Walt Stringer’s Top 50 Prospects: 26-50 NFL DRAFT 2023

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USC left guard/left tackle Andrew Vorhees had his best season as a Trojan in 2021. (AP)

Below is Part 2 of Walt Stringer’s Top 50 Prospects. Check out Part 1, which features 1-25 here!

 

26) Trenton Simpson, LB/Clemson 6-3 230 lbs – Jr.

Supremely athletic with more of a Safety body type but has proven to be very durable in his first full season in the box. Used exclusively at Clemson as a coverage/run defense LB and was never really turned loose to go get to the QB, so his evaluation towards the next level as a pass-rusher is questionable. However, Simpson is physically gifted with more than enough tenacity on the field to learn the nuances of being a consistent edge rusher, I’m sure.

 

27) Will Levis, QB/Kentucky 6-3 232 lbs – Sr

From a Physical standpoint, Levis has everything you could ask for in scouting today’s QBs – Prototypical size, off-schedule playmaking, legit mobility, and a huge arm. For a few reasons, things never really translated to the field consistently for Levis and led to a complete regression from 2021 to 2022. Turnovers and erratic decision-making have plagued his Kentucky tenure, but he has the intriguing upside of potentially becoming the best QB in this class down the line.

 

28) Clark Phillips, CB/Utah 5-9 183 lbs – So 

Former Ohio State commit in 2019, Phillips chose to hone his skills at Utah instead, and it’s been a very impressive last 2 seasons. His lack of height could limit his value on the perimeter, but Phillips is a very strong, compact-built corner that prides himself on technique and competitiveness. “Pound for Pound,” he’s one of the top corner prospects in this class and one of my favorite football players overall.

 

29) O’Cyrus Torrence, OG/Florida 6-5 347 lbs – Jr

A massive human being that can become an anchor at right guard from Day 1. His major asset is in the run game but took major strides in pass protection in 2022 and answered a lot of questions. Expect Torrence to battle for the first interior offensive lineman off the board.

 

30) Isaiah Foskey, Edge/Notre Dame 6-5 265 lbs – Sr

Foskey has been one of the more forgotten Edge prospects since the preseason, mainly because he’s a senior and the underclassmen edge rushers dominated the headlines this season. But Foskey was a menace to pockets all season, racking up 12 sacks on 18 pressures. He’s built for the NFL size/power-wise and can pressure the QB from the 3 or 4 techs.

 

31) Antonio Johnson, S/Texas A&M 6-3 195 lbs – Jr

Deep coverage is one of the things a modern safety has to be at least adequate at, and it’s difficult to gauge whether Johnson can really handle that task routinely, given that the Aggies defensively appeared to almost avoid playing him deep for the past two years – only giving him (114) snaps in deep coverage out of a possible (698). Outside of that question, Johnson is a tall, rangy, quick safety that does an excellent job of mirroring receivers underneath and can play in the box, as well as cover out of the slot.

32) Siaki Ika, DT/Baylor 6-4 358 lbs – Jr

Top Nose Tackle in the class with the ability to also pressure the pocket. The fact that he didn’t record a sack in 2022 doesn’t help the prior conclusions that he can’t get home, but in place as your 3-4 nose, he can more than hold his own and provide what is required out of the position.

 

33) Drew Sanders, LB/Arkansas 6-5 232 lbs – Jr

Has the pure speed and athleticism to become a legit edge rush threat in the NFL and is instinctive and decisive against the run. Sanders has the type of skill set and versatility within the Front 7 that makes him a highly touted Day 2 prospect with a chance to boost his stock into the first round with a good performance in pre-draft workouts.

 

34) Josh Downs, WR/North Carolina 5-10 175 lbs – Jr  

Didn’t spend much time split out wide in Carolina’s offense, but Downs is a man coverage destroyer from the Slot with game-changing quickness in space, and speed. He is beyond difficult to get a hand on, off the line. Any teams looking for a potential difference-maker from the Slot will have to consider Downs as soon as the search begins.

 

35) BJ Ojulari, Edge/LSU 6-3 250 lbs – Jr. 

While he does not possess the prototypical length you would seek in an edge rusher, Ojulari is a very explosive athlete who thrives in pursuit and downhill. Fluid in space and difficult to get a hand on if you don’t touch him early in the play. Inconsistent against the run at the moment, but nine sacks, 12 hits, and 25 hurries in pass rush attempts on the year have BJ regarded as one of the most feared QB hunters in the class.

 

36) Andrew Vorhees, OG/USC 6-6 325 lbs – RS Sr.

Has the size, strength, and athleticism to be a swing player between left guard and left tackle if needed. Experienced and steady at both spots in his time as a Trojan and appears to be at his best when zone scheme blocking. A solid Day 2 selection without question!

 

37) Christian Gonzalez, CB/Oregon 6-2 202 lbs – So.

Gonzalez is one of the more intriguing and polarizing Corner prospects in this class. Excellent size and frame with elite straight-line speed and is just an all-around freakish athlete. Man Corner athleticism/Zone Corner change of direction and is solid enough in run support to be a really good Cover 2 corner. Where he needs to show improvement at (Playing the ball) and (Physicality in coverage) are two skills that with the right coaching, Gonzalez could really take off and become a stud at the next level.

 

38) Will McDonald IV, Edge/Iowa State 6-3 237 lbs – RS Sr

What McDonald lacks in size as an edge rusher, he makes up for with a full toolbox of ways to get to the QB. He managed 28 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, and 60 hurries over the past three seasons. Expect his name to rise over the next few months. 

 

39) Jahmyr Gibbs, RB/Alabama 5-11 200 lbs – Jr.

The former Georgia Tech Yellowjacket showed that the upgrade in conference competition would pose no issues, as he repeatedly gashed SEC defenses every Saturday – not only on the ground but also through the air. Fast, quick, shifty, with the best feet in the class, and is versatile enough to play in the slot on 3rd down. Gibbs is a very talented back with big-time NFL potential, and it’s a positive that he hasn’t been overworked before the pros like a large part of the position.

 

40) Dalton Kincaid, TE/Utah 6-4 240 lbs – Sr

For any team looking for a Bonafide mismatch and pure receiving threat at TE, Kincaid leads the pack.  Although Michael Mayer of Notre Dame may be the more well-rounded overall prospect, Kincaid is the more explosive downfield threat. Utah did an excellent job of moving him around and getting him free releases, as over half of his pass snaps taken were from the slot. After a promising coming-out party in 2021, Kincaid followed up with an even more productive 2022 finishing Top 5 in the nation in Missed tackles forced, deep catches, contested catches, and deep yards out of all TEs. Depending on what teams are looking for out of their TE within their offense, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him selected higher. Size/Body Type/Receiving Skill Set comparable to Travis Kelce

 

41) Blake Freeland, OT/BYU 6-8 310 lbs – Jr

Elite physical specimen that plays with a consistent edge and aggressiveness to his game. Freeland’s wingspan and foot quickness alone have been enough to completely shut down pass-rushers over his career at times, and he still has one of the highest ceilings in this tackle class. Experienced and the model of consistency, over the past three seasons he’s given up a total of one sack, 19 hurries, and seven QB hits.

 

42) Devon Witherspoon, CB/Illinois 6-0 182 lbs – Jr

Witherspoon has been a fast riser all season, somewhat unknown on the grand scale of draft talk, but is a household name to any Big Ten football fan. Confident ball hawk that plays physically through the route until the play is over. Witherspoon still has another year of eligibility left but could forgo and declare while his stock is at its highest.

 

43) Jordan Addison, WR/USC 6-0 175 lbs

Addison saw his numbers from a Biletnikoff season a year ago take a huge hit, as he went from the go-to guy in the Pittsburgh Panthers’ offense to just one of many talented wideouts in Lincoln Riley’s offense. His quickness off the line and in space, and his ability to routinely find the voids in zone coverage are his calling cards. Size, route running, and the occasional drops are what’s keeping him from being rated higher on this board.  

 

44) Jaylon Jones, CB/Texas A&M 6-2 205 lbs – Jr

Yet another 6’1″-plus corner that can turn, run, mirror the receiver, play the ball, and support the run game. Jones was lockdown in 2022 only surrendering 10 catches for 94 yards, and zero touchdowns on only 19 targets.

 

45) Kobie Turner, DT/Wake Forest 6-3 290 lbs – RS Sr 

One of the most dominant interior defensive linemen in college over the past three seasons. Technically sound, high effort, and displays solid handwork. Really put some scouts on notice with a wrecking performance against Clemson this season.

 

46) Garrett Williams, CB/Syracuse 6-0 189 lbs – RS So

Williams is now working uphill after suffering a season-ending ACL injury back in October, but prior to that, he was considered a solid late-first to early second. Only played in seven games in 2022 but was consistently the best player in the Syracuse secondary.

 

47) Mike Morris, DL/Michigan 6-6 292 lbs – Sr

Things finally all came full circle for Morris in 2022, as he was moved to outside tackle full-time and had his best statistical season as a Wolverine yet. Nine sacks, seven QB hits, and 19 hurries aren’t bad for a nearly 300 lb edge rusher.

 

48) Parker Washington, WR/Penn State 5-10 213 lbs – So

Much like the aforementioned Garrett Williams, Washington also will be coming off of a season-ending injury and has the option to return to school. Strong hands, physical, great in the open field, and ultra-competitive. Think Jarvis Landry/DJ Moore!

49) Keondre Coburn, DT/Texas 6-2 343 lbs – Sr.

Coburn is my next “True Nose” off the board at 49, but he’s a way more talented player than that. His skill set of not only being able to handle the run routinely but also being able to push the pocket has Coburn’s stock on the rise.

 

50) John Michael-Schmitz, C/Minnesota 6-4 320 lbs – Gr

He’ll be 24 years old by the start of the 2023 NFL season, but Michael-Schmitz hands down has been the most experienced, consistent, and pro-ready Center in this class all year. He has age working against him in comparison to some younger talent in this potential class, but if you’re looking for a plug-and-play talent at Center, look no further.