While the 2023 NFL Draft is still far off in the distance, players that will be drafted early are on the field now. Each week presents unique matchups for draft prospects and this week is no different. Here are NFL Draft prospects to watch in college football week 2 recap.
1. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky was able to get a huge road win at the Swamp over Florida in week 2. A lot of the credit has to go to Will Levis, who didn’t play his best game, but also had a lot of shuffling parts on offense. He passed for 202 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for a touchdown to help the Wildcats pull off the upset.
Levis showed some toughness in this game, but also showed he can make NFL-level throws. He needs to continue to work on his accuracy and decision-making, but he has the tools to be a first round pick at quarterback if he finishes the year out strong. Kentucky will have plenty games the rest of the season for Levis to show his skill.
2. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas Longhorns
Texas hung tight with Alabama, but their offense stalled in the red zone too many times to get the upset win. Moving the ball on Alabama’s defense can be hard, especially so if a backup quarterback is in the game and they can stack the box. That is what happened after Quinn Ewers went down with an injury. Robinson managed 57 rushing yards, 73 receiving yards and a touchdown for a solid day.
While the team didn’t play well Robinson helped solidify his stock as the best running back in the 2023 NFL Draft class. He showed he could run and catch, but also showed some improvements in pass protection when asked against Alabama. He won’t have many weaknesses listed on scouting reports this spring.
3. Siaka Ika, DL, Baylor Bears
Baylor had a tough game in week 2 against BYU in Provo. The Bears took the Cougars to overtime, but could not previal. The defense for Baylor played extremely well and Ika was even featured on the broadcast for his role in helping them achieve that level of play. He finished the game with two tackles.
The statline can be misleading for interior defensive linemen, as even with just two tackles, he created an impact. By creating havoc and taking on extra blockers, Ika freed up his teammates to make plays. He will be one of the best interior defensive linemen in the class in April’s draft.
4. Blake Freeland, OT, BYU Cougars
BYU was without two of their top receivers in this game and struggled to move the ball at times, but came away with a victory against Baylor. A lot of credit for the victory needs to go to the offensive line, who allowed just two sacks. Freeland was a part of that and showed off some of his skill in the game.
The large offensive tackle showed he is a solid athlete. In overtime, when BYU needed points they were able to run behind Freeland. He did have a false start in this game, but overall Freeland impressed and was able to make an impact on the game for the Cougars.
5. Habakkuk Baldonado, EDGE, Pittsburgh Panthers
Pittsburgh lost a tough overtime game at home against Tennessee, but played well overall. Their defense was able to limit the high-powered Tennessee offense and one of the reasons why was the play of Baldonado. He finished the game with four tackles, one tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry.
Baldonado may not be one of the first couple of pass rushers off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft, he has some nice traits that could be coveted on day two or three of the draft. He has a good motor, strength and hand usage for the next level. There is plenty of time for him to improve his stock over the course of the season.
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