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 8.
1. Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse Orange
Syracuse has started off the season hot, as they are undefeated with a 6-0 record. One of the reasons why is their star running back Sean Tucker. Tucker has rushed for 644 yards and six touchdowns on the season. He has added 23 receptions and 198 receiving yards to go with one touchdown catch as well.
Tucker will face a tough Clemson defensive front in week 8. If the run is stuffed, he will need to continue to impact the game with his receiving ability. Tucker has demonstrated good contact balance in the past and needs to keep it up and pick up more yards against Clemson. If he plays well, Syracuse may have a shot to win the game. He is currently projected to be a day two pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
2. Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson Tigers
Clemson is undefeated and is playing better than most people would have thought. Although the defense has some holes in the secondary, they are strong up front. The defensive line is really good, but so too is Simpson. He has 44 total tackles and two passes defended on the season.
Simpson’s greatest task this week will be shutting Tucker and the run down. If they can do that, the Tigers can stay unbeaten. Luckily Simpson specializes in defending the run and can show off his talents. He is currently projected to be picked in the first or second round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
3. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon Ducks
Oregon lost to Georgia to start the season, but have rebounded well to be 5-1. Their defense has had some good performances and they have some new faces helping out. One of those players is Christian Gonzalez who transferred in from Colorado. He has 19 total tackles, five passes defended and one interception this season.
The Ducks play UCLA in week 8. Gonzalez will need to help stop the run in this game, as well as being good in coverage. The Bruins have a great rushing attack, so he needs to help stop that, but they also can convert on some big plays downfield. If Gonzalez can help slow the Bruins’ offense down, the Ducks can win the game. Gonzalez is currently projected to be a first or second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
4. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State Wildcats
Although they lost to Tulane, Kansas State has otherwise been good to start the season. Their defense has really held things together for the team. Kansas State’s best defensive player is Felix Anudike-Uzomah who has eight tackles for loss and 6.5 tackles for loss this season.
This week Anudike-Uzomah will be tasked with helping the Wildcats slow down TCU’s high-powered offense. In the past, he has been streaky and has some really good games, then some unproductive ones. If he has one of his better games, Kansas State can win. He is currently projected to be a first or second round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
5. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU Horned Frogs
TCU has started off the season undefeated and look like they can continue winning in the Big 12. Their offense is an enormous reason why. The Horned Frogs’ best player offensively is Quentin Johnson, who is a matchup problem. So far this season, he has 34 receptions for 500 yards and two touchdowns.
At 6-foot-4, Johnston is capable of winning jump balls, but he also is decent running after the catch. He has heated up lately and the Horned Frogs will want to get him the ball in this game to beat a tough Kansas State defense. Johnston is currently projected to be a first round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Check out our NFL Draft page for more news and updates like NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in College Football Week 8!