After no TCU NFL Draft prospect was selected last year, they seemingly have a dearth of talent for the 2023 NFL Draft. After their incredible run, let’s examine the TCU scouting reports for the upcoming draft.
TCU 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Alan Ali, OL
Strengths: SMU transfer who anchored the offensive line for two different schools since his freshman season. Fundamentally sound, starts with good knee bend, and fires into blocks. Stays square, effectively uses his hands, and is quick in all his actions. Keeps his feet moving, can slide in space, and possesses outstanding vision. Keeps his head on a swivel and works blocks.
Weaknesses: Lacks a strong base, gets consistently knocked off the line, and rarely gets movement run blocking. Overextends into blocks and lacks overall balance.
Overall: Ali was a smart, tough, and durable lineman on the college level, but he comes with marginal athleticism and upside. He must fill out his frame and get stronger to have any future on Sundays.
Dee Winters, LB
Strengths: Fierce, athletic linebacker who plays aggressive football. Breaks down well and goes sideline to sideline. Covers a lot of area on the field, possesses a closing burst, and drives his shoulders through ball handlers. Quickly locates the action, possesses a closing burst, and sells out defending the run. Fires upfield on the blitz. Remains disciplined with coverage assignments.
Weaknesses: Late reacting in coverage, which results in big plays for the opposition. Displays poor ball skills. Lack of height will create mismatches in coverage. Marginal growth potential.
Overall: Winters is a fierce run-and-chase linebacker whose game has limitations. He offers possibilities on the inside of a 3-4 alignment, but Winters must significantly improve his play against the pass, or he’ll be nothing more than a two-down defender.
Want more information on Winters? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Dee Winters, LB, TCU | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Derius Davis, WR
Strengths: Explosive athlete who has been a game-changing return specialist on the college level. Fast, plays to his 40 time, and has a burst of speed that he turns on in a single step. Uses his hands to separate from defenders, adjusts to the errant throw, and reaches back to grab the pass from the air.
Makes the reception on crossing patterns, looks the ball into his hands, and snatches passes away from his frame. Displays eye/hand coordination as well as focus. Battles to come away with the difficult reception and gives effort after the catch.
Weaknesses: Not a stout receiver. Did not have great pass-catching production at TCU despite playing in an offense that likes to throw the ball.
Overall: Davis is an explosive athlete who displays himself as a competent receiver as well as a game-changing return specialist. He’s a slot wideout who must be kept off press coverage, and more than anything else, Davis will be selected in the draft due to his special-teams ability.
Want more information on Davis? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Derius Davis, WR, TCU | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Dylan Horton, DL
Strengths: Athletically gifted pass rusher coming off a tremendous campaign. Breaks down well, plays with consistent knee bend, and easily moves around the field. Fires off the snap with a quick first step, immediately gets his hands up, and plays with excellent pad level. Keeps his feet moving, gets a lot of momentum going, and can be tough to stop.
Agile, displays speed off the edge and possesses a closing burst. Immediately changes direction, gets out laterally in pursuit, and makes plays to the flanks. Focused on by opponents and consistently receives double-team blocks. Rarely off his feet.
Weaknesses: Lacks bulk and gets out-positioned by a single opponent or engulfed at the point. Must improve his playing strength. Struggles against the run.
Overall: Since transferring from New Mexico in 2020, Horton displayed consistent progress in his game then turned in a tremendous senior campaign, posting 14.5 TFLs and 10 sacks last year. He’s a game-disrupting pass rusher and a terrific athlete who will only improve as he gets bigger and stronger.
Want more information on Horton? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Dylan Horton, EDGE, TCU | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Kendre Miller, RB
Strengths: Versatile ball carrier with outstanding vision and instincts. Waits for blocks to develop, follows them everywhere on the field, and displays outstanding footwork as well as short-area quickness. Immediately cuts back against the grain without losing momentum, slips off defenders, and easily bounces it to the outside.
Multi-cut ball carrier who will pick his way through the traffic and then make defenders miss. Creates yardage, does not go down without a fight, and plays with outstanding balance. Solid pass catcher out of the backfield who adjusts to the errant throw and looks the ball into his hands. Shows good blocking vision and stays with assignments.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t consistently break tackles. Brought down at the point by a single defender. Does not display the speed to turn the corner.
Overall: Miller was a terrific ball carrier who complemented the aerial attack at TCU the past two seasons and really elevated his game. He’s a rotational back who can also be a spot starter, and Miller can play on all three downs.
Want more information on Miller? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Kendre Miller, RB, TCU | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Max Duggan, QB
Strengths: Competitive and athletic signal-caller who is patient in the pocket, senses the rush, and buys time for receivers. Spreads the ball around using all his targets, easily gets outside the pocket to elude defenders, and loses nothing throwing on the move.
Keeps his eyes downfield, takes the safe underneath outlet if nothing else is available, and always remains poised. Possesses a live arm and gets passes through the tight spots. Legitimate threat to pick up yardage with his legs and gives effort on designed quarterback runs.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Order
Weaknesses: Tends to stare down the primary target and is slow going through progressions. Inconsistent with his pass placement. More thrower than passer.
Overall: Duggan was a great story at TCU and helped lead the program to last year’s national championship. He possesses a next-level arm, yet he needs to work on his fundamentals from the ground up before he’ll be ready to take a snap in the NFL.
Want more information on Duggan? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Max Duggan, QB, TCU | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Noah Daniels, CB
Strengths: Once highly rated cornerback who is fluid pedaling in reverse, quick flipping his hips in transition, and battles opponents throughout the route. Gets his head back around to locate the pass in the air. Fires upfield, gives effort against the run, and wraps up tackling.
Weaknesses: Often off balance and can be all over the place. Loses out to larger receivers despite his size. Has an extensive injury history dating back to 2019. Game has regressed the past three seasons.
Overall: Daniels displayed big-time ability as a redshirt freshman in 2018, and scouts graded him as a late-round pick the past two seasons. Yet, due to a variety of reasons, he’s only played 12 games during that time.
When healthy, Daniels plays with terrific fundamentals and shows solid ball skills. Though he’s a bit of an afterthought in the scouting community, if Daniels is able to stay healthy and get back to prior playing form, he’ll have a legitimate shot to get through camp this summer and make a roster.
Quentin Johnston, WR
Strengths: Large, physically gifted receiver with an unpolished game. Possesses outstanding length, physically beats down defenders, and displays the ability to take over games. Comes back to the ball or follows the quarterback across the field to make himself an available target.
Effective when he extends to make the reception away from his frame and displays soft hands. Tracks the pass in the air, displays solid eye/hand coordination, and makes a lot of athletic receptions. Keeps the play in bounds after the catch and gives effort.
Weaknesses: Lacks a quick release off the line of scrimmage. Poor route runner who does not sink his hips entering breaks, nor is he quick on exit. Does too much body-catching or securing the pass against his frame and drops too many catchable throws.
Overall: Johnston is a physically gifted wideout with outstanding height, size, and athleticism. He’s shown improvement in his game the past two seasons, but he has a long way to go before he’ll be a complete receiver. Johnston has the potential to be a dominant starting wideout in the NFL, but he also has a bit of a bust factor. Johnston needs to improve his receiver fundamentals if he’ll ever be the receiver many expect him to be.
Want more information on Johnston? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Steve Avila, OL
Strengths: Large, powerful, and dominant college lineman who turned in a solid combine workout. Starts with good knee bend, explodes into blocks, and knocks defenders off the line. Possesses a wide body, gets his hands into defenders, and knocks them from their angles of attack.
Holds his ground against bigger defensive tackles in pass protection. Consistently stays square, keeps his head on a swivel, and shows excellent recognition. Gets a lot of movement run blocking.
Weaknesses: Ineffective pulling across the line of scrimmage and cannot get to the spot on time. Doesn’t cover a lot of area on the field. Struggles to adjust.
Overall: Avila is a large offensive lineman who plays big football, overpowering opponents and driving them into the ground. While I initially believed he was solely a power/gap blocker, the movement skills he showed at the Combine lead me to believe you may be able to put him in motion once in a while. Regardless, Avila possesses starting potential at the next level if used properly.
Want more information on Avila? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Steve Avila, C, TCU | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Taye Barber, WR
Strengths: Underrated receiver who consistently displayed big-play ability at TCU. Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, immediately gets to top speed, and possesses an outstanding burst of speed. Solid route runner who quickly gets into breaks and stays low on exit, positioning himself to make the reception. Extends his hands, adjusts to the errant throw, and works to make the reception away from his frame.
Possesses eye/hand coordination, gets down to scoop up low throws, and consistently snatches the ball away from his frame. Easily separates from defenders through routes. Gives effort after the catch, stays on his feet off the initial hit, and plays bigger than his listed size. Competes to come away with the difficult reception. Displays a sense of timing and makes the deep catch in stride. Gives effort blocking.
Weaknesses: Short and can be tough to find. Lack of size will cause mismatches at the next level. Doesn’t have an extended body of work returning punts or kicks.
Overall: Playing for a championship team with a great number of skill players, Barber often got lost in the shuffle. Yet breaking down the film the past three seasons, it’s easy to see that he’s a polished receiver with game-breaking skill. The lack of size is a limiting factor, yet Barber is a legitimate next-level prospect who can be used in the slot or off the line of scrimmage and run deep routes as well as separate in underneath coverage.
Terrell Cooper, DT
Strengths: Undersized three-technique tackle who has seen action with the first team since his freshman season. Quick and explosive off the snap, consistently gets leverage on opponents, and plays with terrific pad level. Works his hands to protect himself, moves well around the field, and flows down the line of scrimmage in pursuit.
Weaknesses: Lacks size, gets controlled by a single blocker, and gets knocked around in the middle of the line. Marginal pass rusher.
Overall: Cooper is an explosive defensive tackle with solid athleticism, but he has limited size as well as growth potential. He’s solely a one-gap defensive tackle who must improve his pass-rushing skill to have a chance to make a Sunday roster.
Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB
Strengths: Smaller cornerback with great athleticism and ball skills. Battles receivers at the line of scrimmage, quickly flips his hips in transition, and stays with opponents all over the field. Shows great anticipation, does a tremendous job getting his head back around, and tracks the pass in the air.
Works well with safeties to bracket receivers in the middle of the field, has a burst to the ball out of his plant, and possesses outstanding hands for the interception. Effectively times pass defenses, lays out, and dives around the field to break up throws. Instinctive. Flies upfield and sells out defending the run.
Weaknesses: Small and gets overwhelmed or overmatched. Beaten by taller receivers due to height deficiencies. Easily blocked from the action.
Overall: Hodges-Tomlinson was a tremendous cornerback for TCU for three years running. He possesses next-level ball skills, toughness, and instincts, but the lack of size is a limiting factor. While Hodges-Tomlinson plays big football, he’ll likely be nothing more than a nickel back at the next level, though I expect him to be a good one.
Want more information on Hodges-Tomlinson? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU | NFL Draft Scouting Report
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