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MWCConnection Roundtable: Who are the 2023 draft prospects from each team?

Mountain West Championship - Air Force v San Diego State Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images

Now that the 2022 NFL draft is over, let’s take a glance at 2023. This week’s roundtable features a familiar question: Who are the 2023 NFL draft prospects from each team?

Zach: For Boise State, I think there are three players that have a good chance. George Holani, JL Skinner, Tyreque Jones. Skinner is as close to a lock as it gets. He will need to show some growth in coverage to move up the draft boards. Jones and Holani both need to prove they can stay healthy over the course of the season.

Mike: Looking at San Diego State, I believe the best NFL prospect on next year’s team is Defensive End Keshawn Banks. He may not be a “can’t miss” prospect but he is a solid player who will do his job, which translates well to the next level. As far as other prospects, linebacker Cam McDonald is probably right behind him. Alama Uluave is another name to keep an eye on.

Rudy: I agree with Zach on Boise State on those three, but would add Scott Matlock and John Ojukwu. My sleeper prospect for the Broncos would be PK Jonah Dalmas. Of those three, Matlock is more of a “lock” as a prospect than the other two, but all fit the “NFL prospect” moniker for me.

Mike: I’ll comment on Fresno State too because I think they have quite a few guys who will get an NFL look. I’ve long been a fan of Jalen Cropper and I think can become the Khalil Shakir of the conference next and be seen as a legit NFL slot receiver and one of the better NFL prospects in the conference. QB Jake Haener will have another great season and should be an attractive option for teams looking for a backup in the mid to late rounds. Now that Jordan Mims will be the feature back, it wouldn’t surprise me if he has a breakout season and gets on someone’s radar. Linebacker Levelle Bailey is another player who is worth keeping an eye on. His numbers were good but not outstanding last season, but one big year and he could have the attention of the scouts.

Jos: UNLV has some good young players, but a lot of them are not draft eligible yet. There are a few players that are though. WR Kyle Williams could possibly get drafted if he has a better season than he did last year. He was second on the team in receiving yards and TDs, so if he can make the push to get more TDs and get close to 1,000 yards receiving, he could be a Day 3 receiver like a lot of players from the Mountain West. Like Mike said above, I would also like to comment on Fresno State because like I’ve said before, I grew up there. I went to high school with Cropper and I saw his potential when he was catching TDs back at Buchanan High School. The competition level in the Tri-River Athletic Conference (TRAC) was insane back when I was there and it honestly still is, so Crop’s used to the high level of competition. He played with RB Kendall Milton who’s a National Champion now with Georgia. Now with Tedford at the head spot, I think Cropper and Haener will have a great year and hopefully both get drafted.

Aiden: Zach and Rudy highlighted everyone that I also expect to be in the conversation if they have productive seasons come this fall. I would also add two names that could work their way into the late rounds if the stars align. QB Hank Bachmeier and WR Stefan Cobbs. Despite bursting onto the scene in Tallahassee against Florida State in 2019, Bachmeier hasn’t had the quintessential season that Bronco fans have longed for. A healthy offense could prove dividends and allow target receiver Stefan Cobbs to act as a number one option. With the departure of Khalil Shakir, Cobbs should be able to step up and be a difference-maker. I’m not expecting either one of these two to be drafted, but with the focus on offensive coordinator Tim Plough and his ability to adjust, they might be able to play their way into Day 3 territory.