2023 NFL Draft Stock Report: QBs going down, DL, Tackle Getting Better

Nov 5, 2022; Athens, Georgia, USA; Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) passes the ball against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2022; Athens, Georgia, USA; Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) passes the ball against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The latest 2023 NFL Draft stock report looks at some recent risers at tackle and corner and looks at why the QB class is trending down a bit.

With just a few weeks to go in the 2022 college football season, we’ve seen the 2023 NFL Draft class start forming. All the pre-conceived notions and rankings from the summer have adjusted based on what we’ve seen from the first few months. Some superstars have put together another phenomenal season, like Alabama’s Will Anderson and Georgia’s Jalen Carter. Others have missed time, like Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Some haven’t lived up to expectations.

Today, we dive into a stock report for the 2023 NFL Draft from a positional view, looking at where each position group’s stock is at relative to what the expectations were back in August before the season began. Let’s roll.

2023 NFL Draft Quarterbacks: Stock Down

After the rough 2022 quarterback class, everyone was ready to move on and talk about some legitimate first-round talents at the position. Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud were the obvious leaders at the position, and they looked like a 1a-1b situation heading into the season.

Behind them were plenty of toolsy prospects. Will Levis flashed the velocity, arm strength, and has been operating in a McVay-style offense similar to one that has been sweeping the league. Anthony Richardson has a ridiculously impressive arm, with easy velocity and splash plays both as a passer and a runner. Tyler Van Dyke had fans in the summer as well.

To this point, the class has underwhelmed. Young has been tremendous in terms of pre-snap adjustments, setting protections, anticipating windows, and making plays out of structure. His accuracy inconsistencies could be attributed to his shoulder injury, which could still be lingering. Stroud has been pretty hit-or-miss versus pressure. He’s either humming with impressive hot reads or has nowhere to go. He’s still struggling out of structure, but he did show the ability as a runner against Northwestern.

After that, there are questions. Richardson is too high variance, Levis has gobs of issues with his accuracy and has made some bone-headed decisions. Hendon Hooker was looking good, then Georgia came along.

It’s really a two-QB class at this point, especially if Richardson returns for another season.

2023 NFL Draft Running Backs: Stock Up

Yeah, the running back class for the 2023 NFL Draft is as advertised. Bijan Robinson is a special player, and without Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama’s offense wouldn’t have a number one target in the passing game.

Blake Corum has been excellent leading the Michigan run game this season, and is in the running for the Heisman. Zach Evans hasn’t gotten a heavy workload role at Ole Miss, but his explosiveness and three-down upside is still apparent. Tank Bigsby looks like a stud. Miyan Williams looks like an early-down contributor at the next level. Sean Tucker isn’t having his best season, but he’s still a big-play threat with pass-catching upside. Devon Achane is a speed threat with impressive route running chops. Chase Brown is well on the radar. Mo Ibrahim has been impressive in his return from a major injury. Don’t forget about Kendre Miller or Zach Charbonnet either.

This class is going to make teams very hesitant to pay running backs in free agency or extend them. There will be a plethora of options in the 2023 NFL Draft.

2023 NFL Draft Wide Receivers: Stock Down

So, things haven’t gone according to plan at the wide receiver position so far. The battle that was set to commence between Smith-Njigba and Kayshon Boutte hasn’t happened. Smith-Njigba has missed most of the season with a hamstring injury and Boutte is starting to produce more, but it’s been in the slot and he doesn’t look as explosive.

Right now, Quentin Johnston and Jordan Addison are the leaders in the clubhouse at the position. There haven’t been true breakouts other than Johnston, who has still been hot and cold in his performances this year. Jalin Hyatt has emerged with impressive production, but he might still not be the best receiver on his own team. Rashee Rice has been the biggest riser, and he’s been a three-level threat this season. Rome Odunze is coming along at Washington, but he might not declare. The depth might be solid, but 2023 will continue the downward trend at the position.

2023 NFL Draft Tight Ends: Stock Unchanged

There isn’t too much on this front, as Michael Mayer has kept his TE1 status from the summer. He’s put up some strong numbers this season, and has attacked the catch point with reckless abandon. His short area quickness is great for his size.

Tucker Kraft was the guy who could still push him, and he’s ramping up after an injury in the opener against Iowa. Speaking of Iowa, Sam LaPorta is a strong talent in the class, as is Luke Musgrave and Jaheim Bell. This is still an impressive group at the top.

2023 NFL Draft Tackles: Stock Up

The tackle class had a lot of questions entering the season. Would we see anyone reach the level that the top of the past few classes had seen? It depended a lot on risers. Could Paris Johnson Jr. make the change over to left tackle from right guard? Could Peter Skoronski show that his arm length wouldn’t matter? Was Jaelyn Duncan the riser that we should watch?

It’s safe to say that Johnson and Skoronski have passed the test thus far. Not to mention, another Big Ten tackle has risen in the ranks. He’s just 19 years old, but Olumuyiwa Fashanu has been phenomenal for the Nittany Lions in 2022. His skills to mirror and dominate in pass protection have been well-documented. Broderick Jones has been an impressive space blocker and powerful people-mover in the run game. Matthew Bergeron has also come on this season fo Syracuse. There might not be an elite tackle, but the depth of talent is better.

2023 NFL Draft IOL: Stock Unchanged

The 2023 NFL Draft might not have a trio on the interior like Kenyon Green, Zion Johnson, and Tyler Linderbaum, but there are some gems to watch. O’Cyrus Torrence is a powerful guard who will handle things in a phone booth in pass pro. Sedrick Van Pran is another mauler with a great IQ and impressive angles in the run game. John Michael Schmitz will be the “zone” center in the class. Ricky Stromberg is impressive too. Andrew Vorhees has his fans, as his functional athleticism and footwork yield a good prospect.

It won’t be a franchise-changing, elite group per se, but it’s a group that will yield starters.

2023 NFL Draft DL/EDGE: Stock Up

Obviously, this group has the top two talents in the 2023 NFL Draft in Will Anderson and Jalen Carter. But, the Clemson duo is right behind them. Both Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee will (at least) be top 15 selections, and the rise of K.J. Henry can’t be ignored either. Both B.J. Ojulari and Nolan Smith have been terrorizing the AFC, even though the latter just went down with a pectoral injury.

Siaki Ika continues to be one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft. He’s got the nose tackle build, but has consistently flashed as a pass rusher while being a dominant run defender between the tackles. Andre Carter will be the talk of the pre-draft process.

We could sit here and talk about guys over and over along the defensive line, and this group could have at least a couple dozen players in the first two days of the draft come off the board.

2023 NFL Draft Linebackers: Stock Unchanged

We weren’t sure how this linebacker class would look coming into the season. Both Oregon’s Noah Sewell and Clemson’s Trenton Simpson were on the first round radar, but only one has stayed there. Sewell has struggled as a tackler this season while Simpson looks great as a WILL/overhang in a similar role to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

The breakout player in the class is Arkansas’ Drew Sanders. Sanders has been great flying downhill to make plays in the backfield and has also been successful as a pass rusher. His versatility and impact playmaking will be his draw for NFL teams. Jack Campbell is also well on the radar from Iowa.

2023 NFL Draft Defensive Backs: Stock Unchanged

There has been some movement with the defensive backs in this class, as rankings have been all over the place. The traits of Eli Ricks and Kelee Ringo looked outstanding, but there have been inconsistencies. Ricks didn’t start playing full time until the Mississippi State game, and Ringo, while possessing the speed to turn and run and size/physicality to challenge the catch point, he often opens up too early.

Christian Gonzalez and Devon Witherspoon have been the big risers to this point at corner. Clark Phillips III will have a Trent McDuffie-type label. The corner class is strong, but is there a true top talent.

Safety is a group that doesn’t have a Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick, or Kyle Hamilton type in it. But, there are a couple to watch for as risers once the process gets underway. Both Brian Branch and Christopher Smith II play different roles, but their reliability as tacklers and ability to play top-down and in the box translates. Brandon Joseph is the single high guy, and J.L. Skinner is the smaller school riser to watch at Boise State.