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 conference championship week.
1. Andrew Voorhees, OG/C, USC Trojans
USC has had a great season and now plays in the Pac-12 Championship with a chance to make the College Football Playoff. They have had an exciting offense and the offensive line has a big part to play in that. Andrew Voorhees has impressed this season, helping the Trojans average 42.9 points and 330.8 passing yards per game.
His matchup will be against a physical Utah team in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The offense played well in the first matchup and will likely need to put up a lot of points to win the game this time around. Voorhees has great size for an interior line prospect. He is a projected day two pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
2. Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah Utes
The Utes have had some tough losses this season, but still qualified for the Pac-12 Championship Game. Their offense has been great this season, as they score 37.5 points per game. Part of the reason is the play of their tight ends, including Kincaid. On the season, Kincaid has 66 receptions for 850 yards and eight touchdowns.
It is likely going to be a high-scoring matchup against USC. Utah will be without their starting running back so other players will have to pick up some slack. Kincaid’s speed for his size is great and he can be a good mismatch for the Utes to utilize. He is currently projected to be a mid-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
3. Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia completed the regular season undefeated and look like a lock to make the College Football Playoff. Their offense has been good this season, averaging 38.4 points per game. They have several tight ends on the roster who make an impact and Washington is one of them. He has 25 catches for 405 yards and a touchdown this season.
The Bulldogs are heavily favored to beat LSU in the SEC Championship Game, but will still need to play well to win. Washington can help create the difference, as he is a massive target at 6-foot-7 and 265 pounds, but still has plenty of athleticism to go with that size. He is currently projected to be a day two pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
4. Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State wasn’t picked by many to win the Big 12, but they are in the championship game. They have run the ball well this season at 210 yards per game. A lot of that credit goes to running back Deuce Vaughn. Vaughn has 245 carries for 1,295 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground this season. He also has 40 catches for 348 yards and three touchdowns.
In the Big 12 Championship Game, the Wildcats play the high-scoring TCU offense. The Wildcats will need to score points of their own to win. Doing so will require them getting the ball in Vaughn’s hands, as he can make people miss with his good quickness, speed and agility. He is currently projected to be a mid-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
5. Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson Tigers
Clemson has had a solid season, but it doesn’t meet the standard that they have set in previous seasons. Their offense has struggled, while their defense has tried to hold things together. One of their most talented players on the defensive side of the ball is Bryan Bresee. Bresee has 12 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks in eight games played.
The Tigers play North Carolina in the ACC Championship. North Carolina has a great quarterback in Drake Maye that will need to be stopped. Bresee can rush from the interior and get pressure to make things tough. He is a solid athlete for his size and will be hard to block. He is currently projected to be a top-15 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
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