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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Julius Brents is our 6th rated cornerback and ranked 41st on our 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
LUBBOCK, TEXAS – OCTOBER 23: Defensive back Julius Brents #23 of the Kansas State Wildcats defends during the second half of the college football game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium on October 23, 2021 in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

2023 NFL Draft Big Board prospects #33-50

33. Myles Murphy — Edge, Clemson

Early R2 – 6’5/268lbs

Some see him as the next best edge prospect after Will Anderson, others see him as a player who has taken it easy throughout his collegiate career, knowing that he can get by on his superior athletic gifts. The reality is that he is somewhere in between, meaning that he receives a high second-round grade in this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board.

As alluded to, Murphy is a phenomenal natural athlete and is a big end prospect. He has dominant reps but often leaves you wanting more and appears slightly stiff. If he can put it all together, he will outperform this grade because the traits are enticing.

34. Steve Avila — Interior Offensive Lineman, TCU

Early R2 – 6’3/332lbs

Impressive Senior Bowl performance catapulted him up these rankings. Top interior lineman, Avila has overwhelming strength, an impressive anchor, and can play multiple spots on the line. Aggressive mentality and is a tone-setter with no discernible difference of ability in the pass or run game.

35. Brian Branch — Safety, Alabama

Early R2 – 6’0/190lbs

Slipped a little after being deemed only an average athlete by many, Branch remains a Rolls Royce of a defender on the back end. Could be a slot-corner convert at the next level, Branch can cover multiple slots and has a high-level understanding of the game. Will go higher than this thanks to his smarts and pedigree.

36. John Michael Schmitz — Interior Offensive Lineman, Minnesota

Early R2 – 6’4/301lbs

Likely an instant starter at the center position and is likely to be a safe pick at the back end of round one. Schmitz uses his hands well and can consistently win the leverage battle thanks to his ideal frame, timing, excellent pad level, and wrestling background. A real Senior Bowl winner and has two-contract potential according to Jim Nagy.

37. Derick Hall — Edge, Auburn

Mid R2 – 6’3/256lbs

Versatility in terms of how he opts to rush the passer, good testing profile, and excellent collegiate production. Hall has a motor that always runs hot, is an alpha on defense, and could hear his name called on day one.

38. Joey Porter Jr — Cornerback, Penn State

Mid R2 – 6’3/193lbs

A first-round talent in the eyes of many, Porter has is all from a physical standpoint – size, length, ball skills, strong hands that can reroute receivers and toughness. In certain schemes, he will be a clear CB1, but he may not be everyone’s cup of tea as he is not the quickest to react and does have slower feet than all corners ranked higher on this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board. Porter is also extremely grabby during routes and will pick up flags regularly in the NFL unless he cleans this area of his game up. Oozes potential, but needs refinement.

39. Nolan Smith — Edge, Georgia

Mid R2 – 6’2/238lbs

Smith is an impressive athlete who dominated at the combine, but it is difficult to envisage his three-down role in the NFL. He is a tough run defender at the college level, but questions will be asked about his size and how it will hold up in this phase of the game at the next level. If he was to put on additional bulk, it is possible that he could slow down and lose some of his explosion, which will give him the tweener label in the eyes of some.

As a linebacker, he is not overly impressive in coverage and so his best position may be as a designated pass rusher. No matter what, Smith will find a home in the pros thanks to his overall technique and alpha character. An interesting prospect to follow as he embarks upon his pro career.

40. Jahmyr Gibbs — Running Back, Alabama

Mid R2 – 5’9/199lbs

Lethal in the passing game with soft hands, Gibbs has star potential out of the backfield. If he was a touch bigger, he would be a first-round talent on this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board. Gibbs put the Alabama offense on his back at times last year with his 44 receptions and thanks to his blazing 4.36 speed is a threat to take one to the house on any play. Does not have tons of power and is not a major threat running inside, but his lateral movement, quick, choppy feet, and lightning acceleration are a perfect complement to his vision outside. He will make almost any defender miss in space and has Christian McCaffrey upside.

41. Julius Brents — Cornerback, Kansas State

Mid R2 – 6’3/198lbs

At the combine, Brents recorded a 4.05 shuttle and 6.63-second three-cone – outstanding times for a corner of his size. A 4.53 forty is only disappointing when viewed in a vacuum versus some of the other times set down and will be more than sufficient. Brents has 34-inch arms and registered a 41.5-inch vertical jump alongside a 11’6″ broad jump which are exceptional marks. He is a dream prototype in zone, but has the instincts and blend of size and burst to play successfully in man. Will go higher than expected.

42. Zach Charbonnet — Running Back, UCLA

Mid R2 – 6’0/214lbs

Charbonnet has terrific size and runs with real authority, vision, and contact balance. He is not the quickest of running backs on this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board, but has plenty of long speed and is able to use decisive footwork, sudden lateral cuts, and power to breeze through traffic. He rarely goes down on first contact and is a genuine tackle-breaker. Possessing solid hands in the receiving game, Charbonnet has three-down, lead-back potential.

43. Kelee Ringo — Cornerback, Georgia

Mid R2 – 6’2/207lbs

Tricky prospect to evaluate as far as his draft value stands. Has been in plenty of first-round mocks, but has an equal number of detractors who see him as a stiff athlete in coverage who gets beaten too easily. As a result, some see him as a safety convert. Likely to have some great admirers though, as he has the prototypical size and tantalizing upside to play as a perimeter corner if his rough edges can be coached smooth.

44. Keeanu Benton — Interior Defensive Lineman, Wisconsin

Mid R2 – 6’4/309lbs

Benton is a rising prospect who deserves to be taken on day two. He has a real fluidity to his game which is impressive to see at 309 pounds and is a genuine pass-rush threat on the interior. The ex-Badger is also a stout run defender with a strong anchor and powerful frame that allows him to plug gaps no matter where he is aligned whether that be at nose tackle or three tech.

45. Keion White — Edge, Georgia Tech

Mid R2 – 6’4/285lbs

Major upside, albeit a touch older, White is quite the physical specimen. He may start out in a rotation but has the upside to grow into a starter and play multiple alignments once his technical issues are ironed out. Double-digit sack potential if he can put it all together.

46. Jack Campbell — Linebacker, Iowa

Mid R2 – 6’5/249lbs

The best true MIKE in the 2023 NFL Draft, ‘Captain Jack’ ticks both the character and agility boxes to play the position for a long time at the next level. Tested better than expected at the combine; among linebackers, he topped the three-cone and shuttle drills with excellent times of 6.74 and 4.24 seconds respectively and came second and third in the broad and vertical jumps, too. His forty is a fast enough 4.65, but the agility drills will catch the eye of most. Excellent in coverage and plays with a real old-fashioned physicality in the run game.

47. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Edge — Kansas State

Mid R2 – 6’3/255lbs

Plays with intent and impressive strength for his weight class, the Kansas State alum has been extremely productive over the past two seasons with 19.5 sacks and 25.5 TFL in that timeframe. Anudike-Uzomah is undoubtedly an opportunistic playmaker but lacks a little refinement. The raw tools are there though and if he can translate his intensity into a pass rush plan and an ability to counter effectively, then he will accumulate an above-average number of sacks at the NFL level too.

48. Joe Tippmann, Interior Offensive Lineman — Wisconsin

Mid R2 – 6’6/313lbs

Reportedly an excellent and calm communicator with a high football IQ, Tippmann is a clean prospect who could immediately come in and start for a center-needy team. He is an effortless mover for a center of his height who is forced to play in such tight quarters and does not often lose the leverage battle despite his size. Having the requisite athleticism to be able to adjust and react to changing angles, Tippmann should enjoy a long career in the NFL.

49. Sam LaPorta, Tight End — Iowa

Mid R2 – 6’3/245lbs

LaPorta is a chain mover. He is less showy than either of the two tight end prospects ranking ahead of him on this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board but the ex-Hawkeye has a good build, is effective after the catch, and breaks tackles in the open field.

Less flashy than Kincaid in the passing game and not quite as sure-handed as Mayer, LaPorta nonetheless is an exciting prospect with a legitimate NFL skillset. He already has a varied route tree and will not be overawed when he reaches the NFL. During his collegiate career, LaPorta lined up inline, as a big slot and out wide often, and was effective across the formation, even used as part of the screen game.

50. Michael Wilson, Wide Receiver — Stanford

Mid R2 – 6’2/213lbs

There is no doubt that Michael Wilson deserves a home within the top 50 of this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board. He has great size and speed and has all the attributes to become a seriously good all-around receiver at the next level. He does not have any glaring weaknesses, can play inside and out, and is an intelligent and nuanced route runner. The concern is his injury history. Has not completed a season since 2029. If it was not for this, he would have much more hype and be ranked a lot higher.

Like what you see? Disagree with some of the rankings on this 2023 NFL Draft Big Board? Let me know on Twitter @BenAMatthews. Prospects 50-100 coming soon…