NFL Draft 2023: Quarterbacks JJ Stroud, Bryce Young and Will Lewis top the top 50

The NFL 2023 draft is still more than ten months old, but it’s never too early to highlight some of the talent for the upcoming football season. Ryan Wilson, Chris Trapaso and I have compiled an early list of eligible talent for the 2023 NFL Draft, which should serve more as a watch list than a stock forecast. Here are the top 50:

1. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
2. CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio
3. Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
4. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
5. Miles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
6. Will Lewis, QB, Kentucky
7. Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
8. Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
9. Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
10. Brian Breeze, DL, Clemson

At this time of year, early rankings are often littered with power programs such as Alabama, Ohio, Georgia and Clemson because they have dominated the recruitment rankings for so long and are so early in the process that prospects for more small schools are not evaluated until later. The upcoming draft class is no exception. These four schools are combined for seven of the top ten, with SEC Kentucky, Texas A&M and LSU also included.

No matter how much we talk about these quarterbacks, there is no player who is just a number one hit like Trevor Lawrence, Andrew Luck or John Elway before him. Everyone has talent, but there are also flaws. Stroud and Young are also actually young and still have time to work out some aspects of the game. Lewis has more natural talent than anyone else in the position, but needs to smooth out some lower body mechanics. In addition to these quarterbacks, there are talented defenders such as Anderson of Alabama, Carter of Georgia, Murphy and Simpson of Clemson and others. Boutte is the highest rated broadcaster because it is easy to compare with his former teammate, Ja’Marr Chase.

11. Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
12. Michael Meyer, TE, Notre Dame
13. Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern
14. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio
15. Felix Anudike-Uzoma, EDGE, Kansas
16. Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
17. Paris Johnson Jr., OL, Ohio
18. Arik Gilbert, TE, Georgia
19. BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
20. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

It is worth noting that these early rankings – which should again serve more as a watch list – are based on the forecast and what it looks like will move players for the upcoming season. There is no better example of this premise than Johnson of Ohio and Gilbert of Georgia. The former will move from offensive guard to tackle this season after the escape of Nicholas Petit-Frey, and the latter is a once highly respected rookie who did not play for the Bulldogs last season. Gilbert is also the first transferred player on this list; he began his collegial career at LSU. Mayer is a consistent producer who does everything well, but testing will be very important to him. Robinson is the best rated backtracker. It should be at the top of the list, in my opinion, because its assessment does not require projection. Viewers don’t have to squint hard to recognize how special a talent they have become.

21. Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama
22. Zion Tupuola-Fetui, EDGE, Washington
23. Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
24. Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
25. Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
26. Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama
27. Jordan Addison, WR, USC
28. Tony Grimes, CB, North Carolina
29. Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami
30. Anton Harrison, OL, Oklahoma

Cornerbacks and wide receivers dominated this group with half of the selections. Addison only recently transferred to the USC. Ricks transferred from LSU. To’oTo’o is in his second season with Crimson Tide after a transfer from Tennessee. Downs is a personal favorite. Although thin in the frame, it does a good job of adjusting breaks and maintaining speed.

31. Jamir Gibbs, RB, Alabama
32. Jacqueline Roy, DL, LSU
33. Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
34. Isaiah Foski, EDGE, Notre Dame
35. Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
36. Zack Harrison, EDGE, Ohio
37. Taiki Smith, S, Georgia
38. Zion Nelson, OL, Miami
39. Noah Daniels, CB, TCU
40. Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah

Gibbs switched from Georgia Tech this off-season. He just does everything well on the football field. None of the offensive line players is a finished product, but there are many talents that need to be cultivated. Several not mentioned in this list, but worth watching, include Blake Freeland of BYU, Cortland Ford of USC and Jaylin Duncan of Maryland.

41. Sam Laporta, TE, Iowa
42. Brenton Cox Jr., EDGE, Florida
43. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
44. Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame
45. Devin Leary, QB, North Carolina
46. ‚Äč‚ÄčAndre Carter II, EDGE, Army
47. Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse
48. Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford
49. Darnell Wright, OL, Tennessee
50. Jordan Morgan, OL, Arizona

Richardson will be burdened with more workload this season after the transfer of Emory Jones to Arizona. Joseph has moved from Northwestern and is tasked with filling Kiel Hamilton’s first-round selection. An Syracuse offensive match Matthew Bergeron and Morgan would be in a similar category of line players who may lack top-level athletics, but are calm and do their job, like Christian Darissau.

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