Under-the-Radar Prospects: 2023 NFL Draft

By John Laub
John Laub



   Under-the-Radar Prospects


         2023 NFL Draft




QB Dorian Thompson Robinson, UCLA

Prospect Resume

In 2022, honorable mention All-PAC-12 and Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist. One of only two FBS quarterbacks with over 27 touchdown passes and 12 rushing scores. Established school record with a 69.6% completion percentage. Seven times, rushed for over 50 yards. In 2021, First Team All-PAC-12 (Phil Steele and AP). One of three Pac-12 players to register at least 3,000 yards of total offense (3,018) and second in conference with 21 aerial strikes. In 2020, Second Team All-PAC-12. First UCLA quarterback to rush for at least 100 yards and throw for at least 300 yards in a game. Four-year starter who stayed an extra season due to COVID. Career: Bruins’ all-time leader in total offense, completions, total touchdowns, touchdown passes and passing yards. In high school, four-star recruit, No. 2 dual-threat QB and No. 66 player in the country.

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 6’2” and 203-pounds, an intriguing signal caller, who leaves campus as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in program history. Polished passer: Works well through progressions. Succeeds outside of structure: Stays focused when play breaks down. Protects football. Improvisational playmaker with NFL arm talent and intelligence. Completes passes from different arm angles. Slings tight spirals. Accurate thrower in the short and intermediate zones. Quick feet with agility and vision to gain yards on the ground. Tough competitor. Illustrated steady improvement throughout campus tenure. Lack of anticipatory throws on tape. Long windup. Slight frame. Not an accomplished deep passer. Profiles as a backup early in career, who might develop into a starter in the long run.

Scholar’s Grade: Fourth Round


RB Evan Hull, Northwestern 

Prospect Resume

In 2022, Honorable Mention All-Big Ten. Concluded the campaign with 913 rushing yards and tacked on a career-best 546 receiving yards. Among all FBS running backs, finished first with 54 receptions and second among conference receivers with 483 yards after the catch. Established career-highs with 14 catches for 213 receiving yards against Duke. Since at least 2000, first Big Ten player with 200-plus receiving yards and 50-plus rushing yards in the same game. In 2021, Honorable Mention All-Big Ten. Finished the season sixth in the conference in rushing yards (1,009) and eighth in rushing touchdowns (7). Paced the Wildcats in all-purpose yards (1,276) and averaged over 100 all-purpose yards per game. Stupendous Combine illustrated high-end athletic ability. In high school, three-star prospect and No. 6 player in Minnesota. Team Captain as a senior. Rushed for 2,177 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior.

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 5’10” and 209-pounds, a three-down competitor, who has an impressive all-around skill set. A bruiser with great contact balance. Muscular build: Shines between the tackles. Very good jump cuts to find open lanes. Patient runner. Presses line of scrimmage and plows through the hole. Good vision and quick feet. A slasher, plants foot and squares shoulders. Follows blockers well. A stately pass-catcher who can line up in the slot. Easily transitions into a runner after a pass is secured. Limited ceiling and does not look like a full-time bellcow as a professional. Best suited in a RBBC backfield.

Scholar’s Grade: Fourth Round


Scholar's Stupendous 60

(Dynasty Rankings: Hit link above)


RB Chase Brown, Illinois 

Prospect Resume

In 2022, Doak Walker finalist. In school history, the first player nominated for the award. Second Team All-American (Walter Camp and AP). Red Grange Offensive MVP. Gained 1,643 rushing yards and ten rushing touchdowns. Led Power 5 ball carriers with 329 carries. Corralled 27 receptions for 240 yards and three scores. Eclipsed 100-plus yards in 10 games. In 2021, Third Team All-Big Ten. Paced team with 170 carries for 1,005 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Also, logged 14 catches for 142 receiving yards. Two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. Joined Howard Griffith (1990) and Rashard Mendenhall (2007) as the only players in program history with multiple 200-plus yard efforts in a season. In 2018, played at Western Michigan and transferred to Illinois. Twin brother also played for the Fighting Illini. In high school, a three-star prospect and Canadian.

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 5’10” and 209-pounds, a slasher with good patience and vision. Workhorse runner. Stirring initial burst: Plants foot and explodes. First-string anticipation. Shines between the tackles with good contact balance. Strong legs and lower balance. Probing ball carrier who finds cutback lanes. Excels on outside runs. Light feet. Underrated pass catcher and tracks the ball well. Nice wheel routes runner. Athleticism on display at the Combine. Six career fumbles: Must improve ball handling or will be nailed to the bench. Poor pass blocker. Zone runner who profiles as a three-down back in a rotation as a professional.

Scholar’s Grade: Fourth Round



WR Trey Palmer, Nebraska

Prospect Resume

In 2022, Second Team All-Big Ten. Established school records for receiving years in a season (1,043) and receiving yards in a game (237). Also, logged 71 receptions and nine touchdowns. Led the nation with three catches of 70-plus yards and ranked second with four catches of 60-plus yards. At Purdue, caught seven passes for 237 yards—a school record and marked only the third 200-yard receiving game in Nebraska history—and a career-high two touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2020, appeared in eight games, seeing action at wide receiver, punt and kick off returner. Corralled 10 passes for 108 yards, added 241 yards and a touchdown on seven kickoffs and eight yards on two punt returns. In high school in 2018, a four-star prospect in Louisiana. Piled up 1,008 yards with nine touchdowns on 39 receptions as a senior. Averaged 25.8 yards per catch as a senior. Excelled in track and field. Won Louisiana state titles in the 100m, 200m and 4x 200m relay team. Captured four straight state championships in 200m.

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 6’1” and 192-pounds, dynamic receiver who threatens defenses deep. Rapidly gets off the line of scrimmage and eats cushions. Exceptional quickness with good hands. Stops on a dime and reverses the field. Effortlessly breaks arm tackles down the field. Flys with the ball in hands: Reaches top speed in the blink of an eye. Excels in the open field and destroys angles of tacklers. Finds holes in zone coverage. Big wingspan and catch radius. Posted fastest GPS time at Combine. Doubles as a return specialist. Does not always shake press coverage: Needs to improve hand work and feet. Not a refined and technical route runner. Looks like a big slot receiver who can attack secondary vertically.

Scholar’s Grade: Third Round


2023 Gridiron Scholar's Positional Rankings

(Dynasty Positional Rankings: Hit link above)


WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia

Prospect Resume

In 2022, Second Team All-Big 12 (Phil Steele). Paced team in receptions (62) and receiving touchdowns (7) and was second in yards (675). In 2021, honorable mention All-Big 12. Tied for No. 2 on the team with 42 catches for 575 yards. In 2020, Iron Mountaineer Award winner. Career: Recorded three 100-yard receiving games and three multi-touchdown efforts. Concluded campus tenure No. 12 in receptions, No. 15 in receiving touchdowns and No. 18 in yards. Named to Bruce Feldman’s Freaks List: No. 68. In high school, a three-star recruit in 2017. Team MVP as a senior. Also played defensive back and ran track.

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 6’4” and 221-pounds, big-bodied athlete who profiles as an X-receiver. Boxes out defenders: Muscular frame with flexibility. Physical playmaker with good ball adjustment skills. Good catch-and-run skills. Reliable and soft hands. Wins jump balls and contested passes. Underwhelming production in college despite high-end athleticism—only surpassed 100 yards in a game three times. Eye opening Combine results: Displayed burst, explosion, acceleration and speed. Below average route runner. Not a savvy route runner. Must learn to defeat press coverage to remain in the league. Does not gain a lot of separation. A fascinating prospect with an untapped ceiling. 

Scholar’s Grade: Fourth Round


Twitterverse on Fire!

In a fascinating receiver class, who ya got as a X-receiver sleeper in the NFL Draft?

Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia: 24%

Puka Nacua, BYU: 29%

A.T. Perry, Wake Forest: 30%

Andrei Iosivas, Princeton: 17%

“Such a tough choice here!” @FansFantasy

“I have A.T. Perry ranked the highest from this group, but I don’t think any have a high chance of becoming a starter at the next level.” @Devy2DynastyFR

“Bryce Ford-Wheaton is a great prospect! After his combine testing, he rose significantly.” @FFbGarage


In a deep tight end class, who ya got as a sleeper after the top four are off the board?

Tucker Kraft, SDSU: 33%

Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion: 40%

Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan: 24%

Davis Allen, Clemson: 3%

“I’m all about Darnell Washington.” @FantasyBosco

“I like Sam Laporta and D. Washington.” @DynoGameTheory

“I’m a Zach Kuntz man, myself.” @rstern33

“I have always loved Davis Allen, but I am in the minority for sure. I think poor quarterback play, a tight end adverse offense and teammates with talent held him back.” @aceholesrule


WR Kayshon Boutte, LSU

Prospect Resume 

Disappointing season in 2022 with only 48 catches for 538 yards and two touchdowns. In 2021, suffered an ankle injury against Kentucky and played in only six games. Logged 38 catches. Yet, still led the Tigers in receiving yards (509) and touchdowns (9) despite missing the final seven games of the crusade. As a freshman in 2020, named Freshman All-SEC and earned Freshman All-America honors (FWAA). Started five games and played in all 10. Paced the Tigers in receiving yards (735), finished second in receptions (45) and touchdowns (5). Concluded the campaign in grand fashion, setting the SEC record with 308 receiving yards on 14 receptions and three scores in a win over Mississippi. Also, recorded three straight 100-yard games. Poor Combine performance: 40-yard Dash (4.50) and 20-yard Shuttle (4.25) plummeted draft stock. In high school, a five-star recruit, rated No. 1 WR in Louisiana and No. 24 player in the country. As a senior, rushed 71 times for 874 yards and 12 touchdowns and added 47 receptions for 1,005 yards and 15 scores. Also, competed in track.

Key Career Stats

Receptions: 131

Yards per Reception: 13.6 

2022 Season

Catch Percentage: 58%

Team Aerial Dominator: 24% 

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 5’11” and 195-pounds, an intriguing fusion of balance, quickness and fluidity. Contorts body to make the catch. Lively first step: Uncovers rapidly off the line of scrimmage. Effortlessly dips hips and swiftly changes direction. Works well across the field. Fights at catch point. Slippery after the catch. Powerful in the open field and difficult to tackle. Logs chunk plays: Employs excellent vision and fancy feet to gain YAC. Physical and determined blocker in the run game. Up-and-down campus tenure. Off-the-field challenges in background. Does not stack defensive backs well. Can get flustered and lose focus in games. Dropped too many passes. After a poor Combine, not an elite athlete like many projected. An unpolished prospect. Two ankle surgeries in background. Only 20-years old and has flashed high-end ceiling as a professional. 

Scholar’s GradeThird Round



WR Andrei Iosivas, Princeton

Prospect Resume

In 2022, FCS First Team All-America (Phil Steele), First Team All-Ivy and Offensive Player of the Year in the conference (Phil Steele). Team Captain and led the Ivy league in receptions (66), yards (934) and touchdown catches (7). In 2021, Second Team All-Ivy. Snatched 41 passes for 703 yards and five touchdowns. Ended Princeton career ranked sixth all-time in receiving yards, 12th in receptions, and third in touchdown catches. Named Bruce Feldman’s Freaks List: No. 15. A member of the Tigers’ track and field teams. In 2022, NCAA All-American in the heptathlon at Indoor Championships. Three times Ivy League champion in the heptathlon. In high school, attended Punahou in Hawaii and played basketball and ran track. Member of the National Junior Honor Society.

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 6’3” and 212-pounds, portrait of an idyllic boundary playmaker with size and speed despite playing at the FCS level. Fluid body control and fleet feet. Excellent stop-and-start ability. Accelerates rapidly and tracks passes well. Long arms with very good hands. Commands attention as a vertical threat. Gains yards after the catch. Not a physical presence and does not fight through contact. Deficit of refinement as a route runner. Needs to improve at the catch point. Struggles against press coverage. A raw competitor with the physical tools to grow into an NFL receiver. 

Scholar’s Grade: Fourth Round


TE Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State

Prospect Resume 

In 2022, suffered an ankle injury in the season opener, worked his way back onto the field and played in only six games. Secured 19 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns. Helped Jackrabbits to the 2022 FCS National Championship. In 2021, named Athlon Sports FCS All-America Team, First Team HERO Sports FCS All-America and First Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC). Secured 65 passes for 770 yards and six scores. Earned MVSC Honor Roll. In 2020, played in seven games as a redshirt freshman and logged seven catches for 90 yards. In high school, unranked by major scouting services coming out of Timber Lake, SD. Played running back, middle linebacker and punter. As a senior, rushed for 1,405 yards and 24 touchdowns, added 132 receiving yards and recorded 56 tackles.

Key Career Stats

Receptions: 99

Receiving Yards: 1,211

Yards per Reception: 12.2

Touchdowns: 9

2022 Season

Catch Percentage: n/a

Team Aerial Dominator: 23%

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 6’5” and 254-pounds, a small-school prospect with top-shelf traits. Versatile playmaker, who lined up all over the formation. A nice combination of speed, agility and power. Fluid and smooth athlete. Stupendous burst out of stance. Very good ball skills: Secures pass in traffic. Soft hands and shields defenders with a big frame. After the catch, difficult to bring down one-on-one. Digs low passes out of the dirt with long arms. Makes catches and rapidly transition into a runner: Gains RAC yards. As a run blocker, gains leverage and good hand placement. Illustrates effort and determination blocking. Limited route tree in college. Will need time to adjust and develop at the NFL level. Profiles as a complete tight end as a professional. Might sneak into the second round of the draft if an organization loves skills and traits.

Scholar's Grade: Third Round


TE Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion 

Prospect Resume

In 2022, started the first five games before suffering a season-ending injury. Named preseason Mackey Award watch list. Caught only 12 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns. In 2021. First Team All-C-USA and earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors. Paced the club in receptions with 73 and finished second among tight ends in the nation. Registered five games of eight catches or more, including a career-high of nine twice. Recorded two 100-yard receiving outings. From 2018-2022, played at Penn State and earned a marketing degree before transferring to Old Dominion as a grad student. Exceptional Combine performance revealed high-level athleticism. In high school, a four-star prospect and member of the National Honor Society. Team Captain as a senior. Three times lettered in basketball and track and field. Won 110m hurdles in Pennsylvania as a senior.

Film Breakdown and Skills

At 6’7” and 255-pounds, a massive competitor who is fluid and smooth for size. Runs routes like a track athlete. Very good body control with good flexibility. Uses leverage and strength to outmuscle smaller defenders. Long arms and a big-catch radius. Attacks seams of the defense. Employs hands to release and gain separation. Can be employed all over the formation: Y, F, Z and slot. Looks like a basketball player with thin legs and lower body. At times, drops passes. Does not have a lot of wiggle. Sneaky selection on Day 3 of the Draft. 

Scholar’s Grade: Fourth Round