2023 NFL draft: 6 prospects who boosted their stock in the Fiesta Bowl

On Saturday evening, the TCU Horned Frogs took care of business against the Michigan Wolverines in the Fiesta Bowl to advance to the College Football Playoff national championship.

Thanks to a national stage and a big performance, certain players saw their names rise on draft boards after how they fared in the game.

Here’s a look at six players who saw their draft stock rise:

QB Max Duggan, TCU

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the high-scoring affair, Duggan accounted for four touchdowns against one of the nation’s top defenses in yards and points allowed.

While he threw two interceptions, Duggan showcased to NFL evaluators the arm strength, athleticism, and competitive toughness that will make him a polarizing signal-caller worth developing.

WR Quentin Johnston, TCU

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Duggan’s top target and arguably the best draft-eligible receiver in the 2023 class, Johnston, amassed five catches for 160 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown.

Johnston, the 6-foot-4 and 215-pounder, displayed his rare yards-after-the-catch ability for someone of his size on his score, making one defender miss and then turning on the jets to take it to the house.

It would not be surprising to see Johnston run a sub-4.45 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine, solidifying himself in the top 10.

LB Dee Winters, TCU

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan scored 45 points, but the Horned Frogs wouldn’t have secured the victory if it wasn’t for the defensive efforts led by linebacker Dee Winters.

Winters was all over the field, showing off his speed, range, and tackling power, finishing with three tackles for loss. But he made his money in coverage, as Winters picked off a pass and returned it 29 yards to the house in the third quarter.

Winters is undersized at 5-foot-11 and 228 pounds, which will hinder his draft stock slightly. But there’s no doubt that his performance helped him out.

EDGE Dylan Horton, TCU

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Overlooked in a deep edge defender class is Horton. But on Saturday, Horton made sure to raise eyebrows with his performance that showed his athletic upside and high effort en route to racking up four sacks and a forced fumble.

The 6-foot-4 and 278-pounder was featured in The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman’s annual Freak List, which highlighted him posting a 4.55 40 and vertical 38 inches.

CB Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU

Syndication Detroit Free Press

On the backend of the defense, Hodges-Tomlinson, the nephew of legendary running back LaDainian Tomlinson, shined in coverage with three passes defended.

Hodges-Tomlinson, the Jim Thorpe Award winner, is on the smaller size at 5-foot-8 and 177 pounds, be he makes up for his physical limitations with speed, a scrappy temperament, explosiveness, and ball skills.

He has all the makings to be a good slot corner at the next level.


WR Ronnie Bell, Michigan

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being defeated, Michigan still had a player on the offensive of the ball that impressed NFL evaluators.

Bell showed up as a downfield threat, finishing with six catches for 135 yards and a 44-yard touchdown, including a 34-yard grab where he plucked the pass away from his frame.

Bell isn’t the biggest receiver at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, but he is very good at exploiting holes in the defense and reeling in nearly everything thrown his way with his large hands.

Story originally appeared on Draft Wire