Over the past week or so, free agency and the trade market have taken over the NFL world. Yet, the 2023 NFL Draft is less than six weeks away. With the 2023 NFL Combine in the rearview mirrors, prospects have one last chance to make a massive impression on NFL teams at their pro days. Things can still change between now and the end of April. However, let’s look at which players have seen their draft stock recently rise or fall.
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2023 NFL Draft Stock Up & Down
All the talk over the past few years is the devaluing of the running back position. Unfortunately, we’ve seen that continue in free agency. Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Tony Pollard earned the franchise tag. However, none of the running backs on the open market earned a massive paycheck. The running back position is splitting between the elites and everyone else. Therefore, it’s no surprise Gibbs’ draft stock has slid lately.
While he is the clear-cut No. 2 running back this year behind Bijan Robinson, there is a significant gap between Gibbs and the former Longhorn. Furthermore, the former Alabama star didn’t have the best NFL Combine performance. He did run the second-fastest 40-yard dash among running backs at 4.36 seconds. However, Gibbs was expected to run sub-4.4. Yet, he did that at under 200 pounds. Some scouts have concerns that the former Alabama running back can’t handle a full workload in the NFL. While he was almost a first-round lock a few weeks ago, Gibbs could end up sliding into early Day 2.
Michael Mayer (TE – Notre Dame)
Sometimes a player will see his draft stock slide without it being his fault. Unfortunately, that’s the case for Mayer. The former Notre Dame tight end had a terrific college career, totaling 180 receptions for nearly 2,100 receiving yards in 36 games. Most scouts didn’t expect an athletic showing from Mayer at 6-foot-5 and 249 pounds. However, his 4.7 40-yard dash time was the third-slowest among tight ends at the NFL Combine. Meanwhile, Mayor’s 1.66 10-yard split was the slowest among tight ends, while his 32.5-inch vertical jump was the third-lowest.
His numbers weren’t bad, given the tight end’s size and play style. However, Washington had the best athletic performance among all the tight ends at the NFL Combine. Furthermore, the former Georgia Bulldog was the best blocking tight end, looking like an offensive tackle during the drills. Meanwhile, Dalton Kincaid didn’t participate in any of the field work at the NFL Combine. The former Utah star is recovering from a minor back he suffered at the end of the regular season. Mayer was the favorite to be the first tight end draft a few weeks ago. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the former Notre Dame star slid into the second round.
Unless you didn’t watch a second of the NFL Combine coverage, you know Carter left Indianapolis to deal with an arrest warrant in Georgia. He was charged with two misdemeanors tied to his involvement in a fatal car crash in January that killed a teammate and staff member. However, the talented defensive lineman recently pled no contest to the charges. Carter was sentenced to 12 months probation, 80 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine. While the defensive lineman can now put this legal issue behind him, NFL teams have plenty of homework to do. Some teams will severely push Carter down their draft board or remove him entirely because of the January incident.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only issue for the former Bulldog. Carter had an awful performance at the Georgia pro day after he didn’t work out at the NFL Combine. The talented defensive lineman weighed nine pounds heavier than at the combine. Furthermore, he only did the position drills at his pro day. More importantly, Carter couldn’t finish the position drills at the pro day nor speak to the media. Unless he has a second pro day and puts on a show, the former Bulldog went from the potential No. 1 pick to a mid-to-late first-round selection in under a month.
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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.