There will be an abundance of Texas football players that have looming NFL Draft decisions to make heading into the 2023 offseason. Texas has more than a dozen players eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft on the current roster. And a good portion of them could be day one or mostly day two picks in next year’s draft.
But not all of the draft-eligible players on the current Longhorns team will benefit from taking their talents to the next level in 2023. Some of these players could still return to college for at least one more year to solidify their draft stock and develop in areas where they need to make the necessary strides before venturing to the NFL.
It’s also worth noting that we’re going to see head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff put a ton of effort into recruiting some of these players back to the Forty Acres for at least one more season. Of course, it will benefit Sark and the Longhorns to get some of these players back in 2023.
This can be a best-of-both-worlds situation, though, for some of the players that still need some development before taking their talent to the NFL.
Jaylan Ford and the upperclassmen that should return to Texas football in 2023
With that in mind, here’s a look at three draft-eligible Longhorns players that should return to college in 2023.
Jahdae Barron, DB
While I don’t think Texas is in too much danger of losing junior nickelback Jahdae Barron to the NFL Draft in 2023, it’s worth noting that he will be one of the key starters on this team that has a decision to make.
Barron is wrapping up his third season in college once Texas plays its bowl game next month. And considering how Barron will be coming off probably the best season in his collegiate career to date, it would make sense that he would at least ponder the possibility of taking his talents to the next level in 2023.
However, I very much believe it would be beneficial to Barron to come back for one more season and really prove how versatile and consistent he can be at defensive back. Barron has proven in the last couple of seasons that he is both a capable nickel and cornerback.
If Barron were to declare for the draft this year, though, questions would be asked about his limited body of work compared to other DB prospects in this class along with the size he brings to the table. Granted, there will always be some doubts considering the smaller frame of the 5-foot-11 and 185-pound Barron compared to other DB prospects.
To sum this up, the best thing for Barron would be to return to the Forty Acres for one more season while he continues to improve in multiple facets of his game. Another career year in 2023 for Barron should be enough to get him to the status of a day-three pick in the 2024 draft.