2023 NFL Draft Big Board: Ranking the top 50 prospects

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 01: Bijan Robinson #5 of the Texas Longhorns runs the ball in the fourth quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on October 01, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 01: Bijan Robinson #5 of the Texas Longhorns runs the ball in the fourth quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on October 01, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Deonte Banks is a top 15 player in our 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Nov 5, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Maryland Terrapins defensive back Deonte Banks (3) reacts following a play during the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Defense dominates picks #11-20 in the 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

Early R1 – 6’4/313lbs

An exceptional left tackle at the collegiate level for Northwestern, Skoronski deserves a shot to compete to play on the blind side but is likely to end up at guard. All-Pro potential inside, Skoronski is a technician with great awareness and balance. He lacks the ideal length, but has good overall mass and power, displaying a sound anchor and ability to be able to drive his man backward. Safe pick and scheme versatile, the top interior offensive lineman on this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board.

Early-Mid R1 – 6’1/197lbs

With length, great instincts for the position, and the fluid athleticism required to stay close to his man in coverage, Gonzalez has CB1 potential at the next level. He has a prototypical body and an excellent ability to compete at the catch point. Is not as twitchy as Witherspoon, but a smooth mover and has impressive jets for a bigger corner, running a 4.38 forty at the combine.

Erupted for jumps of 41.5″ (vertical) and 11’1″ (broad) at the event, highlighting an explosive athlete. Tackling and angles in pursuit can be inconsistent, but he is willing and will continue to improve across the board as the level of opposition increases.

Early-Mid R1 – 6’3/314lbs

Eyebrows may be raised at Carter being so low, but the concerns around this prospect off the field are loud enough to warrant a serious pause for thought. He has a legitimate claim to be the best player overall, but this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board is not just based on potential, it is also a projection of how likely each prospect is to achieve their ceiling. Carter is much maligned and murmurings about his passion for the game could prevent him from reaching the upper echelons of the NFL elite.

His natural talent shows a player who can dominate his opponent and win against double teams consistently. He has speed off the snap and can shoot a gap before offensive linemen have a chance to react. Even when he is knocked off course, his ability to contort his body and wriggle free without losing an ounce of power is exceptional.

Carter’s pass-rush instincts are among the best in the class, he plays with controlled violence and can comfortably plug the run when required. Overall, he is an extremely well-rounded player and if his light bulb turns on, will be among the best of the best and one team will have gotten themselves a steal if he is drafted outside the top four or five picks.

Early-Mid R1 – 6’1/196lbs

The most technically sound and top receiving prospect on this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board, Smith-Njigba does much of his damage in the slot. He immediately comes into the league with a high floor and he will have an impact as an effective weapon who can tough it out across the middle of the field.

Questions remain about his ceiling though; can he hit the giddy heights of a bona fide WR1? Smith-Njigba is a decisive route runner, who is smooth through his breaks. He is able to consistently extend and catch the ball in stride, ripping the ball away from defenders in contested catch situations.

Change of direction is off the charts for a bigger slot and he runs with a purpose and real vision. Has enough speed and acceleration to be effective on deeper shots, but this is not his game. The safest bet to become a solid WR2 at the very least.

Mid R1 – 6’0/197lbs

A feisty, sticky cornerback who simply competes on every play. Banks recorded a sensational 4.35 forty and a 42-inch vertical at the combine to go along with an 11’4″ broad jump. He looked smooth for a big corner during drills and has a physical, defined frame. CB3 on this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board and will be suited to any scheme.

Mid R1 – 6’5/272lbs

Van Ness is an incredibly enticing prospect and could go higher than this after an impressive combine. His potential to play across the defensive line is limitless. Plays with a violent mentality along with the bend and agility of a man twenty pounds lighter. Can win in a multitude of different ways and will be a threat rushing the passer both inside and outside of the tackles.

Mid R1 – 6’1/281lbs

Parallels to Aaron Donald raise unfair expectations of Kancey, but his collegiate background and play style naturally lead to such bold predictions. Kancey has an exciting combination of short-area bust, pass-rush moves, and violent explosion that allow him to be a menacing QB hunter.

The Pitt product should become a penetrative three-tech at the next level, but size limitations may mean that he never becomes a true three-down defender. His frame may not allow him to be able to absorb double teams consistently due to his smaller frame and shorter arms. Regardless, he deserves his place in round one and is a dynamic player who will wreak havoc in the NFL.

Mid R1 – 6’4/239lbs

The most naturally explosive pass rusher on this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board. McDonald almost appears too quick for himself sometimes! He is long and bendy and possesses a devastating spin move that is well-documented after his impressive Senior Bowl week.

Despite a more slender frame than some of his peers, run defense is not a major worry for McDonald as he maintains excellent play strength and contact balance. His smooth movement skills around the arc are complemented by effective hand counters and McDonald is likely to become a sack artist playing within a 3-4 OLB at the next level.

Mid-Late R1 – 5’11/178lbs

Legitimate man-to-man skills and an ultra-competitive demeanor make Turner an exciting prospect. A 4.26 forty matches Tariq Woolen from last year and will turn heads. Displayed real explosiveness at the combine and was undoubtedly the most impressive corner at the event. Turner has excellent hips, precise movement in coverage, and the desire to hit. Should find a home in the first round.

Mid-Late R1 – 6’3/323lbs

Smith has the potential to become an NFL force on the interior of the defensive line. He will absorb blockers, allowing others to eat, as well as providing his brand of pocket-collapsing havoc. Smith possesses overwhelming size and unparalleled athletic traits and will make any defensive line immediately more intimidating.

A combination of raw power, the ability to get off blocks and contort his massive body into unexpected positions hint at a sky-high ceiling. Only scratching the surface of his potential, Smith has not yet become a player who can fill up a stat sheet, but the upside in this area of his game is crying out to be developed. Best football is still ahead of him.