The 2022 college football season is in full swing, and while breaking down the best teams across the country is fun, it's just as enjoyable to find the best players. The 2023 NFL Draft is still months away, but it's never to early to take a look at the top prospects available this year.
Here's our look at the best the 2023 draft class has to offer.
Top NFL Draft Prospects 2023
10. Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
Skoronski's profile has slowly been rising ever since he stepped on campus at Northwestern. He started all nine games as a freshman during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and was named second-team All-Big Ten. In 2021, he upped his game and was named first-team All-Big Ten, turning in a phenomenal season.
At 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, Skoronski has decent size, but he's not a physical specimen. But the junior makes up for that by being essentially perfect from a technical standpoint. His technique is excellent and that will carry him all the way to the draft, where he'll almost certainly be a first-round pick.
9. Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Addison's offseason transfer saga garnered as many headlines as his Biletnikoff Award-winning 2021 season. Moving from Pitt to USC, the junior receiver made a bold move, hoping learning under Lincoln Riley and catching passes from Caleb Williams will improve his stock. As a sophomore in 2021, Addison had 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns on 100 receptions. He was named first-team All-ACC and a consensus All-American.
Physically, Addison won't blow anyone away. At 6-feet and 175 pounds, he's not big and doesn't have blazing speed for a receiver. But the guy just knows how to get open. He's smooth, runs excellent routes and is intelligent enough to find space in coverage. If he puts up big numbers again this season, he'll find himself coming off the board early in April.
8. Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson
A former five-star recruit, Murphy has loads of talent and has started putting it together. As a sophomore he earned second-team All-ACC honors in 2021 by racking up 37 tackles, eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. Expect more from him as a junior in 2022.
Murphy is 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, giving him an excellent frame off the edge. Big and explosive, he's good rushing the passer and is an elite run stopper. Physically, he was a pro as a freshman and has only gotten more impressive.
7. Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Ringo is big and fast, which is exactly what you want in a cornerback. He made a splash as a redshirt freshman in 2021 and had a massive pick-six in the 2022 CFP national title game to all but seal a win for the Bulldogs. This year he's expected to garner All-America buzz and vault himself into contention as the first defensive back taken in the draft.
At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds with sub 4.4 speed, Ringo is the kind of freak defensive back that makes NFL scouts salivate. It helps that he's also excellent at his craft. Receivers almost never beat him deep and quarterbacks avoid him. Expect a big year from Ringo.
6. Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
Boutte's numbers have yet to match his natural talent, but as a freshman in 2020 he did post a 14-catch, 308-yard, three-touchdown game against Ole Miss. But consistency has been an issue for the explosive wideout. As a sophomore in 2021, Boutte hauled in 38 receptions for 509 yards and nine touchdowns. He'll need to step up his production as a junior in 2022.
Boutte is 6-feet, but a strong 205 pounds, with speed to burn. He's a classic deep threat who can also take short passes and use his speed and athleticism to make things happen after the catch. As noted, consistency will be the key to his draft position. If he puts it all together, he'll be the first receiver taken.
5. Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
A second-team All-SEC pick in 2021, Johnson is a do-everything safety who is poised to jump up draft boards this season. Johnson was responsible for 53 tackles, one sack, one interception and five passes defended in 2021 but his impact on the Aggies' defense was far more important than the numbers. He aligned the defense and is one of the smartest defensive backs in college football.
At 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Johnson has an ideal frame. Johnson is excellent in coverage, reading routes and providing support to teammates. He's quick enough to range backwards or forwards towards the play while also being strong enough to provide support in the run game and is an excellent tackler. Perhaps most impressively, he sheds blockers easily while pursuing ball-carriers. That versatility will make him incredibly valuable in the modern NFL.
4. Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
As a sophomore in 2021, Carter was a key piece of one of the best defenses in college football history. The second-team All-SEC selection was part of a defensive line that included three first-round picks (Travon Walker, Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt) and he'll be the fourth in 2023. Carter had 37 tackles, three sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and 33 quarterback pressures for the title-winning Bulldogs as a sophomore in 2021. Expect even more from his junior year.
At 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds, Carter has incredible quickness for his size. On film it feels like he's in the backfield on every play. He has a quick first step off the line as a pass rusher and uses his lower half to power his way past offensive linemen. He's a bull against the run, but is just as adept going side-to-side as forward. He's flat-out explosive. Much like Walker, Carter needs to translate that talent into numbers this season if he wants to be a top five pick. Walker didn't really do that, but was taken No. 1 overall because the Jacksonville Jaguars are banking on the talent leading to production. Carter may not get the same grace from NFL teams.
3. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner is poised to have an excellent junior season after putting up incredible numbers as a sophomore. In 2021, Young was second the the nation in passing yards (4,872), touchdown passes (47) and QBR (87.6), while completing 66.9 percent of his passes, averaging 8.9 yards per attempt and adding three rushing touchdowns. The California kid led Alabama to the national title game but wilted late in the face of Georgia's ferocious defense. Expect him to be motivated by that loss.
Young is a tad undersized at 6-feet and 194 pounds, but he has all the other traits that make a great quarterback. He's incredible accurate and his ball-placement is top notch. He has excellent instincts and reads defenses incredibly well. He takes time to make the right reads and never seems to rush things. He typically makes excellent decisions with the ball. His arm is adequate to make every throw at all three levels and he can move enough to make some plays with his feet. He's been on the NFL's radar since his junior year in high school. Like C.J Stroud above on this list, he could be the first player taken in 2023.
2. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Stroud had a monster campaign in his first season as a Ohio State's starting quarterback in 2021. The then-redshirt freshman completed 71.9 percent of his passes for 4,435 yards, with 44 touchdowns against six interceptions. He led the nation in QBR (91.6) and averaged an absurd 10.1 yards per attempt. It's no wonder he enters the 2022 season as a Heisman Trophy favorite after being a finalist in 2021.
Stroud has ideal size for a quarterback at 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds. He has a great feel for deep throws and likes pushing the ball down the field. He has an excellent feel for the game and seems to always dial up the right amount of touch on his throws. While he's not an elite athlete, he can move in the pocket to create throwing lanes. He doesn't possess a cannon for an arm, but he makes up for that with timing, and mechanics are sound. Stroud isn't the most physically-gifted quarterback, but he has the mental side of the game locked down.
1. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
Anderson enters his junior season as the best player in the country and, frankly, he had that distinction as a sophomore as well. An outside linebacker who has started since his freshman year, the 20-year-old was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year and earned unanimous All-American honors in 2021. He was outstanding for the Crimson Tide, as he led the nation with 17.5 sacks and racked up a mind-boggling 34.5 tackles for loss and was in on 102 total tackles. If he'd been eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft, Anderson would have gone within the first five picks.
At 6-foot-4 and 243 pounds, Anderson does need to add a bit more weight to be a true edge rusher in the NFL. That said, there are no other concerns. He's outstanding rushing the passer, possessing an excellent burst off the line and long arms that keep offensive linemen from getting into his body. He can set the edge against the run and is even adept in coverage. He's the total package.