National Football Scouting Top 25: Breaking Down the Combine's Early Rankings
NFS rankings put CJ Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba much lower than most expect. And where is Bijan Robinson?
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated blessed us with the National Football Scouting (aka “NFS”) list of the top 25 prospects headed into the 2022 college football season. Today, we’ll break it down with our one-liner thoughts on each player and the player’s ranking.
But first, what is the NFS and why should we care about their rankings?
National Football Scouting is the group that actually runs the NFL Scouting Combine. I know, you probably thought the NFL actually runs the combine, but they don’t. They just work in conjunction with NFS to put on the event. Fun fact: The NFL actually pays NFS for this service and they loan out scouts to NFS to do these summer rankings.
Jeff Foster, who runs NFS and is based in Indianapolis, has long been very strict and very private about preseason rankings; which makes it very interesting that Breer not only got this list but was able to publish it.
Before we jump into the rankings, it’s important to note that third-year players are now included in the NFS list. That’s new for 2023’s draft class.
Let’s check it out.
Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
This is about where we expected Carter to be. He’s a consensus top three player in the ‘23 class and plays at a highly valued position (something that gives players weight in the NFS system). Carter over Will Anderson, though, is a surprise.
Will Anderson, DE, Alabama
Will Anderson is the top prospect in the class and we’re willing to fight over that. He’s maybe being knocked for size by NFS, but at 6’4” and 245 pounds he’s basically the same size as Von Miller. Get over it.
Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
Who? Kidding, but Tyree Wilson has not seen much summer hype from the draft community. This is sure to change that. Full transparency: He was ranked DE6 for us behind Anderson, Andre Carter II, Nolan Smith, Felix Anudike-Uzomah and Zach Harrison. So he’s on our radar, but the NFS scouts are seeing something we’re not right now. And all that does is send us back to the film and put a note by his name to watch earlier in the 2022 season.
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Young as QB1 is a surprise based on his lack of size, but his play is fantastic. NFS scouts must be okay with a sub-200 pound quarterback. It’s a topic we’re still wrestling with. There is no precedent for a quarterback his size (6’0”, 194 lbs) being drafted in the first round.
Bryan Bresee, DE, Clemson
Coming back from a torn ACL, big things are expected from Bresee. Perhaps most interesting is that NFS is listing him at defensive end and not defensive tackle. At 6’5” and 300 pounds, he could be a 5-technique but this isn’t a true outside pass-rusher.
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