At this point, everyone is aware of how talented the 2023 draft class will be. Bryce Young, Bijan Robinson, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba highlight just a few of the names that managers have been targeting for quite a bit. Are you looking to get ahead of your league-mates in your devy drafts? Take a look at some of these under-the-radar prospects that will start making waves in the devy community before long.
Quarterback: Sam Horn, Missouri
Four-Star QB Sam Horn was ranked No. 161 in ESPN’s top-300 for the 2022 recruiting class, the sixth-best QB. Horn is stepping into a program at Mizzou, looking for an answer at the QB position. He should be able to compete for the starting job from day 1. He took his high school football team to the first state championship during his senior season. Horn ranks sixth in Georgia high school history with more than 10,000 passing yards accumulated.
Brady Cook and Tyler Macon were both impressive during the Tigers’ spring game, but neither has been able to inspire confidence in assuring they will be an effective starter. Coach Eliah Drinkwitz said that Horn would be able to come in and compete from the very beginning. Even if he takes his lumps upon arrival, he will have the chance to build strong chemistry with long-term prospects Luther Burden, Dominic Lovett, Mekhi Miller, and Ma’Marion Wayne.
Running Back: Branson Robinson, Georgia
Robinson is entering a Georgia offense that loves to feature the run. As a high schooler, Robinson already has the frame that looks to be NFL ready. He is a bruiser of an RB that possesses excellent power between the tackles and invites contact.
Robinson ranked as the No. 62 overall prospect in this class. The true freshman was a 4-star recruit who has many comparing him to Nick Chubb regarding his running style.
The Bulldogs have both Zamir White and James Cook moving onto the NFL. Aside from Robinson, this backfield will have Kendall Milton, Kenny McIntosh, and Daijun Edwards looking to grab hold of most snaps in the backfield. Milton and McIntosh will likely begin the season as the leading backs in terms of starting reps. However, with how Georgia likes to run their offense, are there ever too many RBs? Each one is extremely talented, so it will initially be a battle for Robinson to work his way onto the field. The three running backs on the roster are all talented, but Robinson could provide them a spark that they did not know they needed.
Wide Receiver: C.J. Williams, USC
The No. 11 receiver prospect in the country announced his commitment to USC at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Before this announcement, he was an early commit to Notre Dame but withdrew his pledge after Brian Kelly’s departure to LSU.
Williams finished his senior season at Mater Dei with 51 receptions, 830 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns. He accumulated 124 total receptions for 1,827 yards and 21 touchdowns during his high school career.
Williams has good size for a receiver. Standing at 6’1”, nearly 190 pounds, the Trojan WR consistently won one-on-one reps and was effective in all areas of the field. He is a highly developed, technical, and polished possession WR. Wiliams has soft hands and has proven to be a reliable underneath target for an offense. He projects to potentially be an impact Power 5 starter and one who could end up being a high-round NFL draft pick when he reaches that point in his career. Williams could be a quick riser in devy ranks.
Tight End: Elijah Brown, Alabama
Brown is a four-star TE out of Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio, and was one of the first to officially commit to the Crimson Tide during the 2022 recruiting process. Listed at 6’6”, 241 pounds, he has the prototypical size for a TE. He has a strong ability to block and create defensive mismatches downfield.
Brown enters a program that already has Jahleel Billingsley, Cameron Latu, and Robbie Ouzts. However, Nick Saban has always lauded his love for TEs, and the “nightmares mismatches” for defenses to defend.
In 2021, the Crimson Tide TE position accounted for nine of Alabama’s receiving touchdowns. Brown’s impact in this program might not be felt immediately due to the depth in that room. He is athletic enough to play out of the slot effectively. He should be a reliable option for this program when allowed to take the field for a Saban-led Alabama offense.
IDP: Derrick Moore, Michigan
Moore is no stranger to making standout plays on the football field. That was evident in high school and later confirmed when he won the Under Armour All-America Game’s MVP award. He racked up two sacks, consistently pressuring the opposing quarterback while on the field.
Moore has an excellent frame with great length. He is an agile and athletic 260 lb. defensive lineman who can stay at his current size and play strong-side DE or add to his frame and play the 3-technique. He has a quick twitch that allows him to quickly redirect along the line of scrimmage and chase down plays.
ESPN ranked Moore as the No. 23 player in the country, the third-best defensive end nationally. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said that Moore has walked in from Day 1 as if he had been there for years. Moore represents an answer to one of the more significant questions the Wolverines had this season. Coach Harbaugh is looking for someone to step in and replace Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo for years to come. The position flexibility will allow Moore to be on the field much more than others in this recruitment class. This could be a massive win for a program that has successfully churned out high-end talent in the NFL on the defensive line.
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