As your New Orleans Saints prepare for the 2023 NFL Draft, we take a look at the top 10 ranked players at various positions. The 2023 NFL Draft big board rankings are reflective of Bucky Brooks' top five 2023 NFL Draft prospects by position 1.0 and ESPN's NFL Draft "Best Available" list.
Here are the top five ranked draft prospects at wide receiver and the top five ranked prospects at tight end:
2023 NFL Draft prospects - Wide receiver | No. 1 Jaxon Smith-Njigba | Ohio State
Jaxon Smith-Njigba is coming off an injury-riddled 2022 season, but still comes in as the best available receiver according to NFL.com's Bucky Brooks (third on ESPN's Best Available) due to his impressive 2021 campaign. He finished 2021 with 95 receptions, 1,606 yards, and nine touchdowns. He also averaged nearly 200 yards per game in his last five contests of 2021. Despite some speed and injury concerns, Smith-Njigba could be used as a starting slot receiver on a number of teams. He excels at contested catches and can comfortably catch a deep ball in stride, but his relatively slow speed for the position makes it difficult for him to find separation.
Height: 6 feet 1
Weight: 196 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.39
NFL.com overview: "Smith-Njigba is a possession slot receiver who lacks the shake to separate underneath and the speed to run past defenses. He's tough in the middle of the defense and has proven he can make catches in congestion...It is impossible to ignore his monster finish to the 2021 season, and he has starting slot potential, but the speed concerns coupled with an injury-plagued 2022 season threaten to negatively impact his draft stock."
2023 NFL Draft prospects - Wide receiver | No. 2 Zay Flowers | Boston College
Zay Flowers is listed as the second best available wide receiver according to NFL.com and the fourth best receiver on EPSN.com. His speed and athleticism make him hard for defenders to match up with. His greatest strength is also his biggest weakness, though, as sometimes he can be too fast for his own good. Routes can be rushed at times and sometimes he looks to run before completing the catch, leading to a greater number of drops than most teams would like. His 4.42 40-yard dash surely opened some eyes a bit, though, and he can be a starter for a number of teams next season.
Height: 5 feet 9
Weight: 182 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.45
NFL.com Overview: "Slot target who plays with unbridled energy and immense confidence. Flowers is slightly built but can side-step press and fly into action with above-average acceleration and an attacking demeanor. Flowers has a tendency to rush his routes, but his ability to play with speed and move with athleticism makes him hard to read for defenders. His ball skills will shine brightly at times, but frustrating drops come with the package. Flowers has the skill set to become a valuable play-maker as a pro."
2023 NFL Draft prospects - Wide receiver | No. 3 Quentin Johnston | TCU
The third best available wide receiver according to NFL.com, and the best available on ESPN, Quentin Johnston has the build that teams look for when selecting a wide receiver. His size and athleticism have him pretty high on some draft boards, and scouts may take note of a 40.5 inch vertical jump. He has some inconsistencies that can be fixed with the right receivers coach and a good veteran role model, including a limit to specific routes and catching through contact. An AFC area scout summarized it by saying, "He's got some freak (athleticism) in him and will test great, but the hands are a concern for me." He has what it takes to be a starter in the league, and continued improvement can take his game to the next level.
Height: 6 feet 3
Weight: 208 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.40
NFL.com Overview: "Height-weight-speed prospect with the physical traits and upside that might have teams willing to overlook some of his inconsistencies on tape. Johnston is a long-striding vertical threat who can open up and separate when allowed to keep his feet moving in space. His elevation and catch radius create an expansive target area down the field, but his overall success rate on contested catches is way lower than it should be for a receiver of his size. Johnston needs a specific route tree, but will improve in that area at the next level..."
2023 NFL Draft prospects - Wide receiver | No. 4 Jordan Addison | USC
Jordan Addison is the fourth best receiver according to Bucky Brooks, but he is the second best receiver on ESPN's Best Available. His smaller frame has caused some scouts to be mixed on his ability to make an impact, but his 4.49 40-yard dash and his ability to cut routes and juke defenders bumps him up on the list. His 2022 season at USC was a bit of a let-down considering the numbers he put up in 2021: 100 receptions, 1,593 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Addison can benefit greatly from being in the right system, and 2021 suggests that he could be a high-end receiver in. One NFC personnel director had this to say: "NFL hashes will give him more room as a route runner to help out-quick coverage. He needs it because he's not that strong."
Height: 5 feet 11
Weight: 173 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.36
NFL.com Overview: "Inside/outside wideout with the speed and agility to work confidently on all three levels of the field, but lacking the size and catch strength generally associated with high-impact performers on the next level. Addison's route running features acceleration, dynamic steering and sudden turns at a moment's notice."
2023 NFL Draft prospects - Wide receiver | No. 5 Jalin Hyatt | Tennessee
Jalin Hyatt is the fifth best receiver on NFL.com and ESPN.com. Hyatt does a little bit of everything that teams want. From breaking away from defenders with his route ability to blocking them on run plays, Hyatt does not shy away from a challenge. He was second in the FBS last season with 15 touchdowns, and that capped off an impressive college career after being a four-star recruit. An NFC scouting director had this to say about Jalin Hyatt: "When you have someone who can run like Hyatt you get explosive catches but it also really benefits your running game because safeties can't get involved as much. He reminds me a lot of watching Will Fuller when he was healthy."
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 176 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.50
NFL.com Overview: "Long, slender wideout with deep speed that could force defensive coordinators to alter coverage considerations. Hyatt's gliding gait disguises explosive acceleration that can lead to easy separation on deep throws...Hyatt is ordinary getting in and out of intermediate breaks and might be best with a limited route tree full of slants, crossers and a series of field-stretching patterns. Hyatt is an instantly credible WR2 with the ability to make a huge impact, but production could be erratic due to the limitations of his game."
2023 NFL Draft prospects - Tight end | No. 1 Michael Mayer | Notre Dame
The No. 1 tight end according to Bucky Brooks as well as ESPN, Michael Mayer has what it takes to be either an extra offensive lineman or a short-yardage tight end. You may not get the big plays from him, but sometimes it can be better to take the safer option who will excel at what he does. What he does is block well and make tough catches for short gains (third/fourth down and short as well as red zone). His 4.70 40-yard dash may not blow scouts away, but speed at the tight end position is not the highest check box for scouts.
Height: 6 feet 4 1/2
Weight: 249 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.44
NFL.com Overview: "Big combination tight end with the demeanor for run blocking and the size for tough, chain-moving catches underneath. Mayer will come into the league with better blocking technique than most tight ends in this year's draft. He's built for in-line duty and was an extension of the Notre Dame offensive line at times. His feet are a little heavy getting into and through his routes, but he has the hand strength and contact balance to win heavily contested catches on the first two levels. Mayer might need to polish his route running to become a high-volume target, but he's a safe pick and will be a good pro who can become a plus player as a run blocker and pass catcher."
2023 NFL Draft prospects - Tight end | No. 2 Dalton Kincaid | Utah
Dalton Kincaid's NFL comparison is Zach Ertz, which would explain why scouts are so high on him. He is listed as the second best prospect at the tight end position on NFL.com's Bucky Brooks and ESPN's Best Available. Kincaid is viewed as a primarily pass-catching tight end who may struggle to block on run plays. He could excel on a team that wants to use his length and size to punish defenders trying to cover him. He has enough speed to give linebackers some trouble in coverage, but DBs should be able to keep up and could potentially pose a problem. He does have good focus when making a catch in contact and can be a reliable source for a QB in must-have situations.
Height: 6 feet 4
Weight: 246 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.48
NFL.com Overview: "Move tight end whose premium talent as a pass-catcher will be the primary focus for evaluators. Kincaid is a fluid route runner with the athleticism and play speed to create mismatches against lesser coverage. Impeccable ball skills and sticky hands allow him to tilt 50/50 contested throws in his favor. He lacks the play strength and technique to work in-line, but can handle some positional blocking in space from time to time. Kincaid can manage a more extended route tree, allowing calculating play-callers to open up the entire field and stress coverages. He will need to acclimate to a more physical/athletic brand of coverage, but should blossom into a weapon."
2023 NFL Draft prospects - Tight end | No. 3 Darnell Washington | Georgia
Darnell Washington is the third best tight end on NFL.com and ESPN due to his massive size and innate ability to sniff out a block. He possesses the size and power of some offensive linemen, and some scouts believe he has the ability to get some reps at offensive tackle. If he does stay at tight end, he could work on improving his catching a little bit, but if he does catch it then he can be a pain to bring down. An NFC area scout said this about Washington: "He creates so many advantages in the run game because of his size and strength, but I think the same is true in the passing game when they utilize him." He has high upside and his stock may continue to rise as we approach draft time.
Height: 6 feet 7
Weight: 264 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.38
NFL.com Overview: "In-line tight end with rare size and power at the point of attack to help soften defensive edges up front. Despite sloppy overall technique, Washington can be effective at moving defenders when he's centered on his block...He plods into his routes but catches with above-average focus and can be a handful to bring down. Washington could become a dominant run blocker with better technique, which makes me wonder if a team might give him a look at offensive tackle at some point in his career."
2023 NFL Draft prospects - Tight end | No. 4 Luke Musgrave | Oregon State
Coming in as the fourth best tight end on NFL.com and ESPN, Luke Musgrave is slated to be a potential starting tight end for a team willing to put in a little work to help him reach his maximum potential. He has decent speed for a tight end, running a 4.61 in the 40. His movement is fluid, and he can separate from covering linebackers with relative ease. His catch radius is smaller than what teams may expect for a tight end of that size, but he can get open relatively easily in coverage. An AFC scout said this: "Well-rounded athlete. He competed in three sports and was good at all three growing up. Reminds me of when Mike Gesicki came out and you could see his indoor volleyball talent in some of his football play."
Height: 6 feet 6
Weight: 253 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.49
NFL.com Overview: "Between the abbreviated 2020 season and an injury-shortened 2022 campaign, Musgrave's snaps have been somewhat limited, but it's easy to like what he's put on tape. His route running harkens back to his slalom days with nimble feet and smooth hips helping to generate rhythm and separation in and out of breaks. He needs a little more bulk for combat in the trenches, but he offers what evaluators are looking for in technique, strain and demeanor. Musgrave has starter potential and should gain a coveted slot on draft boards from teams looking to add versatility to their 12 personnel (two tight ends) packages."
2023 NFL Draft prospects - Tight end | No. 5 Tucker Kraft | South Dakota State
Rounding out our top 5 tight ends is South Dakota State prospect Tucker Kraft. Kraft is the fifth best available tight end on NFL.com, and he is the sixth best tight end on ESPN's Best Available. He has projected Day 2 talent, but could use some teaching in a couple of areas to really round out his game. He has average speed, running a 4.69 in the 40-yard dash, but scouts say he is faster than he looks. He can be a TE1 for teams lacking in that department, but it may benefit his overall game to learn from a seasoned pro for his rookie year. A regional scout for an NFC team had this to say, "I like him. I think he's tough and plays like a big tight end in space and not a finesse receiver."
Height: 6 feet 5
Weight: 254 pounds
NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.28
NFL.com Overview: "Combination tight end with the projectable skill set to handle pass-catching and run-blocking duties at the next level. Currently, he's a more effective blocker in space than in-line, but that is correctable with better hand usage and proper angles of entry into his base blocks. Kraft provides formational versatility that will be appealing for teams that make heavy use of 12 personnel (two tight ends). He has the body control and catch toughness to be more than just a traditional Y tight end. Kraft has Day 2 talent and should see the field early with a chance to become a TE1."