Chip Kelly’s UCLA Bruins were a captivating group to watch in 2022, finishing the season 9-4. UCLA’s 2023 NFL Draft cohort comes exclusively from the offensive side of the ball — who are the top prospects, and what do their scouting reports detail about their transition to the pros?
UCLA 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Atonio Mafi, G
Strengths: Former defensive lineman with excellent size and upside. Bends his knees, blocks with proper pad level, and stays square. Explosive at the point, effective with his hands, and keeps his feet moving. Jolts defenders with powerful hand punch, blocks down on opponents to take them from the action, and always looks for someone to hit. Patient in pass protection and works blocks.
Weaknesses: Heavy-footed and isn’t quick to the second level or pulling across the line of scrimmage. Lacks footwork in space.
Overall: Mafi quickly took to the offensive line after moving from the defensive side the ball and possesses the next-level size and a lot of potential. He’s a power-gap-blocking prospect who, at the very least, should be kept on a practice squad this fall.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB
Strengths: Athletic RPO signal-caller with a large upside. Patient in the pocket, stands strong under the rush, and remains poised. Goes through progressions, keeps his eyes downfield, and searches for the open wideout. Waits until the last second to get rid of the ball and takes a pounding in order to get the pass away.
Displays a sense of timing on throws, puts speed on passes, and possesses a super-quick release. Has enough arm strength to get the ball through the tight spots and will drive deep passes. Effectively sets up screen passes. Legitimate threat picking up yardage with his legs. Quick-footed ball carrier with the ability to immediately cut back and make defenders miss.
Weaknesses: Not averse to tossing the ball into coverage. Must do a better job going through progressions. Lacks pocket stature and cannot withstand the rush. Comes off to some as aloof with his attitude.
Overall: Thompson-Robinson is an athletic signal-caller who really elevated his game last season and possesses the physical and mental skills to play on Sundays. He comes with great upside, and if properly coached as well as developed, Thompson-Robinson could eventually turn into one of the best values at the quarterback position to come from the 2023 NFL Draft.
Want more information on Thompson-Robinson? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Jake Bobo, WR
Strengths: Nice-sized wideout who projects as a possession receiver. Knows where he is on the field, uses his frame to shield away defenders, and makes the difficult catch with opponents draped on him. Tracks the pass in the air, lays out for the difficult grab, and displays eye/hand coordination.
Possesses soft as well as strong hands and plucks the ball from the air. Sturdy, makes the catch in the middle of a crowd, or takes a big hit and holds onto the ball. Adjusts and reaches back to grab the throw from the air. Works hard to make himself an available target and knows where he is on the field.
Weaknesses: Ran horrendously slow during pro-day workouts after not running at the Combine. Cannot run to the deep throw. Not quick into breaks and must gather himself.
Overall: Bobo is a nice-sized wideout who plays with toughness and intelligence. He’s limited by a lack of speed and quickness, yet his size, reliability, and approach to the game give him the advantage to make it onto a roster as a fifth wideout.
Jon Gaines II, OL
Strengths: Athletic offensive line prospect with size and upside. Sets with a wide base and stays square. Explosive at the point. Strong, turns defenders off the line, and is effective on the second level or blocking in motion. Quick pulling across the line of scrimmage and gets out in front to create space between himself and the ball carrier. Anchors in pass protection and makes good use of angles.
Weaknesses: Stiff, off balance, and doesn’t redirect to defenders blocking in motion. Gets knocked off the ball in pass protection and takes a while to gather himself.
Overall: Gaines is a nice-sized offensive lineman with growth potential who turned in an outstanding Combine workout. He displays that athleticism on the field but needs to refine his game. Gaines offers possibilities as both a zone blocker and power-gap lineman. If Gaines continues to develop, he could be a starting guard a year or two down the road.
Want more information on Gaines? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Jon Gaines, OL, UCLA | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Kazmeir Allen, RB/WR
Strengths: Versatile skill player who can line up at running back or receiver. Quick, plays faster than his 40 time, and displays a tremendous burst. Effectively follows blocks everywhere on the field, handling the ball, and quickly cuts back against the grain.
Multi-cut ball carrier who turns on his burst in a single step. Finds the open lanes on the field and squeezes through the small openings of the offensive line. Reliable pass catcher who extends his hands and snatches the ball out of the air. Displays eye/hand coordination as well as strong hands. Shows a lot of potential as a return specialist.
Weaknesses: Small and gets brought down at the point by a single defender. May not have a true position at the next level.
Overall: Allen is an athletic and productive prospect who I believe will help a team at the next level as a third-down back, slot receiver, and/or return specialist.
Want more information on Allen? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Kazemir Allen, RB/WR, UCLA | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Raiqwon O’Neal, OT
Strengths: Former Rutgers tackle who started 13 games on the left side at UCLA last season. Quickly sets up off the snap, fires into blocks, and moves relatively well. Keeps his head on a swivel, shows outstanding vision, and quickly picks up stunts or twists.
Sets with a wide base and bends his knees. More athletic than his numbers lend one to believe and displays the ability to get to the second level and take defenders from the action.
Weaknesses: Must improve his blocking balance. Struggles with quick, explosive defenders, and often finds himself on the ground.
Overall: O’Neal comes off a terrific season and elevated himself onto the scouting radar. He comes with nice length as well as growth potential but needs to polish his game. O’Neal did well enough last season to warrant consideration on a practice squad.
Zach Charbonnet, RB
Strengths: Former Michigan running back who is watching his draft stock take off. Tough, nasty, and plays with a violent style. Runs with outstanding balance, finds the running lanes, and consistently runs north/south. Displays the moves and quickness of a smaller back and has a burst. Possesses excellent vision, patiently waits for blocks to develop, and finds the running lanes all over the field. Resilient and instinctive.
Will pick and choose his spots and weave through the traffic to pick up positive yardage. Physical, has a punishing style, and rarely gets brought down by the initial contact. Bounces off piles or drives through defenders and falls forward when tackled. Solid pass catcher out of the backfield who runs smooth routes and displays fluid footwork.
Adjusts backward to the errant throw or gets vertical and contorts to grab the ball out of the air. Displays excellent blocking vision, squares into defenders, and effectively protects the passer.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Weaknesses: Cannot beat defenders around the corner or run to daylight. Not a truly creative back who makes defenders miss.
Overall: Charbonnet was an outstanding back in college for both Michigan as well as UCLA and projects well to the next level. He has the style of an old-time power runner, yet he has the speed, athleticism, and pass-catching skills wanted in today’s game.
Productivity and ability to do the little things well, including his blocking, will get Charbonnet selected somewhere during Day 2 and result in plenty of playing time as a rookie.
Want more information on Charbonnet? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA | NFL Draft Scouting Report
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