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 7.
1. Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee has taken the college football world by storm after starting the season undefeated with some decent wins. The reason they have been so successful is their offense, which is led by quarterback Hendon Hooker. He has passed for 1,432 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions on 70 percent completion. In addition, he has 231 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
This week the Volunteers have their biggest game in years when they take on Alabama. They’ll need Hooker to be at his best, which will include him making plays with his arm and legs. Hooker has played well this season and is projected to be selected within the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. He’ll be 25 when the draft comes around, so a team that drafts him will likely want to start him immediately.
2. Jordan Battle, S, Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama hasn’t always looked their best, but they are undefeated through six weeks of the season. Their defense has showed up in key situations when their offense hasn’t been able to deliver. Jordan Battle is an experienced leader of the defense, who has 25 tackles on the season.
Battle is a versatile safety who can step up to play the run and cover well. Both those things will be needed against Tennessee and Hooker. Battle has good awareness and can be a leader at the next level. He is still in play to be the first safety selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, but will need to continue to play well.
3. Blake Corum, RB, Michigan Wolverines
Michigan hasn’t played the toughest schedule, but they are undefeated. They have a good ground attack that is led by Blake Corum, who has inserted himself into the Heisman race. He has 735 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the year.
The Wolverines play a tough Penn State team in week 7 who is also undefeated. J.J. McCarthy is still figuring things out as he is new to being a starting quarterback, so Corum will need to help establish the run game to help out. He has good quickness and is capable of breaking off big runs. Currently, Corum is a projected mid-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
4. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State has played well to start the season, which has them looking good for the rest of the year. Their defense has been great, allowing just 14.3 points per game. One of the best players on their defense is Joey Porter Jr., who is having a good season at corner. He has 17 tackles, 10 passes defended and one fumble recovery this season.
Michigan will try to establish the run against Penn State this weekend, but when they do throw, Porter will need to be ready for it. He plays very physical coverage, so he’ll need to toe the line of disrupting receivers, but not drawing flags. Porter has the potential to go in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
5. Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah Utes
Utah is 4-2 and is not having the season they were projected to at the beginning of the year. Their defense hasn’t been as good as most years, but they allow just 19 points per game. One of the reasons they have been able to win some games is the play of Clark Phillips. Phillips has 12 tackles, five interceptions and two touchdowns on the season.
In week 7, Utah will play USC, which features a good offense. They’ll need Phillips to play well, but also to force turnovers like he has done so often already this season. If he does, they’ll have a shot to win and his stock can improve. He is currently projected to be a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
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