21. Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas
Much like DeVonta Smith before him, Worthy’s frame and weight might not be a factor in his success at the NFL level. Texas lists him at 172 pounds, which would put him in the 3rd percentile, according to MockDraftable. Still, Worthy has a certain toughness to him that makes you believe he can grit through the punishment. He showed up under the bright lights in Tuscaloosa and shows no signs of slowing down.
22. Jack Sawyer, EDGE, Ohio State
This might wind up being a little bit high for Sawyer come draft time, but I love his projectable traits. The former five-star recruit has flashed his immense potential but has yet to really put all the pieces together. Ohio State played him a bit out of position in 2022, opting to use him as a hybrid linebacker/defensive end. More consistent play at his natural position should help. He has great play strength and enticing twitch off the edge. However, if his production does not start to tick up, he might have to think about returning to school for his senior year.
23. Maason Smith, DL, LSU
We finally got to see Smith back on the field in Week 2, but it was against Grambling, so it is hard to really take much of what we saw and apply it to an evaluation. The true junior had not played since the season opener in 2022, where he suffered a season-ending injury just a few plays into the game. After serving a one-game suspension against Florida State in 2023, he is now back in the fold. His raw potential is what puts him this high in my rankings. Five straight games against SEC opponents will let us know if he deserves to stay here.
24. Leonard Taylor, DL, Miami
Taylor is looking to build off a promising 2022 campaign where he finished with 10 tackles for loss and three sacks. As an honorable All-ACC mention, he is already starting to generate the right attention. It has been a bit of a slow start production-wise for Taylor, recording just one tackle in the Hurricanes’ first two games. Still, his ability to wreak havoc from the interior is still evident, even if the numbers don’t back it up quite yet.
25. Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
One of the trickier evaluations in this draft, Odunze should be one of the top wideouts in this class, but there are some questions about his game that make me wonder if he will stick. His speed and ability to create separation are solid, but he struggles mightily with catching the ball in traffic. Getting open is crucial as a wide receiver, but so is being able to make the tough catches when there is not a ton of room to operate. If Odunze can begin to demonstrate that he is at least making strides in that department as the season rolls on, he will move up my board.
26. J.T. Tuimoloau, EDGE, Ohio State
Certainly the more polished Ohio State edge rusher in this draft class, Tuimoloau boasts a vicious spin move he favors when rushing the quarterback off the edge. However, he still needs to work on filling out his proverbial pass-rushing toolbox. What’s more, he lacks the same explosiveness and strength as his teammate, Jack Sawyer. However, Tuimoloau seems to be a bit further along in his development at this stage than Sawyer. Teams looking for a player better suited for an instant impact will tend to favor Tuimoloau.
27. Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colorado
The surprise Heisman candidate of the 2023 season, Sanders is turning fans into believers with each passing week. He has posted video game-like numbers through his first two games with Colorado, building off an impressive two-season stint with Jackson State. His poise, mobility, and decision-making make him look like a 10-year veteran rather than a 21-year-old. His arm strength is good, but maybe not great. He will also see the spotlight continue to grow on him with each win. He has handled it so far, but sharing it with Caleb Williams is a whole different ordeal. It will be another test for Sanders to pass in order to win over scouts.
28. Kamren Kinchens, S, Miami
Kinchens seems to have escaped serious injury after being carted off late in the game against the Aggies this past weekend. That being said, with no clear return date at this stage, it wouldn’t be a shock if he missed a game or two. It should only be a bump in the road for the true junior. He has a nose for the football, both as a tackler and in coverage. His six interceptions were the third most in college football a year ago. If he can stay healthy, he projects as a difference maker on the back end.
29. Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas
When all is said and done, this might wind up being low for Mitchell come draft day. The Georgia transfer is coming off an injury-plagued year which limited him to nine catches in six games. He is off to a strong start with the Longhorns, already posting three touchdown grabs in his first two games. He carved up Alabama’s secondary on Saturday night. Health will be a huge factor here, but Mitchell seems to be building more hype.
30. Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State
This is one of the players that I clearly lower on than the consensus at this point. Robinson is a great athlete with a good motor. The former Maryland transfer put together a solid debut season with Penn State, posting 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. However, he lacks the ideal length to be an elite edge rusher at the NFL level. If you turn on the tape from last season against Ohio State, he could be stonewalled by Paris Johnson Jr. and Dawand Jones. He could potentially overcome that with a good pass-rushing plan, but he rarely tries to do anything other than win with speed. I think the upside for Robinson is very high, but he seems like a bit more of a project right now than a finished product.