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Rashee Rice NFL Draft
NFL Draft

Rashee Rice Is A 2023 NFL Draft Riser To Watch

  • Ryan Fowler
  • September 27, 2022
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A four-year impact talent for SMU, wide receiver Rashee Rice has become a name to get familiar with as we creep toward the winter months of the 2022 college football season. The Mustangs’ top target this fall and one of the country’s premier perimeter weapons, Rice looks to be next in line from the wideout pipeline that is SMU.

A three-star prep talent by way of Richland Hills High School in Texas, Rice didn’t have a gaudy list of offers from the nation’s blueblood programs. Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State—the schools that are usually first to offer the elite athletes from the hotbed of Texas—opted to stand pat on Rice, much to their chagrin nearly four years later.

College football’s leading pass-catcher with 565 yards in just four games played, Rice has been dominant during SMU’s first month of action. Eight receptions for 166 yards and a score against North Texas to kick off the year, 9/132/2 against Lamar, 11 catches for 193 yards against Maryland, 74 more and a trip to paydirt against TCU… defenses don’t have an answer for No. 11 on the outside.

An alpha at the catch point, Rice understands how to use his 6-foot-2 frame to consistently out-leverage corners when the ball is in the air. An explosive jumper who turns 50-50 balls into 80-20 catches, placing any corner on an island against him welcomes nightmares for opposing defensive coordinators. 

While his aerial prowess is just another club in his deep bag of traits on the outside, what makes Rice’s skill set so projectable to the next level is his knack for finding ways to create separation no matter the alignment of the defensive back. The name of the game at wideout moving into Sunday football is the ability to consistently create separation and throwing windows for your quarterback. Some learn it over time, some never find their footing at all. For Rice, however, it comes naturally. And for a prospect who’s taken his lumps, become a veteran in the Mustangs locker room, and is now one of the nation’s top pass-catchers, the progression of his game has just begun to scratch the surface of his athletic potential.

NFL wideouts that called the Dallas-based program home aren’t few and far between. A quick glance around the league from both past and present showcases a few household names: Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton, James Proche, 2022 third-rounder Danny Gray (49ers)—the Mustangs have continued to pump out talent on the perimeter.

One of the top true seniors in all of college football and a name that has become a topic of conversation for decision-makers at the pro level, keep an eye on Rashee Rice, a massive riser in this year’s class and a talent that will embarrass your favorite team’s DB.

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Ryan Fowler