The 2023 NFL Draft is still months in the distance, but with college football having arrived, the beginning stages of the 2023 draft process has begun. With that in mind, it is time to dive into this past week’s biggest games in the college football world, taking a look at draft prospects who improved their stock based on their performance.
Offensive line is definitely an area the Steelers need to address, and the most likely resource for the solution is indeed the draft. Concerns at cornerback and linebacker also loom large over the Pittsburgh’s head. Although we will certainly break down prospects at other positions this season as well, these will be the primary positions of emphasis, especially early in the season.
Nearly every week during the season, there are several highlight games that steal the headlines, but even when these games overshadow the rest of the college football landscape, we will not be negligent of the other games and prospects in action. Every week during the season, we will recap the previous week’s action and determine whose stock rose the most as it pertains to the NFL Draft.
As always, be sure to share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below, but without further adieu, here are the highest of highs from Week 4 of college football!
Emmanuel Forbes | CB | Mississippi State | 6’0”, 180 lbs
Emmanuel Forbes is a name not getting a whole lot of buzz, but I currently have a first-round grade on him, and I expect him to be selected quite early, assuming he does not fall off a cliff in the second half of the season. On Saturday, Forbes had one pass breakup and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Forbes has developed into one of the premier shutdown corners in the nation, and his play will be tested as the season progresses. If he can add a little weight to his frame and maintain his speed, he could be a dominant boundary corner in the NFL.
Jaelyn Duncan | OT | Maryland | 6’6”, 320 lbs
Michigan State is not the team many expected them to be in 2022, but one of the silver linings of their season is the pass rush they have been able to get from their front seven. However, they struggled to get into the backfield against Maryland, being held to just one sack as a team. Perhaps the best performer on that line was left tackle Jaelyn Duncan, one of the most intriguing linemen in the 2023 class. Duncan was a wall in pass protection, moving fluidly while not giving up an inch of ground. He also had a big part in Maryland’s success on the ground, as the Terps accumulated 175 rushing yards in the contest. Circle this name as a guy to watch tape on this spring.
Nick Broeker | OL | Ole Miss
Sticking with the offensive line, how about a lineman who has learned a new position and mastered it within one offseason? Nick Broeker made the move from tackle to guard this season, and it has only boosted his draft stock. Broeker was nearly flawless in pass protection, and he helped pave the way for the Ole Miss ball carriers who combined for 186 rushing yards. Broeker is not the greatest athlete, but his versatility and consistency will be noted by NFL execs during the pre-draft process.
Clark Phillips | CB | Utah | 5’10”, 191 lbs
The Steelers do not have a pure nickel corner on the roster, and it may not be a bad idea to consider investing in one. Albeit against Oregon State, Clark Phillips had maybe the best game of his football-playing career, picking off three passes and returning one of them to the house. Phillips now has four interceptions in the past two games, and he is playing with tons of momentum as Utah heads into back-to-back games against top-25 opponents. If he continues this upward trend against UCLA and USC, the hype is going to get real in a hurry.
Others Who Improved Their Stock
Jake Bobo (WR – UCLA)- 6 REC, 142 YDS, 2 TD
Jahmyr Gibbs (RB- ALA) - 18 CAR, 206 YDS, 2 TD
Jaylon Carlies (LB - MIZZO)- 13 TCKL, 11 SOLO, 2.5TFL
Myles Murphy (DL- CLEM)- 4 TCKL, 1.5 SCK
BJ Ojulari (EDGE — LSU)- 4 TCKL, 2 SCK
Colby Wooden (EDGE — AUB)- 2 TFL, 1 SCK
Derrick Hall (EDGE — AUB)- 2 TFL, 1 SCK
What are your thoughts on the aforementioned prospects? Do you think any of them could make sense for the Steelers? Which draft prospects caught your eye this weekend? Be sure to light up the comment section below with your thoughts on this and all things Pittsburgh Steelers!