Stanford is coming off their worst document (3-9) since 2006. That on-field product translated to their fewest drafted gamers (one – DT Thomas Booker within the seventh spherical) since 2009. Nonetheless, with their 2023 NFL Draft prospects, the Cardinal can flip the ship round this season. They might want to, particularly with the uncertainty across the Pac-12 Convention’s future.
Stanford prospects within the 2023 NFL Draft
Stanford didn’t have a single offensive participant drafted final cycle. The expertise round quarterback Tanner McKee was visibly weaker than in earlier years, but he nonetheless showcased NFL-caliber traits. How excessive might he go within the draft, and are there another Cardinals to regulate in 2022? You should definitely particularly be careful for CB Kyu Blu Kelly who, amongst others under, landed on the Shrine Bowl 1000.
Tanner McKee, QB
From a bodily and mechanical standpoint, there isn’t a lot not to love with McKee. His 6’6″ body mirrors the prototypical construct of outdated, and he’s a easy operator within the pocket. McKee maintains a constant base and effortlessly slings the ball across the discipline. His arm isn’t elite, nevertheless it will get the job executed.
McKee’s stats don’t soar off the web page (2,327 yards, 15 TDs, and 7 INTs), however 2021 was his first yr beginning, and the offense — scheme and talent-wise — left a lot to be desired. McKee’s progress in 2022 will determine whether or not he’s a first-round or mid-to-late Day 3 prospect.
E.J. Smith, Casey Filkins, and Caleb Robinson, RB
Each of Stanford’s main rushers — Nathaniel Peat (Missouri) and Austin Jones (USC) — transferred out of this system this offseason. Thus, the backfield will look very completely different in 2022. E.J. Smith is the presumed starter, with Casey Filkins and Caleb Robinson filling in behind.
All three backs have little collegiate expertise, with Robinson nonetheless ready for his first carry. So, whereas every RB is eligible to declare, they’ll possible all return in 2023. However, regulate Smith (Emmitt Smith’s son), as he confirmed flashes of being Stanford’s subsequent star operating again.
Elijah Higgins, Michael Wilson, and Brycen Tremayne, WR
Whereas turnover struck the RB room, the WR corps is essentially intact from 2021. Main the group is Elijah Higgins. At 6’3″ and 235 kilos, Higgins is one other big-bodied Stanford receiver. As a full-time starter final yr, he was one goal off of doubling the subsequent closest receiver (John Humphreys – 35). Higgins is a flexible weapon that may line up exterior or within the slot and can stay McKee’s favourite weapon.
After netting 80 targets in 2019, Michael Wilson hasn’t seen greater than 30 in every of the final two seasons because of COVID (2020) and harm (2021). A former basketball participant, Wilson’s rebounding abilities are straightforward to see on the sector as a contested-catch magnet. In the meantime, Brycen Tremayne is recovering from a ugly ankle harm suffered final October. When wholesome, he’s one other matchup nightmare at 6’4″ with sufficient pace to threaten downfield.
John Humphreys and Bryce Farrell, WR
Now we get to the true juniors. Humphreys stepped up with Wilson and Tremayne on the mend and displayed why he was a four-star recruit. He appears to be like passes in and owns wonderful physique management and focus. Oh, and he’s 6’5″, naturally giving him a leg (or two) up on the competitors. Bryce Farrell doesn’t match the standard mould of Stanford receivers at 5’11” and 180 kilos. However he’s shifty within the open discipline and might take the highest off defenses for chunk positive aspects.
Benjamin Yurosek, TE
Exterior of McKee and an offensive deal with quickly to be talked about, Benjamin Yurosek is Stanford’s finest wager at an offensive participant being drafted subsequent April. That’s if he declares, because the tight finish is simply a real junior. Yurosek is most spectacular as a receiver, utilizing lengthy strides to create separation and acquire yards after the catch.
Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer and Georgia’s Brock Bowers obtained all of the hype final season, however Yurosek was proper there with them by way of receiving yards per sport (59.8). Moreover, he makes use of his peak (6’5″) to play above the rim and barely lets passes hit the turf together with his certain arms.
Walter Rouse, OT
Walter Rouse is much and away Stanford’s high offensive lineman — and has been since his true sophomore marketing campaign in 2020. At occasions, Rouse will get in his personal method, recording seven penalties final season. Nonetheless, he routinely saved McKee free from blindside strain and was no slouch within the floor sport. With spectacular size, a strong decrease half, and strong general athleticism, Rouse may have loads of followers in scouting circles.
Barrett Miller, G
At 6’5″ and 315 kilos, Barrett Miller possesses extra lateral spryness than you’d anticipate. He’s been a mainstay on the left guard place for the final three years — there may be little he hasn’t seen. Nonetheless, Miller doesn’t exhibit the required energy and agility groups goal within the draft.
Drake Nugent, C
2021 was Drake Nugent’s debut as a starter. Regardless of not receiving vital snaps within the two years prior, Nugent performed nicely. His 6’2″ stature naturally lends to a leverage benefit, however there have been reps the place Nugent was walked into the quarterback’s lap. Nonetheless, he’s sturdy as a run blocker and continuously communicates together with his line to select up further rushers.
Branson Bragg, G
On high of getting a wonderful title, Branson Bragg was a stalwart in go safety final season. Though he allowed a number of sacks, they have been actually the one pressures he conceded. Bragg can tip his weight over his toes at occasions and struggles in opposition to pace, however he ought to obtain consideration as a late Day 3 decide or UDFA.
Myles Hinton, OT
6-foot-7. 325 kilos. 2020 five-star recruit. On paper, Myles Hinton needs to be a first-team all-conference proper deal with. And but, he was the weakest hyperlink on the road final yr. It was solely his first with significant reps, and he improved because the season continued. Regardless, now coming into his true junior marketing campaign, we have to see Hinton put all of the instruments collectively to enter the NFL draft dialog.
Tobin Phillips, DT
The Cardinal are going to have a wholly new defensive deal with rotation in 2022. Gone are Thomas Booker, Dalyn Wade-Perry, Tucker Fisk, and Ryan Johnson, leaving room for brand new gamers to enter the fray. Chief amongst them is true junior Tobin Phillips.
Phillips obtained restricted reps final season however made them depend, registering a handful of key tackles. He generated 14 sacks as a senior in highschool. Will he show that pass-rushing prowess in his first yr as a collegiate starter?
Stephen Herron and Lance Keneley, EDGE
Stephen Herron and Lance Keneley return as probably the most skilled EDGEs in Palo Alto. Nonetheless, incoming freshman David Bailey will possible function earlier somewhat than later, retaining Keneley in a rotational position.
Nonetheless, Herron is a bit gentle at 6’4″ and 240 kilos. However that hasn’t stopped him from being a strong go rusher when referred to as upon. Nonetheless, he’ll want to supply as a full-time starter to make any noise within the 2023 NFL Draft. Keneley hasn’t performed sufficient to warrant NFL consideration, however profitable (and holding) the beginning job over Bailey could be a fantastic begin.
Levani Damuni and Ricky Miezan, LB
Stanford quietly has among the best linebacker duos within the Pac-12. Levani Damuni is a well-built 6’2″ and 251 kilos with huge soccer bloodlines. He led the Cardinal with 88 whole tackles final season after flashing as a sophomore in 2020. Whereas he will likely be an older prospect after serving a two-year LDS mission in New Zealand, Damuni is value keeping track of.
Ricky Miezan endured back-to-back season-ending accidents in 2019 and 2020. And you may see his ardour for the sport as soon as he lastly returned in 2021. Miezan owns sideline-to-sideline pace and blows up blocks on the transfer. He was a highschool All-American in lacrosse, and that free-flowing agility and acceleration might be seen on tape. One other season faraway from harm ought to solely assist issues, and Miezan can draw consideration with extra eye-popping performs.
Jacob Mangum-Farrar and Tristan Sinclair, LB
Filling out the linebacker depth chart are Jacob Mangum-Farrar and Tristan Sinclair. Mangum-Farrar has been on campus since 2018 however didn’t see vital reps until final season. He was strong in protection and even recorded a go breakup. However he’s a protracted shot to crack an NFL roster.
Sinclair is constructed like a security (6’2″ and 216 kilos) and strikes prefer it as nicely. So will probably be fascinating to see how NFL groups view him with little to no tape taking part in within the secondary. The clock is ticking for him to make an affect as a redshirt junior with 300 snaps to his title.
Kyu Blu Kelly, CB
Kyu Blu Kelly, the Cardinal’s crown jewel. Simply this month, coach Shaw acknowledged, “He’ll be up there with the very best guys after this season.” Kelly is a protracted, sticky nook with pure playmaking talents. He’s explosive, performs low in his stance, and lays his physique on the road in run protection. The primary spherical could also be a bit too wealthy for Kelly’s talent set, however he ought to hear his title referred to as on Day 2 with one other stellar marketing campaign.
Ethan Bonner and Nicolas Toomer, CB
Ethan Bonner and Nicolas Toomer are on the other sides of the draft spectrum. In Bonner’s restricted motion with the Cardinal, he hasn’t seemed spectacular, forfeiting practically each go into his protection. Then again, Toomer exploded onto the scene final yr. His security background was clear as he crashed in run assist. And in protection, he had one sport with a couple of reception allowed, blanketing his space of the sector. One other stout season might put Toomer on the nationwide radar.
Zahran Manley and Salim Turner-Muhammad, CB
Neither Zahran Manley nor Salim Turner-Muhammad has performed a lot of their Stanford careers. As members of the 2019 recruiting class, they’re each draft-eligible. However presently, it’s unlikely both declare for the 2023 cycle. Nonetheless, Manley is 6’2″ with overwhelming size. And Turner-Muhammad is a former starter (2020) trying to regain a pivotal place after a down/injury-riddled yr. The underlying expertise is there — they simply have to see the sector to show their value.
Kendall Williamson, S
A battle-tested security, Kendall Williamson has been an elite tackler since he first stepped onto a collegiate discipline in 2018. Spending nearly all of his time within the slot, Williamson provides up his justifiable share of yardage. However he does an excellent job of proscribing yards after the catch. He generated seven go breakups final yr, showcasing his stinginess in opposition to the go — although he has but to grab an interception.
Patrick Fields, S
Oklahoma switch Patrick Fields is one other skilled security for the Cardinal. Fields has by no means conceded a go longer than 45 yards in his profession, and he’s a hard-nosed run defender. Fields owns good dimension at 6’0″ and 203 kilos, and he has the pace to hold WRs downfield from the slot. He bolsters an already proficient secondary with a talent set NFL entrance places of work will take discover of.
Alaka’i Gilman and Jonathan McGill, S
Alaka’i Gilman hardly performed as a real freshman in 2020 earlier than rotating at security final season. Nonetheless, after missed tackles plagued his first three video games, he was relegated to a deep reserve position.
Jonathan McGill began contests in 2019, performed fewer video games because of COVID in 2020, and noticed simply two matchups because of a preseason harm in 2021. He returns to a roster with two beginning safeties seemingly in place and the slot nook position locked down by true sophomore Jimmy Wyrick. All that to say, neither participant will function within the 2023 NFL Draft.