Keion White is a 4-3 defensive end/3-4 outside linebacker who lands just outside the top ten. He’s the best of our honorable mentions and is joined by Nolan Smith.
Keion White may not be outside of the top ten for long. In 2022, he notched 54 tackles and 7.5 sacks. He’s six-foot-four and 260 pounds. He could also rise on draft boards via solid workouts during the postseason.
Nolan Smith will receive burn all offseason, and rightfully so. He’s a two-time College Football Playoff National Champion and a supreme talent.
The numbers don’t always show that. 18 tackles and three sacks in eight games won’t blow anyone away, but Pro Football Focus, on their list of the top 100 draft prospects in the 2023 class, states that he’s credited with a 90-plus run defense grade over the past two seasons.
In 2022, he disappointed some as a pass rusher. He suffered an injury just five snaps into the Georgia Bulldogs’ Week 9 game versus the Florida Gators, so that was the last time we saw him on the field. The injury and some unanswered questions are why we’ll leave him outside of the top ten for now.
We realize he’s an elite run defender, but at six-foot-three and 235 pounds, he’s also built like an NFL safety, not a linebacker or an EDGE star.