10 Hidden Draft Gems That Could Become NFL Stars

The 2023 NFL draft takes place from April 27th to 29th. During that time, there will be 259 draft picks.

The Chicago Bears owned the No. 1 pick until March 10, when they traded to the Carolina Panthers for the following compensation:

No. 9 overall pick in 2023
No. 61 overall pick in 2023
2024 first round selection
2025 second round selection
Wide receiver DJ Moore

Among those 259 picks are certainly players who may not be top draft picks but will have stellar NFL careers. A recent example from the 2022 NFL Draft is Seattle’s fifth-round cornerback. Tariq Woolenwho had a Pro Bowl rookie season.

Here we look at 10 hidden treasures in the 2023 NFL Draft who could go on to become NFL stars.

Cam Smith, cornerback, South Carolina

Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

RELATED: Bryce Young’s size would put him in rare first-round territory

After a massive campaign in 2021, Cam Smith experienced a setback in 2022, allowing for two touchdowns, 211 yards and a 47.4% completion rate. He also allowed 18 receptions on 38 targets in 302 coverage snaps.

At 6 feet and 188 pounds, Smith tested in the 72nd percentile or better in the 40-yard dash, 10-yard split, vertical jump and long jump at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’s not a star player at the cornerback position, but he plays well and is a threat for under routes. Smith will likely end up as a slot corner, which is a good roll for him and his skills against the routes below.

I asked South Carolina CB Cam Smith about his matchup with Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt. Said during prep Sunday earlier that he wanted to cover for her best man

“I said sit on him. I want that. I like doing that?

Said the mentality in the NFL will be the same pic.twitter.com/UlDJuBQCNf

— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) March 2, 2023

Luke Musgrave, Tight End, Oregon

Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The tight end class looks like a one-on-one between Michael Mayer and Dalton Kincaid, but two others could be productive in the NFL. First, let’s look at Luke Musgrave from the state of Oregon.

The highly athletic 6-foot-6 tight end hasn’t had much collegiate production. He caught 11 passes in 2022 and 22 in 2021. However, Musgrave ran a 4.61 40-yard dash and ranked fourth on position. He also ranked 80th percentile for height, hand size, 10-yard split, 40-yard dash, and vertical jump, and 93rd percentile for long jump.

Musgrave needs time to develop at the position and refine his route-running, but the Jared Cook comparisons are not far off. He would be a perfect fit for the Kansas City Chiefs as they groom Travis Kelce’s heir apparent.

Max Duggan with a great shot against Luke Musgrave during 2 Minute Practice at the Senior Bowl! pic.twitter.com/GwhMgk0V3S

  Top 5 Takeaways: Indian Wells Men’s Draw – Tennis Now

— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) February 1, 2023

Sam LaPorta, Tight End, Iowa

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

In his final season with the Hawkeyes, Sam LaPorta caught 58 passes on 90 goals for 648 yards and one touchdown. If you’ve been paying attention to the Hawkeyes’ offense, you know these are staggering numbers for one of college football’s most consistently worst offenses. The problem with LaPorta is that he needs an accurate passer as he’s not good at adapting to balls that get in his way. That means he can be used up on the seam and will be a big threat to yards after the catch.

LaPorta ran a 4.59 40-yard dash and made a 10-foot, 3-inch long jump.

Sam LaPorta is a human TANK?

LaPorta hit a 4.59 40-yard dash and a 6.91 3-cone time at the NFL Combine earlier this week.

Don’t sleep on the Iowa TE. pic.twitter.com/3SbEb7T4sV

— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) March 9, 2023

Joe Tippman, Offensive Line, Wisconsin

Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The inside offensive line is never a glamorous position to value, but it’s absolutely necessary for the attacks to succeed.

Joe Tippman started two seasons with the Wisconsin Badgers, allowing just one sack, four hits and four rushes in those two years. He played more than 1,400 snaps in total. He’s agile for a player his size – 6ft 6 and 317 pounds – and will excel on power and counter teams. If he ended up on a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, he would have an immediate impact.

sooo that @BadgerFootball C Joe Tippman is 6?5 315lb, pulls a ton andddd he’s insanely strong?!

All right then?. pic.twitter.com/6DP9a9Wscu

— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) December 15, 2022

Rashee Rice, wide receiver, SMU

Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There is some depth to the wide receiver’s position this year. Still, all eyes are on Quentin Johnston, Zay Flowers, Jordan Addison and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

However, if your team is looking for a 6-foot-2, 203-pound receiver with experience on the outside and in the slot, Rashee Rice could be their man.

In his final season at SMU, Rice saw 156 goals — he caught 96 of them — and walked for 1,344 yards, 10 touchdowns and 14 yards on catch.

Rice isn’t the fastest receiver, but he has great speed control and has played well against zone coverage in his career. His 156 targets show how reliable he is as a target and validates his ball skills.

Rashee Rice laying the boom? pic.twitter.com/okURXmCm0s

— Jeremy (@PopesFFH) March 9, 2023

Devon Achane, running back, Texas A&M

Photo by John Bunch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

  Blackhawks trade Patrick Kane to Rangers for two draft picks: reports

At about 5ft 8 and under 190 pounds, Devon Achane needed to prove his speed at the NFL Combine – and he did it with a stunning 4.32 40-yard dash. In his first two seasons at Texas A&M, he was behind Isaiah Spiller. Interestingly, another spiller drafted by the Buffalo Bills named CJ is a common comparison to Achane.

Achane rushed for 1,100 yards with 196 carries for eight touchdowns last season. He also had 36 receptions.

If a team is looking for a change of pace or a third deficit, Achane will excel. Because of his size, there are concerns about his pass protection – which could affect his availability as a third down – but his skills will find a way onto an NFL field.

4.34 for Devon Achane??


— PFF College (@PFF_College) March 5, 2023

Sean Tucker, running back, Syracuse

Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While Achane may not be an all-down defender, Syracuse’s Sean Tucker very much could be. He is often looked up to after Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs and Zach Charbonnet. Despite this, Tucker has carried a lot and gained experience in his college career. Tucker had 204 carries in 2022 and 247 in 2021.

Tucker ran for 1,000 yards last year and 1,500 in 2021.

In the last two seasons, Tucker had 23 touchdowns; and he improved in the receiving game, catching 37 passes for 262 yards.

At 5-foot-9 and 207 pounds, Tucker is a bloody running back and probably not one of the faster guys in the class — he didn’t compete in the combine other than measurements.

He showed just how bloody he can be in 2021 with over 1,000 yards after contact, trailing only Kenneth Walker III.

Syracuse RB Sean Tucker says he had a formal interview with him at the NFL Combine #dolphins

Effective runner between duels,
good at catching from the backfield, can also break tackles pic.twitter.com/VnRGjnQHiR

— Hussam Patel (@HussamPatel) March 4, 2023

Tanner McKee, Quarterback, Stanford

Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The talk of the NFL Draft is Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis, but there’s the potential for two more quarterbacks to have valuable NFL careers.

One of them is Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee, who has one of the more interesting backgrounds. After a two-year mission in Brazil, McKee returned to Stanford and had one of the worst supporting roles in the nation. His receivers weren’t great and his offensive line was one of the worst in the nation.

At 6-foot-6, McKee is strictly a pocket passer. While this is a dying breed in the NFL, McKee excels in this role and is spot on when it comes to NFL window shots. He’s profiling himself as a great backup who could come in and actually win some games for you rather than just being a body on the bench.

  ‘Damn it, I gotta call Gene’ – Tumbling Haas mechanic spotted by observant F1 fans sparks hilarious reactions

If McKee lands on a team with a suitable offensive line — like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, or Tampa Bay Buccaneers — he could be a valuable asset to back up their starting gun.

Tanner McKee straight into the breadbasket!!! pic.twitter.com/0YLrulWytm

— CardinalCountry (@AllCardinal) March 4, 2023

Mazi Smith, defense attorney, Michigan

Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While Mazi Smith hasn’t competed in many exercises other than throwing 34 reps on the bench press, it doesn’t take long to turn on the tape and see just how insanely athletic the 6-foot-3, 330-pound-plus center lineman is is. He played most of his Michigan career in the B gap, playing 400 snaps there. However, in the NFL he will be an excellent nose tackle that could rival doubles teams for sheer strength.

Any chance of Michigan’s DT Mazi Smith dropping to 99? pic.twitter.com/MqTiqzW5nL

— WayneBreezie (@thewaynebreezie) March 4, 2023

Hendon Hooker, quarterback, Tennessee

Photo by Marvin Gentry/Getty Images

The Tennessee Volunteers had a terrific season, and a big part of that was the success of Hendon Hooker. Hooker came into the league with a cruciate ligament rupture that occurred in November, and two other things speak against him — the Volunteers’ gimmicky offense and the fact that he just turned 25 in January.

That said, we’re looking for gems, not a high draft pick.

Hooker enters the league at 6-foot-4 and nearly 220 pounds. He’s an excellent deep ball shooter, who’s been improving every year in Tennessee, and can walk a little. In his final season with the Vols, Hooker had 3,135 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions, and was completing 70% of his passes before his injury.

If he gets into the NFL, he needs to be on a team that will allow him to develop and learn proper NFL offense. He also has to get in the habit of throwing, even if he breaks the bag. He only had five completions all season coming from his last drop-back spot.

Hooker has all the tools to create a long-term success story. Let’s just hope that despite his age, a team will be patient with him. He’s older than many players in the league.

Some highlights from Hendon Hooker while we wait for FA News. He may be an older prospect, but sometimes QBs just have their “aha” moment and find him. Without his ACL injury, he would be more of a first-rounder. Hooker is this design’s QB sleeper. pic.twitter.com/A0Ag4PTn5p

— Kyle Lindemann (@LuckIsMadeFF) March 13, 2023

Similar videos

Source : fanbuzz.com

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *