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Comparing the 2023 NFL Draft prospects to current and former NFL players

Mark Henry Jr. and Shane Haff have been been breaking down this year’s NFL Draft every which way for months. Check out every video they’ve created to prepare you for Thursday night’s NFL Draft.

You can check out their podcast Chalk Talk on Apple Podcasts here. Check back here Thursday night for their live draft show.

Now, MHJ’s 2023 NFL Draft prospect comparisons to current and former NFL players:

1. QB Bryce Young = Drew Brees’ Processing + Pose with Kyler’s build

Bryce Young plays the QB position like a Point Guard in a similar way to the Drew Brees/Tua types. So, depending on who you ask, what’s the problem? He’s very short and an anomaly in terms of his frame for his position. He is not quite as stout as Kyler but only weighed in three pounds lighter at the exact same height. He also is not ever going to be the runner that Kyler is but is much more poised in the pocket. He has a special pocket presence that you would not expect from someone his size.

2. EDGE Will Anderson=Von Miller/The Elite 2019 version of Shaq Barrett

There is definitely something to be said about the Von Miller comparisons and that’s what you’re drafting him for. While Shaq Barrett may not sound like a sexy comparison with his early career struggles or his rough 2022, he was extremely elite in 2019. 19.5 sacks in 2019 and 18 combined sacks in 2020/2021 while wreaking havoc in the backfield. The idea of Will Anderson is to be the new Von Miller, but I see even more shades of the most dominant version of Shaq Barrett when Anderson is at his best. Will Anderson should be the first non-QB taken and it should not even be a discussion. I felt that way at the beginning of the process and feel that way even stronger now after the offseason that Jalen Carter has had.

3. EDGE Myles Murphy = Bradley Chubb

I truly don’t understand the negativity that has gained steam revolving around Murphy during this draft process. Myles Murphy is an absolute athletic freak with tremendous size. He’s 6’4 ½ at 268 pounds while posting a 9.71 RAS and a 4.53 40 after a very productive 3 years with starter reps with absolutely 0 durability concerns. Also, this is a guy who checks all of the athletic/physical boxes while also possessing an extremely high motor. Why are we trying to make up unquantifiable nonsense about his upside? He’s a Top 5 player in this draft class. I think he’s a close player comp as a prospect to Bradley Chubb, who was drafted 5th in 2018 out of NC State. They have a near-identical RAS chart being within a half inch and 4 pounds of each other. He is more of a DLineman than a stand-up guy like Chubb but they have a similar impact as pass rushers while sharing many traits. I see his worst-case NFL scenario as a Rashan Gary type, who’s had 20.5 sacks over the last 3 years while being a good run stopper. I view Murphy as an extremely safe prospect while his upside is being undersold. A good mix of immediate contribution while having the potential to grow.

4. EDGE Tyree Wilson = Chandler Jones/JPP

I often talk on Chalk Talk(my podcast with Shane Haff) about how I have “types” at different positions. If you’ve followed me for a few years, you remember how high I was on Gregory Rousseau a few years back. I am generally tantalized by 6’6+ edge rushers who use their length and size to get around the edge and to torture QB’s lives at the line of scrimmage in terms of pass deflections. Wilson sizes up pretty directly with Chandler Jones within 5 pounds and at the same height. He is also within 1 inch and 1 pound of Jason Pierre-Paul. Jones and JPP are probably the archetype I use for this type of draft prospect that I like because they were 2 of my earliest “good calls” as a budding draft analyst over a decade ago. I think Wilson is extremely comparable to both of these players and any NFL team would sign up for him to have a similar career to either of them.

5. DT Jalen Carter = Fletcher Cox

One of my favorite player comparisons for this draft cycle. Jalen Carter and Fletcher Cox’s Football Reference pages from their college days won’t blow you away statistically. That’s why you have to watch tape. Both guys were limited in terms of their snaps due to scheme but both players produced enough in their opportunities to cement themselves as elite game-breaking draft prospects. There are a ton of off-the-field concerns with Carter that could prevent him from reaching his full potential in the NFL. But in terms of evaluating his tape, there’s no reason to believe that he couldn’t have a similarly elite Fletcher Cox-like career. Many will make the comparison to Ndamukong Suh, which also makes a ton of sense. A true pass-rushing threat from the inside is hard to come by and extremely valuable.

6. WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba = Amon-Ra St. Brown/Cooper Kupp/DeVonta Smith

JSN has been my personal favorite 2023 NFL Draft Prospect since 2021. He seems to combine shades and traits of some of my favorite receivers leaguewide. I’m much higher than consensus on JSN and think he’s a borderline Top 5 player in this draft and a clear and elite WR1. He is getting tagged as strictly a slot receiver without realizing that he was playing with Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave and Marvin Harrison Jr. I think he could absolutely play on the outside or do anything you want him to do as a receiver with his quickness and route running. I’ve been comparing him to Amon-Ra St. Brown due to some size and trait reasons and I’ve been comparing his route running to guys like DeVonta Smith and Tyler Lockett. I had not thought of the Cooper Kupp similarities until I heard Eric Edholm, lead draft analyst for, make the comparison on the Around the NFL podcast. Ever since, I can’t get it out of my brain. They’re within an inch and 8 pounds of each other in terms of frame. Kupp mostly struggled at the combine but tested as an elite quick-twitch athlete in terms of agility drills. Guess what? Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s agility drills were even better and they were the best at the entire 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. He wins in very similar ways to Kupp and possesses an upside to be just as impactful as Kupp has been over the last few years, if he lands in the right situation. 

7. QB CJ Stroud = Dak Prescott

Here’s another one of my favorite player comparisons. They have extremely similar frames. Both are extremely comfortable in the pocket. Both seem to possess mobility that they’d rather not use out of the pocket. What we saw from Stroud against Georgia in terms of his mobility is extremely intriguing. He seemed to shy away from using that much until that game. Is that coaching? Is that being surrounded by elite weapons who could always get open? Is he always going to be hesitant to use his athleticism to escape the pocket or will he use it as a weapon like he did against Georgia, the best defense he’d ever faced. Is he going to be early career Dak Prescott, who added another layer of value with his legs, or is he going to be the current version of Dak Prescott

8. OT Paris Johnson Jr. = Lane Johnson/Laremy Tunsil

A last name is not all that Paris and Lane Johnson share. They have extremely similar frames, both standing at 6’6 and both over 300 pounds. They are also both incredible athletes that combine strength, speed and quickness that is rare at their size. Paris Johnson also possesses an innate ability to get off the line incredibly quick which is very similar to Lane Johnson, who often gets accused of committing false start penalties by opposing fans. The truth is, they’re both just that quick while having incredible instincts for their position. There’s also a ton of similarities between he and elite Offensive Tackle Laremy Tunsil. Extremely similar frames and tests in the few that Paris participated in at the Combine. Just keep Paris Johnson Jr. away from Laremy Tunsil’s gas mask and he should not suffer the same skid down the draft boards. NFL teams will be clamoring for him and will be hoping he lives up to these lofty comparisons.There’s even been talk that he could go in the Top 5.

9. OT Peter Skoronski = Rashawn Slater

This one is pretty easy. Same school. Same coach. Same position. Same strengths. Same glaring weakness and concern. The difference is that Skoronski gets a bit more of the benefit of the doubt than Slater did because we’ve now seen Slater succeed at the next level, despite his short arms that scared many draft pundits. Peter Skoronski replaced one of the best college Offensive Tackles in recent memory…and outplayed him. I’m relatively certain that Skoronski can play OT at the next level, just like I was with Slater. You could also make a comparison to Alijah Vera-Tucker, who has already shown the ability in the NFL to move all over the Offensive Line. I’m bullish on Skoronski’s ability to play Tackle and I don’t think an NFL team would be smart to play him elsewhere but it has to be noted that he has versatility.

10. OT Broderick Jones = Andrew Thomas

Similarly to Skoronski/Slater, I’m comparing Broderick Jones to his predecessor at Georgia. Near identical RAS charts in terms of size and testing, with the exception of Jones being much faster. Both possess the nasty mean streak that seems to be in the water in Athens, Georgia. He probably won’t get drafted as high as Thomas did, 4th to the Giants, but I think he’s an even more athletic and proven prospect than Thomas was. Jones was the bookend Tackle for both of Georgia’s back to back National Championships and has played against the best possible competition across all conferences, not just his own.

11. CB Joey Porter Jr. = A.J. Terrell

One of the tougher guys to find a comp for. Very unique prospect. There are some athleticism comparisons and some stylistic comparisons between Porter and Terrell. There are some concerns about Porter’s ball skills but AJ Terrell has shown you can be an elite Cornerback without having elite ball skills. Both of them focus on just locking down their guy before it gets to a contested catch situation.

12. CB Christian Gonzalez = Byron Jones

This is one of the easiest and most exact draft comparisons I’ve ever seen. Same exact height. Same exact weight. Same exact arm length. Similarly elite speed/agility testing. Similarly elite strength and vertical/broad jump testing. And when you turn on the tape, they’re near-identical. Not the 1st one to make this comparison and won’t be the last.

13. QB Anthony Richardson=An even more athletic Cam Newton

Duh. Enough said.

14. WR Jordan Addison = Better Darnell Mooney

One of the hardest guys I’ve ever tried to make a draft comparison for. This is pretty rare for me at the Wide Receiver position, which is probably my singular favorite position to scout. There just does not seem to be a 1 size fits all comparison for Addison. I’ve seen a lot of Darnell Mooney comparisons, but that seems to undersell Addison as a prospect and a route runner. I understand the comparison with them both being undersized but think Addison has a much higher ceiling.

15. CB Devon Witherspoon = Darius Slay/Jaire Alexander

Devon Witherspoon is a “dog mentality” type of CB in a very similar way to Jaire Alexander. He plays the CB position with a rare physicality. A bit of a Napolean complex as a Corner who lays the boom to overcome the “small” label. But when he’s in coverage, all I see is Darius Slay. If he turns into a Slay/Alexander type of player, I have him too low at 15th.

16. OG O’Cyrus Torrence = Less Athletic Brandon Brooks

It’s pretty funny to look at some of the lofty comparisons that are out there for Torrence. I’ve seen Hall Of Famer Larry Allen. Pro Bowler Larry Warford. All-Pro Brandon Brooks. So why are we talking about this guy as a 2nd rounder? This is a Top 20 player and one of the safest options of this draft. I’m running with the Brooks comp, even though he’s less athletic. Strictly a size/tape comparison.

17. TE Michael Mayer=Ertz Receiving/Goedert’s Blocking+Nastiness

This is probably my Philly bias showing in this exercise. I could easily cop out and use TJ Hockenson or some other beefy white Tight End of the last 2 decades. But as a depressed Notre Dame football fan, I’ve watched more Michael Mayer than anyone else in this class. Throughout his Notre Dame career, I could not help but to compare him to the 2 greatest Tight Ends I’ve ever seen in an Eagles uniform. As a receiver, Michael Mayer is a sure-handed red zone threat who finds zones and beats LB’s but is not going to wow you with YAC or speed. Does that not sound like Zach Ertz? As a blocker and a runner, Mayer seeks out violent contact. It could come in the open field and it could come with him blocking on a screen, but he’s going to make you feel that tackle. Does that not sound like Dallas Goedert? He feels like the perfect blend of the 2 players.

18. EDGE Lukas Van Ness = Trey Hendrickson/Ezekiel Ansah

Last year, George Karlaftis was definitely one of “my guys”. People have compared Lukas Van Ness to Karlaftis all year long. I understand the comparison but I don’t think it’s fair to Karlaftis. While Van Ness is a prodigious bull rusher, I just don’t think he plays with the same grit and brute strength that we saw Karlaftis play with at Purdue. He also did not have to deal with the constant doubles that Karlaftis had to deal with. Van Ness has two pretty exact athletic comparisons with Trey Hendrickson and Ezekiel Ansah. Ton of similarities on tape with both players. Eagles fans are far too low on Van Ness, from what I’ve seen. He is a realistic option at 10 and a very good option in a trade down scenario.

19. CB Emmanuel Forbes = Skinnier Trevon Diggs/Marcus Peters/Skinny Sauce?

If you liked Sauce Gardner’s tape last year, you’ll probably like Emmanuel Forbes this year. He plays with a similar grit and swagger to Sauce. He’s also similarly lanky with Mr. Fantastic-like arms that they use well to gain leverage against receivers. Now, it does not feel exactly fair to compare anyone to a player who became the best at their position as a rookie. But it does feel fair to compare Forbes to ballhawks such as Trevon Diggs and Marcus Peters. Over the course of his three-year career, he came down with 13 interceptions. That’s four more than the next closest Power Five cornerback since 2020. So what’s the problem? He’s extremely skinny. This would concern me more if he had not been going up against the biggest and best athletes in the sport in the SEC.

20. S Brian Branch = Jalen Pitre

This is one of those comparisons that work in terms of on-field production on tape and in terms of size and athleticism. Very similar size. Very similar play styles. Both prospects also had or have “tweener” concerns. Pitre had a great rookie year and I think you can expect the same from Branch.

21. OT Dawand Jones=Orlando Brown/Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane

HUGE monstrous prospects such as Jordan Mailata, Trent Brown and Orlando Brown panning out have helped the freaks such as Dawand Jones. While my most direct player comparison is Orlando Brown, I think the most fair comparison for Dawand Jones is Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane from Game of Thrones. 6’8 360 with a 7’6 wingspan. He averaged 17 and 9 as a High School Senior on the basketball floor. A scout said that watching him deal with blitzing linebackers “looks like Hulk Hogan vs Rocky Balboa” from Rocky 3. He’s a potentially great option for the Eagles at 30. Would be a prime candidate to sit and learn behind Lane Johnson.

22. RB Bijan Robinson = Todd Gurley

The Cop Out comparison seems to be Saquon Barkley. I don’t think he’s quite as special as Saquon, especially as a receiver. I think he compares much more favorably to a Todd Gurley.

23. WR Jalin Hyatt = DeSean Jackson/Will Fuller IV

At the beginning of this process, I did not expect to be higher on Jalin Hyatt than anyone else I’ve seen in the draft industry. There’s a chance that I’m being a prisoner to the moment of October where Hendon Hooker and Jalin Hyatt lit up the college football world against Alabama and others. This guy put up 6 catches for 207 yards and FIVE touchdowns against an Alabama secondary that will have a first round pick in Branch and a Day 2 pick in Ricks. He may have only had 67 catches on only 89 targets but this guy made the most of them. A loud 67 catches for 1267 yards and 15 TD’s with 19 YPC. He had a 9.49 RAS and did not even run as fast as people expected at the combine. Tape doesn’t lie and he has football speed in a similar way to Jackson and Fuller. 4.4 is underselling how fast this guy can be downfield. People that are low on Jalin Hyatt love to point out that he hasn’t dealt with press coverage outside of this one catch. Good luck covering Hyatt’s speed in press coverage. He won’t have to deal with it much because it’s a foolish strategy against him. People will point out that he was used in Uber specific ways in Josh Heupel’s scheme. I point out that Josh Heupel isn’t the only genius that could figure out that Jalin Hyatt is fast and able to be used in interesting ways. People will obviously point out his size. I will point out, just like I do with Bryce Young and Emmanuel Forbes and just like I did with DeVonta Smith, that he did this at the highest level of college football in the SEC.

24. WR Quentin Johnston = Alec Pierce

This was one of the comparisons that jumped off the screen on tape to me. Both guys play in a way that you almost forget how big they are. Both are better route runners than they’re given credit for. I was shocked to see I was the highest of Shane, Deibs and I from our podcast big boards on Johnston but I place a heavy premium on passing game weapons.

25. S Antonio Johnson = Jessie Bates

There have been a lot of comparisons that have made a lot of sense to me for Johnson. The comparisons have ranged from Adrian Phillips, Adrian Amos to Rayshawn Jenkins. I think his upside is even higher than any of those 3 players due to his instincts and traits. I think he has a ton of Jessie Bates to his game. He would have to improve his ball skills but Bates has improved his ball skills at the next level.

26. RB Jahmyr Gibbs = Alvin Kamara/Reggie Bush/CJ Spiller

Best Case: Alvin Kamara, if everything works out. It’s easy to see why this comparison is being made by those who watched Gibbs at Georgia Tech or Alabama. There are striking similarities.

Most Likely Scenario: NFL version of Reggie Bush, specifically from Miami and Detroit and in his early New Orleans years. I think it’s much more likely that Gibbs is a Top 15-20 back with a short window as opposed to being an All-Pro like Kamara.

Worst Case: C.J. Spiller, because of injuries and not being able to be a three-down workhorse back.

27. RB Zach Charbonnet = DeMarco Murray

An easy comparison here. Identical frames while having a multitude of similarities as players. Murray tested a bit better in the 40 than Charbonnet but Charbonnet had better 10/20 yard splits, showing a bit more explosion. Both have a similar North/South running style and will bludgeon you between the tackles. Charbonnet is being undersold as a receiver just like DeMarco Murray was. Charbonnet is a fringe 1st Round talent, but will probably go towards the end of Day 2. DeMarco Murray was also a 1st Round talent that ended up going towards the end of Day 2. There’s also some shades of James Conner, especially in the receiving game.

28. EDGE Isaiah Foskey = Matthew Judon

Isaiah Foskey’s athletic comparisons as suggested by RAS Football are hilarious due to how well he tested at the Combine. They are comparing him to edge rushers such as Bradley Chubb, Jaelan Phillips, Marcus Davenport, Jadeveon Clowney and Jevon “The Freak” Kearse. I could use one of the athletic comparisons but in terms of tape, I see a lot of Matthew Judon in him. They are both pass rushing threats that keep you honest in the run game.

29. EDGE Nolan Smith = DeAndre Hopkins as a DE

Nolan Smith is a pretty good thought experiment as to what it would look like if you took a Wide Receiver Prospect and switched their position to DE on Madden. He’s almost a full-on anomaly for the position. He’s a bit of a project and a home run swing so he’s a guy I’d be pretty disappointed for the Eagles to draft.

30. WR Zay Flowers = Hollywood Brown

I’ve seen some folks compare Zay Flowers with Antonio Brown and I think we’re starting to get too far away from AB’s prime to remember how good he was. So I’m not comparing him to Antonio Brown but I will stay within his family tree. He’s not quite as fast as Brown but he’s a better pure receiver as a route runner and ball tracker. He will play a similar role at the next level and would make a ton of sense in Baltimore.

31. TE Dalton Kincaid = Rich Man’s Mike Gesicki

Just a pure receiving Tight End with absolutely no skills in terms of blocking. You are drafting Kincaid and expecting him to put up Top 5 Fantasy Tight End numbers for the next 5-10 years. I think he’ll play a similar role to Gesicki but I think he’s an even more talented pure receiver.

32. TE Darnell Washington = Freakish Marcedes Lewis

Could he be the new age supersized version of George Kittle and we just don’t know it yet? I don’t think he’ll ever bring the YAC threat that Kittle brings but if a Play Caller could figure out how to best use his freakish athleticism in the passing game, that could be scary. He played a backseat to Brock Bowers, keep his name in your brain for next year, so we did not get to see him used to his full potential as a receiver. No matter what, you know you have a 6th offensive lineman when you have him blocking.

33. CB Kelee Ringo = Oversized Outside CB version of CJGJ

I’m a little bit more bullish on Kelee Ringo being able to play Outside CB than some others are, such as Todd McShay and Shane Haff. But I think the value that Ringo brings is because he could be better suited as a Safety. This is a guy who can bounce around your secondary depending on who’s injured at the time. Very similar to Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in that way that he’s going to be versatile at the next level. CJGJ can bounce back and forth between Slot and Safety which makes him much more valuable.

34. CB Cam Smith = A.J. Bouye

This is almost strictly a comparison due to size and athleticism. They tested extremely similarly while being pretty much the exact same height and weight with the exact same arm length. I have some fears that Cam Smith is undersized and a bit more positioned to be a slot corner but he could prove me wrong and churn out a good career and make some good money just like Bouye has.

35. CB Deonte Banks = Poor Man’s Marshon Lattimore

There is just not a lot of tape on Banks due to his late start and injury issues at Maryland so any comparison you’re seeing out there is primarily based on athletic comparisons. Tested very similarly to 2022 prospect Zyon McCollum. But the guy he tested most similarly to was Marshon Lattimore. That seems like a bit too rich of a comp for me but it’s hard to ignore the athletic traits and comparisons for Banks.

36. OT Cody Mauch = Dillon Radunz/Joe Staley

Feels like a bit of a cop out to compare him to a fellow North Dakota State guy in Dillon Radunz but if Mauch pans out, he could have a Joe Staley-like career. Mauch is a guy you could also compare to Alijah Vera-Tucker with his versatility across the offensive line.

37. WR Josh Downs = Jahan Dotson

It always feels weird to me to compare a guy to such a recent draft prospect since their career has not played out yet. But this was one I could not ignore. Jumped off the screen to me. Jahan Dotson is slightly bigger than Josh Downs but Downs is a better route runner and he’s better in space. The reason I’m starting to think I’m not high enough on Downs is due to how good he was with both Sam Howell and Drake Maye. I’m a big fan of a receiver who produces regardless of the system or QB he’s given. Downs was the alpha dog no matter who was the signal-caller.

38. DT Calijah Kancey = Ed Oliver

Everyone is already making the Aaron Donald comparisons. If I thought Kancey was Aaron Donald, he’d be the #1 player on my draft board. I understand that he’s an undersized DTackle with refined pass rushing moves from Pitt but Aaron Donald is an unfair comparison for anybody. The small undersized pass rushing DT that I see shades of Kancey in is Ed Oliver.

39. DT Bryan Bresee=Poor Man’s Leonard Williams

This comp stinks. Sometimes you don’t find a great player comparison. 

40. EDGE Keion White = Maybe Carlos Dunlap if it all works out?

Another tough comparison. He’s so raw and I don’t even know what position he’ll be at the next level. If it all works out at the Edge Rusher position, I could squint and see a Carlos Dunlap type career for Keion White but he’s a bit of a project.

41. EDGE Derick Hall = Carl Lawson

It’s always fun to stay local with comparisons. He is very similar to his fellow Auburn Tiger graduate Carl Lawson, who’s had a very solid career in the NFL. Hall was the 2nd highest pass rush grade among edge rushers in Auburn history right behind Lawson.

42. EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah = Dante Fowler

Extremely similar frames and athletic profiles. This is one of those comparisons that makes sense statistically, physically and you can see it with your eyes on tape. He’s not an extremely versatile prospect but there’s some value in drafting an NFL-ready guy who has a defined role.

43. LB Trenton Simpson = JOK

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was one of my favorite draft prospects in his year and there are a lot of similarities to Trenton Simpson. Shane and Deibs have both called me out for not being high on Simpson when I was so high on JOK. While there are similarities, Simpson just does not have the same instincts and ball skills. Still a very interesting swiss army knife player and my LB1.

44. LB Drew Sanders = Anthony Barr

Drew Sanders is really tough to find a comparison for due to the way he was used in college. I think if you’re not using his ability as a pass rusher, it’s not worth taking him. So I expect him to have similar traits to an Anthony Barr.

45. LB Jack Campbell = Leighton Vander Esch

I don’t love this comparison. I struggle with Linebacker comps but this was the best I could come up with. Next!

46. CB Clark Phillips = Mike Hilton with Elite Ball Skills

Clark Phillips is a tape watcher’s dream. But he’s also a nightmare for scouts/analysts who rely on RAS scores, combine testing and size. I try to place myself in between both ideologies and I absolutely love Phillips’ tape and his ball skills are unquestionably elite, especially for his size.

47. CB Julius Brents = Maybe this year’s Tariq Woolen?

I’ve gotta be honest, Brents was not on my radar until very recently in terms of the process. I am probably being a bit stubborn in not bumping him up the list because the traits and testing is off the charts. If he pans out and the RAS translates onto the football field, we could see him make an immediate impact in a similar way to fellow combine freak Tariq Woolen. He could also be a total project. That’s the fun of the draft.

48. S Jordan Battle = Justin Reid

Jordan Battle is one of my personal favorite players to watch in this draft class. I think he fits perfectly for the Philadelphia Eagles and playing DB under Nick Saban at Alabama is always an easy way to get my attention. He tested very similarly to Justin Reid and plays very similarly as well. A plug and play type of guy. One of the more NFL-ready prospects in the draft class.

49. OT Darnell Wright = Morgan Moses

I went from thinking I was around consensus on Wright early on this offseason into becoming a “hater”. I am shocked to see how he has skyrocketed up the draft. He seems to be a lock to break into the Top 20! He was a 4 year starter but only one of those years was graded out well at all. I’m not high on the prospect’s tape because his feet are very slow and he plays pretty upright. The reason for optimism? He blocked Will Anderson as well as anybody has for his entire college career. That’s enough for me to at least understand the hype, even if it has popped up out of nowhere

50. OT Blake Freeland = Skinny Basketball Project Version of Jordan Mailata

Jordan Mailata was a Rugby project who became one of the best Offensive Tackles in the NFL. I think Blake Freeland is rising up charts because people see him almost as a basketball version of Mailata. He did get to play a lot of football in college so I do think some of the project/raw labels are being a bit oversold. Don’t be surprised if the Eagles view him as the exact type of project they’d love to take on to become Lane Johnson’s successor.

51. C John Michael Schmitz=Ben Jones

I think John Michael Schmitz lacks the athleticism to get to the next level like the elite Centers do. He does not have the athleticism nor instincts that the Jason Kelce’s and Creed Humphrey’s have. I do think you can sign him up to be a very average to above average pro at the next level, similarly to Ben Jones.

52. QB Will Levis = Ryan Tannehill

He reminds me a lot of Tannehill as a prospect. Not Tennessee Titans Tannehill but Texas A&M/Miami Dolphins Tannehill. I think he’s a guy who checks all of the hypothetical physical boxes but might just not be very good and might not be a very smart processor. If I’m taking a chance on a toolsy QB, it’s going to be Anthony Richardson

53. OT Anton Harrison = Ickey Ekwonu

You might think it’s a bit weird for me to compare a guy that I have ranked 53 to a guy who went very high last year. I was not all that high on Ekwonu last year and he was not very good. So that’s why the comparison is not as strange as it may seem. They also compare very similarly physically.

54. CB Tyrique Stevenson=NY Giants James Bradberry

Not the All-Pro Eagles version from Gannon’s scheme but a very solid option who every team would like to have as a CB2.

55. RB Devon Achane = Rich Man’s Nyheim Hines/Poor Man’s Austin Ekeler

If you squint with Devon Achane, you might miss him. But you also might see shades or Austin Ekeler. Once you clear your eyes, you might see him being a strictly 3rd down back type similarly to Nyheim Hines. I think he lands somewhere in between those outcomes. Speed kills and it also sways me at the RB position. I’m higher on Achane than most.

56. EDGE BJ Ojulari = Azeez Ojulari

It’s almost like these guys are related?

57. IOL Steve Avila = Will Hernandez

Pretty exact size/frame/testing comparison. I think you can expect Avila to be a solid, if not unspectacular, starter on the interior Offensive Line.

58. C Joe Tippmann = Landon Dickerson

A similarly HUGE prospect on the interior of the offensive line. You don’t see Centers as tall as Tippmann or Dickerson very often. You also don’t find Centers or Guards as NFL-ready as Tippmann is or Dickerson was very often.

59. S Sydney Brown = Donte Whitner

A direct size/testing comp. Shoutout to Donte Whitner, always a Madden Franchise favorite for me.

60. TE Zack Kuntz = Jelani Woods

Zack Kuntz is definitively one of “my guys”. Jelani Woods graded out as the best combine performer at the TE position in the history of the combine. He showed serious promise in a terrible offense and system. Zack Kuntz graded out even better than Woods did and stole the mantle of the 100th percentile Tight End athletically.


Photo: Butch Dill/AP

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