After months of waiting, it is finally NFL draft week. Teams will select players this week to add to their rosters who will have impacts not just this year but perhaps for the 2 decades that follow. There’s a reason that teams often stick to the expression: “We have to build through the draft.” That reason is because it’s really your best opportunity to acquire truly GREAT talents... so, yea, to put it lightly, this week is important for those who follow NFL football.
In the end though only a handful of these players will likely go on to have truly GREAT professional careers as marked by Pro Bowl, All Pro, and Hall of Fame nominations. For fans and front office personnel, these are the players that we really hope to identify because one guy like New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner is worth what feels like 48 “okay” guys.
In line with that, I’d like to throw out a few guys that I think are going to be GUYS (meaning really really good) at the next level. Within this list I’m opting to name players who I think will thrive regardless of supporting cast.
- Ohio State Wide Receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba: Dude threw up 1600 yards in a season where he was competing for targets with rookie of the year contenders Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. If that doesn’t say how highly the quarterback and the coaching staff thought of Jaxon then I’m not sure what would.
- Penn State Wide Receiver Parker Washington: Dude pops on tape and pretty much every piece of analytic data I find on him says “really good.... when healthy.” Given that I can’t predict health and his injuries don’t seem like the types that will linger, I’ll confidently put my chips down on Parker.
- Pittsburgh Defensive Tackle Calijah Kancey: I have my doubts that he’ll hold up in the run game and I think it’s very possible that he’s a two-down player at the next level, but I think that pass rushing ability is going to play in a pass-happy league. While he might be limited, I expect that we’re going to hear about teams trying to find “the next” Kancey in the years that follow, and that’s usually a mark that a player is really valuable.
- Georgia Tight End Darnell Washington: Dude blocks like a lineman, has the catch radius of Calvin Johnson, is a force in open space, and might be the best athlete in the draft. Really love this player. I see many Pro Bowls in his future.
These are my “guys.” But I like to think of Gang Green Nation as having some smart people around. With that in mind, let’s crowdsource some information, so I’d love for y’all to answer this question for me:
- Who are your “guys” in the 2023 NFL draft?