Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia top list of 2023 draft class

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Alabama quarterback Bryce Young
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) (Photo: Kent Gidley)

In 2022, Alabama made it 14 years in a row with at least one player selected in the first round on the NFL Draft. The Crimson Tide has had at least two opening round picks in the past six years.

The 2022 draft did represent a bit of an off year for Nick Saban’s program, with only two first rounders and a total of seven selections in the seven rounds. By contrast, the Tide had six top round picks in 2021.

Alabama should come back strong in the 2023 draft. Quarterback Bryce Young, the Heisman winner, and defensive end Will Anderson, who had 17.5 sacks last fall, are contenders to be the number one overall selection. Eli Ricks, who transferred from LSU, has top 10 potential. Three more Alabama players – safety Malachi Moore, running back Jahmyr Gibbs and linebacker Henty To’oTo’o – look like first round candidates.

Other Bama prospects like wide receiver Jermaine Burton, offensive guard Emil Ekiyor, safety Jordan Battle, tight end Cam Latu plus defensive tackles Byron Young and Justin Eboigbe may go on day two in 2023.

Ohio State has its own quarterback with top overall potential. C.J. Stroud will be throwing to at least one first round prospect, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njiba, who is rated as high as 2022 first rounders Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson.

The Buckeyes also have a top offensive left tackle prospect, Paris Johnson, and a solid second day prospect, defensive end Zach Harrison.

Reigning national champion Georgia has three first round prospects: DT Jaylen Carter, CB Kelee Ringo and LB Nolan Smith. Carter could be a top 10 selection. Ringo ranks as the top cover corner in the country so he can easily end up in the top 10 as well.

The Bulldogs boast second day prospects in safety Tykee Smith, cornerback Chris Smith, offensive tackle Broderick Jones and a pair of tight ends in former LSU sginee Arik Gilbert and Darnell Washington.

Speaking of LSU, Kayshon Boutte could end up as the first wide receiver selected next spring. Two later first round prospects are defensive end B.J. Ojulari and defensive tackle Jaquelin Roy.

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