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With the 2022 NFL draft recently in the books, discussion has already begun for who the top prospects in the 2023 NFL draft might be. Without any games yet from the 2022 college football season to go off of, a lot of the speculation is based on what analysts saw in 2021.
Athlon Sports took a look at the Big Ten’s top 10 2023 NFL draft prospects and Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta made the cut.
LaPorta was second among Big Ten tight ends in receiving yards last season with 670 yards and three touchdowns. And don’t expect him to be any less productive in the Hawkeyes’ offense this fall. He could once again be Iowa’s leading receiver. – Kevin McGuire, Athlon Sports.
LaPorta racked up those team-leading 670 receiving yards on a team-high 53 receptions. The 6-foot-4, 249 pound tight end will be expected to deliver similar production in 2022. As one of the key cogs on Iowa’s offense, there’s reason to believe LaPorta will wind up as one of the highest-regarded tight ends entering next year’s draft.
Pro Football Focus certainly thinks so. PFF listed LaPorta as the No. 5 tight end on its early 2023 big board and as the No. 90 prospect nationally. Pro Football Focus had LaPorta fifth behind Georgia’s Arik Gilbert, South Carolina’s Jaheim Bell, Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer and Texas’ Jahleel Billingsley.
Ohio State was represented well with five of the other nine players Athlon Sports included in its top 10 Big Ten 2023 NFL draft prospects. Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud was joined by star wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, defensive end Zach Harrison, offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr., and safety Lathan Ransom.
Maryland wide receiver Dontay Demus Jr., Maryland offensive tackle Jaelyn Duncan, Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. and Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski also made Athlon Sports’ top 10 Big Ten draft prospects.
Honorable mention selections included Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell, Michigan running back Blake Corum, Ohio State offensive tackle Dawand Jones, Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim and Penn State wide receiver Parker Washington.
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