BYU Mock Draft: Which Cougar Prospects Might Be Selected in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Jaren Hall and Blake Freeland are set to battle it out to be the first Cougar drafted, but who else makes the cut as one of BYU's NFL Draft prospects for 2023?

The BYU Cougars likely won’t have a first-round pick like they did in the 2021 NFL Draft, but their 2023 NFL Draft prospects may offer up more versatility and sticking power in the NFL than either of their past few classes did. It’s time to check out the full list of potential BYU players who could hear their names called later this month.

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BYU Draft Prospects: Which Cougars Should Be Selected in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Sure, Zach Wilson headlined the 2021 NFL Draft as the second overall pick, but with the way his first few NFL seasons have panned out, could the next BYU signal-caller potentially have a better NFL career?

  • Jaren Hall, Quarterback
  • Christopher Brooks, Running back
  • Puka Nacua, Wide receiver
  • Gunner Romney, Wide receiver
  • Blake Freeland, Offensive tackle
  • Harris LaChance, Offensive tackle
  • Joe Tukuafu, Offensive guard
  • Payton Wilgar, Linebacker

Jaren Hall, Quarterback (2018-2022)

The next BYU QB to hear his name called in the NFL Draft, Jaren Hall has about every intangible you’d want out of a quarterback in the NFL. Hall has a next-level arm with great accuracy and played just as well off-platform as he did from within the structure of the offense.

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Critics seem to knock his age and injury history, but Hall’s play in 2022 should certainly have mitigated those concerns. He’ll take care of the football and be ready to play as a mature potential backup as early as Year 1.

Likely drafted position: Rounds 3-4, picks 90-120

Christopher Brooks, Running Back (2022; 2018-2021, Cal)

An upright runner who showcased an underappreciated speed to his game, Christopher Brooks has flown under the radar this offseason from BYU. The former Cal running back ranked sixth in BYU single-season history by averaging 6.28 yards per carry, and this came on the heels of leading Cal in rushing in two of the last three prior seasons.

He’s a veteran of the sport at a position where age takes its toll more so than at others. Pressed into duty as a priority free agent this offseason is his route to an NFL team.

Likely drafted position: Undrafted, priority free agent

Puka Nacua, Wide Receiver (2021-2022; 2019-2020, Washington)

A speedster with perhaps some of the best routes, contested-catch highlights, and downright dominance at the receiver position when healthy, Puka Nacua should find a role on an NFL team in the later stages of the 2023 NFL Draft. Nacua, who BYU manufactured touches for, can run by any defensive back despite what his 40-yard dash time might’ve said.

He’ll also dominate at the catch point against those same defensive backs if he can’t separate along his route breaks.

Likely drafted position: Day 3, rounds 5-7

Gunner Romney, Wide Receiver (2018-2022)

Gunner Romney took over games for the Cougars at times when he was at his best. Though his best college days are behind him now, his track record of physical dominance on the outside still follows him. It’ll be a long shot to make it in the NFL, but Romney could surprise people if he returns to his form from 2020-2021.

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Likely drafted position: Undrafted, free agent

Blake Freeland, Offensive Tackle (2019-2022)

One of the most athletic players at any position, Blake Freeland is among the top tackles in this class. Freeland will definitely hear his name called and is likely to hear it before any other Cougar at this point. With a massive frame and an ascending game, Freeland should be a starting tackle in the NFL.

Likely drafted position: Day 2, rounds 2-3

Harris LaChance, Offensive Tackle (2018-2022)

One of three potential BYU offensive linemen to hear their names called, Harris LaChance looked the part in every career start for the Cougars. LaChance has great balance and continued to push his game to an all-around dominant level. He’s at his best in pass protection and could be a swing guard at the next level.

Likely drafted position: Undrafted, free agent

Joe Tukuafu, Offensive Guard (2017-2022)

Joe Tukuafu has an NFL-ready frame and a veteran leadership quality about him. Some NFL team may make him a flier pick in the later rounds because of that ability, and, if they do, he’ll certainly show them why it was a wise decision. Tukuafu can push for time at either guard spot and would help carve rushing lanes like he did in Provo.

MORE: New BYU Quarterbacks Taking To Offense Quickly in Provo

Likely drafted position: Undrafted, priority free agent

Payton Wilgar, Linebacker (2018-2022)

The center of one of the best off-the-field stories in college football over the past few seasons, Payton Wilgar has three-down linebacker ability at the next level. His injury history likely pushes him to undrafted free agent status, but one thing is for sure — when he lands on an NFL practice squad, that unit will be better off for it.

Likely drafted position: Undrafted, free agent

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