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2023 NFL Draft: Top 5 prospects at each position

Jeremy Betz gives you his top 5 players by position heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft is just over a month away, and NFL teams are making their final adjustments to their big boards after experiencing the Scouting Combine and visiting a plethora of collegiate Pro Days.

Last year I did my first ever top 5 rankings by position, and found it even more difficult than I imagined to nitpick between the pros and cons of each prospect to separate them into an actual ranking.

When it comes down to it, much of the determining factors in reaching a final pecking order represent the biases and/or preferences of the “ranker”. I tried to approach this exercise as objectively as possible, basing each player’s position in my rankings on what the tape and workouts show me about the real talent and potential of each prospect.

The 2023 NFL Draft is an interesting study. It is deepest at Tight End and Cornerback, and thinnest at Safety and Inside Linebacker. I have separated the class into 11 “position groups” for a total of 55 prospects. What’s extremely exciting to me is that our Pittsburgh Steelers have three selections within this top 55. The Black & Gold have a real chance to get significantly better as a team by nailing their selections in this draft.

With all that in mind, let’s dive into my 2023 top 5 players by position.



  1. C.J. Stroud
  2. Anthony Richardson
  3. Bryce Young
  4. Will Levis
  5. Tanner McKee

Stroud tops my list as the most pro-ready QB who also possesses prototypical measurables at the position, and also give me Richardson over Bryce Young just for the tantalizing upside he possesses. The best-case scenario for Young is he becomes a Russell Wilson/Drew Brees blend as a passer. Worst case? Baker Mayfield. You don’t take that at number 1 in my opinion.


  1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba
  2. Jordan Addison
  3. Quentin Johnston
  4. Zay Flowers
  5. Jalin Hyatt

JSN is a smooth route runner and day 1 difference maker in the slot, and I love Zay Flowers as an all-round WR prospect that likely hits as a high-end WR2 at the next level.


  1. Bijan Robinson
  2. Jahmyr Gibbs
  3. Zach Charbonett
  4. Israel Abanikanda
  5. Tyjae Spears

This group is really solid, and there’s starting caliber rushers beyond these 5 in this class. Gibbs has a chance to be a special anll-round player out of the backfield. I also really like Spears as a Darren Sproles-like weapon for a team ready to compete in 2023.


  1. Michael Mayer
  2. Luke Musgrave
  3. Darnell Washington
  4. Dalton Kincaid
  5. Sam LaPorta

The deepest group in the draft on offense, I’d be surprised if any one of these 5 guys isn’t handling starting-level snaps for their team by the end of the season.


  1. Paris Johnson Jr.
  2. Peter Skoronski
  3. Darnell Wright
  4. Broderick Jones
  5. Anton Harrison

Johnson is a scouts dream at Tackle with all the measurables, athleticism, and drive you can ask for. Wright is one of the more universally underrated prospects in the draft in my opinion.


  1. O’Cyrus Torrence
  2. Cody Mauch
  3. John Michael Schmitz
  4. Steve Avila
  5. Joe Tippmann

Need a Center that can start for you for 10 years? That’s what you get if you select JMS or Tippmann in this draft. Cody Mauch’s versatility is one of the more impressive attributes of any player in this draft.



  1. Christian Gonzalez
  2. Joey Porter Jr.
  3. Devon Witherspoon
  4. Deonte Banks
  5. Cam Smith

This is the deepest group on the defensive side of the ball. These 5 prospects are all outside corners, but this class is rife with exceptional talent in the slot as well. Doesn’t matter what your scheme is, there’s a quality CB for you in this draft.


  1. Trenton Simpson
  2. Jack Campbell
  3. Drew Sanders
  4. Daiyan Henley
  5. DeMarvion Overshown

Simpson has the chance to be special if he can add production to his other-worldly athleticism. All these guys have questions, but for sure once you get past Overshown in this class, it’s a crapshoot as to whether or not you’ll find a future starting-caliber off-ball LB in this draft.


  1. Will Anderson
  2. Tyree Wilson
  3. Nolan Smith
  4. Lukas Van Ness
  5. Myles Murphy

The 2023 pass rusher group could end up being special. Anderson and Wilson are basically can’t-miss prospects, and the overall athleticism of the class is unrivaled in recent years.


  1. Brian Branch
  2. Antonio Johnson
  3. Sydney Brown
  4. Jordan Battle
  5. Christopher Smith II

Calling this a “safety” group is a bit of a stretch, with many of these players destined for nickel roles at the NFL level. Brown, Battle, and Smith though are heat-seeking missiles and could land roles as starting strong safeties early in their careers.


  1. Jalen Carter
  2. Mazi Smith
  3. Bryan Bresee
  4. Calijah Kancey
  5. Keeanu Benton

I have Smith higher than some others, but his athleticism is beyond rare for the position. His upside is tremendous. Beyond him and Carter, the next 3-5 guys are fairly interchangeable based on your preferences or needs as a team.

And there you have my top 5 players at each position in the 2023 NFL Draft. Got any thoughts about my selections? Anybody I’m missing? Let’s hear it in the comments below. As always, go Steelers!