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Hula Bowl NFL Draft
NFL Draft

Hula Bowl 2023: 9 Players Who Could Raise NFL Draft Stock

  • Ryan Fowler
  • January 12, 2023
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With the college football season now in the rearview mirror, it’s full speed ahead toward the NFL Draft. But before we get there, there’s business to take care of in the form of All-Star events, the combine, and individual pro days. While the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Bowl aren’t for a few more weeks, the first event on the calendar takes us to Orlando, Florida where the Hula Bowl kicks off this weekend. An event littered with talent that deserves more attention, here are a few players I’ll have an eye on. 

RB Khalan Laborn, Marshall

A transfer from Florida State, Laborn was outstanding all campaign long. He’s not the biggest guy at 5-foot-9 and 198 pounds (verified), but he’s explosive, has electric footwork, and doesn’t mind chopping it up between the tackles, either. His 163-yard performance against Notre Dame earlier this fall opened eyes and I expect him to shine in Orlando. 

WR Ryan Miller, Furman

At one point this fall, he had 15 touchdowns in his last 15 games, a tip of the cap toward his knack for finding the endzone in whatever way possible. He’s undersized for the tight end position (where he played in college) but could sneak his way into day three as someone with a sure set of hands that understands how to sit routes in zone coverage with sneaky jump off the line of scrimmage. He had 13 catches against Clemson early this year. 

WR Matt Landers, Arkansas

A big target at 6-foot-4 (verified), I expect Landers to dominate Hula Bowl weekend. A recruit of the Georgia Bulldogs turned Toledo Rocket before making the move to Arkansas, he had eight touchdowns this fall (third in the SEC), and a career-high 908 yards working in tandem with quarterback K.J. Jefferson. He’ll be on an NFL roster this summer. 

TE Lachlan Pitts, William & Mary

All 32 teams have made the trip down to Williamsburg this fall to scout the big 6-foot-5 target, and rightly so. A physical blocker whose well-rounded skill set would be a nice addition to an offense that values the tight end spot, his sneaky athleticism has drawn the attention of scouts this fall. How he tests will hold massive weight toward his NFL draft stock, but his elite size pops off the screen. He looks the part of a modern-day ‘Y’ TE.

OT/G Mason Brooks, Ole Miss

A transfer from Western Kentucky where he spent his first three seasons, Brooks touts ideal measurables for someone that could challenge for a rotational role next fall at 6-foot-5 with nearly 34-inch arms. He received limited work this year but didn’t allow a single pressure in 38 pass-blocking opportunities with snaps at both tackle and guard. 

IDL Devonnsha Maxwell, UT-Chattanooga

I’m EXTREMELY intrigued by Maxwell’s game. A man amongst boys this fall, he touts quick feet, electric hands, and the ability to slide up and down the defensive front. Not only has he been dominant against FCS competition totaling 23 the last two seasons combined, but he was also stout in the Mocs’ lone FBS game against then-No. 18 ranked Kentucky in 2021. He possesses a skill set within the interior that should begin to garner a hefty spotlight as we move further into the pre-draft process. His Hula Bowl verified measurements paint an even clearer picture of his potential: 6-foot-1, 301 pounds, and more than 34-inch arms. 

CB Justin Ford, Montana

After recording nine interceptions last season, it didn’t take long for Ford to find himself with a bold dot on NFL scouts’ “prospects to watch” lists. A transfer from Louisville, Ford touts elite instincts (11 interceptions in the last two seasons) and has four defensive touchdowns to his name. There’s something to be said about ball-hawks in the secondary that can also cover, and his 46.2% reception percentage allowed on 145 targets against showcases a veteran corner that understands how to win matchups on the outside. He’s got Power Five pedigree that I expect to stand out in the Hula Bowl.

SAF Kenderick Duncan, Louisville

A long and rangy defender, he projects as a versatile piece at the roof on Sundays. An above-average tackler, he’s got excellent ball production (eight interceptions) during his time at Louisville and Georgia Southern. He could be a late riser within a safety class that lacks a ton of depth.

LB Ryan Greenhagen, Fordham

There may not be a better tackler in the entire country. Despite appearing in just five games in 2021, Greenhagen amassed a ridiculous 102 tackles, including an NCAA single-game record of 31 against Nebraska. He picked up right where he left up this year amassing 118 with five sacks. He plays a throwback brand of football that’ll make you want to run through a wall when watching his tape.

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Ryan Fowler