FAYETTEVILLE — Pro Football Focus has released its 2023 NFL Draft Board with Arkansas safety Jalen Catalon No. 2 at his position.
Catalon, 5-10, 200, who is from Mansfield (Texas) Legacy, comes in at the No. 38-overall prospect for the draft. He is only behind Alabama’s Jordan Battle, 6-1, 210, who is rated No. 27.
Catalon was limited to six games in 2021 due to a shoulder injury that required surgery. In those six games, Catalon had 46 tackles, including 22 solo, 1.5 for loss, two interceptions, four pass breakups and a quarterback hurry. Catalon is a redshirt junior who opted to return for the 2022 season.
He went through the entire 15 spring practices in a green protective jersey, but is deemed ready to go in the fall. He still had some physical moments in the spring including the second scrimmage when he put a hit on wide receiver Bryce Thompson.
“I know I was in green the whole spring,” Catalon said. “I think Pitt (Sam Pittman) and the training staff and weight room staff did a great job of just maintaining me. I know Pitt talking into the doctors and stuff, they could have told me I’m good to go. I can go full, but why take hits on me when I don’t need to. They kept me in green, but talking to (Barry) Odom and I kind of talked to (Kendal) Briles too so the receivers knew what tempo I was. But everybody knew I was good to go as far as full speed, running around, blocking. I’m good to go. Play me as if I’m in red, but as far as going after anybody else, I’m going to tack off. Any time there’s a play on the ball, I’m going to do my full to make it. I think it was a great play I made. Bryce has had a great spring as well. It was a good little throw over the middle. I just made a play on it, and it was a good effort.”
The remainder of the Top 5 safeties according to PFF are Notre Dame’s Brandon Joseph, 6-1, 192, at No 49; Florida’s Rashad Torrence II, 6-0, 205, at No. 50; and Georgia’s Tykee Smith, 5-10, 198, rated No 73.