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2023 NFL Draft: College Football Recap, Week 1

Multiple prospects show out in huge matchups

The insanity that is Week 1 of the college football season didn’t disappoint this past weekend with several season-long classics taking place already. Several prospects showed out in some of the high-profile games from the weekend including Florida’s thrilling win over Utah and Ohio State’s slow burn win over Notre Dame. Plus, Georgia put on a show against Oregon in a game that felt over before it started. There’s plenty to dig into with these games and more from the past weekend.

QB Anthony Richardson (Florida) shows off “wow” potential

The Florida quarterback played sparingly in 2021, but the flashes looked to be special. Those limited snaps alone put him squarely on the draft radar entering the 2022 season. Richardson faced a very difficult matchup against Utah in his first opportunity to be the full-time starting quarterback for the Gators. As advertised, Richardson showed off how his legs are a major asset—he also used that special running ability to extend plays in the passing game and create plays with the special traits he possesses. Richardson could be one of the best players in college football in 2022 and will always be must-see television.

OT Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State) excels against top competition

The third-year sophomore got his first action at left tackle for the Buckeyes after starting at right guard for the entirety of the 2021 season. In his first matchup of the season, Johnson put up a very encouraging performance against another first-round hopeful in Notre Dame edge rusher Isaiah Foskey. Foskey was left relatively quiet on the night despite lining up against Johnson for a large portion of the evening on Saturday. His stock will continue to rise if he keeps putting performances like his debut at a new position on tape.

DT Jalen Carter/OT Broderick Jones/TE Darnell Washington (Georgia)

These three prospects showed out the most in the Week 1 punishing of Oregon from the Bulldogs. Georgia took their foot off the gas despite a 49-3 win, but Carter, Jones, and Washington all have their stock rising after one game.

Carter is a player who has been selected in early mock drafts within the top five often. However, going into his third season, Carter still had things to prove with a couple of his linemates on the Bulldog defensive line being first-round draft picks. Despite just one tackle in the stat sheet, we can confirm that Carter is still ridiculous in every way.

Broderick Jones is another player at left tackle who doesn’t have a ton of tape put out to the world yet. But on Saturday, he looked like an elite mover and a player who should see his stock continue to rise in future weeks. The former five-star in the 2020 class is now going to get an entire year to start for the ‘Dawgs. Jones and Johnson Jr. are two tackles who are emerging along with Northwestern left tackle Peter Skoronski.

Washington made one of the freakiest plays of the week when he hurdled his 6’7” 270-lb frame through (and over) a host of Oregon Duck would-be tacklers. The third year player looks like he was built in a lab and he shows plenty of flashes of moving the same way. It was just two receptions for over 30 yards for him on the day, but it was enough to impress as a player with pass catching upside at the next level.