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Baylor’s 2023 NFL Draft prospects led by Siaki Ika, Connor Galvin

After taking house the convention crown and sending a number of gamers to the 2022 NFL Draft, what do the defending Big 12 champion Baylor Bears have in retailer for the 2023 draft cycle? The losses incurred in 2022 will damage, however Baylor has re-stocked properly sufficient to stay a risk and a supply of NFL expertise.

Baylor prospects within the 2023 NFL Draft

Baylor’s 2023 NFL Draft class is headlined by an absurd two-deep defensive position rotation. But on either side of the ball, there are prospects to know.

Gavin Holmes, WR

In gentle of the departures of Drew Estrada and second-round choose Tyquan Thornton, the Bears shall be on the lookout for new contributors on the extensive receiver place in 2022. Sixth-year senior Gavin Holmes has the requisite expertise to be first in line, however he solely has 410 profession yards to his identify at present.

Two ACL tears and frequent harm considerations have prevented Holmes from seeing the sector constantly. But if he can keep wholesome and play at 100% in 2022, Holmes is intriguing. He’s 5’11”, 207 kilos, and ran a 4.43 out of highschool.

Ben Sims, TE

Interestingly, Baylor’s main receiver isn’t a receiver in any respect. It’s tight finish Ben Sims, who logged 31 catches for 361 yards and 6 scores in 2021.

Sims has NFL dimension at 6’4″, 253 kilos, and will go on to be one of many higher tight finish prospects within the 2023 NFL Draft. Where he lands remains to be up for debate, however Sims has dimension, athleticism, and visual physique management, which he can use to corral excessive passes. He’s additionally a stellar blocker, which solely compounds his multi-phase enchantment.

Connor Galvin, OT

Understandably, the 2021 Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year isn’t solely certainly one of Baylor’s prime prospects, but additionally one of many early favorites within the 2023 offensive sort out class. Connor Galvin returns as a standout on the Baylor line, and a stellar school sort out. He additionally tasks to have a job on the skilled stage.

Galvin seemingly has Day 2 potential. He’s well-sized and athletic at 6’7″, 310 kilos, and he’s additionally assignment-sound. Pad stage and power stay urgent points, amongst others, however he could possibly be a future NFL starter.

Khalil Keith, OT

Across from Galvin, the Bears’ beginning proper sort out will seemingly be Khalil Keith — a 6’5″, 329-pound behemoth with an pressing fashion in his blocking. Keith has the scale to be a wall on the precise aspect, and he’s not a foul athlete, both. Like Galvin, he does have points with pad stage at instances. Nevertheless, Keith has sufficient expertise price monitoring. And with so many starters on the Bears’ line returning, he could possibly be due for a breakout season.

Grant Miller, G

Baylor dipped into the switch portal to strengthen their offensive line forward of the 2021 season, including middle Jacob Gall from Marshall and offensive guard Grant Miller from Vanderbilt. Miller began all 14 video games for Baylor at proper guard in 2021 and has locked down that spot for the 2022 season as properly. At 6’4″, 309 kilos, Miller is perhaps a bit gentle, however his constructing expertise will solely serve him properly as he exhausts his eligibility.

Jacob Gall, C

It’s tough to inform how a lot curiosity Jacob Gall will subject on the NFL stage. He’s undersized at 6’2″, 305 kilos, and never an awesome athlete. Nevertheless, he’s accrued a large amount of expertise in his time on the school soccer stage. Between Buffalo and Baylor, Gall’s performed in 47 video games so far. Last 12 months, he began all 14 video games for the Bears. He gives stability for Baylor, and within the NFL, maybe he may discover a secure function as a depth piece.

Siaki Ika, NT

Baylor may need the very best defensive position within the Big 12, and among the best items within the nation. And all of it revolves round Siaki Ika, who simply is perhaps the very best nostril sort out prospect within the 2023 NFL Draft.

Ika, referred to as “Apu” by his Baylor teammates, is listed at 6’4″, 350 kilos, and comes with all the energy and power you’d anticipate with that dimension. But past that, he has uncommon pass-rushing upside for a nostril, possessing nice burst and a searing sizzling motor. With his expertise, Ika could possibly be closely coveted by odd-front groups in April.

TJ Franklin, DT

Settle in, as a result of we’ll be speaking about Baylor defensive linemen for some time. The subsequent prospect on the checklist is veteran lineman TJ Franklin, who returns as an important playmaker after tacking on six tackles for loss, 4 sacks, and a pressured fumble in 2021.

Many of the Baylor inside linemen — outdoors of Ika — comply with an identical mildew. Franklin matches that mildew, listed at 6’4″, 290 kilos. He’s a real 3-technique with good dimension and body density, to go together with violent palms and nice point-of-contact energy.

Gabe Hall, DT

While Franklin has a slight edge by way of expertise, Gabe Hall arguably has higher upside as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect. Rotating in typically final season, Hall logged 5 sacks and 7 tackles for loss, exhibiting off disruptive upside at 3-tech. He’s listed at 6’5″, 290 kilos, however sports activities a depraved first step, and has nice lateral go off the snap. Combine that along with his dimension, and Hall could possibly be a critical sleeper candidate alongside Ika.

Jaxon Player, DT

Jaxon Player is 6’0″ at most, and will measure in below that. That will flip some individuals away from him. That’s their mistake. Player isn’t the biggest lineman, however he’s extremely dense and compact, and has first rate proportional size for his body. Beyond that, Player reveals off unbelievable preliminary burst and may levy violent swims and bull rushes along with his energy capability and upper-body torque. With Player, expertise, pure leverage, and hand utilization all mix collectively. He had 15 tackles for loss in 2021, and he isn’t completed rising.

Cole Maxwell, DT

The arrival of Player would possibly restrict the variety of reps Cole Maxwell receives in his remaining season. But on the very least, Maxwell gives glorious rotational depth for the Bears. And if offered the chance, he has flashed the expertise to make an impression. Maxwell is 6’5″, 295 kilos, however performed as far out as 5-tech at instances for Baylor in 2021. He can nonetheless add to his hand utilization arsenal, however the size-athleticism mixture stays intriguing.

Brayden Utley, DL

Perhaps greatest recognized for his big-man interception off a deflection within the 2021 Big 12 Championship Game, Brayden Utley brings loads greater than unlikely turnovers. Utley is an intriguing a part of Baylor’s rotation. Listed at 6’1″, 270 kilos, he has the scale to maneuver throughout the road. And particularly with the sheer quantity of expertise Baylor has in 2022, Utley may be that mix-and-match piece. He’s not the very best athlete of the group, however he capabilities as a pleasant rotational piece.

Garmon Randolph, EDGE

Most of Baylor’s defensive position expertise rests on the inside. But junior JACK linebacker Garmon Randolph could be very a lot price mentioning amongst them.

Randolph remains to be working towards his final breakout. He logged 30 tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks in 2021. But Randolph has a large 6’7″, 265-pound body, and strikes very properly in house for his dimension. His mixed size and athleticism, when channeled, may play extraordinarily properly off of the inside expertise beside him.

Dillon Doyle, LB

The return of veteran LB Dillon Doyle is very helpful for a workforce like Baylor, a workforce experiencing turnover and lifting up youth on either side of the ball. Doyle was the Bears’ second-leading tackler final 12 months, with 89 takedowns, 9 tackles for loss, a sack, two cross deflections, and a pressured fumble. Doyle isn’t an elite athlete, and generally is a bit clunky in protection. Still, he has nice dimension, play power, and a gradual demeanor that makes him a terrific presence within the locker room.

Matt Jones, LB

Doyle offers Baylor’s LB room much-needed stability. However, the lack of Terrel Bernard naturally creates a necessity for another person to step up. In 2022, Matt Jones is the prime candidate to be that man alongside Doyle.

Jones picked up 52 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, a choose, two deflections, and two pressured fumbles whereas enjoying within the workforce’s LB rotation in 2021. Jones, like Doyle, has nice dimension — sufficient to hurry the sting as an additional blitzer. But he additionally has the athleticism to make performs in protection.

Al Walcott, CB

With Kalon Barnes gone, Al Walcott is now the highest canine in Baylor’s CB room. Listed at 6’2″, 211 kilos, Walcott brings a visibly bigger body than Barnes. And whereas he doesn’t have the generational restoration velocity that Barnes had, Walcott is by no means gradual. For Walcott, enjoying decrease in his stance and quickening his transitions shall be key in 2022. But he has the instruments to succeed and flashes good recognition potential as properly.

Mark Milton, CB

Opposite Walcott, there shall be a void to fill for the Bears of their secondary. Mark Milton is the prime candidate to take up the out there beginning spot. Milton has good dimension and size at 6’1″, however he’s additionally a velocity risk — the precise form of participant Baylor has craved previously. Milton ran a 4.48 40-yard sprint out of highschool and has the restoration velocity to insulate development and probably make performs down the stretch in 2022.

Christian Morgan, S

Losing Jalen Pitre hurts, however the Bears nonetheless have draft-worthy expertise at security — most notably Christian Morgan. Morgan has protection expertise, in addition to playmaking potential within the intermediate vary, as evidenced by his 4 profession interceptions and eight cross deflections. Additionally, Morgan has nice dimension at 6’1″, 214 kilos. A veteran chief on the again finish, Baylor will depend on Morgan to make an impression in 2022.

Lorando Johnson, S

Lorando Johnson seemingly received’t declare within the 2023 NFL Draft cycle, however his identify is one to maintain within the reminiscence banks. In an unique interview with PFN final cycle, Baylor DB Pitre spoke very extremely of Johnson, and regarded him as a possible stud within the years to come back. Now, there’s discuss that Johnson could tackle Pitre’s function and get his probability to shine on the STAR place. With a chance arising, Johnson calls for consideration, whilst a redshirt sophomore.

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can discover his writing right here and comply with him on Twitter: @IC_Draft.

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