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 9 of college football!
Parker Washington | WR | Penn State | 5’10”, 212 lbs
I mentioned Parker Washington in the Week 9 preview as a guy who was in need of a big game against Ohio State, considering his underwhelming body of work thus far into 2022. Well, he came out to make a statement on Saturday, and despite being in a losing effort, Washington recorded 11 receptions for 179 yards and 1 touchdown. Washington is a strong, yet versatile, wide receiver who displays crisp route running and reliable hands. His draft stock has still taken a dip this season, but a strong finish may reaffirm his status as a Day 2 prospect.
Broderick Jones | OT | Georgia | 6’4”, 310 lbs
It is apparent to just about every Steelers fan on earth that left tackle needs to be addressed in short order. Dan Moore has proven his value in 2022, and his value is that of a swing tackle. One name who you will hear more about as the draft gets closer is Georgia tackle Broderick Jones. Florida’s disappointing season has not taken away from the fact that they possess a boatload of talented pass rushers, but they had no success against the Georgia front Saturday, failing to record even one sack. As it pertains to Jones specifically, run blocking was incredibly impressive. His capability in that department has never been questioned, but he has definitely shown growth in that area this season. He is well amid the first-round conversation.
Payton Wilson | ILB | North Carolina State | 6’4”, 240 lbs
After the injury to Devin Leary earlier this season, the Wolfpack have been more dependent on defense to win games for them, but they have been looking for an individual to step up on defense and make a big-time impact. Fortunately, someone finally answered the call in Week 9. Payton Wilson was a menace on Saturday against the Hokies, racking up 7 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 pass defended. I currently have a third-round grade on Wilson, as his combination of size and athleticism make him an intriguing fit for the Steelers in the middle rounds.
Others Who Improved Their Stock
Jamoi Hodge | ILB | TCU | 13 TCKL, 9 SOLO, 2 TFL, 1 SCK, 1 PD
Kendre Miller | RB | TCU | 12 CAR, 120 YDS, 1 TD
Tommy Eichenberg | ILB | 15 TCKL, 10 SOLO, 1 QB HUR
Jalin Hyatt | WR | Tennessee | 5 REC, 138 YDS, 2 TD
Amari Burney | ILB | Florida | 7 TCKL, 1 TFL, 2 PD, 1 QB HUR, 1 INT
Trey Dean III | S | Florida | 5 TCKL, 1 TFL, 2 PD
Zach Charbonnet | RB | UCLA | 21 CAR, 198 YDS, 3 TD; 5 REC, 61 YDS
Antoine Green | WR | North Carolina | 10 REC, 180 YDS, 1 TD
Which prospects caught your eye this past weekend? Who do you think made the biggest leap, or drop, in the draft rankings in Week 9? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!