Another NFL Draft cycle is here, and once again we are back with the pro comparisons that don’t necessarily make any sense. Let’s be real: nobody in here thinks Bryce Young is Drew Brees, and I’m not sure I would compare Quentin Johnston to AJ Green, but here we are.
So, instead of making lofty comparisons for prospects that put extremely high amounts of pressure on them, let’s have some fun, shall we? We’re going to compare some of my favorite NFL Draft prospects to people and things from the world of pop culture, that way NFL Draft analysis is both insightful and fun. Let’s get started with my number one prospect.
Will Anderson: The Attack Titan, Attack on Titan
Both have leaner body types, but what stands out the most with both of these guys is the relentlessness they play with. Anderson played the 4i(inside shoulder of the tackle) a lot at the University of Alabama, a spot normally reserved for EDGEs that weigh around 265-270 pounds. Anderson is 245, and still wrecked the competition. Both Anderson and the Attack Titan both want to win with power, but also show the ability to win with technique as well, Anderson using speed and refined hand usage, and the Attack Titan using Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in his second fight with the Armored Titan.
WIll Anderson on an island setting up the T with outside hesitation then hitting the swim explosion back inside. pic.twitter.com/NVQprsC7xm— Daniel Harms (@InHarmsWay19) January 6, 2023
Let’s just hope Anderson doesn’t try to destroy the world, and only opposing offenses.
Jalen Carter: Exodia the Forbidden One, Yu-Gi-Oh
Those who are familiar with the Yu-Gi-Oh lore know about Exodia the Forbidden One. If you have all five of the forbidden one cards in your hand, you automatically win the duel.
Like, over immediately.
Georgia DT Jalen Carter has that same effect on opposing offenses. If you have him playing at 100% and in full health, he automatically defeats opposing linemen. Carter has a stupefying blend of power and speed, and his ability to destroy blocks is uncanny. Yugi plays Exodia against Seto Kaiba in the show, and Exodia completely obliterates Kaiba, who had three Blue Eyes, White Dragons. Not exactly weak cards. Carter is number one on many people’s boards because of his ability to wreak havoc, and like Exodia, he can obliterate anything and anyone when summoned.
Jalen Carter’s power is pretty wild. pic.twitter.com/23RECc1UoJ— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) December 14, 2022
Bryce Young: Robin, but specifically the Tim Drake version
One of the amazing qualities about Alabama QB Bryce Young is his spatial awareness. His feel for where he is in relation to where everyone else is at the same time is advanced for someone his age. He makes most of his magical plays outside the pocket, but is more than willing to stand and fire under duress.
Tim Drake’s version of Robin has the same qualities as the Dick Grayson Robin, the creativity and balance he had was learned from watching the Fabulous Graysons, but Tim Drake’s version of Robin is more detective than gymnast. Young does the spectacular plays outside the pocket, but he is cerebral as a passer and gets through progressions quickly.
Oh yeah: they’re also pretty tiny. Young might tip the scales at the Combine at 6’0 194—might. However, much like Tim Drake, Young makes up for his lack of physical tools with his mind, the ultimate point man for an offense or a crime fighting duo.
Bijan Robinson: Minato Namikaze, Naruto
Texas RB Bijan Robinson is a special blend of size, speed and vision. His agility and receiving chops on top of that make him a special, special RB in this draft class.
Fittingly, the most apt comparison is the Yellow Flash of the Leaf, Minato Namikaze. Much like Robinson, Namikaze’s speed and agility were always on display, but it was his sheer power and ability as a ninja that struck fear in the hearts of opposing armies. Namikaze also used the space-time Ninjutsu, allowing him to instantly transport wherever he has a seal—much like how Robinson seems to instantly transport into the end zone of opposing defenses.
This Bijan Robinson kid is pretty good pic.twitter.com/ULq84H7avp— Joe Broback (@joebroback) October 22, 2022
CJ Stroud: Tournament of Power Gohan, Dragonball Super
No, Ohio State QB CJ Stroud is not Super Saiyan 2 Gohan, though you could make that argument. Gohan’s character in Dragonball Z and Dragonball Super is one that has a lot of layers, seeming to be latently strong and powerful, but choosing to repress it while doing other activities. However, when someone threatens his family, he unleashes that potential that he has, letting loose and becoming the character we saw defeat Cell in the Cell arc.
CJ Stroud is a cerebral pocket passer, with the touch and accuracy to all three levels to be a good QB in the NFL. However, he’s shown the potential to be great, with his biggest knock being that he doesn’t like to play out of structure. Although, Stroud can actually play out of structure, and do it very well (see: Ohio State vs Georgia, Peach Bowl). If the right coach can unlock that block to let Stroud play loose and succeed out of structure, the sky is the limit.
CJ Stroud with a hell of a play that ends in Marvin Harrison Jr.’s hands of course pic.twitter.com/c47F975epx— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) January 1, 2023
Adetomiwa Adebawore: Graveler, Pokemon
Northwestern DT Adetomiwa Adebawore is a fun player. Despite measuring in at 6’1 and 284 pounds, Adebawore makes up for that with extremely long arms and being extremely muscular. This allows him to avoid being rooted out in the run game, and he can use his strength in the pass rush department to knock defenders back.
Graveler isn’t thought of as one of the super strong Pokemon, but he’s literally a rock with extremely long arms. That’s gonna be extremely useful if you want to stop the run.
Adetomiwa Adebawore DT #99 Northwestern had a GREAT showing at the Senior bowl. Showing off the get off with a hop/euro to swipe-rip combination. Loved what I saw from him pic.twitter.com/HrhjhXzDlD— Daniel Harms (@InHarmsWay19) February 9, 2023
Evan Hull: Crash Bandicoot with the Aku Aku mask on
Watching Northwestern RB Evan Hull run is extremely fun. The 5’10, 214 pound back isn’t the fastest, but he has exceptional burst and contact balance, making him extremely hard to tackle. At the Senior Bowl in Mobile, he also showed nice chops in the pass catching department, and potentially shot up draft boards.
When I see Hull, I immediately think of Crash Bandicoot. Bandicoot isn’t the fastest, but the quick bursts of speed make too much sense. When you open one of the crates in the Crash Bandicoot game, you have the potential to get the Aku Aku mask, which makes Crash invincible for like, ten seconds. Meaning, whatever hits Crash will just fall off of him.
Also, RIP Mel Winkler, the original Aku Aku.
Evan Hull w/ 12 touches for 84 yards in the 1H— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) August 27, 2022
“In a conference with so many talented RBs, Hull often finds himself being disrespected. The former wrestling star shows his strength and lateral movement whenever he touches the ball.” - @AndrewsterMN pic.twitter.com/v9Efaq4irE
Joey Porter Jr.: Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII
Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr. is a big, tall and fast corner prospect, who sometimes lets his aggression get the best of him. His size and length allow him to be extremely physical in press coverage, and he’s also very strong on top of that. But his length is what stands out the most. He can disrupt any pass with his long arms and jam every receiver.
Sephiroth is the main antagonist from Final Fantasy VII, and the first thing that stands out is that he’s really freakin’ tall. The One Winged Angel also has the Masamune, a sword normally held with 2 hands, but Sephiroth holds with one, making him look even taller. While Sephiroth’s aggression can get him in trouble, his length and power are extremely formidable as an opponent.
Good look at Joey Porter Jr’s outstanding length here. pic.twitter.com/Wsx0YfL2II— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) September 2, 2022
Jordan Addison: Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
Initially, I had Jordan Addison as the Pokemon Lucario. However, one of my favorite things about the USC and Pitt wideout is that he just knows how to get open. He’s not the biggest or the strongest, but his extremely nuanced route running and ability to work blind spots of corners is so cool to see. Addison can work from the outside or the slot, and despite being on the smaller side, he can be a really good WR2 or WR1 in the NFL.
Edward Elric isn’t the biggest person—people mistake him being the Fullmetal Alchemist for his brother Alphonse, who is literally a suit of armor. However, Elric has the ability to do transmutations without a transmutation circle, and it makes his power incredibly versatile. Elric is also extremely smart, both book-wise and in combat. Hopefully Addison doesn’t try and bring someone back from the dead.