Wolf’s Freak Show: The athletic marvels of the 2023 NFL Draft
Apr 27, 2023, 11:45 AM | Updated: 11:48 am
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Former NFL fullback turned Arizona Sports host Ron Wolfley loves himself some freaks of nature.
When it comes to NFL prospects, those who stand out athletically represent hope, upside and high ceilings. They are prospects who pop not only on the film but in the weight room and with stopwatches ticking away.
Sometimes, it’s more about the combine results than it is about production.
Here are the prospects for 2023 who scream for us to use the draft’s best clichés: the twitchy, explosive and hip-flipping masters. But let’s allow the Wolf & Luke host explain why these guys are the freaks to watch in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Wolf’s 2023 NFL Draft freaks
Florida QB Anthony Richardson
Wolf’s words: “Anthony Richardson is the biggest freak in the 2023 NFL Draft. At 6-4, 244 pounds, his frame reminds me of Cam Newton but his 4.43 (40-yard dash) at the combine, looks more like Lamar Jackson.
“He told the media mob in high school he called himself ‘Cam Jackson’ because he was a combination of Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson.
“Richardson’s combine had many scouts standing on the table for him. General managers were walking around mumbling to themselves about the greatness of Anthony Richardson and why some circumference-laden GM wouldn’t do something crazy and draft a quarterback who barely completed 50% of his passes in college.
“He’s got hands the size of tennis rackets.
Georgia TE Darnell Washington
Wolf’s words: “Darnell Washington may be the baddest man in this draft. And although he has many freakish qualities, the biggest freak factor he has is his penchant for driving you into the ground with a square jaw and bloody, green knuckles.
“Speaking of green knuckles, The Hulk was created by Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics in 1962 (it was a great year, my friends). The comic book superhero was different from so many others that preceded him. He was flawed and prone to anger.
“Darnell Washington might not have the speed that scouts are looking for or the athleticism they crave, but his anger is the opponent’s disaster. The tight end for the national champion Georgia Bulldogs doesn’t like his opponent and doesn’t like you. Watching him on tape is like watching The Hulk destroy buildings, throw buses across lakes and rip the mouth of a t-rex wide open. He loves the game and you can see it on tape. He is the best stud tight end, best blocking tight end to come out in the draft since … nobody.”
Northwestern DL Adetomiwa Adebawore
Wolf’s words: “Jumping spiders are very strong for their size. Researchers believe a jumping spider can hold 170 times its own body weight. In human terms, a 150-pound human with the strength of a jumping spider could hold 25,500 pounds.
“But this is NOT your typical brute-strength defensive lineman. At 282 pounds, ‘Arachnid’ could play anywhere across the defensive line of scrimmage. He can be used as an interior pass rusher, he could be pushed out into a five-technique and play over an offensive tackle or, as many scouts believe, you could stand him up on the edge and let him bite his QB prey.
“Speaking of biting, a wolf spider can run up to speeds equaling 22 mph for a short distance. Adebawore reminds me of an arachnid when he runs. His frame carries 282 pounds of gut and muscle, but his limbs are long and lean. Adebawore’s arms measure just under 34 inches and he uses them extremely well, stabbing blockers with his reach, getting separation while getting off blocks.”
Georgia OLB Nolan Smith
Wolf’s words: “Smith’s combine results were the stuff of legend and will serve him well on draft day. His 4.39 (second 40-yard-dash) was No. 1 among all pass rushers. His 41.5-inch vertical and 10-8 broad jump showed off his lower body explosiveness and had scouts strapping on drool buckets.
“Smith is raw and plays hard. He isn’t afraid to swing his sword and set the edge. He uses his hands to pierce tight ends’ blocks and does a good job controlling most of them. Although he is undersized at 6-2 and 238 pounds, Smith fits into a 5-2 front well. He runs the hump, getting the arm under, and gets the edge but lacks speed to power.”
Check back each day leading into the 2023 NFL Draft as Wolf reveals his other freaks.