2023 NFL Draft: One prospect at every position with the most to gain at the NFL Scouting Combine

Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) looks to throw. Syndication Florida Times Union

  • Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson: The redshirt sophomore is one of the most impressive athletes in recent memory at the quarterback position and should continue his rise at the combine.
  • TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston: The junior could cement his case as the top wide receiver prospect in the draft with a strong showing. 
  • Clemson interior defensive lineman Bryan Bresee: The junior could remind everyone why he should be a top-15 pick with a dominant week at the combine.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

This week marks the beginning of one of the most important events of the draft season: the NFL Scouting Combine. Over 300 of the top prospects flock to Indianapolis, Indiana to conduct interviews with teams, get medical checks and, of course, participate in measurements and testing that reveal the best athletes. 

It’s a week that can make or break a prospect’s draft position, as a strong performance can launch them to the No. 1 overall pick, such as Travon Walker last year. Here is one prospect at every position who has the most to gain in Indianapolis.

Quarterback: Anthony Richardson, Florida Gators

Richardson has seen his odds to be the first overall pick rise dramatically, going from (+5000) to (+750) over the last week on DraftKings Sportsbook.

That’s due to his outrageous physical tools, which are arguably the best at the quarterback position since Cam Newton in 2011. At 6-foot-4 and 231 pounds, Richardson could crack the 4.4s in the 40-yard dash. Not only that, but he has a bazooka of a right arm that can throw 60-plus yards with ease. 

Running back: Devon Achane, Texas A&M Aggies

If there’s anyone who could come close to John Ross’ record 4.22-second 40-yard dash, it’s likely Achane. 

Not only does the junior have breakaway speed on the gridiron, but his speed is also verified on the track as well. Last spring, Achane ran the 100-meter dash in 10.14 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 20.2 seconds for Texas A&M’s track and field team. Both of those times would’ve been sixth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Wide receiver: Quentin Johnston, TCU Horned Frogs

As lead draft analyst Mike Renner stated in PFF’s 2023 NFL Draft guide, “Johnston is one of the most physically impressive wide receivers in recent memory.”

At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Johnston has hit over 20 miles per hour on GPS tracking. He’s incredibly explosive, which should show up in the vertical jump, broad jump and 10-yard splits. With a dominant showing in Indianapolis, Johnston could lock up the top receiver spot on most teams’ big boards.

Tight end: Luke Musgrave, Oregon State Beavers

Johnston isn’t the only one who can run over 20 miles per hour. At the Senior Bowl a couple of weeks ago, Musgrave hit 20.05 miles per hour on the GPS at 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds according to the event’s executive director Jim Nagy. He’s raw as a route-runner, but his tools alone could have teams willing to spend an early second-round pick on him. 

Offensive Tackle: Cody Mauch, North Dakota State Bison

Mauch had one of the most incredible body transformations of anyone in this class, as he entered North Dakota State as a 221-pound tight end before beefing up to 303 pounds to play left tackle this past season. Despite gaining over 80 pounds, he maintained his freakish athleticism. Mauch’s 90.8 grade and 19 big-time blocks led all FCS offensive linemen this season. His arm length is a question mark at tackle, but he should dominate all of the on-field drills.

Interior Offensive Line: Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin Badgers

Tippmann is one of the best pulling centers in this class. 

His six big-time blocks this year were tied for 11th among all Power Five centers in 2022. He almost looks like a tight end on the move at 317 pounds.

Interior Defensive Lineman: Bryan Bresee, Clemson Tigers

Bresee entered Clemson with a ton of hype as the No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2020, per On3’s consensus ratings.

He never quite lived up to expectations with just a 73.6 grade over the course of his career, but much of that can be attributed to injuries and the fact that he didn’t really fit in Clemson’s scheme. Bresee has special explosiveness and strength at 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds, which is what made him the top recruit to begin with. He seems to be slipping on some evaluators’ boards but can remind everyone why he should be a top-20 pick at the combine.

Edge defender: Nolan Smith, Georgia Bulldogs

The second-straight former No. 1 overall recruit on this list, Smith led all high school recruits in 2019 in On3's consensus rating.

Like Bresee, Smith was never fully unlocked at Georgia, as the Bulldogs’ scheme forced him to focus more on the run game than rushing the passer. Also like Bresee, Smith battled injuries, as a torn pec ended his season in October. He will be participating in the combine, though, and could lock up a spot in the first round by showing off his speed and explosiveness.

Linebacker: Daiyan Henley, Washington State Cougars

Henley is one of PFF’s darlings in the 2023 NFL Draft. Despite ranking outside the top five on most linebacker rankings, the redshirt senior is our top linebacker prospect in the draft

He spent his initial two years at wide receiver at Nevada before transitioning to linebacker. He maintained that athleticism through the position switch and has an 86.2 coverage grade over the last two seasons. With a strong showing at the combine, Henley can shoot up other big boards.

Cornerback: Kelee Ringo, Georgia Bulldogs

Ringo is one of the best athletes in the 2023 NFL Draft. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Ringo clocked an approximate speed of 23.5 miles per hour during one of his pre-draft workouts. For reference, the fastest ball carrier in the NFL this season, Parris Campbell, came in around 22 miles per hour. He seems to be slipping on most big boards lately but can cement his status as a first-round pick if he lives up to the hype in Indianapolis.

Safety: Sydney Brown, Illinois Fighting Illini

Brown won’t be the only one from his family at the combine, as his twin brother, Chase, will also be in attendance as one of the top running back prospects. 

Sydney impressed this year with six interceptions and six pass-breakups and has a rocked-up build at 205 pounds. He should dominate nearly every on-field drill at the combine.

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