June 2, 2023

Draftnasty Magazine

Your #1 authority for year-round draft coverage

Former Arkansas linebacker was taken by the Denver Broncos in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Former Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders was taken in the third round by the Denver Broncos in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The AFC West entered the 2023 NFL Draft with some teams having a limited amount of picks due to trades or transactions. The Raiders draft produced three viable starting candidates and a potential steal in the fifth round.

The Chiefs found a way to get another target for Patrick Mahomes but also secured protection on the edges in a tackle with multiple years of starting experience in two Power 5 conferences. They also added an athletic safety/nickel prospect with upside in the fourth round.

Los Angeles went into the draft needing to improve a rush defense that still struggled in 2022 and brought in three defenders who all bring backup possibilities with starting upside.

The Broncos did not have a first round pick but grabbed a versatile wide receiver in Oklahoma’s Marvin Mims along with linebacker Drew Sanders, who should compete for playing time in Year 1. Sanders adds pass rush capability to the team’s front seven.

2023 NFL Draft Recap, AFC West
Las Vegas Raiders
SelectionPlayer SelectionPosition- SchoolDN Big Board Rank/ GradeNotesValue (1-5)Trades
1st Round, 7th overallTyree Wilson 6’6 271DE/OLB-Texas Tech2/1st RoundWilson’s foot injury may have cost him a couple of spots, but he enters a situation where he can move around on the defensive front on third downs with Max Crosby and Chandler Jones.5
2 (35)-from IndianapolisMichael Mayer 6’4 249TE/Notre Dame12/1st RoundNicknamed “Baby Gronk,” Mayer has an opportunity to grow in a similar offensive package as the one that Gronkowski excelled in under current Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels. 5The Raiders received this pick in a trade from Indianapolis in the second round in exchange for the 38th overall pick in this year’s draft and the 5th Round pick (141st overall)
3 (70)Byron Young 6’3 294 DT-Alabama165/3rd RoundHis heavy-handed nature allows him to two-gap effectively. Young disengages from blockers and has an under rip move to change up his two-hand posts as a pass rusher. 4.5
4 (104)Jakorian Bennett 5’11 199 CB-Nickel/Maryland107/3rd RoundBennett contains some similarities to New Orleans Saints corner Alontae Taylor as a tightly-wound corner and may project to the nickel position at the next level. 5The Raiders traded the 109th pick and a 2023 fifth-round pick (174th overall) to the Houston Texans for their 4th round pick (104) and a 2023 fifth-round pick (174th)
4 (135) from New EnglandAidan O’Connell 6’3 213QB-Purdue153/3rd RoundOur ninth-ranked quarterback, O’Connell was the eighth quarterback selected in this year’s draft and contains an efficient C-cup shaped release and adequate pocket mobility. He has to improve against pressure concepts, but the former walk-on’s ball placement has stood out in school. 5
5 (170)Christopher Smith II 5’10 191S-Georgia133/3rd RoundSmith II’s instincts have never been the question when it comes to eye speed. He made plays at an alarmingly high rate due to the football intelligence and throws his body around on the field when he sees it early in the down. 5
6 (203)Amari Burney 6’2 233LB-Florida293/4th RoundBurney’s foot speed has been evident since he played the Star position or nickel linebacker role for the Gators back in 2020. He became much better this past season in his key-and-diagnose while still proving capable of matching tight ends like Georgia’s Bowers. 4.5
7 (231)Nesta Jade Silvera 6’2 307DT-ASU, Miami (Fla.)366/5th RoundA one-gap penetrator who plays with maximum effort when engaged, Jade Silvera has given offensive linemen problems with his activity when working inside. He was active in 2022 and finished with career-highs in tackles. 4.5
No. 1 UDFA signing:Drake Thomas 5’11 1/2” 221LB-NC State330/5th RoundA lack of size may have hurt Thomas’ standing heading into the draft, but he was one of the nation’s best when it came to attacking the line of scrimmage (47 tackles for losses in career) and stood out covering kicks while in school.4
Draft Grade:4.81
Kansas City Chiefs
SelectionPlayer SelectionPosition- SchoolDN Big Board Rank/ GradeNotesValue (1-5)Trades
1 (31)Felix Anudike-Uzomah 6’3 255 DE-Kansas State11/1st RoundThe Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year consistently forced fumbles in school and turned the corner with a tenacity that embodies the Chiefs preference for athletic young playmakers on that side of the ball. 5
2 (55) Rashee Rice 6’1 204WR-SMU86/3rd RoundRice ranked as one of the more dependable third down receivers in the AAC throughout the course of his career. He excels on the competitive catches and adds another size element to the Chiefs receiving room.4Traded away for the 55th pick (2nd round)
3 (92)Wanya Morris 6’5 307OT-Oklahoma116/3rd RoundMorris’ talent has been on display since he began as a starting freshman tackle at Tennessee. The Chiefs needed to increase their depth at the tackle position. 4.5
4 (119)Chamarri Conner 6’0 211S-NB/Virginia Tech95/3rd RoundConner is a solid nickel/safety prospect with violence in his game to go along with coverage capability over the slot at 210 pounds. He has special teams capability from Day 1.5Vikings traded out of this spot and picked up a fifth round pick from the Kansas City Chiefs
5 (166)BJ Thompson 6’5 243OLB-Stephen F. Austin, Baylor376/5th RoundWon the football slam dunk contest during halftime of a Baylor basketball game in 2018. Runs the hoop naturally. The skills say that he should already be a dominant 10-to-15-sack performer, but he has inconsistent pass rush variety.4
6 (194)Keondre Coburn 6’1 332DT-Texas229/4th RoundCoburn has always surprised by running out of the stack to chase the ball at over 330 pounds. This is the type of effort it will require to gain a spot in the team’s defensive line rotation. 4.5
7 (250)Nic Jones 6’0 191CB-Ball State262/4th RoundJones is a smooth corner with nearly 33-inch arms who is light on his feet and contains an efficient, relaxed backpedal. He settles his feet and gets a little wide on plant-and-drives. 5
No. 1 UDFA signing:Isaiah Moore 6’2 234 LB-NC State182/3rd RoundMoore recovered well from a 2021 season-ending injury to lead the nation’s 19th-ranked defense in 2022. A three-time team captain, Moore needs to impress on special teams to earn a role in a deep linebacking corps.5
Draft Grade:4.57
Denver Broncos
SelectionPlayer SelectionPosition- SchoolDN Big Board Rank/ GradeNotesValue (1-5)Trades
2 (63)Marvin Mims 5’11 183All-Purpose-WR-Ret/Oklahoma127/3rd RoundMims, Jr. tracks the football like a baseball outfielder and some of the high wire acts speak to his level of hand-eye coordination. He has a chance to become a solid No. 3 receiver initially and provides added potential value as a punt returner from Day 1.4
3 (67)Drew Sanders 6’4 235LB-Arkansas, Alabama 65/2nd RoundSanders’ ability in coverage shined on occasion at Alabama, where he demonstrated range and a feel for finding routes after recognizing play action. In addition, the Broncos could use his size to match athletic tight ends. 5
3 (83)Riley Moss 6’0 191 CB-Iowa80/3rd RoundThe best work for the 2021 Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year comes in zone, where his refined bail technique allows him to clue quarterbacks. There is a bit of a gambling style in his play. He tackles in crack-and-replace, flips to break out of zone turns and finishes on the ball with hand-eye coordination. 5
6 (183)JL Skinner 6’4 211S-Boise State114/3rd RoundSkinner did not need to be a fit for every NFL team, but he could quickly have a Kearse-type impact for a team. He has the eye control to steal passes as a robber and the size to match tight ends. 5
7 (257)Alex Forsyth 6’3 3/4” 316OC-Oregon305/4th RoundForsyth didn’t put up extraordinary workout numbers, but he was considered the most detailed player on the team and he has played right guard, left guard, right tackle and offensive center in school. 4.8
No. 1 UDFA signing:Thomas Incoom 6’2 265DE-Central Michigan143/3rd RoundIncoom is a power rusher who lacks significant bend but he was productive over the last year-and-a-half in the MAC playing to his strengths. He could find a home in the team’s as a backup with a solid preseason.5
Draft Grade:4.76
Los Angeles Chargers
SelectionPlayer SelectionPosition- SchoolDN Big Board Rank/ GradeNotesValue (1-5)Trades
1 (21)Quentin Johnston 6’4 200 WR/TCU53/2nd RoundJohnston’s physical capability continues to make the Chargers a team full of athletic power forwards on the outside lanes. They will force matchup problems for teams who don’t have small corners. Could he be another candidate to use both inside and outside? 4
2 (54)Tuli Tuipulotu 6’3 266 OLB-DE/USC48/2nd RoundTuipulotu's power is supplemented with a slippery nature to crease gaps inside. He could be a factor in the right system, but we think he has enough athleticism to be a headache as a 3-4 outside linebacker. 5
3 (85)Daiyan Henley 6’1 235LB-Washington State, Nevada54/2nd RoundThe former wide receiver actually caught three touchdown passes back in 2017. His coverage potential shined in contests like the Hawaii contest in 2021. Henley’s eye speed continues to improve at the position. 5
4 (125)Derius Davis 5’8 165All-Purpose-WR-KR-TCU443/5th RoundDavis is an explosive well-built all-purpose specialist who may turn out to be a version of Cowboys return man Kavontae Turpin.3
5 (156) Jordan McFadden 6’2 305 OG-OT-Clemson 159/3rd RoundMcFadden’s ability to pull could expand the team’s running game and his experience as a multi-year starter at left tackle may project him to an interior line position, but at the least gives him an opportunity to expand the team’s backup options. 5
6 (200)Scott Matlock 6’4 298DT-Boise State268/4th RoundMatlock’s leverage and bull in a china shop approach made him one of the toughest defenders to block in the Mountain West Conference. He does not stay blocked. 4.5
7 (239)Max Duggan 6’1 1/2” 207QB-TCU142/3rd RoundDuggan’s 4.5 speed has been evident since his first time stepping on the field, but his field vision and processing speed increased during his final year on campus. His deep ball prowess and fourth quarter poise stood out. 5
No. 1 UDFA signing:Jerrod Clark 6’4 334DT-Coastal Carolina254/4th RoundClark’s injury history was a bit concerning but the former tight end’s one gap penetration capability resulted in 18 tackles for losses during his career. 5
Draft Grade:4.5

Heston Kjerstad OF/1B-Bowie Baysox (Baltimore AA affiliate)

Heston Kjerstad throwing in the outfield during the 2019 SEC Tournament
2020 Baltimore Orioles second overall pick Heston Kjerstad is currently batting .298 with eight home runs for the Bowie Baysox (Baltimore AA affiliate) in the Eastern League.

Kansas City Chiefs OT Jawaan Taylor

Former Jacksonville OT Jawaan Taylor versus Miami in 2019
Former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor, who has started 66 games in four years, agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

2018 Recruiting Recap: Offensive Linemen

Nicholas Petit-Frere was drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans
Petit-Frere, a former top recruit in the Class of 2018, started 16 games as a rookie for the Tennessee Titans in 2022.

Peyton Wilson IF-Northwest Arkansas Naturals

Peyton Wilson 2B-Alabama
It wasn't until 2021 that Wilson moved to second base. As a freshman in 2020, he was primarily a catcher and played in the outfield. The 66th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft is currently batting .327 for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

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