Who are some of iOL’s top sleepers in the 2023 NFL Draft? Here’s a first look at interior offensive line prospects that could emerge from relative obscurity, finally finding a home on the scoreboard next April.
The 2023 NFL Draft sleepers at iOL
The college football landscape is filled with sleepers on the offensive line. It comes naturally with the territory. Players on the offensive line don’t record tangible stats, so it can be easy for solid players to be overlooked for years. Here, however, we’re going to highlight five sleepers from the 2023 NFL iOL Draft that deserve more praise heading into 2022.
Christian Mahogany, Boston College
2022 first-rounder Zion Johnson garnered a lot of respect when he blocked Boston College’s left guard in 2021. But the man who played opposite him at right guard, Christian Mahogany, could also have a future in the NFL. While he likely won’t go as high as Johnson, Mahogany has the traits to garner interest as a sleeper in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Interestingly, Mahogany might be a more imposing physical specimen than Johnson. Johnson is a noticeably better athlete, but that’s a high bar to jump. Mahogany still comes out pretty well in space for his 6’3″ and 335-pound frame. What’s particularly striking about Mahogany’s game, however, is his high-end power ability and mentality of mauler is something that will no doubt appeal to scouts.
Sataoa Laumea, Utah
The Utah offense should remain a venerable threat in 2021. Not just because of Cameron Rising or Tavion Thomas, but also because of the talent they have back on the offensive line. Braeden Daniels might be a draft-worthy prospect at offensive tackle, but there’s also right guard Sataoa Laumea returning inside. Laumea, in particular, should get more buzz than it currently does.
Laumea is a stocky 6’4″, 312 pound blocker with great playing strength and power capacity. Beyond that, he’s also a good athlete in space. Laumea gets off the line quickly and can easily turn his hips around to adjust angles on the second tier. Moreover, Laumea shows solid technique in pass protection. There’s a reason he won All-Pac-12 Honors over the past two seasons. This year, he could leverage that play to make him a 2023 draft pick.
Loic Ngassam Nya, Wake Forest
Even after losing Zach Tom in the 2022 NFL Draft, there’s still reason to watch Wake Forest’s offensive line in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle. This year, however, the team’s top talent could rest indoors.
Loic Ngassam Nya, who started at both offensive guard positions in 2021, is emerging as a notable sleeper in the 2023 NFL Draft. He was born in France and eventually moved to Cameroon, before eventually coming to the United States in 2012.
Ngassam Nya did not start playing football until his first year of high school. So while he will be an older rookie, turning 23 in December, he is still relatively new to the sport – and progressing rapidly. The 6’3″, 303-pound lineman has an incredibly dense frame with great proportionate length. With that length and density, he also shows impressive upper body torque and power capacity, and he maxes out his tools with a taut physique.
Kenneth Horsey, Kentucky
For his character alone, Kenneth Horsey is sure to have fans in the NFL scouting community. Horsey is a consistent academic personality, an active community player, and a survivor of open heart surgery, which was conducted in 2018 – an event that motivated him to become a heart health advocate. Horsey has a future beyond football. But in the meantime, he’s aiming to make it to the NFL, and he has a good chance.
At this point, Horsey has started 21 games for the Wildcats, and he will be an important part of the blocking unit again in 2022. At 6’3″, 300 pounds, Horsey is a bit undersized, but he has room to get stronger. Still, he brings visible explosiveness off the line and has the ability to quickly flip his hips to redirect momentum into space. Plus, it’s a solid pass guard with a stable base and tight hands. Especially for teams that use zone blocking systems, Horsey should attract interest as a sleeper in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Joe Tipman, Wis.
Ricky Stromberg and Jarrett Patterson are the first names that come to mind in the central class of the 2023 NFL Draft. And if we include subclasses, then Georgia’s Sedrick Van Pran is also a worthy inclusion. But another center who deserves more respect on the national stage is Wisconsin’s Joe Tippmann. He enters 2022 as a hugely underrated draft prospect — and one of the best centers in the entire league.
Tippmann looks oversized for a center at 6’6″, 320 pounds. Naturally, this size sometimes comes with inconsistencies in the pads. But more often than not, Tippmann manages his leverage very well. And more than that, he also exhibits great athleticism and off-line power-generating ability. He’s a tenacious physical blocker with the tools to dominate the inside.