The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft has passed, and no Group of Five players were selected. Which means there’s still plenty of talented players available.
Here’s a look at some of the best G5 prospects who have the best chances to be taken in the second or third rounds Friday evening.
1. Tank Dell of Houston
In his final season of college, Dell made the All-American Athletic Conference first team after leading the country with 1,398 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns through the air while being second with 109 receptions.
Dell tallied 2,904 yards and 28 touchdowns on 211 receptions in his career. The wide receiver also added 153 yards and a score on nine punt returns in 2022.
Passing up on drafting Dell could end up being a mistake for many teams.
Read more: Tank Dell’s Height Shouldn’t Stop Houston WR From Going In First Two Rounds
2. Tyler Scott of Cincinnati
Scott’s time of 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash with a 1.51-second 10-yard split was in the top tier among wide receivers at the NFL Combine. He also had a broad jump of 11 feet, 1 inch, good for fourth among wideouts, and a 39.5-inch vertical, which was seventh.
And he has an excellent resume to go with that athleticism. Last season, he recorded 54 catches for 899 yards and nine receiving touchdowns, which was in the top 20 in the country. He totaled 520 yards and five touchdowns on 30 receptions the year before.
It would be surprising to see Scott fall later than the third round.
Read more: Cincinnati WR Tyler Scott’s Blazing Speed Will Stand Out In Pros
3. Tyjae Spears of Tulane
In 2022, Spears was the AAC Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 1,528 yards and 19 touchdowns on 213 attempts, averaging 7.2 yards per carry. The running back also caught 20 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns.
Spears ran for 205 yards and four touchdowns against USC in the Cotton Bowl, becoming the game’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player. Now he’s looking to continue that momentum in the pro ranks and could be drafted as high as the third round.
Read more: Tulane’s Tyjae Spears Should Benefit From A Great Final Season
4. Rashee Rice of SMU
Rice was arguably the most productive wide receiver in all of college football last season.
At 6-foot-1, 204 pounds, Rice led the country with 112.9 receiving yards per game and was fifth with eight catches per contest as well as 13th with 10 receiving touchdowns. His 1,355 yards for the season was the most in a single season ever at SMU.
The All-American and first-team All-AAC selection would be a good addition to an NFL receiving corps, especially with a draft pick in the second or third round.
Read more: SMU’s Rashee Rice The Top G5 Receiver On The Board
5. Nick Saldiveri of Old Dominion
Saldiveri showed some of his potential at the Senior Bowl. At ODU, he didn’t allow a single sack in 2022 after starting 10 games at right tackle and one at right guard. That helped him earn All-Sun Belt second-team recognition.
Saldiveri wasn’t selected on Day 1 of the NFL Draft, but he’s been recognized by some draft experts as their favorite offensive line prospect in the middle rounds. He could end up seeing plenty of playing time early once he’s drafted.
Read more: Nick Saldiveri A Top G5 Lineman Prospect
6. Jake Haener of Fresno State
Haener is one of the most decorated quarterbacks Fresno State’s ever seen. He’s top five in the program’s record books in career completion percentage (68%), passing yards (9,013), and touchdown passes (67).
The last three years, Haener earned all-conference honors, making the All-Mountain West first team in 2022. Last season, he threw for 2,896 yards, 20 touchdowns, and three picks and was first in the conference in passing yards per game and second in passing touchdowns.
He led the Bulldogs to a victory in the conference championship, earning Offensive MVP of the game, before helping the team win the LA Bowl.
Haener’s college career proves he should be able to find a role in the NFL.
Read more: Jake Haener Could Be A Late-Round Gem
7. Zack Kuntz of Old Dominion
Kuntz’s 2022 season was cut short due to injury, but the tight end proved he has the talent to play in the NFL.
He caught six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown against Virginia in 2022. The year before, he was an All-Conference USA first-team pick and ranked second in the country among tight ends with 73 catches following his transfer from Penn State.
Kuntz could absolutely thrive against some of the best players in the world in the NFL if given the chance, so he could go as early as the third round.
Read more: Zack Kuntz An Intriguing Tight End Prospect
8. Nick Hampton of Appalachian State
Hampton was among the best pass rushers App State has ever seen.
The 6-foot-2, 236-pound outside linebacker is tied for fourth in the program record books with 26.5 sacks. He also tallied 133 quarterback pressures and 82 hurries.
Hampton was on the All-Sun Belt first team each of the past two seasons. As one of the best defensive players in the conference, he should have a good career as a pro.
Read more: Nick Hampton Is A Pass Rushing Specialist
9. Josh Whyle of Cincinnati
Whyle set Cincinnati’s all-time record for touchdown receptions by a tight end with 15, ahead of NFL tight ends like Travis Kelce and Brent Celek. That alone shows how well Whyle played.
With 1,062 yards on 88 catches in his career, Whyle earned all-conference accolades each of the past three seasons. He proved to be a well-rounded player in the AAC.
Whyle might not end up having the same pro career Kelce has had, but he undoubtedly could prove to be a good draft pick after the second round.
Read more: Josh Whyle Potentially Another Under-The-Radar Cincinnati TE
10. Dorian Williams of Tulane
Williams was ninth in the country last season with 132 tackles, so he certainly was productive.
Williams was also impressive at the NFL Combine. At 6-foot-1, 228 pounds, his athleticism score was fifth among linebackers.
While he could play in a few different spots in the NFL, Williams could be a solid professional player for years to come.
Read more: Tulane LB Dorian Williams Looking To Strengthen His Stock