Since Dontari Poe’s choice in 2012, the Memphis Tigers have been a constant supplier of expertise for the NFL’s annual choice occasion. Can they proceed their pipeline to the professionals within the 2023 NFL Draft? Ahead of the 2022 school soccer season, who’re the highest prospects to be careful for when watching Memphis this 12 months?
Memphis prospects within the 2023 NFL Draft
Memphis misplaced a ton of manufacturing on each side of the ball on the finish of final season. Most notably, they’ll be changing main receiver and now Pittsburgh Steeler Calvin Austin III plus main tackler JJ Russell. With a lack of expertise comes alternative for a number of gamers to emerge as not simply workforce leaders, but additionally as 2023 NFL Draft prospects. Which gamers might assist the Tigers prolong their consecutive NFL draft alternatives streak to 10 years?
Quindell Johnson, S
The return of redshirt-junior security Quindell Johnson is big for Memphis’ hopes this season. Johnson tallied 104 tackles with 11 move breakups and an interception final fall. He may be their finest probability of getting a participant chosen within the 2023 NFL Draft.
A forceful hitter from the secondary, Johnson additionally possesses nice pace and agility that he flashes in protection and coming downhill. Meanwhile, he showcases the ball abilities to be impactful on the catch level. The 6’1″, 195-pound security needs to be on the draft radar this season.
Jacob Likes, C
Last cycle, offensive lineman Dylan Parham was Memphis’ highest chosen participant and the offensive line might as soon as once more be represented within the 2023 NFL Draft. There are quite a lot of skilled gamers, however redshirt-junior middle Jacob Likes stands out on tape. He’s a bit of undersized at 6’2″, 280 kilos. However, he flashes play power, fast and correct hand placement, and performs with an understanding of leverage that mitigates a number of the measurement issues. He’s additionally adept at getting out to the second degree within the run recreation.
Xavier “Zay” Cullens, LB
While they may have misplaced their main tackler, Memphis returns their most disruptive risk within the backfield in linebacker Xavier “Zay” Cullens. The fifth-year senior led the workforce with 8½ tackles for loss final fall, whereas additionally snagging an interception.
The 6’1″, 225-pound linebacker is a veteran presence, with 40 appearances. He’s explosive off the snap and fast to penetrate gaps whereas possessing the agility to pose a risk in protection. If Cullens can enhance a few of his tackling method, he might entice 2023 NFL Draft consideration.
Jaylon Allen, EDGE
With a change of defensive coordinator, there may be the chance for a number of prospects on that facet of the ball to raise their play and earn 2023 NFL Draft consideration. One of these is redshirt-senior edge Jaylon Allen.
The 6’2″, 238-pound move rusher led the workforce in sacks final fall, so he already has a stable base to construct on. Allen has showcased nice athletic capacity, with spectacular straight-line pace, flexibility, and the agility to drop again into protection. He pairs that with soccer consciousness to pose a harmful defensive risk.
Jevyon Ducker, RB
After a sluggish begin to final season, Jevyon Ducker exploded onto the scene as one of many high working backs within the nation. Tallying 1,184 speeding yards, the previous Northern Illinois RB had seven video games with over 100 yards, together with a 210-yard evening in opposition to Bowling Green.
The 5’10, 194-pound rusher showcases spectacular lower capacity, has confirmed elusive, and possesses glorious imaginative and prescient. Coaches rave about Ducker’s preparation and soccer intelligence. I’d anticipate the brand new Memphis RB to get a whole lot of touches alongside Brandon Thomas this fall.
Geoffrey Cantin-Arku, LB
A ten-game starter for Syracuse in 2020, Geoffrey Cantin-Arku had a productive marketing campaign with 61 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and 4 sacks. However, with some ascending younger gamers for the Orange, he entered the switch portal and may slide straight in subsequent to Cullens within the linebacker room.
Cantin-Arku has first rate measurement at 6’4″, 230 kilos, possesses good size, and has flashed spectacular athletic tendencies. Meanwhile, his expertise and excellence on particular groups might earn him consideration within the 2023 NFL Draft.
Wardalis Ducksworth, EDGE
A surefire entry into the “all-name” workforce for the 2023 NFL Draft, Wardalis Ducksworth is extra than simply an entertaining identify. The 6’4″, 246-pound EDGE has been persistently productive for the Tigers, tallying 4 tackles for loss and 4 sacks in every of his final two seasons.
Ducksworth performs with a relentless model and showcases spectacular power for a participant listed underneath 250 kilos. He’s additionally demonstrated an array of pass-rush strikes. A standout 12 months with elevated manufacturing ought to increase Ducksworth’s draft potential.
Rodney Owens, S
For a workforce that ranked 91st in factors allowed final fall, Memphis has some spectacular 2023 NFL Draft prospects of their secondary. Alongside Johnson, Rodney Owens ought to have the chance to impress this fall.
When you turn on Memphis tape, the 6’0″, 180-pound security is consistently across the ball. He has the athletic capacity to wreck offenses within the backfield and isn’t afraid to combine it up on the level of assault. Meanwhile, Owens possesses the ball abilities to be impactful in protection.
Eddie Lewis, WR
With Austin and Sean Dykes departed, somebody goes to have to choose up the slack for a Memphis offense that misplaced 15 touchdowns and over 1,800 yards of receiving offense. My cash can be on former Rutgers extensive receiver Eddie Lewis.
The 5’11”, 192-pound move catcher really led the Tigers in yards per catch final fall. With an expanded function, he might turn out to be a extremely coveted 2023 NFL Draft prospect. Lewis has the straight-line pace and agility to be a deep risk, and has showcased toughness over the center of the sector.