The first two days of the 2023 NFL Draft are in the books. While many of the top prospects are off the board, the teams that have the most success in the league find a way to identify and draft meaningful contributors on Day 3.
There are few better feelings than finding draft steals. Whether it’s a small-school star like Tariq Woolen or an overlooked gem like Amon-Ra St. Brown, there are plenty of players that will fill out NFL rosters and make a major difference in the outcome of games.
If you are looking for some players for your favorite team to target on Saturday, here are a few to pound the table for.
2023 NFL Draft: Day Three Steals
Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
My highest-rated player still on the board, Jones is falling victim to many of the same pitfalls at a prospect as Daniel Faalele. The former Minnesota tackle, now with the Ravens, has very similar measurables to Jones, and wound up slipping to the fourth round. Jones, who is 6’8″, 374 pounds with 36-inch arms, will be hard to move at the next level. Our guy Ben Matthews had him as the top offensive lineman on the board entering the day and there were eight lineman taken instead of him! If he can keep his weight under control, I could see him being successful at right tackle.
Keelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
There was a time where Ringo seemed like a lock to go in the first round. He has great size and speed. However, he got exposed in some of Georgia’s biggest games of the year. While that is obviously a concern, he is still a very talented player with great physical traits. Perhaps he won’t be a Day 1 starter, but I think he has the ability to develop into a quality No. 2 corner in the next couple years.
Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern
This one is a bit of a shock given how well he tested during the pre-draft process. Adebowre made waves at the Senior Bowl and the combine, yet he slid to Day 3. The only reason I can come up with is that he is a bit of tweener at 6’2″, 282 pounds, but he ran a 4.49 40! I imagine he will be one of the first names off the board in the 4th round.
Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton
Wide receivers are common among draft steals. A standout during the Senior Bowl, Iosivas has a great blend of size and speed. He will unquestionably have a learning curve in the NFL coming from the FCS. Teams will also have some concerns with his smaller than average hands for a receiver. However, he tested great at the combine and I believe in his upside at the next level long term.
Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
Yup, there are two great Texas running backs in this draft class. Johnson is an excellent pass-catcher who offers value on special teams as well. He lacks elite speed and does not have much college production to lean on, but when you are playing behind Bijan Robinson, that is understandable. He has low trend on his proverbial tires. I think he will be an instant-impact player.
Nick Herbig, EDGE, Wisconsin
When you think of a prototypical outside linebacker who rushes the passer, Herbig is not what you picture. He is undersized at 6’2″ and does not have great length with sub-32-inch arms. However, he was an incredibly productive player for the Badgers, racking up 20 sacks over the past two seasons. He is relentless and has a nose for the football. I have a feeling he will find a role as a pass-rushing specialist who can contribute on special teams.
Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa State
One of my favorite players in this class, it is hard to believe that Hutchinson has flown under the radar to the degree he has so far. He has a great frame at 6’2″, 207 pounds and elite production in college. He was an AP 1st-team All-American after all! I think he will be a reliable target at the next level capable of moving the sticks and acting as a safety blanket for any quarterback.
Andrew Vorhees, G, USC
This could wind up being one of my favorite draft steals. Vorheess won’t be a factor in the 2023 season. He tore his ACL at the combine in March, so his recovery will likely force him to miss his entire rookie campaign. For any team willing to essentially redshirt him though, they could end up landing a starting interior lineman in the later rounds. He does have a checkered injury history, but when healthy he is one of best guards in this class, earning 1st-team All-American honors in 2022. I love his toughness as well. After tearing up his knee, he still showed up for the bench press and put up the most reps of anyone at the 2023 combine. If that does not scream competitor, I don’t know what does.
Keondre Coburn, DT, Texas
Coburn is a bit of a throwback. He was a four-year starter at Texas and has fantastic size. However, he lacks the elite athleticism needed to play defensive tackle in the modern NFL. He offers very little upside as a pass rusher, but that does not mean he cannot provide value on an NFL defense. He is a fantastic run defender who anchors well and excels at eating up blockers. I could see him being a rotational player who features on early downs and short-yardage situations.
Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse
Sure, I might be a bit biased on this one as a Syracuse grad, but Tucker is a homerun hitter with really great production. He had some injuries that cost him much of this pre-draft process, so he did not have a chance to build capital with teams as much as his counterparts. He is a well-rounded player who could be a lead back in a modern NFL committee.
Charlie Jones, WR, Purdue
Jones had quite the career. He started out at Buffalo, transferred to Iowa, sitting out in 2019 under the old NCAA transfer rules and then finished at Purdue. Before becoming a Boilermaker, Jones had compiled 39 catches for 718 yards and 6 touchdowns across three seasons. In 2022, he wowed with 110 catches, 1361 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is also an excellent return man, with over 1,600 return yards in his career. I have a feeling he will find a home in the NFL. He might not be an elite receiver, but I could see him carving out a solid role.
Luke Wypler, C, Ohio State
This is a surprisingly good center draft with Joe Tippmann, John Mitchell-Schmitz and Ricky Stromberg all coming off the board in the first three rounds. All three of them should be in line for a starting job in 2023. So should Wypler, pretty much regardless of where he lands. He is a great athlete with two years of starting experience in the Big Ten. He won’t be a fit for every offense, but he is plug-and-play for any West Coast or zone run scheme.
Rejzohn Wright, CB, Oregon State
I am a fan of tall, long corners. It is why I have been high on players like Tyson Campbell, Tariq Woolen and Julius Brents in recent years. Wright fits the bill at 6’2″ with 32.5-inch arms. He is a smooth runner with good ball skills. He does need to clean up some of his technique and trust his positioning instead of grabbing a hold of receivers. If he can cut out the penalties, I see him becoming a starter in the next couple of seasons.
Christopher Smith II, S, Georgia
It is hard to imagine that a two-time national champion would be on a list of draft steals, but here we are. He might not be the most athletic prospect or possess great size for the position, but Smith is a playmaker. He had six interceptions over his final two seasons at Georgia. He also earned first-team All-American honors this year. Smith won’t check every box, but he is a reliable cover man who could definitely improve the play on the backend for most secondaries.