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Three NFL Draft Prospects Easily Too Low On Your Board

From the most oversized armchair General Managers to even the most casual of NFL fans, we all know who we want our teams to select and not select in the 2023 NFL Draft. But, like the 32 NFL front offices and Draft rooms, all boards are changing.

Whether that’s your Nolan Smith and Anthony Richardson’s of this pre-Draft process soaring up boards or less promising prospects who have seen their preconceived stock drop to the floor beyond which they could have imagined, boards will get tighter every day until we see Mel Kiper Jr.‘s tenacity take over that network on the big night in roughly four weeks.

Consensus rankings have shaped the NFL Draft community’s discussion up to this point, and such as every year comes warmer weather, April showers, The Masters, and so on, as a consensus, we have our areas of being perceived as “right” and “wrong.” So let’s dive deeper with three men who could go higher than we think.

Adetomiwa Adebawore – 6’2, 282 lbs – Hybrid Defensive Lineman – Northwestern

Let’s first start with a deserved pronunciation for Adetomiwa Adebawore: (Ad-Aye-Tom-U-Wa Ad-O-Bar-Aye). Secondly, go ahead and acknowledge he ran a 4.49 at 282 pounds. No, that has not been done before. Finally, NFL fans who view Adebawore as a “tweener” cut the tape back on and realize he is an untapped “hybrid” because his number one ranking athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine allows his defensive staff versatility options, whether that be playing in a 3T, 5T, or 4i interior role (he should be a 3T).

While some might surface-level diagnose a “tweener” body habitus, please recognize an elite athletic profile that allows for high-motored gap penetration while still having the core and upper body strength to combat head-up match-ups and “fill in the gaps” for his role. Additionally, Adebawore’s best pass-rushing ability is kicked inside versus at edge, as he is too overly explosive with short-field bursts for offensive guards. On the flip side, while he may lack prototype edge length, his bullrush power is overwhelmingly vicious for offensive tackles.

While I am a “tape first always” evaluator, the testing numbers deserve to drool over a bit in addition to the positive tape: 99th percentile in the 40-yard dash, 96th percentile in the broad jump, 95th percentile vertical jump, 88th percentile shuttle, 86th percentile ten-yard split, 82nd percentile three-cone…..the list continues. These numbers are for the edge class; imagine defensive tackle numbers.

To put a rough estimate on the consensus view of Adebawore, it seems he is a consensus mid-second rounder in that 40-50 pick range. 280+ pound men who run in the 4.4s (I say “men” as if others exist) with tape like Adebawore’s don’t fall past pick 40. Expect Adebawore to end up closer to the 20-35 range and with a team equipped with the coaches, rotation, and patience to be a proper fit, particularly at that Draft capital.

Tyler Scott – 5’10, 177 lbs – Wide Receiver– Cincinnati

This wide receiver class offers a multitude of smaller, slot-centric receivers who project more comfortably at WR2 and WR3 roles on Day Two and Day Three of the NFL Draft. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said regarding the depth of players able to take the top off of a secondary or stretch the field vertically, whether in the slot, X, or Z role. Jalin Hyatt bottom of Round One/early Round Two too rich for you? Enter Tyler Scott at the value.

Do not be fooled by his size and automatically assume “slot only.” Yes, he will see more slot opportunities at the next level than he did at Cincinnati, where he primarily served as an outside receiver. Still, he does not hold his new team hostage in that role and offers a wide receiver coach a scheme-versatile tool to develop. In addition, he has shown through his outside experience that his elite speed (4.32u) and well-timed route development in and out of breaks keep defenders modest.

This innate ability to get vertical in various concepts will make even NFL cornerbacks have to respect Scott’s ability to get behind them, with or without help over the top in the backend of the secondary. This “honesty” is where his receiving ability inside the hash marks creates more accessible intermediate opportunities for his quarterback.

It is impressive how much Scott gets out of his body and size in terms of adapting to the catch point and creating more extension out of a less-than-stellar arm-catch radius for an outside threat. Scott will get paid because of his twitchy ability to evade defenders after the catch and stretch the field vertically while creating fear.

It seems Scott is being primarily lumped in that Third Round range. Scott may be in a similar situation to Mecole Hardman in the 2019 NFL Draft. Hardman was preconceived as a Third/Fourth round speed tool when he surprisingly came out early from the University of Georgia, but snuck into the bottom of the Second Round in a perfect fit with the Kansas City Chiefs, in need of another burner to pair with Tyreek Hill.

While many currently have Scott in the 75-90 range, it would not be surprising to see him sneak into this Mecole range of picks in the bottom segment of Round Two, say roughly 55-63.

Matthew Bergeron – 6’5, 322 lbs – Offensive Tackle+ – Syracuse

You might initially think, “What does “+” mean? That is an opening way of saying Matthew Bergeron is an excellent offensive tackle prospect (his perceived first position in this process) but can be a great offensive guard prospect (his perceived second position in this process). I view him as OT8 in this class but would consider him in the OG3-5 range for perspective.

A four-year starter with over 40+ starts, Bergeron’s primary experience is at left tackle, with an entire season at right tackle to go along with rotational offensive guard experience (very, very minimal). This positional versatility and extensive snap count repertoire (1,500+ snaps at LT, 400+ snaps at RT, etc.) is Bergeron’s greatest pre-Draft trait to accompany his smoothly defined run-blocking technique. Bergeron would leave a run-heavy scheme team like the Atlanta Falcons or Tennessee Titans want to dial the phone real fast on Day Two.

Average play strength and length in terms of offensive tackle criteria, along with supportive tape, leads to believe time at offensive guard could be in Bergeron’s future, whether or not he is given a go at offensive tackle first. His body habitus is clean for either position, as he wears his 320+ pounds well on his frame. A team with an already sturdy starting offensive line could covet Bergeron to throw into a rotation with positional versatility and Day One readiness considering his elite experience level. His sturdy base and agile turning ability complement the starting caliber intangibles.

All of these aspects of Bergeron that make him a Day Two caliber offensive tackle pick in this Draft translate equally, plus some to the offensive guard spot if that so ends up being a spot for Bergeron. Regarding a consensus ranking for Bergeron, he seems to be softly described as a Round Two-Three prospect. That would be roughly the 55-80 range. Expect Bergeron’s ceiling to be more in the 45 range and his floor to be closer to 70 for a team fond of his immediate translatability to their run game, whether at left or right tackle, or the aforementioned kick inside.



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