One of the best tweets of the 2022 NFL Draft came from the University of Texas linebacker / EDGE DeMarvion Overshown. After the Longhorns saw no players selected in the 2022 draft, Overshown tweeted, “That will never happen again.” Next year’s selection process will be the first test of Overshown’s promise. Looking at Texas’s roster for this season, a few Longhorns should hear their name called in the 2023 draft. This post highlights the Texas players likeliest to get picked next year, while also previewing some other Longhorns who could end up in the league.
In presenting this write-up, I should note that Andrew Miller at Hook ‘Em Headlines and Kevin Borba at Longhorns Wire have each also put together helpful UT prospect previews. Their work provided a worthwhile jumping-off point as I compiled this piece.
Robinson stands a good chance of being the first running back drafted in 2023. Although I didn’t include Robinson in the first round of my latest 2023 mock draft, he has first round potential. Robinson is a complete back whose best trait might be his balance. While he boasts an elite juke move and tremendous agility, he is also tough to bring down and impressively absorbs contact. Robinson shared well-deserved first team All-Big 12 honors at running back in 2021 with Iowa State’s Breece Hall, who went to the second round of this year’s draft. Robinson is the player to watch for Texas.
Texas scored some big victories in the transfer portal this offseason, and Billingsley is one of the most exciting players that the Longhorns landed. An Alabama transfer, Billingsley struggled to live up to enormously high expectations in Tuscaloosa, but he will have an opportunity for a fresh start with Texas. He is one of the most athletic tight ends in the country, with route-running ability and hands as good as some of the best receivers in next year’s draft. The former four-star recruit is especially lethal on square-out patterns and seam routes. If Billingsley can take advantage of this second chance with Texas, he could go as high as the second round.
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The 2022 season will be pivotal for Jones, a raw-yet-talented prospect whose technique is underdeveloped. Fortunately for this offensive lineman, all of the key traits are there. A good NFL offensive line coach would be excited to work with a player like Jones, who has the potential to develop into a starter at the next level. Jones has the size, power, and intensity to succeed at the tackle position. If he shows flashes of putting it all together this season, he could be a late-round selection.
Assuming all goes according to plan this season, Coburn will leave Austin as a four-year starter at nose tackle. He also has a reputation as a stellar teammate and calming presence in the locker room. Coburn’s talent does not show up on the stat sheet; he regularly eats up space and blockers, letting other defenders make plays. But the simple fact is this: Coburn is a 6’2 ”, 336 lb. nose tackle who has earned All-Big 12 honorable mention two years in a row. If he isn’t a Day Three selection next year, he would be a highly sought-after undrafted free agent.
We cannot know for sure whether Overshown is correct that Texas will never get shut out of a given NFL draft again. But Overshown himself is a big reason that Texas is almost certainly going to have multiple draftees in 2023. A Butkus Award semifinalist last year, Overshown is a leader on the Texas defense who commands respect from his teammates. Overshown actually plays a bit like a safety, which can be good and bad. But with his burst, quickness off the line, and active hands on the rush, he is a true playmaker. Overshown would be a tremendous pickup in the middle rounds for a team willing to be a bit creative about using him on defense.
Other Players to Keep an Eye On:
- RB Roschon Johnson: Yes, Texas’s backup running back might also get drafted. That’s how good this year’s backfield is at the Forty Acres. Johnson was a superstar quarterback in high school who transitioned to running back as a freshman due to injuries. He has managed to accumulate a significant number of carries with the Longhorns. A bruising, downhill runner with above-average patience, Johnson stands at an imposing 6’2 ”and 219 lbs. He was also terrific in Texas’s spring game this year, scoring two touchdowns on the ground. Johnson could sneak into the back of the draft.
- WR Isaiah Neyor: Neyor just transferred to Texas from Wyoming. The sure-handed pass-catcher will look to carve out a role for himself in the talented Texas receiving corps. At 6’3 ”tall, he has the right size to be a difference-maker at split end, and he has a knack to find the end zone. Neyor projects as a fringe Day Three option for a team looking to add depth at wideout.
- WR Jordan Whittington: Although Whittington is one of the most talented players on Texas’s roster, he has struggled with injuries throughout his career in Austin. He has yet to put together a full season of football in college. If he can stay on the field, this converted running back will shred defenses and cause headaches for defensive coordinators. He is likely an undrafted free agent-level prospect for now, but he has a reasonably high ceiling.
- OG Junior Angilau: Texas has a couple of offensive linemen who could end up on NFL rosters come 2023. Angilau is a solid guard who has been a fixture on the UT line for a few years now. He has above-average size and will have every opportunity to demonstrate his run-blocking prowess this year with the superstars in Texas’ backfield. Angilau has played both left guard and right guard, although he has recently trended toward left guard. He has the instincts and patience to stick on the left side of the long-term line.
- DL Moro Ojomo: Ojomo has been in the news recently for some back-and-forth with Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian. Essentially, Ojomo spoke quite candidly to the media about his frustration with younger Longhorn players’ lack of focus on winning, and Coach Sarkisian criticized his senior defensive lineman publicly in response. That situation is worth monitoring, but on the field, Ojomo has been a decent defensive lineman who could catch on as a rotational 4-3 defensive tackle or 3-4 end on an NFL roster. He has undrafted free agent potential.
- EDGE Ovie Oghoufo: As much as anyone on this list, Oghoufo’s draft stock is going to depend almost entirely on his production this year. At 6’3 ”, 241 lb., he is well within the range of size that one would look for in an EDGE rusher. After transferring in from Notre Dame last year, Oghoufo posted fine numbers but failed to demonstrate pro-level talent. He will have the opportunity to do so this season at the “BUCK” position in the Texas defense, with a focus on rushing the passer.
- LB Luke Brockermeyer: For fans who appreciate old-school football, Brockermeyer is fun to watch. Brockermeyer is a classic middle linebacker — a thumper in the middle of the field who disrupts the run game. The biggest question with Brockermeyer is whether he has the athleticism to play in the NFL. He may not have three-down potential at the next level, but Brockermeyer has gone from walk-on to defensive centerpiece for Texas, finishing second on the team in tackles last year. He’d probably be a decent special teamer if he can add weight.
DB / RET D’Shawn Jamison: In addition to his solid play as a defensive back, Jamison is one of the best return men in Texas history. On defense, he is a violent player with decent ball skills, and his closing speed allows him to limit the damage when ball carriers get into the open field. Jamison is another player who could catch on as a training camp signing with added value as a returner.
SAF Anthony Cook: After starting eight games for the Longhorns last year, Cook returns for an additional year of eligibility. Cook has been underwhelming in college, but he makes the list here because he was a five-star recruit out of high school. If he stays the starter all year and puts up decent numbers, he should get at least a camp invite from an NFL team.
Down the Line Prospects to Watch:
- WR Xavier Worthy: The NFL will have to wait until 2024 for Worthy. One of the best wide receivers in the nation, Worthy was the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2021 and figures to play a key role in the Longhorns’ offense this and next season. He will need to add some bulk if he is going to be a difference-maker in the NFL, but the talent is all there. He could be a first-rounder when the time comes.
- EDGE Alfred Collins: Collins will be draft-eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft, and he may well declare for it when the time comes. He has played well in a limited sample size and should continue to put up numbers for the Longhorns. Collins is the type of player who might benefit from playing a full four years at the collegiate level before taking the next step.
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