The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


The Student Newspaper of Paint Branch High School


Smacktalk Backtalk: NFL Draft My Top 5


For me, the top five players in this draft are the ones who I feel will make an immediate impact and be at the top of their positions in the future. My top five are: Rome Odunze, Brock Bowers, Quinyon Mitchell, Drake Maye, and Dallas Turner.

Odunze has all the tools to be the next big thing with wide receiver 1 potential as soon as he puts on the hat of whichever team drafts him. After having a great 2022 season with 75 catches and over 1400 yards, he could have declared for the draft and gone pretty high but he decided to bet on himself and return to a loaded University of Washington offense. This year he cemented himself as the clear WR1 with 92 receptions, 13 TD’s, and over 1600 yards.

Bowers is up there with the most anticipated tight ends ever, and the hype is warranted as Bowers has proven since his freshman year that he will be a star. The SEC Freshman of the Year at Georgia built a strong legacy there with 2 national championships and John Mackey awards, which are given to the best tight end in the nation. He’s drawing comparisons to George Kittle, a top 5 tight end in the NFL right now.

Mitchell, a cornerback out of Toledo, has good size at 6’0 and 195 pounds and ran the third fastest 40 yard dash this year at 4.33. He has proven himself with 6 interceptions and 37 pass deflections in the past two years. I wouldn’t be surprised in a couple of years if Mitchell is one of those corners where quarterbacks don’t want to throw his way.

Maye is one of many great quarterbacks in this draft class and has been flying a little under the radar after having a slight dip in numbers this season. Maye has great accuracy and pocket awareness; he also stands 6’4”, which helps a lot when playing quarterback.

Turner is an edge rusher out of Alabama who is coming off a great year that saw him have a team-high 10 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. He is speedy off the edge (4.46 in the 40), has a 40 inch vertical, and very big hands, and is going to be very scary for quarterbacks in the future.



My top five prospects in this year’s draft are Marvin Harrison, Jr., Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Malik Nabers, and Keon Coleman.

Harrison is a junior who played at Ohio State. He’s an imposing receiver at 6’4” and 205 pounds. In his last collegiate season he went for over 1,211 yards on 67 receptions and scored 14 touchdowns. Most experts have him going fourth overall to the Arizona Cardinals, which would be a great fit due the strength of Kyler Murray’s arm. According to the NFL Prospects profile of Harrison: “he’s well qualified to beat any opponent with his ball skills if the battle heads deep.”

Williams is a junior from the DMV who played at Gonzaga High School in DC. A player who started his career at Oklahoma, Williams transferred to USC and had two stellar seasons that included a Heisman Trophy win in 2023. Williams is the projected first pick and has drawn comparisons to Patrick Mahomes due to his similar playing style. He throws a great deep ball, can move on his feet, and has a team leader mentality. Throwing for over 3,000 yards, with 30 touchdowns he makes a great fit for any team.

Daniels threw for nearly 4,000 yards in 2023 and had 40 touchdown passes for LSU. This year’s Heisman winner, who is 6’4” and 210 pounds, has excellent burst, agility, and speed for the position as well as above-average pocket management and toughness. He’s a dangerous runner with ability to create and throw outside the pocket with very good deep-ball accuracy.

Nabers is a 6 ‘0” wide receiver who is also out of LSU. Experts compare him to former LSU star Justin Jefferson. With pure explosiveness and talent as a route-runner, those comparisons make sense. With gliding movements and speed alterations that disguise his top-end speed and separation potential, Nabers was able to rack up over 1,500 yards and 14 TD’s this year.

Florida State’s Coleman, who spent his first two years at Michigan State, has excellent size – 6’4” – ball awareness skills, and athleticism. While not the fastest, he uses his athleticism to gain advantages over cornerbacks on jump-ball wins.

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About the Contributors
Xavier Chang, Staff Writer
When someone asks you what your favorite color is you usually just answer it with that favorite shade. But have you ever thought about why it is your favorite color? PB sophomore Xavier Chang offers an interesting response for his favorite color, purple, calling it “the color of royalty.” Beginning his second year of high school, Xavier is thrilled for the year considering how great his freshman year was. He’s excited to get good grades and get outdoors while preparing for basketball and lacrosse seasons which are quickly approaching. Speaking of seasons, Xavier’s favorite is winter as he prefers wearing hoodies, and his least favorite is summer even though that is his best time to travel. Kyoto, Japan, Cancun, Mexico, and North Carolina are some of his most treasured vacation spots. Xavier adds, “If I could go anywhere else, I’d definitely dream of going to Dubai.”  When he isn’t traveling or playing sports, he's often found cooking or reading stories. He enjoys making dumplings and does it with ease, which is great because of how difficult they can be to cook. When it comes to reading, Xavier spends a lot of time reading manga and graphic novels, with his favorite being Amulet. His love for literature will be especially helpful for future studies since he dreams of becoming a lawyer, which is a big career in the humanities field and requires strong reading and writing skills.  Xavier is also very excited for the social part of this school year since he considers himself a friendly person. He believes that he is both an introvert and extrovert, something that is called an ambivert. He notes that he can make friends quite easily. The first thing he looks for in a friend is compatibility. He adds “I like having similar interests so we can relate more to each other.” He enjoys relating to others as it allows for ease of conversation and better flow.  When asked to describe himself in two words, Xavier quickly responds with “passionate and ambitious” which are fascinating traits. He takes his future very seriously, and is willing to work hard in everything he does, all while having fun and making the most of his high school experience. His great enthusiasm, mindset, and strive for greatness will help him navigate through high school and ensure a successful future!  By: Sumer Elsalawi  
Ryan Bobb, Sports Editor
Everyone has their ambitions and aspirations but are they willing to do the work for it? For Paint Branch tenth-grader Ryan Bobb, hard work is no obstacle. One of the big goals for Ryan this year is once again making the PB basketball team and averaging at least 15 points per game, Basketball is a sport that he has treasured deeply since starting to play the game at the age of 5 years old. In fact, for Ryan, basketball is one of his motivations for waking up in the morning.  In addition to basketball, Ryan is inspired by his family and plans to get good grades and achieve his goals. One of those goals is to build healthy relationships throughout his sophomore year.  When it comes to his future, Ryan’s aspiration is to make the NBA and play alongside the best of the best. If he were to achieve this well-respected goal, he wishes to play for his hometown team, the Washington Wizards where his long time idol John Wall played. Speaking of John Wall, for most people, meeting their idol is just a dream, a thing they fantasize about but never achieve. However, that is not the case for Ryan who entered and won a contest to be a Monumental Sports Wizards junior reporter, which he entered by creating a video with his father. Winning this contest led to Ryan having a chance to meet his idol, John Wall. In fact, he not only met him, he had the chance to interview him.  In fact, this experience is in part why he took journalism and continues into his second year with the program. It helped shape Ryan into a person who sees it as maybe something he can do in the future.

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