The 2023 NFL Draft is still months in the distance, but with college football having arrived, the beginning stages of the 2023 draft process has begun. With that in mind, it is time to dive into this week’s biggest games in the college football world, taking a look at potential Steelers draft targets to pay attention to during their respective games.
Offensive line is definitely an area the Steelers need to address, and the most likely resource for the solution is indeed the draft. Concerns at cornerback and linebacker also loom large over the Pittsburgh’s head. Although we will certainly break down prospects at other positions this season as well, these will be the primary positions of emphasis.
Nearly every week during the season, there are several highlight games that steal the headlines, but even when these games overshadow the rest of the college football landscape, we will not be negligent of the other games and prospects in action. Every week during the season, we will recap the previous week’s action and determine whose stock rose the most as it pertains to the NFL Draft.
As always, be sure to share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below, but without further adieu, here are the top prospects and games to keep an eye on this Saturday.
#3 Tennessee vs. #1 Georgia | 3:30 ET on CBS
Tennessee Spotlight: Omari Thomas — DT (6’4”, 320 lbs); Hendon Hooker — QB (6’4”, 218 lbs)
Georgia Spotlight: Sedrick Van Pran — C (6’4”, 310 lbs); Jalen Carter — DT (6’3”, 300 lbs)
For Tennessee, the attention will be primarily on Hendon Hooker, and rightfully so. If he passes this test, he will be a surefire first-round pick. However, I would like to look at Omari Thomas once again. Thomas recorded a sack and an additional pressure in last week’s blowout win against Kentucky, displaying his pass-rushing upside.
For Georgia, forget all your usual names. Jalen Carter is one to watch for sure, as is EDGE rusher Nolan Smith, but one player Steelers fans are not talking near enough about is Sedrick Van Pran. Van Pran is only a redshirt sophomore, but if he declares for the draft this year, he would easily be the first center off the board. Van Pran has a ton of potential, as his combination of athleticism, fluidity, and mobility make him a well-rounded prospect despite his young age. He is only going to get better, and the play on the field this year has been terrific.
#6 Alabama vs. #10 LSU | 7:00 ET on ESPN
Alabama Spotlight: Henry To’oTo’o — ILB | 6’1”, 230 lbs; Javion Cohen — G (6’4”, 305 lbs)
LSU Spotlight: Mekhi Garner — CB (6’2”, 218 lbs); Jaquelin Roy — DT (6’4”, 315 lbs);
We could go a million different places with Alabama, but let’s start with a guy who has a lot of similarities to Steelers linebacker Myles Jack. Henry To’oTo’o may be slightly undersized, but his experience has greatly helped his ability to anticipate plays before the snap. I am not his biggest fa, but he is a guy worth watching in the middle-round range.
For LSU, I would like to take a closer look at Mekhi Garner, who was always known as the “other” corner at LSU during the Derek Stingley, Jr. era. Now, he is not only the top corner at LSU, but one of the top corners in all the SEC. Splash plays have not been a prevalent part of his game, but he can defend elite receivers on an island when at his best. if he runs well in the 40, he will shoot up draft boards in a hurry.
Which prospects are you watching in Week 10? Do you think Sedrick Van Pran could be a fit for the Steelers? Be sure to light up the comment section below throughout the day with your thoughts on today’s action!
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