NFL Draft News & Analysis

Biggest movers at the top of the PFF draft board after the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine

Arlington, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah (91) in action during the game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Kansas State Wildcats at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

• Felix Anudike-Uzomah continues to rise: The Kansas State edge defender jumped 13 spots on the PFF big board from the Senior Bowl to the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

• Jaxon Smith-Njigba trending toward WR1: The Ohio State product ranks behind only TCU's Quentin Johnston on the PFF big board after the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 mins

Though there isn’t any new tape to evaluate, the stock of certain prospects continues to move up and down as the offseason rolls on. With 2023 NFL Scouting Combine data all accounted for, and a new update of the PFF big board to reflect it, we wanted to take a look at some of the biggest risers over the past month.

Here are eight of the biggest movers on the PFF board from post-Senior Bowl to post-combine.

CB Julius Brents, Kansas State

Was: 172 / Now: 62 / Movement: +110

Brents was by far the biggest riser on the PFF board between the Senior Bowl and the end of the combine. After really impressing on the field in Mobile during Senior Bowl practices, a dive back into the tape showed good use of those rare tools he has, especially the physical ones. At the combine, Brents measured in at 6-foot-2 3/4 in height with an 82 5/8-inch wingspan and 34-inch arms. All three of those measurables were above the 96th percentile for cornerbacks. He then showed off his explosiveness with a 41-inch vertical and a 138-inch broad, both once again above the 96th percentile. All of that comes to fruition in his tape.

CB Cam Smith, South Carolina

Was: 69 / Now: 38 / Movement: +31

Smith had to be one of the biggest risers on the list. His man coverage ability and confidence are very appealing. But there were some questions about his overall athleticism, specifically whether he had the long speed to play press coverage close to the line of scrimmage yet turn and run when receivers at the NFL level wanted to get vertical. His 1.49-second 10-yard split and 4.43-second 40-yard dash put those worries to rest.

LB Jack Campbell, Iowa

Was: 64 / Now: 44 / Movement: +20

Jack Campbell’s rise on the big board is for similar reasons to that of Cam Smith. Campbell has some great off-ball linebacker tape that flashes his toughness, reliable tackling and good instincts for coverage and pursuit angles. But was he a player who could really get sideline to sideline when situations called for it? He certainly proved capable with a 4.65-second 40-yard dash and, more importantly, high explosiveness numbers, including a 37 1/2-inch vertical and a 128-inch broad. He also recorded an incredibly impressive 6.74 three-cone time. He showed he could run, accelerate and change direction at a pro level.

LB Dorian Williams, Tulane

Was: 97 / Now: 82 / Movement: +15

Williams is another linebacker in this class who showcased good athletic ability at the combine. His 1.54-second 10-yard split and 4.49-second 40-yard dash were in the 89th and 94th percentiles, respectively, for linebackers. That burst and athletic ability shows up on tape when he attacks the pocket and erases running back angles to the sideline. Athletes like Williams are the kind of linebackers you bet on.

EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State

Was: 46 / Now: 33 / Movement: +13

Anudike-Uzomah had been a fringe first-round prospect for most of the 2022 season. By the time the campaign ended, it felt like he was more of an early second-rounder. But his impressive podium session at the combine really shed some light on what a student of the game he is. Of course, the podium session that the media gets to see is just a small piece of the scouting portfolio. The pass-rush ability is there for him, as is the production, as he earned an elite pass-rush grade in 2021. But when you get to hear the mindset some of these players have toward getting better and succeeding at their craft, it can make you believe in their abilities even more. 

OT Dawand Jones, Ohio State

Was: 44 / Now: 31 / Movement: +13

Jones was so impressive during the first day of Senior Bowl practices that he didn’t even work out the rest of the week. The 6-foot-8, 375-pounder, who also measured in with 36 3/8-inch arms, is one of the biggest prospects we’ve seen come through the combine in some time. His 10-yard split and 40-yard dash times weren’t overly impressive (neither above the 30th percentile), but you’re not drafting him to run 40 yards. His measurables alone make him a coveted player.

C Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin

Was: 62 / Now: 53 / Movement: +9

Tippman didn’t work out at the combine, which was a shame because he would have likely been one of the more athletic players in the interior offensive line group based on what we’ve heard about him from those around the Wisconsin program. The reason he’s a riser here is that we still believe he has great movement skills as a massive center prospect at 6-foot-6 and 313 pounds with an 80 3/8-inch wingspan. Draft big athletes. 

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Was: 20 / Now: 11 / Movement: +9

Smith-Njigba’s rise on the board has as much to do with his hype as a potential WR1 in this class as it does with what he was able to showcase at the combine. He led all wide receivers in both three-cone and short shuttle numbers, at 6.57 and 3.93, respectively. Both marks were above the 96th percentile for wide receivers. If you ask 10 different scouts who their top five wide receivers are in this class, you might get 10 different combinations. But it feels like Smith-Njigba is trending toward that title as the first receiver off the board.

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