Wake Forest finished the year with a surprising win in the Gasparilla Bowl against Missouri. A.T. Perry, one of the team’s few NFL Draft prospects, was a huge reason for that. Let’s take a look at some other Demon Deacons that could hear their names called during the three-day event.
Wake Forest 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
A.T. Perry, WR
Strengths: Tall, game-controlling wide receiver coming off three outstanding days of Shrine Bowl practice. Instinctive and finds ways to get open. Gets vertical to snatch the ball out of the air and exposes himself to the big hit in order to come away with the catch.
Adjusts to the errant throw and is a consistent hands catcher. Uses his hands to separate from defenders, tracks the pass in the air, and makes the reception in the deep field at full speed. Display soft hands. Uses his frame to shield away defenders and outmuscles opponents to come away with the reception.
Weaknesses: Plays to one speed and lacks a deep burst. Lacks overall quickness in his game.
Overall: Perry has been a productive wideout the past two seasons at Wake Forest. In that time, he’s combined for 26 touchdowns and is a red-zone threat. He’s a consistent hands catcher who looked sensational during Shrine Bowl practices, consistently separating from defenders and catching the ball. Perry is a terrific prospect who has enough ability to make an NFL roster as a fourth or potentially third WR.
Want more information on Perry? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Blake Whiteheart, TE
Strengths: Nice-sized tight end with a well-rounded game. Blocks with a nasty attitude, attacks assignments, and out-positions opponents from the action. Quickly releases into pass routes, runs solid routes for a tight end, and possesses quick, soft hands. Shows good focus as well as concentration, snatches the ball out of the air, and makes the reception in stride.
Weaknesses: Displays limited quickness. Not a dominant blocker.
Overall: Despite being a well-rounded tight end who can catch the ball, Whiteheart was never a big part of the Wake Forest passing offense. He has untapped potential and enough ability to make an NFL roster as a third TE.
Want more information on Whiteheart? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Blake Whiteheart, TE, Wake Forest | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Jacorey Johns, DL
Strengths: Explosive defensive front-seven prospect who flashed ability the past four seasons. Primarily stands over tackle, breaks down well, and quickly gets his hands up. Fires up the field, shows speed off the edge, and is rarely off his feet. Gives effort against the run and shows a lot of ability.
Nimble, agile, and slides off blocks to get to the action. Displays outstanding movement skills to get down the line of scrimmage and pursue plays from the back side. Displays a quick burst both in a straight line as well as laterally. Wraps up tackling.
Weaknesses: Was never a dominant force at Wake Forest and rotated into the lineup. Rarely used in reverse or asked to make plays in space. Never capitalized on a promising freshman season.
Overall: Johns is an athletic defender who displays much force in his game and the ability to make plays at the line of scrimmage. He needed one more season on the college field to develop his game, yet Johns comes with an upside and should be kept on a practice squad for future development.
Kobie Turner, DT
Strengths: Explosive, but undersized one-gap defensive tackle who projects as a 3-technique. Fires off the snap with an explosive first step, consistently gets leverage on opponents, and is very effective with his hands. Agile, displays excellent movement skills, and covers a good amount of area on the field.
Has quick change-of-direction skills with the ability to immediately alter his angle of attack. Rarely off his feet and chases around the field to make plays. Displays a variety of moves to get off blocks or protect himself and gives effort against the run.
Weaknesses: Undersized and is easily controlled at the point by a single blocker or turned from the action. Doesn’t display himself as a great pass rusher.
Overall: Turner did a terrific job for Wake Forest last season after transferring from Richmond and displayed a lot of skill during Shrine Bowl practices. He comes with size limitations, yet his explosiveness, mobility, and ability to make plays in any direction will get him looks as a one-gap defender.
Ryan Smenda Jr., LB
Strengths: Tough, run-defending linebacker, who is best making plays up the field. Efficient, breaks down well, and takes proper angles to the action. Doesn’t bite on ball fakes, quickly locates the ball handler, and flows well laterally. Quickly collapses outside-in to defend the run. Patient with assignments and effectively makes the defensive calls.
Weaknesses: Possesses average speed and minimal burst. Ineffective in pursuit. Rarely makes plays moving in reverse.
Overall: Smenda is a hard-charging linebacker with a two-down game and limited upside.
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