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Projecting Louisville Football’s 2023 NFL Draft Class

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – We may be just over every week faraway from the 2022 NFL Draft, nevertheless it’s never too early to start out looking forward to next yr.

While the Louisville football program is coming off of a 6-7 season, and had no players chosen on this yr’s iteration of the draft, there are several players who could thoroughly play themselves right into a draft pick.

Listed here are some current Cardinals who’re the more than likely to be chosen within the 2023 NFL Draft:

Top Candidates:

Outside Linebacker Yasir Abdullah

Abdullah not only had his best season thus far in 2021, he had among the best seasons from a Louisville pass rusher within the last decade. His 17.5 tackles for loss was good for the seventh-most in a single season in program history, and his 10 sacks was essentially the most since Devonte Fields had 10.5 in 2015. Named Second-Team All-ACC, Abdullah is just convalescing from here as he grows into his role as a more vocal leader. 

Offensive Guard Caleb Chandler

While many would say that Malik Cunningham was Louisville’s MVP of the 2021 season, you might make the argument that Chandler had just as much of a claim to that title. He was the cornerstone for Louisville’s resurgent offensive line, being named as each Louisville’s lone First-Team All-ACC selection in 2021 and as one in every of the Top 101 Players in College Football by Pro Football Focus.

Cornerback Kei’Trel Clark

Had Clark not torn his ACL at NC State towards the top of the season, he may need declared for this yr’s draft as an alternative of coming back to Louisville for an additional yr. Since his breakout yr last season, the Liberty transfer has been one in every of the highest defensive backs within the ACC. Despite missing three regular season games and a bowl, he still tied for essentially the most pass defenses within the ACC with 12 (nine pass break ups and three interceptions), and was named Second-Team All-ACC.

Quarterback Malik Cunningham

Cunningham was capable of rebound from his down 2020 season to have an incredible penultimate redshirt junior campaign with the Cardinals. He finished one passing touchdown in need of joining the exclusive 20/20 club, ranked 14th in FBS in yards per game at 305.5, fourth in rushing touchdowns with 20, and have become the second quarterback in Louisville history to rush for 1,000 yards. Had it not been for a robust ACC quarterback class and underachieving Louisville, he may need gotten more national attention.

Tight End Marshon Ford

While not as flashy as other offensive weapons which have got here through Louisville since Scott Satterfield took over, Ford has been one of the vital consistent on that side of the ball, and is among the best returning tight ends within the ACC. He was named a Third-Team All-ACC selection after leading the Cardinals in receiving yards with 550, and has 15 touchdowns for the reason that 2019 season.

Wide Receiver Tyler Hudson

Satterfield and Co. have done an incredible job landing talent through the transfer portal, and Hudson may need been their biggest acquisition. He was among the best players in all of FCS last yr, hauling in 62 receptions for 1,242 yards and eight touchdowns for Central Arkansas. The yardage mark was fourth in all of FCS, and he was named a Second-Team AP FCS All-American.

Other Names to Watch:

Offensive Tackle Renato Brown

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Brown has taken massive steps forward when it comes to maturity and development. In keeping with PFF, he was ranked because the second-best offensive line starter, behind Chandler, with a 73.7 grade.

Defensive End YaYa Diaby

Diaby has been a bit underwhelming over the past two seasons, but there’s reason to consider he’ll break out next yr. While he had just 3.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, he led the team in quarterback hurries with seven

Safety Kenderick Duncan

A now-crowded safety room could limit his production in 2022, but he showed his potential as a starter in 2021. He ranked third on the team in tackles with 76, had 4 pass breakups and and interception, and had one of the best PFF coverage grade by a Louisville defensive back at 72.6.

Running Back Tiyon Evans

Louisville has loads of weapons of their running back room now, and the Tennessee transfer could possibly be their biggest one. Prior to his late season ankle injury, Evans led the Vols in rushing yards, ending the yr with 525 and 6 touchdowns.

Offensive Guard/Center Bryan Hudson

Hudson was the offensive line’s sixth man last season, and with Cole Bentley graduating, is getting inserted into the starting lineup. He can play several positions on the road, and play all of them at a high level.

Middle Linebacker Monty Montgomery

When Satterfield arrived in 2019, Montgomery emerged because the defense’s X-Factor, and was trending towards having a breakout 2021 season along with his insertion into the starting lineup. Unfortunately, an ACL injury in only game three vs. UCF shelved him for the remaining of the yr.

Offensive Tackle Trevor Reid

While other lineman may be higher blockers up up to now, Reid is an underrated piece up front. Listed at 6-5 and 307 with insane athleticism for an O-lineman, he also has the intangibles that make NFL scouts salivate.

(Photo of Malik Cunningham: Jamie Rhodes – USA TODAY Sports)

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