Skip to main content

2023 NFL Draft: Tennessee's Hendon Hooker, Jalin Hyatt among Day 2's top value picks

The Next Gen Stats Team uses its draft model to identify the five best value picks from Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Brian Branch
Alabama · CB · Junior
Detroit Lions
Round 2 · No. 45 overall
  • Production Score: 96
  • Athleticism Score: 58

The Lions strategically moved up three spots (from No. 48 to No. 45, ahead of the Patriots at No. 46) to secure the 31st-ranked player on NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah's big board. Branch, a favorite of Alabama coach Nick Saban, is one of the most productive prospects in this year's class, entering the draft with the fifth-highest NGS production score, regardless of position. However, despite his impressive tape, Branch slid to the second round, potentially due to a less-than-stellar combine performance (4.58-second 40-yard dash at 190 pounds). The Bama corner is poised to fill the role of nickel corner in the Lions' revamped secondary.

Keion White
Georgia Tech · Edge · Senior (RS)
New England Patriots
Round 2 · No. 46 overall
  • Production Score: 75
  • Athleticism Score: 82


After coming away with one of the steals of the first round in cornerback Christian Gonzalez, Bill Belichick and the Patriots added another high-upside prospect with their second-round pick. The 11th edge rusher selected, White earned the third-highest overall draft score within his position group (81), according to the NGS Draft Model.


Standing at nearly 6-foot-5 and weighing 285 pounds, White has 34-inch arms, an 80-inch wingspan, exceptional speed (4.76 seconds at his pro day) and unique strength (30 reps on the bench press at the NFL combine). It's no wonder Belichick & Co. found White's attributes appealing. The Patriots have a penchant for bringing in big-bodied, long defensive ends who can effectively push the pocket and set the edge against the run (Chandler Jones, Trey Flowers, Matt Judon, et al.).


Joe Tippmann
Wisconsin · C · Junior (RS)
New York Jets
Round 2 · No. 43 overall
  • Production Score: 78
  • Athleticism Score: 77 (estimated)

Aaron Rodgers’ new center out of Wisconsin is well-liked by the NGS Draft Model. Tippmann earned the highest overall draft score for a Wisconsin offensive lineman since Hall of Famer Joe Thomas in 2007 (92). The predictive model even suggests that Tippmann has one of the highest chances (51%) of making a Pro Bowl within his first three seasons among the 2023 prospects.

Ranked No. 34 in DJ's top 150 ranking, and featured in Bruce Feldman's preseason college football freaks list, Tippmann possesses the size (6-foot-6, 313 pounds) and projected athleticism (1.65-second 10-yard split as reported by Feldman) necessary to make a significant impact as the Jets' new pivot man. With his exceptional physical attributes and high praise from analysts, Tippmann is well-positioned to play a crucial role in the new Jets-Rodgers era.

Hendon Hooker
Tennessee · QB · Senior (RS)
Detroit Lions
Round 3 · No. 68 overall
  • Production Score: 86
  • Athleticism Score: 85 (estimated)


Had it not been for a season-ending ACL injury suffered late last season, Hooker likely would have heard his name called earlier than 68th overall. When healthy, Hooker demonstrated remarkable productivity during his two seasons under Josh Heupel at Tennessee. In 2022 alone, he led the FBS in yards per pass attempt (9.5).


With 37 career college starts across four-plus seasons at Virginia Tech and Tennessee, Hooker is an experienced prospect who consistently protected the football, finishing his career with an impressive 80:12 TD-to-INT ratio. According to the NGS draft model, Hooker's estimated athleticism score of 85 highlights his ability when fully healthy, which offers intriguing possibilities for Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. And since Detroit landed Hooker in the third round, as opposed to on Day 1, there is considerably less pressure on him to be the immediate successor to Jared Goff, should Goff's performance falter next season.

Jalin Hyatt
Tennessee · WR · Junior
New York Giants
Round 3 · No. 73 overall
  • Production Score: 88
  • Athleticism Score: 86


Next Gen Stats' top Day 2 sleeper, Hyatt possesses exceptional track speed and on-field production. He earned the highest NGS overall score among receivers and was the only wideout to score an 85 or better in both production and athleticism.

While Hyatt tied for the sixth-fastest 40-yard time (4.40) among WRs at this year's NFL combine, his top speed of 24.29 mph during his run (as record by NGS tracking data) ranked first. The Tennessee product further demonstrated his explosiveness with a 1.50-second 10-yard split, an 11-foot-3 broad jump, and a 40-inch vertical -- all results that place him in the top 10th percentile of wide receivers since 2003. With the addition of cornerback Deonte Banks in Round 1 and Hyatt in Round 3, the Giants drafted two of the most athletic players in this year's class.

Related Content