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NFLPA Bowl: 2023 Roster Breakdown

NFLPA Bowl

The 2023 NFLPA Bowl will take place in Pasadena on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. The game will kick off at 6 pm eastern.

Today, I will look at the NFLPA Bowl roster, position by position.

2023 NFLPA BOWL: ROSTER BREAKDOWN

QUARTERBACKS

Holton Ahlers East Carolina
Lindsey Scott Incarnate Word
Todd Centeio James Madison
Adrian Martinez Kansas State
Malik Cunningham Louisville
Sean Clifford Penn State

The NFLPA Bowl lifted half of its QB room from the Hula Bowl (Ahlers, Martinez, Clifford). Malik Cunningham was a prolific quarterback at UL. He is a superb athlete but his mechanics can get a bit flawed. 7th-year passer Lindsey Scott won the FCS Player of the Year award after a dominant season at IW. He is short in stature but has a chance to make a squad in the fall.

RUNNING BACKS

Emanuel Wilson Fort Valley State
Chris Smith Louisiana
Owen Wright Monmouth
Ronnie Brown Shepherd
Emari Demercado TCU
SaRodorick Thompson Texas Tech
Darius Hagans Virginia State
Titus Swen Wyoming

Demercado had a tremendous game in relief of Kendre Miller in the Fiesta Bowl. Now he has a chance to show he can get into an RB rotation in the NFL. It feels like Chris Smith has been in the Ragin Cajuns’ backfield forever.

I look forward to seeing the lower-level backs get a chance. I know very little of Wilson, Wright, Brown, or Hagans.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Bailey Edwards Albion
Joseph Ngata Clemson
Daniel Arias Colorado
CJ Johnson East Carolina
Ryan Miller Furman
Malachi Carter Georgia Tech
Taylor Grimes Incarnate Word
Malik Knowles Kansas State
Jaray Jenkins LSU
Malik Heath Mississippi
Keilahn Harris Oklahoma Baptist
Braydon Johnson Oklahoma State
Mitchell Tinsley Penn State
Jason Brownlee Southern Miss
Brycen Tremayne Stanford
Xavier Gipson Stephen F. Austin
Isaiah Bolden Jackson State

My favorite WR in this group is Jason Brownlee of Southern Miss. I currently have Brownlee as a Top 20 receiver in this class. Clemson wideout Joseph Ngata never really lived up to his hype. ECU WR CJ Johnson is built like a running back playing wide receiver. A poor man’s Deebo Samuel if you will. Anxious to see Oklahoma Baptist’s Keilahn Harris in an ASG environment.

TIGHT ENDS

Kyle Patterson Air Force
Ben Sims Baylor
Kemari Averett Bethune-Cookman
Christian Sims Bowling Green
Brady Russell Colorado
Camren McDonald Florida State
Johnny Lumpkin Louisiana
Noah Gindorff North Dakota State
Jahleel Billingsley Texas
Mike Ezeike UCLA

Louisiana’s Johnny Lumpkin will play a long time in the NFL although you probably won’t see him in the box score much. Noah Gindorff was injured for a good portion of the season and now with this game (and the combine) has a chance to get everyone re-familiarized with his skillset.

OFFENSIVE LINE

CENTERS

Trevor Downing Iowa State
James Jackson South Alabama
Alan Ali TCU
Ahofitu Maka UTSA

GUARDS

Cooper Hodges Appalachian State
Brandon Council Auburn
Jeremy Cooper Cincinnati
Sidy Sow Eastern Michigan
Tashawn Manning Kentucky
DJ Scaife Jr. Miami (FL)
Nash Jensen North Dakota State
Brandon Kipper Oregon State
Jovaughn Gwyn South Carolina
Jon Gaines UCLA

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

Harris LaChance BYU
Joey Fisher Shepherd
Demontrey Jacobs South Florida
Bobby Haskins Southern Cal
Austin Stidham Troy
Ryan Swoboda UCF
Silas Dzansi Virginia Tech

I think Sidy Sow (Eastern Michigan) and Jovaughn Gwyn (South Carolina) have a chance to be starters at some point in their NFL careers. After seeing his measurable at the CGS, I am intrigued by USF tackle Demontrey Jacobs. Jacobs measured in at 6’6″ and 304 pounds. He also had 11-inch hands, 37-inch arms, and an 85-inch wingspan. I will definitely be revisiting his tape soon.

EDGE RUSHERS

George Tarlas Boise State
John Waggoner Iowa
Malik Hamm Lafayette
Durrell Johnson Liberty
Mitchell Agude Miami (FL)
Thomas Rush Minnesota
Randy Charlton Mississippi State
Deslin Alexandre Pittsburgh
Titus Leo Wagner

No player in FBS had more tackles for loss this year than Durrell Johnson (Liberty) with 28. He along with Mitchell Agude (Miami-FL) and Randy Charlton are the pass rushers to watch.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Scott Matlock Boise State
Calvin Avery Illinois
Eli Huggins Kansas State
Jacob Slade Michigan State
Cory Durden NC State
Jayson Ademilola Notre Dame
Jeffery Johnson Oklahoma
Jordan Riley Oregon
LaTrell Bumphus Tennessee

As I said in my Hula Bowl preview, I loved Jeffery Johnson as a prospect at Tulane but his tape didn’t equal that this season. He gets another chance in an ASG in the NFLPA Bowl. Cory Durden of NC State is my next highest-rated interior defensive lineman.

LINEBACKERS

Kivon Bennett Arkansas State
Michael Ayers Ashland
Dillon Doyle Baylor
David Perales Fresno State
Ayinde Eley Georgia Tech
Zeke Vandenburgh Illinois State
Micah Baskerville LSU
Durell Nchami Maryland
Garrett Nelson Nebraska
Jimmy Phillips, Jr. SMU
Mikel Jones Syracuse
Krishon Merriweather Texas Tech
Zaire Barnes Western Michigan

I have been a huge fan of LSU LB Micah Baskerville. He will produce on special teams in the NFL and carve out a nice role. I thought Mikel Jones deserved a higher spot on the ASG pecking order.

CORNERBACKS

Keenan Issac Alabama State
Steven Jones Jr. Appalachian State
Mark Milton Baylor
Kaleb Hayes BYU
Quavian White Georgia State
Anthony Johnson Jr. Iowa State
Keidron Smith Kentucky
DJ Ivey Miami (FL)
Ameer Speed Michigan State
CJ Coldon Oklahoma
Corey Mayfield UTSA
Darrious Gaines Western Colorado

Draft Countdown has been singing the praises of Georgia State corner Quavian White all season. Ameer Speed is a former Georgia prospect that has a chance to be a better pro than a collegian. An interesting note here: the NFLPA Bowl roster release has Jackson State WR Issac Bolden as a corner.

SAFETIES

Nico Bolden Kent State
Quindell Johnson Memphis
Tyler Murray Memphis
Collin Duncan Mississippi State
Jalen Green Mississippi State
Jason Taylor II Oklahoma State
Marte Mapu Sacramento State
Kendall Williamson Stanford
Trevon Flowers Tennessee
Macon Clark Tulane

Jason Taylor II was a highly productive safety for Okie State. The same thing can be said for Quindell Johnson at Memphis. Sacramento State’s Marte Mapu has a chance to be a solid safety/LB hybrid.

SPECIALISTS

KICKERS

Jonathan Cruz Mississippi
Bijan Nichols Navy

LONG SNAPPERS

Dalton Godfrey South Dakota
Rob Soderholm VMI

PUNTERS

Lou Hedley Miami (FL)
Brad Robbins Michigan

The 2023 NFLPA Bowl will be telecast live on NFL Network.

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