by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.
Each week during the 2023 college football season, Draft 412 will take a look at six players who helped their draft stock with solid performances. As the season progresses, Draft 412 will start to zoom in on first round talent.
Here is the six pack from this past week:
Northern Illinois- RB- Antario Brown
Northern Illinois running back Antario Brown had the biggest rushing game to date in 2023, with 280 yards on only 13 carries against the Akron Zips. Amongst those 13 carries were 4 long touchdown runs of 66, 58, 46 and 50 to help the Huskies crush Akron 55-14.
The 5’10” 219 lbs. junior running back from Savannah, GA is a name to watch, either for the rest of this year or if he decides to return for a senior season. He already has 616 yards in 2023 and can beat you both around the edge with speed or as a physical runner between the tackles. Draft 412 predicts Brown to be a late round pick if he were to declare but he is headed in the right direction on many draft boards.
Buffalo- S- Devin Grant
You want a name to watch out for? How about sophomore safety Devin Grant from Buffalo Bulls. The 6’4” 190 lbs. defensive backs picked off 3 passes against Central Michigan, returning 2 for touchdowns and collecting 4 tackles in a 37-13 Bulls win. He now has 4 interceptions on the year and if he can add some muscle and weight to his tall, lanky frame, he could be one of the top safeties coming into the 2024 season. Grant has athleticism and style of play that NFL scouts like, and being a pure sophomore, he has some time to develop. Don’t forget his name—Draft 412 won’t.
Ohio State- QB- Kyle McCord
Coming into the 2023 season, the experts knew Ohio State was loaded with NFL talent on both sides of the ball but the main question mark was at quarterback. Could Kyle McCord take over for C.J. Stroud and keep them in contention for a National Championship? He has improved week to week and is playing a lot more comfortable in this high powered offense.
This past week, McCord had his best game to date against a tough Maryland team that had some momentum coming into the tilt. He was 19-29 for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns in Ohio State’s 37-17 win. The junior quarterback has 2 years of eligibility left and should come back to school in 2024 and improve his draft stock. He has an NFL arm but needs to work on his footwork and improve his ability to throw on the run. McCord has the potential to be a future first round pick, just not in 2023.
Oklahoma- QB- Dillon Gabriel
The top game of the weekend was a 34-30 come from behind win by Oklahoma over Texas in the Red River Rivalry. Oklahoma was led by Dillon Gabriel who took them the length of the field in under a minute for the climatic win. Gabriel beat Texas through the air and by picking up 113 yards on the ground as well. He is without a doubt a top 10 quarterback in the nation, but at 5’11” and an arm that is not NFL caliber, he will have trouble being anything more than a late round or undrafted free agent. Draft 412 is not saying that Gabriel cannot stick with an NFL team and be a valuable back up in the league, but he’s not the prototypical NFL signal caller. He consistently does whatever it takes to win at the college level and sometimes a quarterback can have the “it” factor.
On the season, Gabriel has now thrown for 1,876 yards and 16 touchdowns, to go along with only 2 interceptions.
Louisville- RB- Jawhar Jordan
Jordan is a 5th year junior who had the biggest game of his career this past weekend against #10 Notre Dame. He ran through a tough defense all night long in route to 143 yards on 21 carries and also scored 2 touchdowns. Louisville shocked the nation with a 33-20 victory and a 6-0 start.
Jordan has good patience and vision but does not have any elite skill sets when it comes to speed or power. His career has been beset by injuries and he’s just now starting to show what he is capable of. He does have a year of eligibility left if he chooses and may need to bulk up on his 5’10” 185 lbs. frame before an NFL team may give him serious consideration.
Georgia- QB- Carson Beck
Carson Beck is a mid-season riser to keep an eye on for the 2023 draft, though Draft 412 believes he will come back for his senior season in the hopes of becoming a first round pick in 2025.
Beck is a pure pocket passer who has the body of an NFL quarterback at 6’4” 220 lbs. He lit up Kentucky in his last game, throwing for 389 yards on 28-35 passing, with 4 touchdowns. In a game that some thought could be close, Beck and the Georgia Bulldogs scorched the Wildcats to a tune of 51-13. Beck reminds Draft 412 a lot of Ohio State’s Kyle McCord in the respect that they are both late career starting quarterbacks for elite programs, and both have a chance to be a top selection in 2025.