College football programs lose players to the NFL draft every year, whether it be underclassmen or seniors.
Last year, the Georgia Bulldogs had 15 players selected, which was the most for a school in the current seven-round format. It's not surprising that the schools producing the most draft picks typically compete for the College Football Playoff and national titles.
Let's take a look at which schools will have to replace the most NFL talent next season, with an emphasis on colleges that have a handful of high-end prospects. Since players have until Jan. 16 to formally declare for the draft, some on this list haven't announced their draft intentions just yet but are expected to go pro.
I mean, are we surprised who is first on this list? A year after having 15 players drafted, the Bulldogs reloaded with no problems and won it all again. Several Georgia players will have their names called in this year's NFL draft.
The biggest name will be Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter, who led Georgia's defense this season. Carter is projected to go within the first five picks in the draft, and he's the No. 2 overall player on Bleacher Report's Big Board. The Chicago Bears, currently holding the No. 1 overall pick, look like the most likely destination. Carter finished his Georgia career with 83 total tackles, six sacks and two forced fumbles.
Bulldogs cornerback Kelee Ringo is another highly touted prospect. Ringo, projected by Pro Football Focus to go No. 20 overall to the Seattle Seahawks, finished the season with 42 total tackles and two interceptions.
Another leader on Georgia's defense this season was linebacker Nolan Smith. Although Smith suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle on Oct. 29, he is projected to be a late first-rounder or early second-rounder.
Safety Christopher Smith, listed as Bleacher Report's No. 16 overall player in this year's draft, is another Bulldogs defensive back who will have his name called. Tight end Darnell Washington, tackle Broderick Jones (if he declares) and running back Kenny McIntosh will be selected as well. Quarterback Stetson Bennett, who is just 5'11'' and 198 pounds, could be a late-round pick and land a backup role on a team.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Quarterback C.J. Stroud is expected to be one of the first two quarterbacks taken in this year's draft. In his last game of the season during OSU's Peach Bowl semifinal loss, Stroud was outstanding. He finished with 348 passing yards and four touchdowns against Georgia's dominant defense. The two-time Heisman finalist is listed as B/R's No. 8 overall prospect for 2023.
Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba also has first-round potential. CBS Sports ranks him as the No. 3 receiver in the 2023 class. Although he played in just three games this season due to injury, the wideout had 1,606 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season. Smith-Njigba was named the 2022 Rose Bowl MVP after he finished with a whopping 347 yards and three touchdowns in Ohio State's 48-45 win over Utah.
Buckeyes defensive end Zach Harrison is also heading to the NFL. Harrison finished 2022 with 34 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, four passes defended and an interception. Ohio State will also lose safety Ronnie Hickman, who finished fourth on the team in tackles with 53, and he led the team with seven passes defended.