football Edit

An early look at which Rutgers Football players could be drafted in 2023

Rutgers Football had multiple players selected in the 2022 NFL Draft this past weekend, marking the first time the program had multiple draft picks since the 2019 draft when defensive backs Saquan Hampton and Blessuan Austin were both selected in the sixth round.

As has become an annual tradition here, let’s take a way too early look at which current Scarlet Knights could hear their name called in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Of course, other younger players who are not seniors could emerge as the season goes along with big years on the field.




The former Syracuse star wide receiver is expected to be the go to guy for the Scarlet Knights offense following Bo Melton being selected in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Harris has shown flashes of his potential during his days with the Orange, hauling in 58 total catches for 733 yards and five touchdowns during the 2020 season. He had a good early showing for the Orange in 2021, but decided to leave the team and enter the portal midway through the season to maintain his redshirt status. Now back home playing for the home town Scarlet Knights, Harris is hoping to once again have a big season in 2022 to impress NFL scouts for a chance to hear his name called next year.

MOCK DRAFT STATUS: Harris has not been mentioned by any early mock drafts for the 2023 NFL Draft at this time.


The star kick returner / slot receiver for the Scarlet Knights missed this past spring as he continues to recover from a knee injury he suffered last season. As long as he recovers fully, then there is no reason why Cruickshank won’t once again become one of the most dangerous players in all of college football due to his kick / punt return abilities.

Now in order to make it to the next level, Cruickshank will have to polish up his receiver skills a bit and make that jump to the next level. We’ve seen flashes of his receiver potential in games against Michigan and Ohio State, where he had multiple receptions for 50+ yards, but he needs to make that leap in order to get his name on draft boards.

MOCK DRAFT STATUS: At the moment Cruickshank is not mentioned by any early 2023 NFL Mock Drafts, however his special teams abilities should at the very least land him a spot on a team as an UDFA. But if he can fine tune his receiver skills, he has a decent shot at being drafted.


DiRenzo was an All-American at his previous school, Sacred Heart, at the FCS level. That translated into many big-time offers once he hit the portal. He chose Rutgers, and appears to have the inside track to start potentially at left guard. The 6-foot-6, 315-pounder has started every game he’s played in (40 games) at either left or right tackle. Teams love versatility, and he could add guard to his resume in 2022.

MOCK DRAFT STATUS: At the moment DiRenzo has not been mentioned in any 2023 mock drafts, but if he can produce like he did at Sacred Heart this year in the Big Ten then his name should start to creep up the charts.


Ever since his breakout season in 2019 with the Temple Owls, there has been talk about Maijeh eventually ending up in the NFL. Not only does he have the size, but he has proven when healthy that he can produce. If he can stay healthy all 2022 and rack up a few more quarterback hurries and sacks, then there is no reason why he shouldn’t be drafted next year as defensive lineman have become a major priority for teams in the NFL.

MOCK DRAFT STATUS: At the moment he is only mentioned by one writer from Sports Illustrated as a seventh round pick in 2023.


Now this one is an interesting one as Melton technically will only be a third year junior following the 2023 season, but it’s hard to argue that there is another player on this year’s squad better than him. Melton has become a pretty solid lockdown cornerback and has developed nicely over his first two seasons. This past season he was named Fourth Team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele despite missing three games in early October due to a suspension. This upcoming season could be a big one for Melton as he has the potential to be one of the best corners in the B1G this year and could leave early if he proves his worth.

MOCK DRAFT STATUS: Since Melton is currently entering his junior year, he is not currently listed by any early 2023 mock drafts. That will likely change throughout the year.


It’s been a very up and down career for Avery Young on the banks. He was thrown to the wolves as a true freshman starting 11 of the Scarlet Knights 12 games at cornerback and despite the team's struggles, he looked even better in 2020 earning himself All-Big Ten honorable mention. However he was moved to safety this past season by head coach Greg Schianoa and it was a true roller coaster ride as he had both good and bad moments. He did finish second on the team in tackles with 81 total to go along with two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. Now proving he has versatility is great, but in order to be a draft pick in the NFL, he will have to up his game a bit.

MOCK DRAFT STATUS: Looking at current mocks, there is a lot of hype around Young as he has been projected anywhere from a fourth to sixth rounder in the 2022 NFL Draft. The SI staff even has him as a top 100 player on their way too early big board.


There’s no question Korsak was Rutgers’ MVP during its down years in the Ash Era. Korsak has been one of college football’s best punters during his time “On the Banks” and was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award last season. Frankly, he should have won baked on the criteria. Korsak has a unique rugby style that has proven to be ultra-effective. The Aussie hasn’t had a touchback since before COVID was a thing, and many of his punts are downed inside the 20-yard line. Four punters were selected in this year’s NFL Draft, and teams tend to hold on to punters, but Korsak is a weapon that any team would love to have. He even worked on improving his traditional punting abilities during spring practice.

MOCK DRAFT STATUS: There is a lot of speculation as to whether the multi year Ray Guy Award finalist’s punting can translate to the NFL level. This past spring he started experimenting with different techniques and if he can master that, then the sky's the limit for Korsak and his NFL Draft chances.


Wide Receivers Sean Ryan and Shameen Jones....

Ryan is a bigger-bodied receiver who has made the most of his opportunities as he can stretch the field. A big year on the field could get him into the conversation. The same can be said for Jones, who is a reliable veteran.

TE Matt Alaimo and DL Mayan Ahanotu

Alaimo has improved his blocking and has good hands to be a solid balanced tight end. Tons of defensive lineman are drafted every year, and if Ahanotu can hold his own again in the Big Ten, he could create some buzz.

Offensive Linemen Willie Tyler III, Reggie Sutton, and Curtis Dunlap

These guys, like Ahanotu and Alaimo, have time in college left after this year, but all three could start along the offensive line once the season begins. Tyler and Dunlap are new to Rutgers, but they’ve already made a name for themselves in spring practice. As for Sutton, he needs to prove he can be fully healthy before being mentioned in any sort of NFL mock drafts. Plus let’s not forget he suffered a major knee injury last year and might not even be 100% by the time the 2022 season comes around.


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