The latest edition of our 2023 NFL Draft staff big board, the TDN100, just arrived. Our scouting staff adjusts each ranking monthly after taking into account each prospect’s performance, film, and declaration status for the coming NFL draft. With each set of top-100 rankings, there will inevitably be some snubs. Here are five players I believed deserved a spot but didn’t get one in the latest TDN100 update.
Elias Ricks CB, Alabama
Ricks played at a high level in his time with LSU but, for some reason, didn’t get as many snaps in his time at Alabama this year. Still, the ball production we saw from him—five interceptions and six pass defenses—earlier in his career were from the same guy. Ricks clearly has the ball skills to be a disruptive defender at the point of the catch when he’s on the field. Combined with his good instincts and high football IQ, he has the skills to play both zone and man coverage.
Ricks got points off due to his lack of top-end speed to contend with some of the faster receivers and the lack of playing experience, particularly over the last year. But based on what we saw in his time at LSU, he could still be a top-100 player in this class.
Thomas Incoom EDGE, Central Michigan
As an edge defender at a MAC school, Incoom has been slept on a bit so far in this NFL draft cycle. But he is quietly one of the most explosive and relentless competitors at the position in college football and indeed, in this draft class. His 11.5 sacks were tied for third of all FBS players’ sacks production and 19 tackles for a loss were tied for fifth.
Incoom’s 6-foot-4, 260-pound frame is prototypical for the position at the NFL level and it comes with all of the functional strength necessary to succeed when taking the next step. He may still have some development to do in areas like play-design recognition, and he has yet to face some bigger tests against other NFL-level talents in the trenches, but his upside could move him into the top 100 by late April.
Keeanu Benton IDL, Wisconsin
At 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, Benton is an immovable object on the interior defensive line for opposing blockers. Unsurprisingly, that comes with an incredible ability to stop runners in their tracks on rushing plays up the middle.
He’s a true nose tackle that could just use a bit of development as a pass rusher to have three-down value at the next level. But for teams that could use a big nose tackle to help shut down opposing run games, Benton is one of the best options in the interior.
Trey Palmer WR, Nebraska
Palmer is a dynamic receiver with tons of big-play ability thanks to his blazing speed. He was the explosive plays guy for Nebraska and it showed in the box score with his 1,043 yards on 71 catches (14.7 yards per catch) and nine touchdowns. In addition to his production as a receiver with speed and great ball skills, Palmer has some special teams experience as well, which should only increase his NFL draft stock.
Andrei Iosivas WR, Princeton
Another slept-on victim of the “small school” stigma, Iosivas is an athletic freak. Standing at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, he was not only a stud receiver for the Tigers but an All-American track athlete as well. His physicality, ball skills, and run-after-catch ability are some of his greatest attributes, but the lack of top-end competition and a diverse route tree in college might be what lowers his NFL draft stock a bit. However, when all is said and done after his trips to the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine, Iosivas will have the chance to rocket up draft boards.
- Feb 07, 2023
- Feb 07, 2023