Every year during the College Football National Championship game, football scouts from every NFL organization pay special attention to the biggest game of the season. They all want to see which NFL draft prospects take their game to the next level by playing against the best of the best in the CFB Championship.
This year, with the TCU Horned Frogs battling the Georgia Bulldogs, we have multiple first-round prospects in action who are likely to be top selections in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Many of the usual suspects from last season’s Bulldogs win return for another chance to repeat as champions, but TCU wasn’t on this stage a year ago, introducing several new athletes to pay attention to on both sidelines.
Here are the 2023 NFL Draft prospects you should have an eye on during Monday’s matchup.
Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
One of the top tight end prospects in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft, Darnell Washington isn’t a lock to play on Monday night. He’s been working to overcome an ankle injury he suffered during the Peach Bowl, but coach Kirby Smart remains hopeful that his 6-foot-7 blocking specialist can take the field.
He’s obviously a very large athlete, and Georgia uses his frame to their advantage, where Washington doubles as an extra offensive lineman. This unique usage of their second tight end provides additional protection for the passing game while also opening up holes for Kenny McIntosh, Daijun Edwards, and Kendall Milton in the rushing attack as well.
Washington isn’t their top pass catcher. That’s future first-round pick Brock Bowers’ job, but Washington fills his role nicely and could be a big factor in the red zone, either by blocking or being just too big to cover.
Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
While Washington may not become a first-round pick, chances are Broderick Jones and everyone below him on this list will hear their names called on the first day of the 2023 NFL player selection process.
Jones is an offensive lineman, so he doesn’t exactly make the highlight reel, but those looking to continue building in the trenches will have their eyes tuned into Georgia’s left tackle. The 6-foot-4 future NFL pro hasn’t allowed a sack all season and has let up just seven QB hurries in 14 games for the Bulldogs in 2022.
Like most offensive linemen, Jones hopes not to hear his name called during the college football broadcast. Usually, that only happens when the big guys do something wrong. But Jones can continue boosting his player stock in the eyes of NFL evaluators, securing a place for him somewhere in the first round.