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2023 NFL Draft: What Boilers Go Pro Next Year?

There is plenty of talent on the roster, who could be our next drafted players?

Syndication: Journal-Courier Nikos Frazier / Journal & Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

In 2022 we saw 3 Boilermakers selected during the 3 day NFL Draft.

George Karlaftis went in the first round, our first, first round selection since Kerrigan in 2011, he is headed to Kansas City.

David Bell went 99th overall to the Browns, giving Cleveland a nice slot receiver to pair with Amari Cooper, D-Bell, as we know, can also work on the outside.

Lastly, we saw Zander Horvath selected at 260 in the 7th round by the Chargers. He worked himself onto draft boards with an outstanding Pro Day.

In 2023, who could hear their name called? There are plenty of returning, productive Boilermakers, but who has IT, to make it to the next level.

  1. Aidan O’Connell - Quarterback - If AOC continues on his trajectory he finished the season on, he will be in great shape to be a day 2 or day 3 selection. The super senior came back for one more year to get a full season as QB1 under his belt. AOC has a great arm, but lacks mobility. He will be one of the oldest players in the draft next year.
  2. Milton Wright - Wide Receiver - Wright has all the physical attributes to play in the NFL. 6-4, 210 pounds, 4.5 40. He has also been productive on the field, he is working his way back into eligibility after some grade issues. As long as he plays, he should be a 1,000 yard receiver and fly up the draft board into day 2. A lot depends on health and availability, but he will be this season’s WR1. Our last two WR1s have been a 2nd round and 3rd round pick respectively.
  3. Broc Thompson - Wide Receiver - Thompson exploded onto the scene in the Musci City Bowl, collecting over 200n yards receiving on two bad knees he had surgery on this off-season. Another breakout candidate for this offense in the fall, we could see him as a late day 3 selection. His measurables are not off the charts, but he is a willing blocker and makes tough catches.
  4. Payne Durham - Tight End - Durham is one of the most productive tight ends in college football in 2021. At 6-6, 265 pounds, he is a prototypical TE in the NFL. He will need to improve on blocking this fall to see his named called earlier than day 3 in 2023, but a vertical threat in the passing game from the tight end position should be selected at some point.
  5. Jalen Graham - OLB/Safety - Graham is a versatile battle tested tweener. He can play safety or the over hang OLB in a 4-2-5. At 6-2, 220 pounds he has great size. He may lead the team in tackles in the fall. I could see him being selected day 2 with his versatility, stats and testing numbers.
  6. Cam Allen - Safety - A rangy 4 year starter always has a chance to be selected in the draft. At free safety, he is a ball hawk. He makes great plays on the ball in the air and rarely allows plays to go over the top of his head. He is a little light framed, but at 185 to 190 he is still draftable at Free Safety in the NFL.