What if I were to tell you that one of the most athletic and intriguing prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft was from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula? Crazy, right? Well, what if I then told you that he had all but given up on organized sports back in 2019? Sound like a Disney movie yet? Well, it’s not actually a plot to a movie, but maybe one day—if a few things break right.
Northern Michigan offensive lineman Jake Witt, originally a basketball player at Michigan Tech, is getting quite a bit of love from NFL teams, and will likely hear his name called at some point over the course of draft weekend.
Just over a month ago, Dane Brugler of the Athletic wrote about Witt’s rapid rise toward the NFL draft, and on Wednesday, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press expanded more on Witt’s sudden rise to notoriety.
After his hoop dreams came to an end, Witt transferred to Northern Michigan University with the intent to just be a normal student. However, one thing led to another, and Witt found himself back on the football field as a tight end. Then in 2021, injuries impacted the Wildcats, and at halftime of the Division II National Championship, Witt shifted to offensive tackle—he didn’t allow a single pressure the rest of the game.
Now, Witt is a 6-foot-7 306-pound tackle that just posted some silly numbers at Central Michigan’s pro day, turning even more heads with his athleticism.
Jake Witt is a OT prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 9.80 #RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 27 out of 1293 OT from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/JWBIcmAXqn pic.twitter.com/gFlHAhkjwl— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 19, 2023
“It’s been crazy,” Witt told the Free Press this week. “It’s definitely surpassed my expectations. It’s really surprised me as far as how many teams have reached out. I knew we were going to perform well at that pro day, but I didn’t think that it would bring this kind of attention.”
Witt still has a long way to go in terms of his development once he does get drafted—and according to a scout who talked to Brugler, “he’s getting drafted”—, but with the way things have gone for him in the last several years, I wouldn’t put anything past him.
You can read the entirety of the story from Birkett here.
And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:
- Quarterback prospect C.J. Stroud isn’t concerned over his leaked S2 test scores-
"I'm not a test taker...the people who are making the picks know what I can do"— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) April 26, 2023
CJ Stroud isn't worried about the S2 rumors
- Interesting note regarding Will Anderson Jr. and his draft score when compared to the likes of Chase Young and Aidan Hutchinson.
Will Anderson Jr. leads all edge defenders in the 2023 draft class with a 90 overall draft score.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) April 26, 2023
The two-time Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner trails only former second-overall picks Chase Young (93) and Aidan Hutchinson (92) over the last five draft classes. pic.twitter.com/lCuuVJIGmX
- To channel the positive vibes before the weekend, enjoy some Amon-Ra St. Brown highlights from his time at USC.
WATCH: @amonra_stbrown doing his thing at @uscfb, before the #Lions drafted him in the fourth round of the 2021 #NFLDraft!— Detroit Lions (@Lions) April 26, 2023
- Another round of photos from the Lions’ offseason workouts-
Wednesday work— Detroit Lions (@Lions) April 26, 2023
- And some Barry Sanders nostalgia because it’s good for the soul.
The #NFLDraft is right around the corner!— Detroit Lions (@Lions) April 26, 2023
A look back to 1989 when we drafted @BarrySanders third overall pic.twitter.com/FVC47n8XPW