Michigan vs. TCU 2023 NFL Draft Prospects To Watch in College Football Playoff

Who are the 2023 NFL Draft prospects to watch in Saturday's Michigan vs. TCU Fiesta Bowl matchup? Tony Pauline dives in.

The college football playoffs kick off with the Fiesta Bowl as Michigan faces TCU. Michigan has a decided advantage at the top of the board for next-level prospects, but as we’ve seen all season long, TCU just finds a way to win.

Michigan’s 2023 NFL Draft Prospects To Watch

DJ Turner, CB

Personally, I love DJ Turner’s ball skills and his overall game. The concerns are size, as Turner won’t hit the magic 6-foot mark teams want in a first-round corner.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

In fact, he may measure a few inches short of the desired mark. Turner had been talking with agents about representation for the upcoming draft and is expected to enter.

Mazi Smith, DT

I have Mazi Smith graded much higher than most. I love his tenacity, athleticism, and ability to control the middle of the line. He makes a good number of plays on the football, and though not a great pass rusher, Smith does an outstanding job occupying blockers and allowing teammates to attack the quarterback. He’s expected to enter the draft, and Smith will blow up the Combine.

Mike Morris, DL

Mike Morris really came of age this season now that Aiden Hutchinson and David Ojabo are playing on Sunday. He combines the size of Hutchinson and speed of Ojabo, though he’s not as nearly polished as those two. Word is Morris will enter the draft.

Blake Corum, RB

Blake Corum is another Wolverine whose game launched into the stratosphere once he broke into the starting line-up. He’s not a classic feature ball carrier, yet he possesses a lot of the skills teams want in a running back these days. Plus, he’s a terrific pass catcher out of the backfield.

Olusegun Oluwatimi, C

From an athletic point of view, Oluwatimi is an UDFA. From a playing point of view, he’s a middle-round prospect. From a draft point of view, he’ll be a Day 3 pick who starts for 10 years in the NFL. It’s amazing scouts ignored Oluwatimi coming into the season.

TCU’s 2023 NFL Draft Prospects To Watch

Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Everyone’s favorite receiver, yet through the lens of a next-level prospect, Quentin Johnston needs a lot of work. He’s big, fast, and physical but has a limited route tree, and he’s susceptible to the occasional drop. I’m told Johnston will enter the 2023 NFL Draft.

Steve Avila, C

The battle between Steve Avila and Mazi Smith on the line of scrimmage could be one for the ages as these are two huge, powerful men. Avila is a classic power gap guard who consistently annihilates the opposition. He offers little scheme diversity but will be a monster in the right system.

Dylan Horton, DL

Horton is an underrated pass rusher who comes with size (6-foot-3.5, 265 pounds), speed (4.73s forty), and athleticism. He has the ability to come out of a three-point stance as well as the movement skills to stand over tackle.

Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB

If he were three inches taller, the 5’7.5″ Hodges-Tomlinson would be graded as a top-100 prospect. Being what it is, he’s a dynamite cover corner with terrific ball skills who could line up in dime packages on Sunday.

Max Duggan, QB

Max Duggan may be a sandlot quarterback who needs work on his game, but he’s a winner with next-level physical tools. A good quarterback coach will work wonders with this kid.

Derius Davis, WR

Davis is dismissed in some areas of the scouting community as he measures around 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds. Yet he times the forty in 4.4 seconds and plays faster.

MORE: 2023 NFL Mock Draft Simulator

Davis is a legitimate big-play wideout and game-breaker returning punts and kicks. He’ll find a home on Sunday as a slot receiver/return specialist.

Where Michigan and TCU’s Draft Prospects Fall on Pauline’s Big Board

The following indicates each prospect’s Grade, round projection, vital information, and class.

  • 4.04, 1-2, DJ Turner, Michigan, CB, 3Jr
  • 4.03, 1st, Quentin Johnston, TCU, WR, 3Jr
  • 3.93, 2nd, Mazi Smith, Michigan, DT, 4Jr
  • 3.88, 2nd, Mike Morris, Michigan, DE, 4Jr
  • 3.76, 3rd, Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan, TE, 5Sr
  • 3.72, 3rd, Blake Corum, Michigan, RB, 3Jr
  • 3.72, 3rd, Steve Avila, TCU, G, 5Sr
  • 3.65, 3rd, Cornelius Johnson, Michigan, WR, 4Sr
  • 3.46, 5th, Ryan Hayes, Michigan, T, 5Sr
  • 3.48, 5th, Jaylen Harrell, Michigan, OLB, 3Jr
  • 3.48, 5th, Dee Winters, TCU, ILB, 4Sr
  • 3.47, 5th, Dylan Horton, TCU, DE, 5Sr
  • 3.46, 5th, Ronnie Bell, Michigan, WR, 5Sr
  • 3.45, 5th, Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU, CB, 4Sr
  • 3.42, 5th, Max Duggan, TCU, QB, 4Sr
  • 3.38, 6th, Braiden McGregor, Michigan, OLB, 3Jr
  • 3.37, 6th, Nikhai Hill-Green, Michigan, OLB, 3Jr
  • 3.36, 6th, Trevor Keegan, Michigan, G, 4Jr
  • 3.35, 6th, R.J. Moten, Michigan, S, 3Jr
  • 3.34, 6th, Michael Barrett, Michigan, OLB, 5Sr
  • 3.33, 6th, Mike Sainristil, Michigan, CB, 5Sr
  • 3.32, 6th, Brad Robbins, Michigan, P, 5Sr
  • 3.32, FA, Taylor Upshaw, Michigan, DE
  • 3.31, 6-7, Eyabi Okie, Michigan, DE, 5Sr
  • 3.27, 7th, Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan, C, 5Sr
  • 3.25, FA, Julius Welschof, Michigan, DE, 5Sr
  • 3.23, FA, Nook Bradford, TCU, S, 4Sr
  • 3.21, FA, Roman Wilson, Michigan, WR, 3Jr
  • 3.21, FA, Noah Daniels, TCU, CB, 6Sr
  • 3.18, FA, Gemon Green, Michigan, CB, 5Sr
  • 3.18, FA, Derius Davis, TCU, WR, 5Sr
  • 3.15, FA, Mark Perry, TCU, S, 5Sr
  • 3.07, FA, Taye Barber, TCU, WR, 5Sr
  • 3.06, FA, Kris Jenkins, Michigan, DT, 3Jr
  • 3.05, FA, Brandon Coleman, TCU, G, 4Jr
  • 3.00, FA, Marcel Brooks, TCU, S, 4Sr
  • 3.00, FA, Jared Wiley, TCU, TE, 5Sr
  • 2.95, FA, Terrell Cooper, TCU, DT, 5Sr
  • 2.92, FA, Alan Ali, TCU, C, 5Sr
  • 2.83, FA, Lwal Uguak, TCU, DT, 5Sr
  • 2.83, FA, Karsen Barnhart, Michigan, T, 4Sr
  • 2.80, FA, Joel Honigford, Michigan, TE, 5Sr

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