Which Jayhawks, Wildcats Could Get Picked In 2023 NFL Draft?

Which Jayhawks, Wildcats Could Get Picked In 2023 NFL Draft?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It was a renaissance season on the field for the Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas State Wildcats in 2022, with both reaching a bowl game for the first time since 2003.

Overall, the two teams combined to go 16-10, with the Jayhawks falling to Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl, while the Wildcats fell to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

With both teams on the right track towards success under head coaches Lance Leipold (KU) and Chris Klieman (Kansas State), it seems likely the Sunflower State is bound to pump out NFL Draft prospects in the years ahead.

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Using site NFLDraftBuzz.com, BetKansas.com was able to see which players from Lawrence and Manhattan have the best shot at hearing their names called at this year’s event, held in Kansas City on April 27-29.

It won’t at all be surprising if some fans attending the draft make the short trip across the border to take part in some Kansas sports betting.

KU NFL Draft Prospects

Lonnie Phelps (Senior EDGE)

  • Round:  Non-Drafted Free Agent
  • Overall Rank: 273rd
  • Position Rank: 48th
  • Overall Rating: 75.0/100

Earl Bostick Jr. (Senior OT)

  • Round: Non-Drafted Free Agent
  • Overall Rank: 270th
  • Position Rank: 46th
  • Overall Rating: 75.2/100 

Kansas State NFL Draft Prospects

Felix Anudike-Uzomah (Junior EDGE) 

  • Round: Late 2nd
  • Overall Rank: 51st
  • Position Rank: 11th
  • Overall Rating: 86.2/100

Julius Brents (Redshirt senior CB) 

  • Round: Late 2nd
  • Overall Rank: 55th
  • Position Rank: 10th
  • Overall Rating: 86.0/100

Deuce Vaughn (Junior RB) 

  • Round: 5th
  • Overall Rank: 144th
  • Position Rank: 15th
  • Overall Rating: 81.8/100

Malik Knowles (Redshirt senior WR) 

  • Round: Non-Drafted Free Agent
  • Overall Rank: 364th
  • Position Rank: 51st
  • Overall Rating: 73.0/100
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Which Players May Get Named Called

Based on the ratings handed out by NFL Draft Buzz, it seems a pair of K-State defenders have a solid shot at being picked in the opening rounds.

Junior EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah and redshirt senior cornerback Julius Brents of the Wildcats have late second round grades. BetMGM Sportsbook Kansas gives Alabama linebacker Will Anderson the best odds as the first defensive player taken in the draft (-250). He also has top odds to be taken with the second overall pick.

Both KSU players are ranked in the top 60 by NFL Draft Buzz, with Anudike-Uzomah coming in at 51st overall and 11th among EDGE prospects, while Brents is listed at 55th overall and 10th among cornerbacks.

Kansas sports betting apps rate Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon as the likely first cornerback taken in the draft (-225).

The other Wildcat listed as a possible draft pick is do-it-all running back Deuce Vaughn, who dashed through opponents to the tune of 3,604 yards and 34 touchdowns across three seasons.

Vaughn is listed as a fifth round pick, with an 81.8 grade. The junior is listed as the 144th best draft prospect overall and the 15th ranked running back in this year’s draft class.

Wildcat redshirt senior wideout Malik Knowles is listed as an undrafted free agent with an overall rating of 73.0 and a rank of 364th overall and 51st among wide receivers.

Over in Lawrence, two departing senior Jayhawks are listed as possible undrafted free agents, in EDGE Lonnie Phelps and offensive tackle Earl Bostick Jr.

Phelps, who had 114 tackles and 29.5 tackles for loss across four seasons at Miami (Ohio) and Kansas, is listed as the 273rd ranked prospect overall and No. 48 among EDGE candidates in the 2023 draft.

Bostick, who was an All-Big 12 honorable mention on KU’s offensive line in 2022, is ranked as the 270th player in the draft and 46th among offensive tackle prospects.



Christopher Boan is a lead writer at BetKansas.com specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years.

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