The December edition of our 2023 NFL Draft player rankings features Georgia IDL Jalen Carter and Alabama Edge Will Anderson at the top. In recent editions, we had Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson at the top in all of our previous editions, but Jalen Carter is such a dominant presence on the interior, showing up in big moments for the Bulldogs in 2022, we had to give him the bump, and he has a chance to hold firm the rest of the way. Will Anderson slides to number two, with Bryce Young at three.
C.J. Stroud Drops To Number 9 Overall After Second Loss To Michigan
The big dropper is Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud after his last performance against Michigan (at home). Michigan plays an NFL-style defense that was able to confuse Stroud two years in a row with different looks, taking away his first read and forcing him to check it down. I promised I would not overreact to his last performance vs. Michigan, but in back-to-back seasons, Stroud has not won or at least played well in the biggest game vs. the best opponent on the schedule.
C.J. Stroud is still a safe bet to be drafted top five, and he still has a shot to go number one overall. The top 10 of the 2023 NFL Draft will be full of QB-needy teams picking in the top five or trying to get into the top five. Stroud is no slouch. Being ranked number nine is also not an indictment of his overall potential. We still have him graded out as an Instant Impact Player at the next level.
Stroud can put some of this to rest vs. Georgia. I chronicle some of this in the video below.
TCU WR Quentin Johnston Has Moved Into The Top 10
Our new WR1, you can read the scouting report below. In short, he is not short. He is a giant WR who moves like the smaller, more agile WR's the NFL has been inundated with in recent years, so there is a need for a bigger-bodied player who can move like Johnston.
Click here to view the entire top 50 big board. Full Scouting reports, player comparisons, and more.
Here is the updated top 50
1). IDL Jalen Carter, Georgia, 6-3, 310lbs
Carter is a disruptive physical force. Carter combines a quick first step and feet like a running back to shoot into gaps. At 6-3, 310lbs, Carter is a densely proportioned twitchy player with quick hips and elite lateral ability. Carter wins with strength from his dense lower half, his elite positional athleticism, and quick hands. Carter is a problematic defender to block. Carter will need to improve his ability to handle and move off of double teams at the next level.
2). Edge Will Anderson, Alabama, 6-4, 235lbs
Anderson is an explosive edge player that combines size, speed, and power to win off the edge. Anderson can play standing up or with his hand in the dirt. He provides three-down versatility as a pass rusher and a run defender. As a sophomore, Will Anderson achieved 1st team All-American Status, All-SEC 1st team, and won the Nagurski Award in 2021. If eligible to be drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft, Anderson would have been considered the top prospect on our draft board.
3). QB Bryce Young, Alabama, 6-0, 194lbs
Bryce Young is a solid athlete with a better-than-average arm. He wins with his decision-making and his ability to work through his progressions. Based on our assumptions that Bryce Young will likely declare for the 2023 NFL Draft after one more year of seasoning, he already has shown enough on his tape to have been considered the top QB in this past draft ahead of Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, and Desmond Ridder.
4). IDL Bryan Bresee, Clemson, 6-5, 300lbs
Bresee possesses elite instant impact upside, and he is a player who has top-ten NFL Draft potential even after missing 2/3 of the 2021 college football season. At 6-5, 300lbs, Bresee possesses elite length. On tape, Bresee has an explosive first step combined with the elite positional strength needed to succeed at the NFL level. He also possesses elite lateral quickness and twitchiness for an interior defender. He can shoot through a gap in a hurry on one play to force a bad throw, and on the next play, he can shoot through a hole to close off a run lane. Bresee can play different techniques along the line, but he projects as a 3-tech in the NFL.
5). Edge Myles Murphy, Clemson, 6-5, 275lbs
In terms of ceiling grades, Murphy possesses one of the highest grades in the 2023 class. He has the athletic and physical tools you want in today's NFL edge rusher. At 6-5, 275lbs, Murphy possesses the elite length needed to go one-on-one with today's top NFL tackles. On tape, Murphy exhibits an elite first step combined with elite-level lateral quickness for his position. His athleticism allows him to accelerate into a gap or execute stunts using his high-level agility. His assets do not end with quickness; he can win with speed or power at the point of attack. Using his dense frame and elite strength, Murphy can anchor and hold the edge in the run game or bull through a blocker on his way to the QB.
6). ED Nolan Smith, Georgia, 6-3, 235lbs
Smith is an edge player with excellent athleticism for his position. in high school, he reportedly ran a 4.5 40 and posted a near 40in vertical, which correlates to his elite first step and downhill explosiveness. Smith also possesses elite lateral quickness for his position. He has good power for an edge defender his size at 6-3, 235lbs. Smith likes to place a blocker in conflict. He can bend a tackle wide with speed, use his quick twitch ability to freeze the blocker, and then attack his weakest leverage on his way to the QB. Smith's athleticism allows him to play in coverage as needed.
7). OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern, 6-4, 315lbs
His quickness is what stands out. He gets into his pass sets fast. He did struggle to match speed and length with Michigan Edge David Ojabo in 2021. Length is a concern for Skoronski and might affect his draft stock if NFL teams consider him an IOL instead of an OT prospect. So far in 2022, he is the highest-graded OT in pass protection and the third-highest OT overall, according to PFF, through 7 weeks.
8). CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia, 6-2, 205lbs
Ringo is another Georgia Bulldog with top-ten NFL Draft potential. Ringo is a lengthy press man corner at 6-2 205lbs; he plays aggressively. Ringo uses his strength and long arms to attack the catch point with good body control muscling the football away from the receiver. The former 10.43sec 100M track star can run with the fastest receivers on the field. In addition, he possesses the twitchiness and fluidity needed to play at a high level in the NFL. Ringo does not allow receivers to gain a step very often; when they do, he has the explosiveness to close fast. Ringo must learn to use his aggression as needed at the NFL level. His physicality in the NFL might be deemed too aggressive and lead to penalties in coverage. He will need to improve eye discipline; he can get caught by play
action, pump fakes, and double moves by receivers.
9). QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, 6-3, 218lbs
Stroud is accurate with a strong arm. He can fit the football into tight windows, especially on layered throws between LB's and safeties down the middle. His ability to throw outside the numbers beating coverage, and placing the football only where his receiver has the best chance stands out on tape. C.J. Stroud possesses arm talent in critical areas of the measure. He can throw with touch at all levels, get the ball out quickly when needed, and fire a laser down the seam. Stroud does a good job feeling and handling pressure, but there are moments where you would like to see him use his legs a bit more to keep a play alive.
10). WR Quentin Johnston, TCU, 6-4, 212lbs
At 6-4 212lbs, Johnston is a unique prospect compared to the other top WR's we have evaluated. Johnston is a lengthy player who has natural outside X WR ability. Johnston combines his length with speed and quick twitch ability that he uses to stack defenders over the top for explosive gains. He is not just a deep field threat; he can attack a defense at all three levels, defeating coverage with his elite-level short area quickness.
11. Jordan Addison, USC WR
12. Will Levis, Kentucky QB
13. Bijan Robinson, Texas RB
14. Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame ED
15. Broderick Jones, Georgia OT
16. Cam Smith, South Carolina CB
17. Michael Mayer, Notre Dame TE
18. Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State OT
19. Trenton Simpson Clemson LB
20. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State ED
21. Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech ED
22. Kayshon Boutte, LSU WR
23. Joey Porter Jr., Penn State CB
24. Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M S
25. Andre Carter II, Army ED
26. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State WR
27. Anton Harrison, Oklahoma OT
28. Garrett Williams, Syracuse CB
29. Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee WR
30. Jared Verse, Florida State ED
31. O'Cyrus Torrence, Florida IOL
32. Rashee Rice, SMU WR
33. Derick Hall, Auburn ED
34. Blake Corum, Michigan RB
35. Devon Witherspoon, Illinois CB
36. Zach Charbonnet, UCLA RB
37. Anthony Richardson, Florida QB
38.Josh Downs, UNC WR
39. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee QB
40. Cooper Beebe, Kansas State IOL
41. Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama RB
42. Noah Sewell, Oregon LB
43. Brian Branch, Alabama S
44. Tanner McKee, Stanford QB
45. Ryan Hayes, Michigan OT
46. Dalton Kincaid, Utah TE
47. Clark Phillips III, Utah CB
48. Andrew Vorhees, USC IOL
49. Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan IOL
50. Zay Flowers, Boston College WR