With the college football season starting already and the NFL season starting shortly, it seems a good time to look at an early season NFL Draft big board not only to see who could be selected early next year but also which teams and players to look out for on college gamedays.
NFL Draft Big Board 1.0
- 9.0+ – Top 10, Perennial All-Pro
- 8.5-8.9 – Mid 1st, Immediate Impact Starter
- 8.0-8.4 – Late 1st, Immediate Starter
1. Will Anderson Jr, Edge Rusher, Alabama (9.3)
Starting off with the obvious, Will Anderson is the best player in college football right now. He was a dominant force off the edge for Bama last year and has shown that he can replicate that form with a good game in Week 1 against Utah State. If the team picking first next season doesn’t need a quarterback, he should be the no-brainer selection.
2. Jalen Carter, Interior Defensive Lineman, Georgia (9.1)
Jalen Carter’s explosiveness and strength is going to make him an elite player at the next level. If it weren’t for Will Anderson, he might be the best overall player in the 2023 draft class. pic.twitter.com/1Y60Kljx6j
— Bradon Deacon (@BradonDeacon) September 4, 2022
Despite not having stats that jump off the page at you, Carter was a wrecking ball at the heart of an incredibly strong Bulldog defense that won the National Championship last year. Now having lost the majority of that defense, there is a real opportunity for Carter to have a breakout year while the team is relying on him more than ever.
3/4. Bryce Young, Quarterback, Alabama/CJ Stroud, Quarterback, Ohio State (both 9.0)
Tied at three are both C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young, the two best signal-callers in the nation. Both are brilliant players with very high ceilings and very high floors. Young has the upper hand in terms of “readiness” for the NFL whereas Stroud seems to be more of an unpredictable playmaker, just like the kind of player the NFL seems to prefer nowadays. However, they are both undeniably great quarterback prospects and both seem to be destined for the top ten come draft day.
5. Myles Murphy, Edge Rusher, Clemson (8.9)
Much like Carter, Murphy’s stats aren’t showstopping in the slightest, but when you turn on the tape, it is a whole different story. Murphy has unbelievable athleticism and raw potential that cannot be denied. If he has a strong season on a good Clemson defense, he could make a good push to be a top ten pick.
6. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Wide Receiver, Ohio State (8.8)
JSN seems to be the next elite receiver produced from the factory that Ohio State seems to have become. Last season he balled out, despite competing with two first-round receivers, and now, as the true number one receiving option, there is nothing stopping him from having a monumental season and even entering the draft day as a lock for the top ten.
7. Quentin Johnston, Wide Receiver, TCU (8.8)
One of the most overlooked players in draft circles, Johnston has all the traits necessary to be a high-end receiver in the NFL. He has elite speed for his size while also being able to separate effectively downfield. But what is most impressive is his ability to control his frame and adjust it to make impressive catches all over the field. With a strong campaign, he could be a real contender to be the premier wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft.
8. Michael Mayer, Tight End, Notre Dame (8.8)
Mayer already looks like an elite tight-end prospect, one of the best since Kyle Pitts declared a few seasons ago. Mayer has demonstrated a real vertical threat ability in his time at Notre Dame as well as being a strong run blocker for a team that has had quite a strong run game over the past few seasons. Despite not being something we see very often, Mayer has a real chance to be a top ten selection at tight end.
9. Bryan Bresee, Interior Defensive Lineman, Clemson (8.8)
After being the number one recruit in the 2020 recruiting class, Bresee has not quite lived up to expectations but that’s mainly due to injury and not a lack of talent. When healthy, Bresee is a real force on the defensive line and is among the best in the nation when not sidelined. If he remains healthy throughout 2022, he could be one of the leading names in an incredibly strong defensive line class.
10. Bijan Robinson, Running Back, Texas (8.7)
Having a running back in the top ten is not something that we have seen in recent years but Robinson is special. While being an electric runner between the tackles with his burst ability, he is also a high-level receiver and capable of taking screens and swing passes to the house on a regular basis. He should be a beneficiary of a strong draft class as he could fall to a team that utilizes him in multiple ways as opposed to using him as a workhorse.
11. Antonio Johnson, Safety, Texas A&M (8.7)
12. Isaiah Foskey, Edge Rusher, Notre Dame (8.7)
13. Siaki Ika, Interior Defensive Lineman, Baylor (8.7)
14. Cam Smith, Cornerback, South Carolina (8.6)
15. Kelee Ringo, Cornerback, Georgia (8.6)
16. Anthony Richardson, Quarterback, Florida (8.5)
17. Andre Carter II, Edge Rusher, Army (8.4)
18. Jordan Addison, Wide Receiver, USC (8.4)
19. Peter Skoronski, Offensive Tackle, Northwestern (8.4)
20. Eli Ricks, Cornerback, Alabama (8.4)
21. Trenton Simpson, Linebacker, Clemson (8.4)
22. Kayshon Boutte, Wide Receiver, LSU (8.3)
23. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Edge Rusher, Kansas State (8.3)
24. Will Levis, Quarterback, Kentucky (8.3)
25. Noah Sewell, Linebacker, Oregon (8.3)