football-player football-score football-helmet football-ball Accuracy Arm-Strength Balance Ball-Security Ball-Skills Big-Play-Ability Block-Deconstruction Competitive-Toughness Core-Functional-Strength Decision-Making Discipline Durability Effort-Motor Elusivness Explosiveness Football-IQ Footwork Functional-Athleticism Hand-Counters Hand-Power Hand-Technique Hands Lateral-Mobility Leadership Length Mechanics Mobility Pass-Coverage-Ability Pass-Protection Pass-Sets Passing-Down-Skills Pocket-Manipulation Poise Power-at-POA Progressions RAC-Ability Range Release-Package Release Route-Running Run-Defending Separation Special-Teams-Ability-1 Versatility Vision Zone-Coverage-Skills Anchor-Ability Contact-Balance Man-Coverage-Skills Tackling Lifted Logic Web Design in Kansas City clock location phone email play chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up facebook tiktok checkbox checkbox-checked radio radio-selected instagram google plus pinterest twitter youtube send linkedin search arrow-circle bell left-arrow right-arrow tdn-mark filled-play-circle yellow-arrow-circle dark-arrow-circle star cloudy snowy rainy sunny plus minus triangle-down link close drag minus-circle plus-circle pencil premium trash lock simple-trash simple-pencil eye cart
NFL Draft Mock draft
NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Superlatives

  • Ryan Fowler
  • April 11, 2023
  • Share

With the 2023 NFL Draft just a couple of weeks away, let’s have some fun. Let’s take it back to high school and the infamous superlatives page where the “most likely to’s…” took over hallway conversations and the years that followed. With just days remaining until the NFL spotlight falls on Kansas City for the 2023 NFL Draft, here’s a look inside some of my favorite superlatives for the 2023 class.

Best Hands

This was a tight race between three guys: UNC’s Josh Downs, Utah’s Dalton Kincaid, and Purdue’s Charlie Jones. Each has Stickum woven into their mitts, and dropping passes just isn’t something that exists in their evaluation. Whether a pass is within their frame, at their feet, or if they’re asked to play above the rim, it’s their ball.

Strongest Arm: Anthony Richardson (Florida)

A gifted athlete that could progress into one of the more electric quarterbacks in rapid fashion, Richardson could probably go pro in multiple sports. He can easily rip it 70 yards with a flick of the wrist and when he uncorks it with his entire frame, put NASA on alert. 

Most Likely To Reach 10 Sacks in Year 1: Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama) or BJ Ojulari (LSU)

I love Anderson’s game (207 pressures in three seasons) but I expect him to be doubled early (and throughout his career), which may limit sack production. Ojulari’s ceiling is one of the highest in the draft class and I wouldn’t be shocked if he trumps his brother Azeez’s rookie output of 8.0 sacks for the Giants in 2021. He’s got every club in the bag off the edge.

Strongest Pound-For-Pound Athlete(s): Chase & Sydney Brown (Illinois)

While the easy choice could be USC IOL Andrew Vorhees after benching 225 pounds 38 times with a torn ACL (led all combine invites), I’m going with the Brown brothers that look like they were carved out of a mountain. Ask anyone that has seen them live or that was at the Senior Bowl, they both tout frames spring-loaded with power from the ground up.

Smoothest Route-Runner: Tank Dell, WR, Houston

An artist at the line of scrimmage and in space, Dell is as fluid and sudden as there is in the 2023 NFL Draft class. He can separate when pressed, make a corner look silly in off-man, and embarrass you when asked to change direction on a whim. You can keep your size concerns to yourself, he’s a flat-out stud that I expect to have a lot of success.

Best in Pass Pro: OT Broderick Jones (Georgia) 

A gifted athlete for his size, while there’s some technical stuff apparent to improve, Jones’ physical profile allows him to mirror and match any type of edge rusher that’s in his line of sight. He didn’t allow a single sack in 2022 and gave up just 17 total pressures in 635 snaps in pass pro during his career for the Bulldogs. 

*IOL Jeremy Cooper (Cincinnati) is also a name to note. He allowed just two sacks on 969 snaps in pass pro during his tenure for the Bearcats.

Best Red Zone Threats: Michael Mayer (Notre Dame), Darnell Washington (Georgia) & Zack Kuntz (Old Dominion)

Mayer: He won’t blow anyone away with his athletic profile, but he’s going to play for a decade-plus and become a nightmare for opposing teams that like to play zone. An extremely cerebral athlete with smooth hands and the ability to consistently out-leverage smaller defenders, he’ll be a featured weapon inside the 20s from Week 1 moving forward. 

Washington: It’s not JUST that he’s 6-foot-7 and 264 pounds, but he can move like a man of much smaller stature with a pass-catching ceiling that is untapped. Good luck defending him one-on-one in crucial red zone opportunities.

Kuntz: One of the most unique athletes in the 2023 NFL Draft class, someone is going to fall in love with Kuntz and take him higher than anyone expects. A former Penn State commit, he’s got work to do as a blocker, but as a flex weapon, his performance ceiling is the moon. He led all TEs at the combine in the 40 (4.55), vert (40”), broad (10’8), and 3-cone (6.87). Again, he needs fine-tuning in the finer optics of the game, but his athletic profile is something you see in video games. 

Best Tackler: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

A throwback type of second-level defender that also has the modern-day ability to work in space (watch Ohio State tape), Campbell approaches each tackle with balance, active feet, and will rarely see a guy escape his grasp in open grass. You want to learn how to tackle? Turn on his All-22. 

Best Sideline-to-Sideline Range: Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State

A former wideout at Nevada, flipping over to the other side of the football showcases Henley’s ability to quickly diagnose and fly to the football. A fluid mover in coverage as well, watching him stick his foot in the ground to wrangle down ball carriers from extreme depth is fascinating to watch.

Most Explosive: Calijah Kancey, IDL, Pitt

A unique prospect that will immediately boost a team’s sack totals from the interior, while 5-techs are looked upon to holster pressure totals annually, drafting an athlete that understands the optics of pushing the interior opens up Pandora’s box for a unit. 

It’s OK to pound the table for ‘your guy,’ and when it comes to myself, Kancey is a player I expect to produce from day one due to his elite agility and ability to explode off the football along the defensive front. While comparisons to one of the best to ever do it in Aaron Donald have come—and while it may seem outrageous to speak on the two in the same sentence—the discrepancies aren’t as far off as you think. Although Donald has two-inch longer arms and much more foundational upper strength, the way in which both guys win within the trenches is similar. Get-off, quick hands to counter the punch of offensive linemen, the agility to jump from gap to gap, Kancey checks all the boxes.

Most Versatile: Derek Parish (Houston) & Brayden Willis (Oklahoma)

Parish: An edge threat, core special teamer, and linebacker—Parish may play both ways at the NFL level. He worked out as a FB at Houston’s Pro Day, and after running a mid 4.5s 40 at 240 pounds, he’s one of the unique chess pieces in the 2023 NFL Draft class that can fill a variety of roles. 

Willis: Whether you need a Y or F tight end, an H-back, or, heck, even a QB (see Nebraska game), Willis can do it all. TE1 for the Sooners this fall, he can block his tail off, flex out in space, and align in the backfield as a primary ball carrier—he just flat-out creates mismatch nightmares for opposing defenses. He fits the modern game and will be an excellent addition to a team that utilizes unique personnel packages.

Filed In

Written By

Ryan Fowler