Time for one final update of my prospect rankings ahead of the 2023 NFL draft as Round 1 closes in (Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, ABC, ESPN App). I've adjusted my rankings based on on-field workouts and athletic testing at the combine, numbers we've gotten from pro day workouts and buzz I've heard from NFL scouts, coaches and execs. I've also made a few tweaks based on medical info I've heard from people I trust in the league.
Let's dig into my final Big Board and position rankings for the 2023 class. I ranked 150 total prospects and went much deeper for each position. For instance, I ranked 55 wide receivers, 28 defensive tackles and 45 cornerbacks, along with the top nine long-snappers in this class, even though we'll be lucky to see one of them get drafted. I also included a "best of the rest" section for several positions; those are prospects with undrafted grades who can be grouped together, and they're not in any order.
This is not a mock draft or prediction of where prospects will be drafted. These are my personal rankings. I have write-ups for the top 25 guys then lists for the rest. I'll also be making minor tweaks right up until the draft begins, based on late-breaking reports and calls. Here we go, with the position-by-position rankings at the bottom (updated April 25, 10 p.m. ET):
Jump to: Position rankings
1. Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
HT: 6-foot-3 | WT: 314 pounds | Previously: 1
Carter is clearly a complicated prospect. In mid-March, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing for his alleged role in a Jan. 15 car wreck that killed a former Georgia teammate and a recruiting staffer. Carter was sentenced to 12 months of probation and assessed a $1,000 fine and 80 hours of community service. As part of his plea, his attorney told ESPN the state is forever barred from bringing additional charges. He also showed up at his pro day 9 pounds heavier than he was at the NFL combine, and he couldn't finish the position drills.
The reality is Carter's stock hasn't dropped in the eyes of NFL teams, and so I'm not dropping him in my rankings. On the field, he is a fantastic prospect. I moved him to No. 1 in my December Big Board update, and he finished the season playing the best ball of his career. He had 12 quarterback pressures in his final three games for the back-to-back national champs. He was fantastic after he returned in late October from missing two games due to a knee issue. Check out this show of force in the SEC title game against LSU. He's explosive at the snap and finishes well around the ball, even though he had just six career sacks.