NFL combine: Scouts split on best 2023 QB prospect, while unanimous at 3 other positions
INDIANAPOLIS — Draft season is in full swing now with workouts kicking off at the NFL scouting combine, and it’s a good time to take the temperature of prospects by asking the people who will actually play a role in making the picks.
Yahoo Sports caught up with seven NFL scouts who gave their favorite prospects at each position. It’s important to remember that these aren’t necessarily rankings and certainly don’t reflect official draft boards; this is just a poll of favorite prospects at each position.
Bryce Young (2 votes), C.J. Stroud (2), Anthony Richardson (2), Will Levis (1)
The quarterback discussion this year is going to yield a lot of different favorites, and the top four consensus quarterbacks all appeared in the polling.
Florida's Anthony Richardson is not seen to be as raw by this crop of NFL scouts than he is by some other analysts. His rushing ability should give him a higher floor to be a productive passer early on while he adjusts to the speed of the NFL passing games.
Alabama's Bryce Young has his fans as well, but there is legitimate concern about his weight more so than his height. Young was an escape artist at times for the Crimson Tide, but there's a bit of a “wait and see” approach as he moves on from running away from college defensive linemen to NFL defensive linemen.
Bijan Robinson (7)
Michael Mayer (7)
Jalen Carter (7)
The polling brought back three consensus prospects at their position: Texas running back Bijan Robinson, Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer and Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter.
Even in the wake of Carter’s arrest, trip back to Athens, Georgia, and subsequent return to Indianapolis on two misdemeanor charges, he’s still viewed as the clear-cut top defensive tackle.
Quentin Johnston (2), Zay Flowers (2), Jordan Addison (2), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (1)
Anton Harrison (3), Peter Skoronski (2), O’Cyrus Torrence (2)
Based on the responses, Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison could end up closer to the top of the first round after this weekend. Harrison is a younger player as he’ll play his entire rookie season at age 21. He already has fans of his baseline play with a lot of room to improve as he gets older and matures with an NFL strength and conditioning program. He’s expected to be one of the most athletic tackles in the class.
Drew Sanders (5), Trenton Simpson (2)
The top of the linebacker class is not getting rave reviews, but Arkansas' Drew Sanders is viewed as a potential long-term starter who might not ever become a superstar. Clemson's Trenton Simpson is seen more as a swing on athleticism and upside.
There hasn’t been too much excitement about where this linebacker class stacks up to past draft classes.
Will Anderson Jr. (4), Tyree Wilson (3)
Christian Gonzalez (2), Kelee Ringo (2), Devon Witherspoon (2), Joey Porter Jr. (1)
Brian Branch (6), Chris Smith (1)
Alabama defensive back Brian Branch was grouped with safeties here because he’s not an outside cornerback type, but he will play a handful of snaps in the slot in the NFL. He’s more of a hybrid type of DB prospect.