Which Arizona, ASU Prospects Have Shot At Being Picked In 2023 NFL Draft?

Which Arizona, ASU Prospects Have Shot At Being Picked In 2023 NFL Draft?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The 2022 college football season wasn’t particularly kind to the state’s two Power 5 programs — and those who supported them at Arizona sportsbooks — with Arizona and Arizona State combining to go 8-16 overall.

Last year represented the first season where both schools failed to reach the .500 mark since 2016, when the Wildcats went 3-9 and the Sun Devils finished 5-7.

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That doesn’t mean the state is devoid of NFL Draft talent, however, with both schools producing a few prospects that have made it onto professional teams’ radars.

With the 2023 NFL Draft slated to kick off April 27, BetArizona.com used NFLDraftBuzz.com to look at which Arizona and ASU players could hear their names called at some point during the seven-round, made-for-TV spectacle.

Arizona betting apps currently list Alabama quarterback Bryce Young as the overwhelming favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the draft (his odds range from -1200 to -2000).

Arizona NFL Draft Prospects

Christian Young (Senior Safety)

  • Round: Non-Drafted Free Agent 
  • Overall Rank: 307th
  • Position Rank: 64th
  • Overall Rating: 74.2/100 

ASU NFL Draft Prospects

Nesta Jade Silvera (Senior DT)

  • Round: Non-Drafted Free Agent
  • Overall Rank: 242nd
  • Position: 47th
  • Overall Rating: 77.0/100 

XazavianValladay (Redshirt senior RB)

  • Round: Non-Drafted Free Agent 
  • Overall Rank: 261st
  • Position: 26th
  • Overall Rating: 76.0/100 

Kyle Soelle (Redshirt senior LB)  

  • Round: Non-Drafted Free Agent 
  • Overall Rank: 549th
  • Position Rank: 72nd
  • Overall Rating: 30.0/100 

Wildcats Trying to Break NFL Draft Drought

It’s been two years since the Wildcats last had a player picked in the draft, with defensive tackle Roy Lopez and running back Gary Brightwell going in the sixth round of that year’s event to Houston and the New York Giants.

Up the road in Tempe, the wait hasn’t been nearly as long, with the Sun Devils having at least one player picked in each of the last nine NFL drafts, including four players selected in 2022 alone.

In total, the two Arizona FBS programs have produced 45 draft picks since 2010 — Sun Devils (28) and Wildcats (17).

In 2023, none of the four draft-eligible players from the two schools are predicted by NFL Draft Buzz to hear their name called. ASU defensive tackle Nesta Jade Silvera has the highest grade of any player at 77.0 out of 100.

FanDuel Sportsbook in Arizona lists Alabama linebacker Will Anderson as the favorite to be the first defensive player taken in the draft at -250.

ASU redshirt senior running back Xazavian Valladay has the next highest grade on the site at 76.0, followed by Arizona senior safety Christian Young (74.2) and ASU redshirt senior linebacker Kyle Soelle (30.0).

Silvera is also the highest ranked Arizona collegiate prospect, with the defensive tackle coming in at 242nd on the site’s overall rankings. Valladay is the next closest player at 261st.

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Christopher Boan

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetArizona.com after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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