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: Linebackers.
Justin Flowe, Oregon Ducks
Flowe has had an injury-plagued career, but has plenty of potential. He played in one game as a freshman before missing the rest of the season with an injury. In 2021, he once again played in one game before tearing his meniscus. He did lead the team in tackles during his one-game played with 14.
The most important thing for Flowe is to stay healthy. He has all the potential in the world, as one of Oregon’s highest-rated recruit in history. He has solid athleticism and made plays all over the field for Oregon against Fresno State. His size is also good, as he is 6-foot-2 and 246 pounds. Flowe needs to have a great season, but could really draw some attention.
DeMarvion Overshown, Texas Longhorns
Overshown has made a lot of plays for Texas over the last two seasons. He played sparingly in his first two seasons with Texas. In 2020, he stepped into the starting lineup full time. Overshown had 60 tackles and eight tackles for loss. Last season, he registered 74 total tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss. He was a bright spot for Texas in 2021.
He has a good frame at 6-foot-4 and 221 pounds, but will need to add play strength. Overshown can struggle to shed blocks and can be a step late reacting against the run. What he does bring to the table is someone who can match up with tight ends and provide decent coverage. A big 2022 season could move the former safety into the early rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Owen Pappoe, Auburn Tigers
Pappoe has been an impact player for the Tigers over the last three seasons. He started as a freshman, totaling 49 total tackles and three tackles for loss. In 2020, he had 93 total tackles and six tackles for loss. He suffered a leg injury in 2021, limiting his season to just five games. Pappoe had 23 tackles and three tackles for loss in those games.
While he is a little undersized for a linebacker at 6-foot-1 and 226 pounds, Pappoe makes up for it with blazing speed. He has shown great range to run-down ball carriers. His movement allows him to cover decently well, but he could improve his block-shedding abilities to provide better run support.
Noah Sewell, Oregon Ducks
Sewell immediately made an impact for the Ducks and is now one of the best players in the country. He had 48 total tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss as a Freshman All-American. In 2021, he followed it up with 114 total tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. His play helped Oregon win 10 games last season.
At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Sewell is a well-built linebacker with good play strength. He hits hard and can stop the run because of his ability to disengage from blockers. His quickness is solid, but his speed will come into question. He also isn’t the best in coverage, but his run-stopping is the best in the class.
Henry To’o To’o, Alabama Crimson Tide
To’o To’o started his career at Tennessee before transferring to Alabama. In his two seasons at Tennessee, he registered 140 total tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss. At Alabama, he helped the team make the College Football Playoff with 111 total tackles and four sacks.
He will need to add some muscle to his 6-foot-2 and 225-pound frame. To’o To’o moves well for the position and has solid flexibility. He could be an asset in coverage with more work. To improve his stock, he needs to shed blocks more quickly.
Other Draft Prospects
Jack Campbell, Iowa- At 6-foot-5 and 243 pounds, Campbell has good play strength and can stop the run. He will need to prove himself in coverage this season.
Ventrell Miller, Florida- Miller has been on the radar for while, but elected to return to school after getting injured in 2021. He is a little undersized, but can stop the run decently well.
Trenton Simpson, Clemson- Simpson will need to add to his frame, but had a great 2021 season. He is good against the run, but needs to make more plays on the ball in coverage.
Payton Wilson, NC State- At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, Wilson has good size. He was dealt with a lot of injuries, but has shown a good nose for the football when on the field.
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