Draft insiders’ Top NFL Defensive Rookies for 2023

Draft insiders’ Top NFL Defensive Rookies for 2023

Frank Coyle/ Head scout

Edge Will Anderson – Texans
Impact edge rusher should excel under the tutelage of new HC DeMeco Ryans. Capable of taking this unit up a few levels this season and become an elite NFL difference maker.

Photo – DL Lukas Van Ness – Packers

DL Lukas Van Ness – Packers
Emerging versatile playmaker has improved significantly over his recent career. Gives the Packers a diverse front seven defender who can create big mismatches.

Frank Coyle is a long-time scout with nationwide ties with coaches, scouts and player agents. He is a long-time scout from mini-camp through training camps prior to the regular and postseason. He is a consultant to many NFL player agents related to all levels of preparation for both NFL Free Agency and the NFL Draft process. He was a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year-round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

LB Jack Campbell – Lions
Gritty backer will be counted on to be the anchor in this defense. He reflects HC Dan Campbell’s mentality and should be an early three down starter.

CB Devon Witherspoon – Seahawks
Quick cover man has been hindered in camp by hamstring issues, but has the makeup and level of development to become a top flight NFL corner early in his career.

CB Tre Banks – Giants
Prototypical cover man stepped in like a veteran this preseason. Capable of being a shutdown corner in time and counted on to be a tough starter now.

DT Jalen Carter – Eagles
Big agile athlete joins a potent front line. Capable of impact in limited reps where his initial burst can be very disruptive from the inside.

CB Emmanuel Forbes – Commanders
Ball hawk was a welcome addition here. He will benefit from a strong front four and hopes to continue his legacy to intercept passes.

LB Drew Sanders – Broncos
Instinctive defender will get reps both inside and outside and should become a fixture in this front seven within a short time.

CB Christian Gonzalez – Patriots
Long cover man should excel in a Bill Belichick defense and become a fixture in this defense. His skill set allows Belichick to play diverse schemes.

Safety Brian Branch – Lions
Savvy versatile defender gives this secondary a leader and playmaker who can provide impact this fall from a few roles.

Edge Keion White – Patriots
Athletic versatile edge defender has the talent to become a three down difference maker with refinement. Probably starts as a key rotational front seven for pass rushing sets.

CB Mekhi Blackmon – Vikings
Quick savvy cover man has a high level of development to be a mainstay in this secondary and possible a fulltime rookie starter.


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