With Week 7 of the 2022 College Football season officially in the books, let’s take a look at some 2023 NFL Draft prospects. Some top prospects were able to receive even more recognition, while some under-the-radar names ended up on everyone’s board after a big-time performance on a huge stage.
Even before the Alabama-Tennessee game, Bryce Young was already considered an elite prospect at his position, but despite the Crimson Tide’s loss against the Volunteers, Young has been able to erase every doubt about his profile with a jaw-dropping performance. At 5’10”, 194 pounds, Young clearly doesn’t have prototypical size, setting up questions about his durability in the NFL.
Young’s success would make him an outlier at the next level given his size, but the main question was, is Young good enough on the gridiron to make it up for his size? The answer has always been yes, but on Saturday it feels like he answered to any scout or fan in the country. The former 5-star recruit carried the offense for the whole game while being elite at dodging defenders, making plays out of structure and putting together NFL throws. Bryce Young is the real deal and he’s in play to be first overall pick.
Wide Receiver, Tennessee
Jalin Hyatt, a rather anonymous prospect until Saturday, has now all the spotlights for himself after a 207 yards, 5 touchdowns effort against the Crimson Tide. While Hyatt still isn’t in contention to be one of best receivers in the class, he can legitimately emerge as one of the premiere deep threats in the 2023 draft class. At 6’0”, 180 lbs., Hyatt is a physical speedster who can stretch the field vertically with ease: he displays a great combination of burst and long speed that makes him a threat to take the top off a defense on every target. While he would probably not solve a team’s issues at the wide receiver position, he could be a solid addition as he possesses the potential to become a well above average offensive chess piece.
Edge rusher, Michigan State
Against Wisconsin, Jacoby Windmon emerged with a dominant performance that brought him to land the Bronco Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week award. A do-it-all one man wrecking-crew who collected 11 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and an interception. The UNLV transfer is emerging as legit complete threat who ranks 1st in the country with 6 forced fumbles and tied 12th with 5.5 sacks. Windmon is performing at a high level and this could lead him to hear his name called rather early next April.
Wide Receiver, Alabama
In what was a big-time shootout, Jermaine Burton finished the game with only 2 receptions for 49 yards: in his first seven games with the Crimson Tide, he has been able to eclipse the 49 receiving yards mark only one time. Burton was underutilized at Georgia, but once he transferred to Alabama, everyone expected him to immediately operate as the clear-cut primary receiver. With only three touchdowns scored, he hasn’t even able to bring his explosive playmaking in Tuscaloosa. Burton is still a talented pass catcher who will have a future in the NFL, but midway through the College Football season hasn’t been able to match the expectations.
(Editor's note: Burton has been accused of hitting a female Tennessee fan while they were rushing the field after the game on Saturday night. An investigation is ongoing and will clearly affect his draft status.)
Edge Rusher, Notre Dame
Foskey would have been a borderline first-round player if he decided to enter the draft last year, but instead he decided to come back to South Bend trying to improve his stock even more, something he hasn’t been able to do thus far. Under first year head coach Marcus Freeman, the Fighting Irish are going through a rough campaign, and Isaiah Foskey, despite still being Notre Dame’s best defensive player, has been more streaky compared to last year. Also on a production level, he ranks 101st in the country with 3 sacks and zero forced fumbles. Foskey is still a great prospect who could be selected in the first-round, but he hasn’t been able to match his 2021 performances thus far.
Quarterback, Mississippi State
After a stellar start of the season, Rogers came down to earth in Mississippi State’s loss against Kentucky. He finished the game with a touchdown and an interception as he wasn't able to find solutions once Kentucky closed some lanes in order to limit the Bulldogs air-raid system. Rogers though has shown multiple times why he’s more than a productive college quarterback and he has the tools and IQ to find a role in the NFL. This season, LSU and Kentucky were the only two teams able to make things more difficult for Rogers and in both occasion he wasn’t able to find ways to get things going.