While all of the players from the 2023 NFL Draft have yet to play in the league, we can still make projections about their upsides relative to where they were drafted. There are always value picks to be had — look at Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen, who was selected in the sixth round in 2022. It's always the late round steals that
Here, we'll look at a steal from Rounds 4-7 and from the undrafted pool.
Round 4: Cleveland Browns - Dawand Jones, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State (111th overall)
Dawand Jones is an absolute mountain of a human being at 6-foot-8 and 370-plus pounds. Viewed by most as a back end of the first round or top-of-the-second-round player, it's somewhat unclear why Jones fell. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, there were some character concerns.
? Notes for Saturday (column coming) ?
? Ohio State OT Dawand Jones and Georgia CB Kelee Ringo faced character/makeup questions going into the process, and didn't exactly answer them thru the process. It's why they're still there. We'll see how soon someone takes a swing .
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 29, 2023
As for on the field — yes, Jones is a big, hulking right tackle, but questions about whether he's too big are relevant. If he pans out, a tackle tandem of Jedrick Wills and Jones would be excellent in the AFC North. As we look at his NFL career, we'll have to see if his size still allows him to move with enough fluidity to take on speed rushers.
Round 5: Seattle Seahawks - Olusegun Oluwatimi, Center, Michigan (154th overall)
Slam-dunk pick here. The Seahawks had Evan Brown slated to start at center. While Brown was a fine run blocker last year on 312 snaps at guard, there's not a lot of data to go off of at center. Olusegun Oluwatimi steps in as a Day 1 starter for the team. It'll be interesting to see how his lacking athleticism meshes with the Seahawks' style of offense, but he's an intelligent player who will be Geno Smith's ball snapper next season.
Round 6: Cleveland Browns - Luke Wypler, Center, Ohio State (190th overall)
The Browns cleaned up in the later rounds and needed to do without first- or second-round picks.
Getting Luke Wypler in the sixth round shouldn't happen. The only explanation for this is something medical that the general public wasn't aware of.
Wypler is a great athlete at the position, testing in the 61st percentile or higher in the 20-yard shuttle, three-cone, broad jump, vertical jump and 40-yard dash.
In addition to potential medical issues, Wypler is a bit undersized for the position, but he also declared early for the NFL Draft and should improve as he gets into NFL weight rooms and training regimens. The Browns drafted two players with high upside to protect DeShaun Watson.
Round 7: Pittsburgh Steelers - Cory Trice Jr., Cornerback, Purdue (241st overall)
Need to add size in the defensive backfield?#Purdue CB Cory Trice
32 3/8 arms
?Monster in press coverage
? 51.3 QB rating when targeted
— Jared Tokarz (@JaredNFLDraft) April 26, 2023
The Steelers brought in cornerback Patrick Peterson this offseason, but they needed more at the cornerback position. They began the second round by taking Joey Porter Jr. and found out about the draft with Cory Trice Jr. out of Purdue.
He's a large corner, at 6-foot-3 and 206 pounds, and will fulfill the role if you want to play press coverage.
Getting a guy like Trice — who can come in to try to stop Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Odell Beckham Jr., Amari Cooper and more at the line of scrimmage — is worth a seventh-round selection alone.
The Steelers got a great press defensive back in the 240s.
UDFA Signing: Minnesota Vikings - Andre Carter II, Edge, Army
Minnesota is signing Army EDGE Andre Carter II as a UDFA
? 15 sacks in 2021 (most in College Football) pic.twitter.com/aWlhfiJ8oK
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 30, 2023
Heading into the 2022-23 college football season, there were way-too-early mock drafts with Andre Carter II as a first-round pick after posting 15-plus sacks. That illustrates the upside of the player.
However, he ultimately went undrafted.
Carter has a unique build, to say the least. He's 6-foot-6½ and weighed in at just over 250 pounds. Going to Army, he was involved in so many conditioning drills as it relates to, well, being in the Army that it may have been difficult for him to keep the muscle mass on.
He signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Minnesota Vikings, though, so he'll get his shot.
Will the Vikings use resources to help Carter bulk up? You'd hope so, considering his college production, but it remains to be seen. If Carter can add some mass and still produce at the same level, the Vikings have found a new solid pass rusher.
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