South Carolina’s Cam Smith has first-round potential
Yearly, there are prospects who’ve established themselves however nonetheless go largely undiscovered by means of the early levels of the method. Which defensive backs profile as sleepers within the 2023 NFL Draft? Right here’s who you must know when you don’t already.
2023 NFL Draft Sleepers at DB
The 2022 NFL Draft was famed for its depth at each cornerback and security. The 2023 NFL Draft, on the floor, doesn’t seem fairly as bountiful. However as everyone knows, that may change between now and subsequent April. And a few of these defensive backs might have a direct hand in strengthening the notion of the 2023 class.
Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Cam Smith isn’t at all times one of many first cornerbacks talked about within the 2023 NFL Draft dialogue. However he must be. Smith is quietly probably the greatest returning cornerbacks on the school soccer stage. And when you ask me, he has reliable early-round upside. Someplace throughout the first 32 picks isn’t out of the query.
It gained’t be shocking if Smith fashions his sport after former teammate Jaycee Horn as a result of he performs with the identical biting bodily edge. Smith units the tone together with his voracious physicality each in press protection and in run help, however he additionally has the athleticism to carry up downfield. He’s lengthy, explosive, pretty fluid, and a proactive playmaker on the catch level, evidenced by three interceptions and 11 move deflections in 2021.
Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse
Garrett Williams was a participant I might’ve taken on Day 2 within the 2022 NFL Draft had he declared. As an alternative, Williams determined to return to highschool for his redshirt junior season. In doing so, his hype has died down a bit. Right here’s an necessary reminder that Williams, like Smith, can be probably the greatest returning cornerbacks within the 2023 cycle.
Williams could also be probably the greatest playmakers on the catch level amongst cornerbacks getting into 2022. Not solely does Williams have nice coordination, physique management, and ball-tracking means, however he additionally performs the ball by means of the catch level. He’s aggressive in searching for to dislodge and generate deflections. Going additional, Williams is explosive and fluid, with clean footwork on the line. And he’s additionally very aggressive in run help.
Rashad Torrence II, S, Florida
It’s early — virtually too early to inform which positions are deep and which positions aren’t. However proper now, the security class appears to be like a bit thinner, or a minimum of extra unsure, than it regarded within the 2022 cycle. After all, with the assistance of prospects like Florida’s Rashad Torrence II, that may change.
Torrence has all of the instruments to emerge as one of many higher safeties within the 2023 NFL Draft class. He has a robust body at 6’0″, 205 kilos. He’s lengthy, explosive, and rangy sufficient to make performs coming downhill. He has the coveted enforcer mentality as a security coming into the field, however he can monitor the ball within the air and make performs as effectively. Collectively, he and Trey Dean III make up one of the crucial thrilling security tandems in school soccer this 12 months.
Micah Abraham, DB, Marshall
It may be a helpful train to look to the Group of 5 for prospects that supersede their lesser rivals. Marshall’s Micah Abraham, the son of Professional Bowl defensive again Donnie Abraham, rapidly stands out when MAC soccer. Abraham was probably the greatest gamers in his convention final season, and he returns in 2022 with hopes of turning into a family identify on the 2023 NFL Draft circuit.
With Abraham, all of it begins together with his playmaking means. The 6’2″, 175-pound defensive again has a knack for making performs on the ball and disrupting passes. In 2021 alone, he had a choose and 14 move deflections, tying for third in your entire NCAA within the latter class. Abraham makes use of his size effectively, however he’s additionally a fairly fluid athlete for his dimension, and he has some positional versatility. He can line up on the boundary or within the slot. His expertise calls for that he strikes so much to match the perfect his opposition has to supply.
Beejay Williamson, S, Louisiana Tech
We’ll shut out with a standard theme — playmakers. There’s at all times a spot for a defensive again who could make performs on the ball. If there’s one factor Beejay Williamson has confirmed in his time at Louisiana Tech, it’s that he can do exactly that. Over the previous two seasons, Williamson hauled in six interceptions, and he ought to solely add to that quantity in 2022.
Louisiana Tech is a bit off the crushed path with regards to draft analysis, however Williamson is a prospect value understanding. Listed at 6’1″, 185 kilos, he has good dimension. He’s a bit underweight, however he compensates together with his instincts and playmaking means in protection. Lining up at a large number of spots, Williamson can learn and react, leap routes together with his closing burst, and make momentum-changing performs for his crew.