The 2022 NFL Draft is over and teams are getting comfortable with their new draft picks. The next class of players is getting prepared now for another year of college football. Each position will be analyzed in the coming days. Here is the 2023 NFL Draft prospect watchlist: Defensive Linemen.
Bryan Bresee, Clemson Tigers
Bresee was a highly-ranked recruit, who has played well in the last two seasons for Clemson. He had 6.5 tackles for loss and four sacks as a freshman for the Tigers as they went to the College Football Playoff. An ACL injury cut his 2021 season short. He had just three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in four games played.
At 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, Bresee is a huge defensive lineman. His pad level gets too high and he needs to stay low to keep his power. He is quick at the snap of the ball and can get skinny to get through gaps. Right now, Bresee is better at stopping the run than pass rushing, but adding more moves in 2022 could really help him improve.
Jalen Carter, Georgia Bulldogs
Carter has been a part of a very good defensive line rotation at Georgia over the last two seasons. He had three tackles for loss as a freshman. In 2021, he registered 8.5 tackles for loss and three sacks as the Bulldogs went on to win the National Championship. Carter is expected to have a huge 2022 season with a lot of Georgia’s talent leaving for the NFL.
He is 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds, which gives him good size. Carter is an explosive athlete for his size and has good quickness too. He has solid flexibility and can get skinny to get through gaps. A lot of defensive tackles don’t offer much pass rushing ability, but Carter actually excels in this area. He is the frontrunner to be atop the 2023 NFL Draft defensive linemen.
Tyler Davis, Clemson Tigers
Davis has battled injuries the last few seasons, but has played well despite that. He had 10.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks as a freshman. During his sophomore season, Davis only played in seven games. He was a Second-Team All-ACC selection, five tackles for loss and two sacks. In 2021, Davis played in eight games due to injury, but totaled 1.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. His play saw him be named First-Team All-ACC.
At 6-foot-2 and 300 pounds, Davis has solid size for the interior defensive line. He has good leverage and solid quickness at the snap of the ball. To go with it, he has shown good power. If he can add more pass-rushing moves and stay healthy in 2022, he can really improve his stock.
Siaka Ika, Baylor Bears
Ika started his career off at LSU before transferring to Baylor. In two seasons at LSU, Ika played in 13 games, totaling 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack. In 2021 for the Bears, Ika had six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks, as his play helped Baylor win 12 games.
He is a massive human at 6-foot-4 and 350 pounds, which makes him a great size for a nose tackle. Ika has good strength and surprisingly gets a solid amount of pressure for an interior lineman. Taking on double-teams won’t be an issue for Ika either. He needs to prove he can stay on the field for third downs by continuing to get pressure and playing more snaps.
Jaquelin Roy, LSU Tigers
Roy has been one of the bright spots for LSU over the last two seasons. He had four tackles for loss and two sacks in 2020. For the 2021 season, Roy had six tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. If he continues his development in 2022, Roy can rise up draft boards.
He is 6-foot-4 and 297 pounds, so he’ll look right at home on the interior of the defensive line. Roy could add more strength to really be disruptive. He is quick and has strong hands to fight off blocks. If he can get after the quarterback more in 2022, Roy has a chance to be one of the best interior defenders in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Other Draft Prospects
Cory Durden, NC State- Durden started his career at Florida State before joining the Wolfpack. He has good strength, but will be one of the older prospects in the draft.
Jaxon Player, Baylor- Player just transferred from Tulsa to Baylor. Over the last three seasons, he put up tremendous numbers. Now, he’ll have to prove he can do it consistently against top competition.
Byron Young, Alabama- Young has improved every year at Alabama. He is one of the smaller defensive linemen on this list and needs to continue to add strength.
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