TWSN College Football Week One Scouting Watchlist

Perry McIntyre/ISI Photos/Getty Images

TWSN College Football Week One Scouting Watchlist

2023 NFL Draft

TWSN College Football Week One Scouting Watchlist

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Perry McIntyre/ISI Photos/Getty Images

With Week Zero behind us and college football essentially in swing, so is scouting season for the 2023 NFL Draft. The next wave of collegiate players going into the NFL will be blossoming right in front of our eyes this season and TWSN has a weekly watchlist so you know what prospects to key in on from here on out. 

C.J. Stroud, Quarterback, Ohio State (vs Notre Dame, September 3, 7:30 p.m.)

Everyone saw the potential C.J. Stroud had in his first season. With his ability to read the field and make the correct throws he led Ohio States’ offense efficiently last season. It all came together for Stroud down the stretch of last season, and in the Rose Bowl, he completed 80.4% of his passes for 573 yards and six touchdowns. His ability to lead the offense and stay poised under pressure stood out and will be something to watch in this game. Notre Dame has a defensive front-seven with Isaiah Foskey, JD Bertrand, and Jack Kiser to name a few that has the potential to be a top group in 2022. Stroud will undoubtedly be a top draft pick, and performing well against this defense will pay off even more for his stock. (Marissa Myers)

Michael Mayer, Tight End, Notre Dame ( vs Ohio State, September 3, 7:30 p.m.) 

Mayer has earned the nickname “Baby Gronk” due to similarities to the future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski. For his size, he is a great receiver. His ball skills and soft hands immediately jump off the screen when watching him. In the run game, he is extremely strong and a good in-line blocker. While he’s not the athletic freak of a Kyle Pitts, Michael Mayer is a stud in his own right and will need to have an enormous game if the golden domes are to upset the Buckeyes in “The Shoe.” (Gavin Downard)

Eli Ricks, Cornerback, Alabama (vs Utah State, September 3, 6:30 p.m.)

Whether in high school at IMG Academy or during his early years at LSU, Eli Ricks, who transferred to Alabama, has been constantly talked about at every level that he has played. Ricks instantly was in the rotation at LSU in his freshman year and made the most of it with four interceptions and five pass deflections and was a Freshman All-American. He is 6’2, 190 lbs, and has impressive length and very surprising speed. He is able to stay low on the receivers and able to square up to tackle his opponent. He looks to have a big rebound year after a disappointing sophomore year and could climb the boards in 2023 NFL mock drafts. He will be running a co-starter role at the beginning of the season until he proves himself as the definite starter. (Colton Vinup)

Steven Jones Jr, Corner, Appalachian State (vs UNC, September 3, 12:00 p.m.)

Jones is entering his final season of college football after a breakout season in 2021 which saw him record 46 tackles, eight pass breakups, and five interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns. Jones was one of 25 defensive backs named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list and he has a great test in Week One. Jones will likely shadow UNC’s star speedster Josh Downs. Jones is going to give himself a great look for numerous NFL scouts Saturday against who some consider a top-five receiver in college football. (Tristen Kuhn)

Jalen Carter, Defensive Lineman, Georgia (vs. No. 11 Oregon, September 3, 3:30 p.m.)

Over the past few seasons, Georgia has pumped out elite defensive prospects at an elite rate. In a defensive front that had multiple first-round picks and led the Bulldogs to a National Championship, Carter may have been the best player last season. Carter is a versatile and fluid athlete that can penetrate offensive lines with ease. But with a full-time role expected to come into play for the first time can Carter show he’s as dominant as we project? Only time will tell, but his first test will be against an extremely talented Oregon team. (Shaun Chornobroff)

Will Levis, Quarterback, Kentucky (Miami (Ohio), September 3, 7:00 p.m.)

No one has more eyes on him this year than Will Levis. From all of the offseason hype to rising first-round talent, Levis has every tool that NFL coaches dream of. He certainly has a ways to go in terms of decision-making after 13 interceptions in 2021, but a dominant performance over Miami (Ohio) will be just what he needs to get his confidence going. (Kyle Smith) 


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