The 2022 college football season is right around the corner, and I'm already getting excited about the talent in this 2023 NFL draft class. We have numerous potential franchise quarterbacks, elite edge rushers and more impact receivers.
After taking a little time off over the summer, I got back into the tape and started evaluating the 2023 group of prospects. Of course, a lot will change over the next eight months, with a full college football slate and plenty of pre-draft events. Consider that edge rusher Travon Walker wasn't even in the first-round conversation at this point last year, but ended up going No. 1 overall to the Jaguars. Expect a lot of movement on boards before next year's NFL draft.
I ranked my early top 50 prospects for the 2023 class as we head into the college season. That includes four quarterbacks who I think can be NFL starters, but we get things going with a pair of elite defenders. I also included position rankings for 200 players, and you can jump there to see how the best at each spot stack up. Let's dive in, starting with a standout edge rusher.
Note: Underclassmen are marked with an asterisk.
1. Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama*
HT: 6-foot-4 | WT: 243 pounds | Grade: 97
Anderson used his excellent speed, great flexibility, explosive first step and powerful hands to post 17.5 sacks, 79 pressures, 125 tackles and 34.5 tackles for loss last season -- all of which at least tied for No. 1 in the country. He locates the ball in a flash and then has a unique combination of redirect quickness and closing burst to capitalize. Anderson frequently overpowers blockers, and there aren't enough good things to say about his motor and instincts for the game. Against the run, he excels at stacking, locating, disengaging and pursuing relentlessly.