Summer is here, and before we know it we are going to be halfway through the fall wondering where the season went. This is the time when things naturally ramp up for players and fans alike. With the new football year rolling in, we have another exciting class of young football players ready to move on to their collegiate careers. But before all of that, let’s break down some of the top players in the country at the fantasy-relevant positions.
As a whole, this is a very strong group, especially at the top. Many people, me included, will have higher grades on at least a couple QBs in this class than last year’s highest-graded QBs. This isn’t a knock on the 2022 QB class per se, they just aren’t quite as strong high school prospects. Outside of the consensus top 3 of Malachi Nelson, Arch Manning, and Dante Moore, I expect there to be a lot of variety between services and rankers given the drop-off after that tier.
By national signing day, the Tier 2 QBs will sort themselves out more, but currently, there is not a lot of separation in that range. Many in the recruiting world have Tennessee commit Nico Iamaleava up in the Tier 1 group, but I do not see it that way. He has a very enticing arm, but his game lacks polish, his build is worrying, and he is not mobile. Although I
have Avery Johnson at QB5 and he is listed at 6’2″ 170lbs. Avery makes up for this lack of size with elite athleticism as well as just being a better overall passer than Nico. Dylan Longeran reminds me a bit of Gunner Stockton from the 2022 class in terms of their build, athletic ability, and arm strength. Neither are particularly refined players, but they possess high-end tools. Chris Parson is a small, but very exciting QB to watch. Really mobile and makes a lot of awkward difficult throws downfield. Novosad is the biggest riser up to this point after his performance at the Dallas Elite 11 camp. His tape doesn’t totally match his reported performance but he certainly has some good traits. After QB11 here there is a bit of a drop off, nobody after that really excites me too much.
If you keep up with the recruiting scene, you have probably heard the 2023 RB group is considered weak. If you were hoping to hear a different assessment from me, you are going to be disappointed. Cedric Baxter is a very clear RB1 in the class. If you compare to the 2022 RB class ,he would have been my RB3. He is in a tier of his own in this class, which isn’t saying too much. There are definitely some more intriguing guys, but not a lot of well rounded skill sets. Half the class is too tiny and the other half is too big and slow, minus a few exemptions.
Reuben Owens checks a lot of boxes for me, but he is going to be 20 years old at the beginning of his true freshman season. He already turned 18 at the beginning of his JR season in high school. Something like that should be considered, but is not a total stock killer for me as he is still my RB2.
I’m probably the highest person on Jeremiah Cobb at the moment. His game gives me flashes of young David Johnson with his versatility. He is still a bit on the slighter side at 190lbs, but that’s not low enough to really concern me. Going down the list here, there are a few names that will definitely stick out to some. I am considerably higher on Anquan Willis, DJ Oliver, Mar’ki Shaw, and Elijah Davis than the recruiting services seem to be. All of these backs offer an enticing blend of size and speed. Oliver for example is 6′ 237lbs hits approximately 20.5 mph and had over 20% of his teams receptions, which shows a surprisingly versatile skillset in
a plus-size package. He is also the nephew of LeGarrette Blount. Anquan Willis is very physically imposing and appears to have the wingspan of a pterodactyl, but also moves quite well at his size. There seems to be a general consensus forming from what I’ve seen that Richard Young is a guy that’s probably a bit overhyped given that he’s been a big name in the recruiting world since middle schooll. He still holds a decent rank, but isn’t a player I’m overly excited about. Quinten Joyner is the fastest player I’ve measured at any position so far in this class at approximately 22mph, at a listed 190lbs this a great size speed combo. Unfortunately I was not too impressed with his tape, he is more of a straight line player.
This is another very good group of WRs, even in comparison to last years class. I currently would put the 2022 class above the 2023, but not by a large margin. Adam Randall and Luther Burden would still be my 2 highest graded receivers if they were in this upcoming class, so the top end isn’t quite as high but there is a ton of depth at the position. There is definitely not going to be much consensus in this class from person to person though, its very much a style preference in certain areas.
I do believe most will have Zachariah Branch and Makai Lemon in their top tier, as they are in mine. But there are several other guys who could land in that area for others such as Jalen Hale, Jaden Greathouse, Brandon Inniss, Johntay Cook, and Noah Rogers. These guys all make up the majority of my Tier 2, but I have seen others put them up into that top tier. The entirety of my Tier 2 is a very strong and deep group. You have high upside guys (Hykeem Williams, Malachi Coleman, Tyler Williams), speed guys (Johntay Cook, Aidan Mizell, Nathaniel Joseph), contested catch guys (Jalen Hale, Noah Rogers, Jurrion Dickey), and technicians (Jaden Greathouse, Carnell Tate, Deandre Moore). Ideally, more guys would score highly in multiple categories, but they are Tier 2 for a reason and these are just broad generalizations of their game.
Some of you might be thinking I simply forgot Jalen Brown, that is not the case. I would consider him to be the most egregiously overhyped player in this class. His game is the definition of one dimensional and that single dimension isn’t even that enticing. Malachi Coleman is an interesting player that I got on to late due to his designation of Athlete on recruiting services,
he is a very impressive size speed guy. At 6’5″ 190lbs he can run a 10.46 100m and I have clocked him at 21.1 mph on the field. There is a chance still he could end up playing defense though. Justin Marshall is my favorite under-recruited WR currently (247s WR82). He is a really good player after the catch and has high end speed of approximately 21.9 mph. A few more underrated guys I like who didn’t make the top 20: William Fowles, Cole Adams, Nathan Leacock, Davion Dozier, Joshua Manning, and Nakai Poole.
That about wraps things up here, no tight ends. For some more C2C recruiting content, check out our show The Official(on our YouTube).