2023 NFL Draft Notebook: Prospects with Louisiana connections and draftable grades

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Micah Baskerville

Louisiana high school and college football programs continue to churn out talent for the National Football League.

The eyes of the scouts are focused on Pelican state products as we fast approach the 2023 NFL Draft. Some of these hopefuls could enhance their chances with a good showing at the Indianapolis Combine this week.

Here is a peek at some scouting notes on the draftable prospects this year. The list does not include all of those who could land on a roster as an undrafted free agent. Once again, The Boot delivers.

-OL O’Cyrus Torrence (6-5,347) St. Helena. Should be a mid to late 1st round pick. Among the top run blockers in the entire draft, regarded as the best OL at the Senior Bowl. Still a work in progress after having transferred from ULL to Florida for the ’22 campaign. Light on his feet for his size, he uses good hand placement, takes proper angles on blocks, displays a mean streak, works well in the pocket and picks up stunts and twists. Did not allow a sack as a RG during his 4 seasons in college (2019-’22). Only allowed 1 QB hit in 3 seasons.

-EDGE B.J. Ojulari (6-3, 250) LSU, mid-to-late 1st round or early 2nd pick. 4.59 speed, pass rush specialist. Played 34 games at LSU, 3rd rated edge rusher in this draft. Had 128 QB pressures, 78 hurries and 21 sacks for the Tigers. The 2020 Freshman All-SEC choice is a defender the offense must identify and handle. Explosive first step, good hands, tough as run defender, great instincts.

-DT Jaquelin Roy (6-4, 315) LSU, University Lab in Baton Rouge. Projected as second day pick. Great penetration, 4.99 speed. In 35 games as a Tiger, he produced 76 pressures as an interior d-lineman with 57 QB hurries and 5 sacks, usually warding off double team blocks. Good burst off the line, plays with leverage, instincts and understanding. Could have long career in NFL if he can stay healthy.

-CB Mekhi Garner (6-2,220) LSU transfer from ULL, good height to go with speed (4.56) 4th or 5th round. At LSU played in 77 snaps recording 43 tackles and 4 passes defended. Powerful hands, straight line speed, can flip his hips with long arms, has good timing on ball arrival, can be physical, tracks ball, comes up to challenge the run.

-WR Trey Palmer (6-1, 193) Nebraska, transfer from LSU, a deep threat. Had 41 catches, 468 yards and 3 TD’s in 25 games at LSU. Totaled 71 grabs, 1,043 yards and 9 scores for Cornhuskers this season. Should fall in the 4th round. Strong hands, accelerates quickly, smooth routes, sets up def. back. Thinks he can turn a sub-4.3 at Combine, which would boost him stock.

-DB Jay Ward (6-2, 186) LSU, 4.47, 4th-5th round. Helped himself at Senior Bowl. In 43 games with Tigers. Good vs. the run, excellent in coverage. Could play Nickel or safety. Played as Freshman in 2019 National Championship team. Improved his cover skills in ’22. Very physical, can change direction, flips hips, closes on ball quickly. Challenges the 50/50 balls.

-LB Mike Jones (6-1, 230) LSU, 24 years old, 6th-7th round. 44 college games. Was a 4 star prospect in 2018. 3 seasons at Clemson, 24 games at LSU with 48 tackles. Good open field tackler, attacks off the edge, special teams will be important. Sideline to sideline tackler. Good burst on blitz.

-DE Ali Gaye (6-5, 263) LSU, 4.69. Good run defender, can rush the passer. 5th-6th round. The past 2 seasons had 38 QB pressures, 28 hurries and 5 sacks. Good power, strength with hands, will slip off of blocks,, will chase down play, very instinctive, powerful lower body, uses hands well.

-DB Eric Garror (5-9, 188) ULL , 4.5, 7th round pick. 61 games with Cajuns, 23 passes broken up, 7 interceptions. Good ball skills. Exceptionally quick, very fluid, stays low in backpedal, can change direction easily, turns and runs. mirrors WR, good reactions and break on ball.

-RB Tyjae Spears (5-10, 204) Tulane and Ponchatoula. Molded his style after Reggie Bush, 2nd day draft pick. Was 3 star prospect in 2019. Added 30 lbs. since he arrived on campus. This season ran for 1,581 yards (69 yards per) with 19 TD’s. Was named Senior Bowl practice player of the week. Can break tackles but not a great between the tackles runner, lots of wiggle. Patient runner, sidesteps tacklers, physical at point of attack, but will not challenge LB. Gets skinny through the line. Terrific vision. Sees backside opening. Gets to full speed 2nd-3rd step, Developed as a blocker. Cotton Bowl ran for 205 yards and 4 scores. The previous 10 NFL drafts, 12 RB’s were taken in 1st round and 27 in 2nd round. The RB position is not as valued as it once was in early rounds.

-WR Derius Davis (5-10, 168) TCU, 4.29. In 52 games with Horned Frogs corralled 112 passes for 1,513 yards and 9 TD’s. Product of West Feliciana where he was Louisiana state champion in the 200 and 400 meters (48.44) Led team to 3A state title in football in 2017. Catch and run, shakes defenders. Could be 6th-7th round steal. Gobbles up yardage. Played CB in high school but converted to WR as freshman at TCU. He is a KR/PR extraordinaire.

– DB Quindell Johnson (6-1, 206) Memphis, 4.53. Won consecutive state titles at Edna Karr (2016-’17), had offers from Memphis, Tulane, Purdue, Houston and Troy. Was a 3 star prospect in 2018. Accumulated 10 interceptions at Memphis. 48 games (4 years) 320 tackles. Can play FS or SS or nickel. Transitions well, breaks down, good tackler, football IQ, downhill tackler.

-CB Myles Brooks (6-2, 198) La. Tech, 4.56 with a 40″ vertical, late Day 3 projection. 3 years at Stephen F. Austin had 17 passes defended and 6 picks. In ’22 transferred to La. Tech where he had 31 tackles in 717 defensive snaps with 9 passes broken up and 3 interceptions. Best in zone coverage, tough, fiery, very physical, instincts, contests 50/50 balls. Excellent ball skills.

-LB Dorian Williams (6-1, 228) Tulane. In 2022 piled up 131 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 5 sacks and 2 interceptions. 315 career stops and 10.5 sacks. Good Senior Bowl. Instinctive, was solid in coverage, quick reactions, destroys ball carrier. moves well in space, special teams will be important. Day 3 projection.

-LB Micah Baskerville (6-1, 231) LSU and Evangel Christian. 2 year starter at LSU where he totaled 171 stops, 3 sacks. Good in 4-3 or 3-4 alignment. 6th-7th round pick. Accelerates into ball carrier. Against Arkansas in 2021 has 12 stops, 3.5 TFL and 2 sacks. Sideline to sideline, good timing on blitz,, natural in coverage, diagnoses play.

-EDGE Andre Jones (6-5, 250) ULL, 4.7. 6th-7th round. Varnado H.S. Natural skills as pass rusher. Played 55 games with Cajuns and had 105 QB pressures, 67 hurries and 20 sacks. Gets blocker off balance, good first step, fluid footwork, great effort.

-WR Michael Jefferson (6-4, 202) ULL, 4.6. 6th round. Transfer from Alabama State. During 2 years with Cajuns he demonstrated natural skills, plays with balance, soft hands,, makes contested catch, uses size, willing blocker, high points ball, faster than time, will run under deep ball.

-WR Jaray Jenkins (6-2, 206) LSU, 4.49. Jena High alum, 5th-6th round. Intermediate routes. Adequate blocker. had 89 catches for 1,370 yards with 14 touchdowns with Tigers. Good separation in routes, will cross the middle, catches in traffic.

-OT Joey Claybrooks (6-7, 300) Tulane, 5.02. Played a whopping 56 games with the Green Wave. Quick to pick up blitz. 7th round. Adjusts feet, quick off snap. Picks up twists and stunts.

-CB Ferlando Jordan (6-0, 180) Southeastern Louisiana. Twice FCS All American. 11 career interceptions., ball skills. should join former Lions’ DB’s, Harlan Miller, Donald Dykes and Robert Alford all went from Hammond to NFL. Should fall in 6th-7th round.

-WR Kayshon Boutte (6-0, 205) LSU, prepped at Westgate in New Iberia. Had 131 catches for 1,781 yards and 16 TD’s with the Tigers. Exciting run after catch. 2nd day pick. Big play ability., improved catching radius. Great freshman campaign but tailed off since. Good hands,, catches 50/50 balls, great route runner,, explosive burst out of route, gets up to top speed quickly, can play in the slot,. At one time considered the top WR in ’23 draft but has fallen back. Could be a bargain for the right team.

-OG/OT Anthony Bradford (6-5, 345) LSU, 5th-6th round. 4 seasons at LSU allowed 11 QB hurries, 5 hits and 5 sacks. Strong, powerful (31 reps on 225 lbs. bench press) could get look at OG. Surprising quickness out of stance, may struggle at OT with edge rushers. A little nasty, prides himself on physicality.

-WR Dontayvion Wicks (6-1, 212) 4.4, Virginia, played at Plaquemine High where he lined up at QB and WR. Also played basketball. 4th-5th round. Strong hands, quick acceleration, good vertical receiver, plats with balance, had a few easy drops in ’22. Some see him as another Marquez Valdes- Scantling.

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Rene Nadeau


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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