Welcome back to the 2023 NFL Draft watch, where we have a few more quick previews of candidates for the upcoming NFL draft class! As a reminder, we’re focusing on mid-to-late round draft prospects here.
This week, we have offensive tackle Blake Freeland (BYU) and another cornerback, Riley Moss (Iowa). Both are projected to still be available in rounds three or four, which is just comfy for our options.
OT Blake Freeland — BYU
Blake Freeland of BYU is in the top ten 2023 offensive tackle class. He’s projected for around the third round (or even before), so acquiring someone like him is going to be contingent on the positions GM George Paton is trying to secure for next year.
Freeland has spent the majority of his time at right tackle. During that time he allowed four QB hits in 2019, three in 2020, and one in 2021; ten QB hurries in 2019, eleven in 2020, and three in 2021; and one sack in 2019, none in 2020, and one in 2021.
He played a total of 502 snaps in 2019, 452 snaps in 2020, and 876 snaps in 2021.
At 6’8” and 305lbs, Freeland’s size is imposing enough to leave a mark on any offensive line. Originally a quarterback, he understands the offense inside and out and has made the transition pretty smoothly, growing in consistency and bettering his stats every year.
Freeland is effective in the zone and in pass protection for the most part. He anchors well and responds quickly to defenders. At the same time, while his overall mobility and reflexes are solid, the OT needs to correct his tendency to overset, and pick up his hand speed.
Ultimately, Freeland could be a good fit for an area of need, adding depth to the offensive line.
CB Riley Moss — University of Iowa
Riley Moss, cornerback from University of Iowa, stands at 6’1” and 193 lbs with a 30.5-inch wingspan. He’s currently projected as a possible fourth-rounder which, as I mentioned in last week’s draft watch, is realistic for our choices in 2023 unless Paton decides to trade up.
In 2018, Moss played eleven games and recorded 20 tackles, two interceptions, and two pass breakups. He followed that up with seven games, five tackles, two interceptions, and three pass breakups in 2019. 2020 saw him make 37 tackles, two interceptions, and two pass breakups in eight games; and 2021 held eleven games for him with 33 tackles, four interceptions, and six pass breakups.
Among his many strengths, Moss is a ballhawk, and his zone coverage, closing speed, and tackling abilities are major plusses. He was rated as Pro Football Focus’ best coverage CB over the last two seasons. On the downside, Moss sometimes displays a struggle in recovering momentum. He also has difficulty in recognizing routes at times.
Moss is a potential contributor for a room with some talented cornerbacks to mentor him, especially Ronald Darby and Patrick Surtain II, the latter of whom will be in his third season by then.
What do you think of Blake Freeland and Riley Moss? Who do you want to see on the Broncos’ roster in 2023?