Dan Lanning led the Oregon Ducks to a 10-3 record in 2022, culminating in a Holiday Bowl victory over UNC. We’ll dissect Oregon’s top 2023 NFL Draft prospects and their scouting reports to project ceilings at the next level.
Oregon 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Alex Forsyth, C
Strengths: Intelligent center who gets the most from his ability. Bends his knees, blocks with leverage, and quickly sets up off the snap. Gets leverage on opponents, keeps his feet moving, and keeps his head on a swivel. Stays square, turns defenders from the action, and seals them from plays. Effective with the shotgun snap. Does a great job quarterbacking the offensive line. Possesses outstanding blocking vision and intellect.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t show great power in his game or get much movement when run blocking. Average athlete. Injury issues from the past must be checked out.
Overall: Forsyth is a thinking man’s center who shows great awareness and wherewithal. Oregon’s offense revolved around Forsyth in many ways, as he never had mental lapses and was always on his game. He lacks upside and doesn’t come with much scheme versatility, but Forsyth has always exceeded expectations, which is what I expect him to do at the next level.
Bennett Williams, S
Strengths: Run-defending safety who watched his game take off last season. Instinctive, quickly diagnoses the action, and fires upfield to defend screen throws or stop the run. Wraps up tackling and brings opponents down in the open field. Quickly picks up and stays with coverage assignments.
Weaknesses: Must improve his backpedal and fundamentals in coverage. Plays to one speed and cannot recover.
Overall: Williams is an intelligent zone safety prospect who comes with a special teams mentality. He has enough ability to make it as a fourth safety and coverage unit player.
Christian Gonzalez, CB
Strengths: Three-year starter who began his college career at Colorado. Tremendous cornerback prospect who watched his game improve every year in college. Smooth and fluid, incredibly instinctive, and doesn’t have lapses on the field. Engages receivers at the line of scrimmage and slows their releases from the snap.
Quick-footed in reverse, quick flipping his hips in transition, and easily runs downfield with opponents. Mixes it up with opponents throughout the route, runs step for step with wideouts, and has an explosive burst to the ball. Tracks the pass in the air, gets vertical, and contorts to knock away passes.
Outstanding at reading the receiver’s eyes, gets his head back around to track the pass in the air, and correctly positions himself to defend throws. Instinctive and does a tremendous job diagnosing plays. Battles opponents and doesn’t back down from a challenge or get beat deep.
Weaknesses: Shows hesitation in his game when he’s backed off the line of scrimmage. Doesn’t always stay on the receiver’s hip out of breaks. Possesses a thin build and will struggle in battles.
Overall: Gonzalez was a shutdown corner who was rarely challenged by opponents, and he’s a developing prospect with a high upside. After a terrific junior campaign, Gonzalez knocked it out of the park during NFL Combine workouts and moves towards the draft as the No. 1 player at his position. He offers starting potential on Sundays, though I like him best in man or bump-and-run coverage rather than a scheme that has him facing the action.
Want more information on Gonzalez? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon | NFL Draft Scouting Report
DJ Johnson, EDGE
Strengths: Developing edge rusher whose draft stock has been soaring since September. Explosive, relentless, and goes very hard. Plays with good lean, easily changes direction, and quickly gets down the line of scrimmage in pursuit. Possesses enough athleticism to drop off the line of scrimmage and play in space, breaks down well, and uses his hands to protect himself.
Takes proper angles, works hard to get involved in the action and displays plenty of pass-rushing moves out of a three-point stance. Fast up the field, bends off the edge, and terrorizes opposing quarterbacks.
Weaknesses: Lacks a great first step off the snap. Never had great production over the past two seasons. Possesses a thin build and must get stronger.
Overall: Johnson is a gifted athlete and a former tight end who moved to defensive end two years ago. He showed tremendous improvement in his game last season, then went on to have a tremendous NFL Combine workout.
He possesses a high upside and offers the versatility to be used as a one-gap defensive end and the athleticism to stand over tackle in a 3-4. Johnson needs to get stronger and polish his game but should start his NFL career as a situational pass rusher and then eventually develop into a full-time starter.
Want more information on Johnson? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: DJ Johnson, EDGE, Oregon | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, OL
Strengths: Large, powerful lineman who blocks with solid fundamentals. Bends his knees, sinks his butt, and stays square. Explosive at the point, fires into blocks, and easily turns defenders from the action. Keeps his feet moving and makes good use of angles and body positioning to seal defenders from plays and protect the edge. Powerful, gets movement run blocking, and drives defenders off the line.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Weaknesses: Lacks footwork off the edge and lateral blocking range. Must improve his blocking balance. Minimally effective on the move or on the second level.
Overall: Aumavae-Laulu was a terrific three-year starting right tackle for Oregon who comes with outstanding size and power. He’s a power gap blocker who offers possibilities as a strongside tackle or guard.
Want more information on Aumavae-Laulu? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, OT, Oregon | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Noah Sewell, LB
Strengths: Smart, instinctive linebacker who consistently makes positive plays. Quick diagnosing the action, aggressive, and sells out. Forceful up the field, slides into the proper gap, and immediately locates the ball handler.
Tough run defender who works his hands to disengage from blocks, breaks down well, and takes on bigger backs. Disciplined, flows well to the action, and stays with coverage assignments. Gets depth on pass drops and shows a burst to the ball out of his plant.
Weaknesses: Lacks great pursuit speed. Watched his production fall off last season after a tremendous sophomore campaign, though that was the result of a schematic change at Oregon.
Overall: Sewell is a tough linebacker who makes as many plays with his head and instincts as he does with sheer athleticism. He’s a terrific run-defending linebacker who can also be used in zone coverage, and though he lacks great upside, Sewell has enough ability to start on Sundays.
Want more information on Sewell? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon | NFL Draft Scouting Report
T.J. Bass, OL
Strengths: Underrated lineman who was a three-year starter at left tackle and guard. Efficient, blocks with leverage, and gets the most from his ability. Fires off the snap into blocks, stays square, and anchors in pass protection. Fundamentally sound, explosive, and exceptional with his hands. Strong and opens up running lanes.
Weaknesses: Lacks great footwork off the edge at left tackle. Occasionally bends at the waist. Marginally athletic. Possesses short arms.
Overall: Bass is an underrated power-gap lineman who looked very comfortable at guard when lined up at the position. He lacks upside, but Bass could be an inexpensive backup on Sundays.
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