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2023 NFL Draft Stock Report: Conference Championships

2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft
Give Max Duggan his respect! Check out all of the 2023 NFL Draft stock report notes from conference championship week! (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

2023 NFL Draft Stock Report: Conference Championships

We’re officially in the home stretch. It’s conference championship time for the 2023 NFL Draft stock report series. You’re getting most of the games this week. On tap we have Utah vs. USC, Kansas State vs. TCU, and LSU vs. Georgia. Let’s get after it! Where else would you rather go for 2023 NFL Draft coverage? Everywhere else is the wrong answer.

This changed the game. It just did. Had Caleb Williams not gotten hurt, I honestly think USC wins. Maybe I’m crazy but when the most prolific offense gets one total yard in the third quarter and fails to convert virtually every third down, I’d say the injury mattered. Know about the latest NFL draft odds here. Yes, I’m mad cause I went heavy on USC and lost everything in the college pool so I’m bitter.

Ok, back to the prospects.


Two things really stood out there that I’m going to spend most of my time on. No, it won’t be the quarterback because if you haven’t figured out that he’s maybe a 7th rounder then you can’t be helped.

How bout this corner, Clark Phillips? Has Jordan Addison looked that bad all year? Yes, he fell over one time that gave Addison a huge gain. It happens. Nobody is going to be perfect back there in the modern NFL / CFB. Otherwise? How do you not love what you saw? The best play of the game came on a red area play where Phillips just played the ball beautifully.

Good length at 5-foot-10. Not rail thin. Has physicality to his game. When I saw physicality, it’s probably his biggest strength. He’s their best player. That’s what my eyes tell me and I don’t care that he fell over on one of the plays. Not grease lightning speed but more quicker than fast. This is a good player. No idea if he declares but I would be interested.

The other note that we have to mention… I heard this and it just made me so mad. More so mad because it’s insane that nobody slapped Urban Meyer in the face when he said Dalton Kincaid was a first rounder. Let’s remember how Meyer fared in Jacksonville. Oh, yes. The same guy that wanted to draft Kadarius Toney in the first round. So when even bigger dummy Dave Gettleman picked Toney, Meyer doubled down and took Travis Etienne in the first round.

Let’s please not respect anything that Urban has to say on NFL Draft prospects. I have no idea where Kincaid is getting picked but that’s not a first rounder. Are we forgetting he’s the back up? Last time I checked backup tight ends at UTAH (to Brant Kuithe who’s out for the year) don’t go in the first round. But you do you Urban. It’s embarrassing they even let you back on TV after what happened in Jacksonville.

In fairness to Kincaid, he’s banged up himself and was on a pitch count last night. It wasn’t a bad game. Can break tackles. Had a drop. Certainly not a natural hands catcher. He can sit in those zone bubbles and eat those little curl routes. If that gets you horny, knock yourself out.

Again, I don’t think this is a bad player. I just really hope the conventional wisdom isn’t on Urban’s side here cause it’s wrong.

Finished the day with four receptions for 40 yards. The way USC tackled, you could have put any yardage out there and it would have been believable. I would just ask you what’s the best case scenario here? You better be sure this is Jason Witten because otherwise reaching here is going to get someone in trouble. Brock Bowers is a first rounder. Not whatever Urban Meyer thinks this is.


Do I even want to talk about the USC defense? Am I really going to do this to myself? I guess before I get there, I’d like to add that running back Austin Jones blows. I’m not sure how many times I yelled at the TV asking why number six was in the game. 15 carries for 35 yards of nothing. Senior running back who sucks. No future here.

I guess we’ll have to do this. Let’s talk about some guys on that USC defense. Might have been the worst tackling defense I’ve ever seen. I physically can’t spend too much time here. All I’ll say is that I think we found out why Shane Lee didn’t make Bama’s team. Too slow. He’s like if Vontaze Burfict didn’t have that dog in him. Slow to react. Slow to tackle. Slow to do everything. When he’s your best linebacker, you’re going to have issues.

Kansas State

I was locked into Deuce Vaughn for this one. I guess I would just ask what the expectations are here? Am I a Pumpkin Spice latte analyst if I comp him to Darren Sproles? I know, I know same school. The Sproles comp feels rich but I do think Vaughn can somewhat play.

The 5-foot-6 thing doesn’t scare me. He’s a short back but not overly small and that’s what matters. Is he big enough to function between the tackles? Sure didn’t look like it in this one. The stat line is a bit misleading here. Ran for 130 yards but 44 of which came on one run. Obviously, not taking that away but his pure three down ability should be questioned.

Doesn’t have A+ hands. Can catch but had a drop in this one. Don’t see the juice that James Cook did a year ago. I think I’d take him in the 5th or 6th round knowing someone else will bite sooner. But will likely have the opportunity to pick him up years later when there’s no tread on the tires. A lot of Boston Scott vibes. Again, not saying Scott is a bad player but there is a clear ceiling here. One that I’d advise not to reach on.


Can we just give Max Duggan some credit? What a gamer that guy is. Look, I know they lost and I don’t often compliment games where the quarterback only completed half of his throws. 18/36 for 251 yards, a score, and a pick doesn’t really tell the whole story.

Few things:

A: I’m not sure where others stand on this but we have to recognize this is someone who at bare minimum can pick up first downs with his legs. He led the team in rushing with 110 yards including this long scamper.

I don’t want to get too carried away but this guy can run. Daniel Jones ran a 4.81 once upon a time. I bet Duggan is in that range come combine time. Something that should be deemed as a huge positive.

Secondly, I just don’t think his deep ball accuracy is a fluke. He’s really good at taking shots deep down the field. His pick was mainly due to pressure on a ball that got underthrown because of it. Duggan threw a number of deep balls and most of them were put in spots that you couldn’t have put it any better.

Long story short; I think this guy can carve out a career in the league. He won’t be drafted higher than Andy Dalton but he may end up being better eventually.

Can we also talk about wide receiver Quentin Johnston? Good luck. Are the tools there? 100%. I also think you’re lying if you can give me an accurate projection of what he is. What’s the route tree here? That has to be a huge question mark. I know the guy is banged up too which makes it even harder to know the pure potential.

Everything is a deep ball where he’s winning with the ball in the air. I think the tools here are interesting but if you told me this was the next Kevin White, I don’t think you’re wrong. If you told me this is the best receiver in the draft, I’m also not sure you’re wrong.

I’m not ready to make a declaration here. I see the tools. They’re hard to ignore. Am I willing to jump on the sword to pick him in the first round? Feels risky to me.


LSU got hammered as I said they would in a Brian Kelly praise post. We will keep this section short. It was just nice to see Kayshon Boutte show up. If you remember, this was my number one wide receiver prospect prior to the year. We haven’t always seen the best Boutte this year (which has a lot to do with Jayden Daniels being a horrible quarterback). Six catches for 106 yards and this long touchdown. Not saying I needed to see it but it was sure nice to be reminded of what this guy can do.

C’mon guys! You know where to get the best 2023 NFL Draft coverage. If you missed last week, it’s here for you to read next!


Jalen Carter is a freak. What more needs to be said? I hope I didn’t need to tell you that by now. He also blocked the field goal that turned into a touchdown too.

Tried to watch Kelee Ringo as much as I could. Thought he held up well in coverage. Very curious to see his jumping numbers. Would be surprised if he doesn’t post a really good vertical jump. Just looks like a fantastic athlete.

All three running backs had good games. All three should very much be on NFL radars. Not sure we learned anything new here from prior weeks. Kendall Milton made the most of his opportunities rushing for 114 yards on EIGHT carries.

Really good to see Darnell Washington get in on the action too. I know the combo of height, weight, speed here is intriguing but at some point I need some production too. It wasn’t hard to produce in this one as Georgia put up a 50 burger. Still was great to see Washington score nonetheless.

I have no idea where Washington belongs come draft time. I think you’re lying if you have a firm answer.


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