball away from his frame rather than letting passes get inside him. Lacks downfield speed and cannot run to the deep throw.
Overall: Heath was outstanding at Mississippi last season and really developed his game. He possesses next-level size and will be a solid possession receiver on Sundays if he learns to consistently catch the ball with his hands.
Want more information on Heath? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Malik Heath, WR, Ole Miss | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Mason Brooks, OL
Strengths: Former Western Kentucky tackle who played for Mississippi last season. Patient in pass protection, blocks with proper lean, and keeps his feet moving. Sets with a wide base, works to bend his knees, and correctly places his hands into opponents. Makes terrific use of angles, stays with assignments, and anchors at the point. Gets the most from his ability, works well with teammates, and gives a lot of effort.
Weaknesses: Struggles redirecting blocking in motion and cannot hit a moving target. Doesn’t get much movement run blocking. Not an agile lineman and doesn’t play like a good athlete. Saw limited playing time last season after transferring to Mississippi.
Overall: Brooks possesses next-level size as well as growth potential, yet is an average athlete with limited upside. He shows a great feel for blocking and overall awareness, which
could help him make an NFL roster as an inexpensive utility blocker.
Nick Broeker, G
Strengths: Smart, fundamentally sound offensive lineman who has seen action at both left tackle and guard. Sets with a wide base, bends his knees, and stays square. Fires into blocks, effectively uses his hands, and anchors in pass protection or seals defenders from plays. Possesses outstanding awareness and blocking vision. Quick to the second level and redirects to linebackers in motion.
Weaknesses: Overextends on occasion. Doesn’t get much movement run blocking. Possesses short arms. Not a super athlete.
Overall: Broeker is durable, tough, and intelligent. He’s not super athletic, but he’s polished and offers scheme versatility at the next level.
Want more information on Broeker? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Nick Broeker, OL, Ole Miss | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Otis Reese, S
Strengths: Nice-sized safety who plays with an aggressive style. Fires upfield to defend the run, chases the action, and works to defend screen passes. Sells out on the blitz and sacrifices himself to make the tackle. Plays faster than his 40 time. Stays with coverage assignments and displays excellent awareness in zone.
Weaknesses: Possesses linebacker speed. Intercepted just two passes in three years.
Overall: Reese was a terrific run-defending safety for Mississippi the past two seasons, but he comes with limitations. He offers possibilities in a zone system but will have to stand out on special teams to make an NFL roster.
Tavius Robinson, DE
Strengths: Athletic DL prospect who plays with solid pad level, effectively uses his hands, and keeps his feet moving. Easily moves about the field, displays speed in lateral pursuit, and gets outside the numbers to make plays. Plays off blocks to defend the run and uses his hands to protect himself.
Weaknesses: Inconsistent getting off the snap. Must do a better job of consistently playing with leverage. Gets stood up at the point by a single blocker. Never really lived up to expectations.
Overall: Robinson is a bit of an enigma. At times, he plays like a dominant defensive end. Yet, in too many instances, he’s canceled from the action by a single blocker. Robinson possesses the size, growth potential, and athleticism to start in the NFL, but he must elevate every aspect of his game and be much more consistent on the field.
Want more information on Robinson? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Tavius Robinson, EDGE, Ole Miss | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Troy Brown, LB
Strengths: Productive and instinctive run-defending linebacker with poor size. Displays great awareness, quickly diagnoses plays, and flies around the action. Aggressive, fires upfield, and wraps up tackling. Gets depth on pass drops and shows ability in coverage.
Weaknesses: Small and lacks growth potential. Struggles getting off blocks. Lack of height creates mismatches in coverage.
Overall: Brown had a terrific season for Mississippi after transferring from Central Michigan and gets the most from his ability. He lacks great upside and doesn’t come with much scheme versatility, which hurts his next-level chances.
Zach Evans, RB
Strengths: Nice-sized ball carrier with a fluid style. Patient, follows blocks everywhere on the field, and keeps his feet off initial contact. Displays a good stutter step, keeps the play in bounds, and drives his shoulders through defenders.
Has a punishing style, picks up yardage off initial contact, and falls forward when tackled. Finds the running lanes and has a burst through the hole. Slides off defenders to pick up yardage. Remains disciplined with blocking assignments.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Weaknesses: Lacks the speed and agility necessary to turn the corner. Rarely used as a pass catcher out of the backfield and doesn’t come away with the difficult catch. High-stepper who doesn’t quickly cut back against the grain.
Overall: Evans possesses nice size and good running vision, and he’s coming off a terrific campaign. He’s not very fast on the field, nor is he a creative runner — projecting as a rotational back on Sundays.
Want more information on Evans? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss | NFL Draft Scouting Report
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