What does THT, Davis Allen and Michael Wilson have in common? All could rise fast or take a deep dive in NFL draft

NFL Draft News

‘Tis the season of updated draft boards.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler recently released his big board, while Sports Illustrated just published their own this week.

And, as expected, a few surprises names squeaked into Kevin Hanson’s top-100, including Clemson tight end Davis Allen (No. 93), TCU cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson (No. 96) and Stanford receiver Michael Wilson (No. 100).

You can see Hanson’s full top-100 here.

However, Allen (No. 125 in the latest Fanspeak-Jake Rigdon big board), Hodges-Tomlinson (No. 159) and Wilson (No. 130) sit firmly outside of the top-100 in the Fanspeak-Rigdon big board.

If you go by NFL.com draft analysts’ Dan Parr and Eric Edholm’s team needs, then more than a third of the league could prioritize two of those three positions (tight end, cornerback or receiver) in the upcoming draft, including:

  • Atlanta: WR, CB
  • Chicago: CB, TE
  • New England: WR, DB
  • LA Chargers: WR, TE
  • Baltimore: WR, CB
  • Minnesota: CB, WR
  • NY Giants: WR, DB
  • Dallas: CB, WR
  • Cincinnati: DB, TE

Let’s take a look at those three players and examine why there’s such a discrepancy in the rankings:

* TE Davis Allen, Clemson: At 6-foot-6, 250-pounds, the Clemson senior has ideal size for the position and was very productive this past season despite a shaky QB situation, catching 39 passes for 443 yards and 5 TDs, all career highs. But this year’s draft is top-heavy at the tight end position, with five ranked among the top-55 in SI’s big board. There’s a big drop-off after that, with only seven ranked among the top-100 and 14 with draftable grades in the Fanspeak-Rigdon big board. Still, Allen could slip through the cracks and fall to the fourth round after the top tight ends are picked over. Plus there’s the value of the position – it’s not a premiere position – combined with the fact that 19 tight ends were drafted in 2022, so teams might have a bit of TE fatigue.

* CB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU: There’s no denying THT’s talent. The true senior racked up 125 tackles, 36 passes defended and 5 interceptions in four years at the school, and he was often asked to cover the other team’s best receiver or tight end. And he can play from the slot or the boundary. But it’s hard to get past his size. At a school-listed 5-foot-9, 180-pounds, he would already be one of the shorter CBs in the league. According to NBC Sports, there’s only three cornerbacks in the league who are 5-foot-8, none shorter – so THT’s combine measurements will be as significant as his 40 and agility drills.

* WR Michael Wilson, Stanford: The problem with the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Wilson has never been about talent. It’s about staying healthy, something he struggled with at Stanford. Wilson, who led all receivers with 4 receptions for 76 yards and a TD in the Senior Bowl, finished his Stanford career with 134 receptions for 1,662 yards and 11 receptions. Now think about what those numbers could have been had he played in more than 14 games the past season. A foot injury ended his 2020 season early, then limited him the following year. His season was also cut short this season after he was injured against Notre Dame, his sixth and last contest of 2022. The exact nature of Wilson’s injury was never made public, so his medical evaluations at the Combine and beyond will be crucial to where he lands in the draft – or if he’s drafted at all.



Jake Rigdon (@jrigdon73) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak.com. His big board is updated at least once per week during the season and leading up to the draft. Message him on Twitter to receive $3 off your new Ultimate GM subscription.

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