Kentucky football 2023 final Mock Draft

Apr 26, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; The 2023 NFL Draft logo on the main stage at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 26, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; The 2023 NFL Draft logo on the main stage at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Will Levis headlines the list of Kentucky football players who are a step away from a dream come true in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The 2023 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 27 and runs through Saturday, April 29. All 32 NFL teams will pick between hundreds of college football prospects. A few Kentucky football players should hear their names called.

These are my final NFL Draft projections for those Wildcats.

Will Levis – 4th overall to Indianapolis

No pick is ever certain in the NFL Draft, but what is certain is that Indianapolis needs a quarterback.

Gardner Minshew and Nick Foles can only take a team so far, but they would be solid QBs to have to help develop a young, raw, yet talented quarterback.

Will Levis, Kentucky football, Kentucky Wildcats
(Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images) /

That’s where Levis fits the bill. He can learn a lot from a veteran like Foles and get some healthy competition from the entire QB room. Levis would also benefit from having Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor – weapons he didn’t quite have at Kentucky.

There were rumors that Levis could go 1st overall to Carolina, but they almost seem to good to be true. The Colts are the perfect match for the Kentucky football star.

Carrington Valentine – 141st overall to Las Vegas

Valentine’s value could go up, given his ability to take receivers off their routes. The Raiders are in need of a cornerback, and in a division with so many great quarterbacks and receivers, Valentine’s skills could be put to use.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Valentine gets drafted as early as the 4th round and he should certainly be off the board by the 6th round at the latest. Early 5th seems like a fair spot for a guy who is a top 10, maybe even top 5 cornerback coming out of the SEC this draft.

Chris Rodriguez Jr. – 186th overall to Tennessee

I may be a little low on Rodriguez, but for a guy who turns 23 in September, he could wind up falling a bit in the draft. Still, an early 6th round pick is nothing to be ashamed of.

Chris Rodriguez, Kentucky football, Kentucky Wildcats
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

You might also be thinking why Tennessee would even think of drafting a running back when they have Derrick Henry. When it gets down to it, Henry is 29 and has very few seasons left as a top running back in the game. Hassan Haskins didn’t show much in his rookie season last year, and I think there’s a lot of value in drafting an experience backup running back.

Rodriguez is also a workhorse, which could bode well in Tennessee’s system, especially if – God forbid – Henry goes down.

DeAndre Square – 205th overall to Buffalo

The Bills are in need of an inside linebacker after Tremaine Edmunds signed with the Chicago Bears. Bring in DeAndre Square, a dependable tackler who is above-average in most parts of the game.

For a team like the Bills who take pride in coming up with turnovers, Square could be the type of guy who makes those “splash plays.”

While there’s a good chance Square doesn’t get drafted, he could also be a sleeper if a team is willing to forget about his lack of size.

Tashawn Manning – 229th overall to Cleveland

A player who may not be drafted, but will certainly be picked up, Manning reportedly met with the Cleveland Browns, making this a very interesting option. He’s got tremendous size, which makes up for some of the other parts of his game.

You won’t find Manning on many mock drafts, but my gut tells me he’s an underrated 7th round pick. He may not turn into an everyday starter, but seems like a very good NFL backup.

Keidron Smith – 256th overall to Green Bay

Smith is a very tall CB (listed at 6’2″) and would fit well on a Packers team that gives up size on the outside. Jaire Alexander is only 5’10” and Eric Stokes is 6’0″, so Smith would give the Packers a guy to make plays against bigger receivers.

Smith may very well not get drafted, but the Kentucky football product should still be signed to a team after the draft is over.

We will update you on all of the Kentucky football players picked in this year’s draft, in our draft tracker.