2023 NFL Draft: Trevor Sikkema's top 5 players at each offensive position

Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson, Jr. (OL24) during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

• Young, Stroud and Richardson make up top three QBs: Anthony Richardson comes in at No. 3 in Trevor Sikkema's quarterback rankings.

• Paris Johnson Jr. leads the way in the OT rankings: The debate over which tackle deserves to be first off the board rages on, with Johnson topping the list here.

• Top WRs are Jaxon-Smith Njigba and Quentin Johnston: JSN comes in at No. 1 due to a high floor, while Johnston earns the No. 2 spot for his high ceiling.

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Mere weeks separate us from the 2023 NFL Draft, so it’s time to release some of the final versions of my prospect rankings. Here are my top five players at each offensive position. 


QUARTERBACK

  1. Bryce Young, Alabama
  2. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
  3. Anthony Richardson, Florida
  4. Will Levis, Kentucky
  5. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

Simply put, no college quarterback played the position better over the past two seasons than Young. He’s a major size outlier, but one I would take a chance on. Stroud is far ahead of where most quarterbacks are when they make the jump to the pros in terms of passing fundamentals. The only real drawback with his scouting report is that he wasn’t the best under pressure until very recently.

Richardson and Levis have high ceilings thanks to their top-tier arm talent, but Richardson also brings an elite level of rushing ability to the position as a historically athletic dual-threat talent. As for Hendon Hooker, I don’t see him as a first-round player like some do, but I do believe that, at the very least, he can be a preferred backup and a spot starter in the NFL for a long time. 


RUNNING BACK

  1. Bijan Robinson, Texas
  2. Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
  3. DeWayne McBride, UAB
  4. Devon Achane, Texas A&M
  5. Chase Brown, Illinois

Running backs are always tricky to rank because it’s not always about finding a three-down back in today's age. Some teams operate under a heavy rotation and look for specialized traits such as speed, tackle-breaking ability, receiving chops and pass-blocking acumen. But when a player can do it all, they rise to the top. That’s Bijan Robinson. After Robinson, Gibbs brings the most dynamic ability as a rusher and a receiver. McBride was one of the most productive backs in the country, with more than 3,000 rushing yards and 32 rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons in addition to rushing grades of 89.9 and 93.1.

As for some specialization traits, Achane brings world-class speed to the position, so much so that his 4.32-second 40-yard dash was almost seen as a disappointment. But he’s not just a light speed back who goes down at first contact. He shows good contact balance, too. Brown landing in my top five will be a surprise to some, but I’m a sucker for a running back who runs like it could be their last carry ever. Not only does Brown have good long speed and explosiveness, but he also won’t go down easily. Those are the kind of backs I want.

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WIDE RECEIVER

  1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
  2. Quentin Johnston, TCU
  3. Zay Flowers, Boston College
  4. Josh Downs, UNC
  5. Jordan Addison, USC

JSN comes in as WR1 in the rankings right now because of his high floor. He’s so savvy, so smart and so shifty that it’s hard to imagine a world where he’s not a difference-making receiver when healthy. On the flip side, Johnston is No. 2 because of his high ceiling. His production numbers won’t wow you, as he topped 1,000 yards just once (this past season with a 14-game schedule). However, his athletic ability at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds means his potential is higher than the rest. It’s also what makes him one of the class' best after-the-catch receivers.

Zay Flowers is one of the most dynamic receivers in the class on tape. He can play in the slot and on the outside, and though a good chunk of his college production was schemed up, you can see from his change-of-direction and acceleration ability he is a potentially deadly route runner.

As for good route runners, the next two in the top five are already very polished in that category. Downs was a receiving machine for the Tar Heels the past two seasons, and his 68.4% contested-catch rate despite his being 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds shows how strong he is at the catch point. Addison, as a former Biletnikoff Award winner, has some of the best routes in the class, but his lack of size and overall athleticism pushes him down this list a bit. Still, when a player can separate as he does, they have a place in the NFL.


TIGHT END

  1. Dalton Kincaid, Utah
  2. Darnell Washington, Georgia
  3. Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
  4. Sam LaPorta, Iowa
  5. Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State

This tight end class is a fun one, and it starts at the top with how good of a receiver Dalton Kincaid is. We don't have to get crazy with George Kittle or Travis Kelce comps with him, but he’s the kind of big receiving talent who can be utilized inline as well as in the slot, and he should be a first-round pick.

Washington is one of the true “unicorns” in the class with his rare combination of size, at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, and speed, running a 4.64-second 40-yard dash with an even more impressive 4.08-second short shuttle. Mayer is about as steady and reliable as tight ends come; he can be a day-one starter due to his high floor as a blocker and receiver.

Meanwhile, LaPorta and Kraft are two more tight ends who bring that “big receiver” label to life with what they can do in the red zone and after the catch. There’s a chance that a starting, or at least a contributing, tight end can be had in all three of the first three rounds, which you can’t say every year.

Read more: 8 player comps we love, including Michael Mayer to Jason Witten


OFFENSIVE TACKLE

  1. Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State
  2. Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
  3. Darnell Wright, Tennessee
  4. Broderick Jones, Georgia
  5. Anton Harrison, Oklahoma

It’s a good year to need an offensive tackle. I believe there is a chance the top four players on this list could all be gone within the first 20 picks, similar to what happened with Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills Jr., Mekhi Becton and Tristan Wirfs. And Anton Harrison is playing the role of Austin Jackson as that potential fifth offensive tackle taken in the top 20.

Paris Johnson Jr. is such a well-rounded prospect, bringing experience on the right and left sides of the line. Skoronski’s tape is about as clean as it comes for an offensive tackle, though his arm length might cause him to slide down boards if not enough teams see him as a true tackle. Wright and Jones are two massive, athletic big men who have the physical gifts to thrive at the pro level. As for Harrison, he doesn’t get talked about with the same hype as the other four, but he has three years of starting experience as a left tackle and is a smooth pass protector already ahead of most college tackles when they make the jump. 


INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE

  1. O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida
  2. John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota
  3. Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin
  4. Steve Avila, TCU
  5. Andrew Vorhees, USC

This interior offensive line class was originally viewed as one of the weakest links of the 2023 NFL Draft. It’s still not the deepest class we’ve seen in recent years, but there are some coveted names at the top. Torrence has now proven at the Sun Belt and SEC levels that he has the frame and the strength to be an absolute people mover, earning run-blocking grades of 89.4 and 89.9 over the past two seasons.

John Michael Schmitz started for Minnesota since 2019 and is one of the bigger center prospects you’ll find who also has some guard versatility at his size. The same can be said for TCU's Avila. At 6-foot-6 and 313 pounds, Tippmann is one of the bigger center prospects, and he does good work blocking in space. Such a combination should make him a top-60 selection.

Finally, while Andrew Vorhees tore his ACL working out at the NFL Combine, he was still able to hit 38 reps of 225 on the bench for the best mark of all trench players. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the strongest interior offensive linemen in the class.

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