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2023 NFL Draft Profile: Rashee Rice

Rice set program records at SMU. Now, he gets his chance at the NFL.

NCAA Football: Memphis at Southern Methodist Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Rashee Rice

Position: Wide Receiver

College: SMU

Height: 6’1’’

Weight: 204 lbs.

Arm: 32 3/4’’

The North Richland Hills native was an important contributor all of his four years at SMU. That career was capped by a senior season that saw him lead the FBS in receiving yards per game with 112.9. He was also third in the nation with 1,355 receiving yards in 2022, setting an SMU program record.

Rice’s other 2022 accolades included a nod to the AP All-America Second Team, a Reese’s Senior Bowl Invite, recognition as a Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist and as a Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Semifinalist. Rice was also named a Pro Football Focus Second-Team All-American and an All-AAC First Team selection.

In short, Rice was a playmaker at the college level. He averaged eight catches per game and had over 100 receiving yards in six different games for the Mustangs in 2022. Perhaps his best college game in that regard came this year against Maryland. While the Mustangs lost by a touchdown, he finished that game with 11 catches for 193 yards despite fighting double teams for most of that contest.

Another important skill of Rice’s is his blocking ability. He uses his physicality to hold blocks downfield and can come down on cracks blocks against some outside linebackers and edge rushers.

As far as transitioning to the pro game, Rice has some things going in his favor. He can catch in traffic and can be good red-zone target, but can those skills stand up against bigger defensive backs? Time will tell, but the sample we have says he fights impressively hard for the end zone if he gets within ten yards of the goal line.

Final Analysis: Rice’s athleticism is a huge selling point. At that height, it’s reasonable to think he would make a solid slot guy out of the gate for whoever drafts him. He’ll have to prove that he’s ready if he wants to be a first or second option for an offense, however. A theme among scout and GM assessments of him is the issue of consistency. Perhaps a team will find some extra value in having a receiver that has the ability put together some great runs on screen passes as well.

Projected Selection: Second Round (Day 2)