The 2023 NFL is now complete. Some players rose up the draft board while other fell. Some teams just get it, and below are the top five players that were absolute best NFL Draft values!
5) Nolan Smith
Drafted: Round 1 Pick 30 (30 Overall)
Commonly projected to go just outside the top ten picks in the first round, Nolan Smith tumbled to the end of Round 1. He was promptly scooped up by the reigning NFC champs. Smith will likely spend his rookie season backing up the Eagles incumbent edge rusher, Haason Reddick. Reddick also happens to be Smith’s best comparable player on PlayerProfiler. In 2024, Smith could replace Reddick outright as the Eagles can save 15 million in cap space by designating the pass rushing veteran a post June 1 cut in 2024. With 100-percentile 4.39 40 Yard Dash speed and an equally impressive 98th-percentile Burst Score and Speed Score, Smith has the potential to be a double digit sack producer at the NFL level.
4) Joey Porter Jr.
Drafted: Round 2 Pick 1 (32 Overall)
Joey Porter Jr. to the Steelers with the first pick of Day 2 reads like a stolen script from a Disney movie. Porter was passed on all teams with a first round selection despite routinely being mocked as the third corner off the board selected in the teens and twenties.
He was then snagged by his father’s former team with the 32nd overall pick on Day 2. Porter possesses upper percentile athletic testing metrics with a 4.46 40 Yard Dash (72nd-percentile), and a 129.3 Burst Score (79th-percentile). At 6-3 193 pounds, Porter is one of the biggest corners in the class, and profiles an imposing physical presence in the Steelers secondary. He has the pedigree and athleticism to be the best corner in the class when all is said and done.
3) Will Levis
Drafted: Round 2 Pick 2 (33 Overall)
Like Joey Porter, Will Levis was a green room invite whose name was not called until Day 2. Reports surfaced during Levis’s fall in Round 1 that teams were concerned about a medical issue involving his toe. However, this injury did not concern the Tennessee Titans who traded up to the No. 33 overall pick for what essentially amounted to a future third round pick and some pick swaps. The potential range of outcomes is wide with Levis. He was an erratic thrower of the football in college with 23 interceptions across his final two season with Kentucky. However, with a better College QBR than fourth overall pick, and fellow quarterback Anthony Richardson, Levis offers better passing abilities and is also athletic in his own right. Comparing what the two division rivals had to pay for each quarterback, the Titans made a great arbitrage play in the second round by selecting Levis.
2) Trenton Simpson
Drafted: Round 3 Pick 23 (125 Overall)
In what has become an annual NFL draft tradition, the Ravens select a toolsy, athletic freak of a linebacker with the hopes of turning him into a star. Like Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo before him, Trenton Simpson posted elite level athletic testing metrics at the NFL Combine. Blazing on the turf with a 4.43 40 Yard Dash (99th-percentile), Simpson also exhibited a 127.9 Burst Score (90th-percentile) and above average change of direction skills with a 11.32 Agility Score (63rd-percentile).
The Ravens clearly see a future with Trenton Simpson as an every down linebacker with the versatility to line up on the inside, on the edge as a rusher, and even in the slot. With the Ravens recently declining Patrick Queen‘s fifth year option, and Tyus Bowser a potential cap casualty next season, Trenton Simpson will serve as a dynamic defensive companion with all-pro Roquan Smith in short order.
1) Adetomiwa Adebawore
Position: Defensive Line
Drafted: Round 4 Pick 8 (111 Overall)
The best value selection of the draft happened on its final day. The Colts selecting Adetomiwa Adebawore with its second selection of Day 3 was just the start of the Colts collection of uber athletes. There was no prospect more athletic in this draft class than Adebawore who posted a 121.1 Athleticism Score. His 4.49 40 Yard Dash, 138.8 Speed Score and 126.3 Burst Score all rank in the 100th-percentile among defensive lineman.
The Colts won the NFL Draft, not the Eagles. #nfldraft #fantasyfootball #nfl
His 11.39 Agility Score is not too shabby either ranking in the 99th percentile. Adebawore does lack the prototypical size as a prospect weighing only 282 pounds at 6-2. However, a lack of ideal size did not stop Aaron Donald from becoming the best defensive lineman in the league. A Donald type career is clearly Adebawore’s ceiling, but even he hits his median outcome the Colts likely hit a homerun with the pick.