With many opt outs in the Bowl Games, it has become increasingly difficult to assess NFL Draft value for the 2023 draft utilizing these games. Either the players playing and doing well are going back to school for 2024, or draftable prospects are skipping out. There are exceptions of course, but especially early in Bowl Season, my focus is on late round or undrafted players who helped their stock now or in the future.
Zakhari Franklin, WR, UTSA
Franklin has been mentioned plenty of times by Brian, but for a potential draftable player, he continues showing up. The crafty WR shows good routes and an understanding of how to help his QB, Frank Harris, out throughout the game. The stat line is not the usual big numbers, but Franklin’s 8 catches for 36 yards and a TD kept UTSA in the game and moving the chains. He shows good hands and quickness to make an NFL roster at the next level.
Kyrei Fisher-Morris, LB, Oregon State
Fisher-Morris is not much of a name in NFL Draft, and I didn’t really notice him in the Oregon State games I watched this year, but he was very impressive against Florida. The inside backer showed great instincts in run blitzing and reading what the Florida offense was doing. He got a sack and 3 total TFL in the game. A high Football IQ player, Fisher-Morris could make a camp.
Jermaine Brown Jr, RB, UAB
Brown likely isn’t in the 2023 draft, but with RB DeWayne McBride opting out (likely to make the NFL jump,) Brown took his place and was impressive. With good athletic ability and speed, he was by far UAB’s best weapon, avoiding tacklers for big gains. He is a definite name to keep track of next season.