College Football Players That Will Replace Top Stars In 2023 NFL Draft

January 26, 2023 by Staff

College football freshmen eligible for the draft have already passed the deadline to apply for the 2023 NFL Draft. There is a period for reconsideration before final approval, but we know who is leaving and who is returning for another season. Departures were expected based on performance and draft projections. Coaches have backup plans or are looking for replacements in the transfer portal. 

Even though spring practice will provide more information on replacements for departing stars, below is a list of players from their respective college teams who are leaving for the NFL and the people who are likely to take their place on the team.

Alabama LB

Gone: Will Anderson

Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. is considered to be among the best prospects available in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. He excelled during his high school career at Dutchtown High School in Georgia, and was a standout on Alabama's defense, finishing his college career with the second-most tackles for loss and sacks in program history.

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In: Dallas Turner

During his freshman year, Turner earned Freshman All-American honors, and in 2022 he continued to show his potential, positioning himself for a breakthrough season in 2023. He was among the team leaders in sacks and tackles for loss, consistently beating blocks and making an impact in the backfield.

Alabama QB

Gone: Bryce Young

On Friday night, current Alabama quarterback Bryce Young announced that he will be declaring for the NFL draft in April, bringing his successful college career to a close.

In his junior year of 2022, Young played 14 games and maintained elite statistics. He recorded 3,325 passing yards, a 64.5% completion rate, 8.4 yards per attempt, 32 touchdowns, and only five interceptions, and was sacked only 16 times, with a quarterback rating of 114.9. He was third-best in the SEC. Young also made an impact as a runner, amassing 306 yards on 33 runs, averaging 9.3 yards per run.

In: Ty Simpson or Jalen Milroe

When Bryce Young was injured during the 2022 season, Milroe was chosen to lead the offense. Milroe effectively utilized his size and athleticism, but the offense had a different passing attack when he played. With Young as quarterback, Alabama threw the ball 31 times per game, but with Milroe, they threw the ball only 19 times and ran 51 rushing attempts.

Milroe's passing numbers on the season, with a 58.5% completion percentage and 5 touchdowns to 3 interceptions, leaves the competition open as he enters 2023 with more experience than Ty Simpson, creating intrigue in Tuscaloosa.

Florida QB

Gone: Anthony Richardson

Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, a third-year sophomore, announced on Monday his decision to forgo the upcoming Las Vegas Bowl and enter the 2023 NFL Draft. Richardson is considered as a wild card in the draft, known for his rare combination of size, speed, and arm strength. 

The research from the School of Graduate Studies suggested that there is no clear advantage for a quarterback staying in college for three or four years. However, when comparing the top five in each category, they found that players who stayed in college for four years were more likely to become elite players in the NFL than those who only stayed for three years.

In: Jack Miller or Graham Mertz

Florida faced challenges at the quarterback position recently, with backup Jalen Kitna being dismissed from the team due to child pornography charges and Anthony Richardson opting to enter the NFL Draft and not play in the bowl game. This left third-string option Jack Miller as the only quarterback available, who performed poorly in a 30-3 loss to Oregon State. Florida addressed the issue by recruiting Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz through the transfer portal.

Georgia DT

Gone: Jalen Carter

Following No. 1 Georgia's 65-7 win over TCU in the National Championship game, Jalen Carter, a defensive lineman from Georgia has declared for the 2023 NFL Draft, skipping his final year of college eligibility. He announced his decision via Twitter.

In: Bear Alexander

Georgia's freshman defensive lineman, Alexander, despite being behind more experienced players on the depth chart, has a high potential to become a star player. He missed spring practice due to a shoulder injury, but saw action in 12 of 15 games in the national championship run. Alexander may not start next season due to the high level of talent and competition along the defensive line, but he is a player to watch when the two-time national champions begin their quest for a three-peat in the fall.

Georgia CB

Gone: Kelee Ringo

Junior cornerback Kelee Ringo from the Georgia Bulldogs has announced his decision to enter the 2023 NFL draft. He is considered to be one of the top cornerback prospects in the draft, being a former five-star recruit. Ringo ended his college career with two consecutive national championships and had 42 tackles, one forced fumble, and two interceptions during the 2022 season.

In: Kamari Lassiter or Nyland Green

Georgia's Lassiter and Green are the two players that could take a big jump in 2023. Lassiter has been a starter for the entire season and played well against Tennessee and TCU in the national title game. He could move to the other side of the defense depending on the opponent. Green, a former four-star prospect, saw action in 10 of Georgia's 15 games as a reserve defensive back and on special teams.

Georgia OL

Gone: Broderick Jones

Georgia starting offensive tackle Broderick Jones will be entering the 2023 NFL Draft. As a first-team All-SEC offensive lineman, he is projected to be a first-round pick and a potential first offensive tackle selected in the draft. Jones announced his decision to enter the draft, while teammates Whitmer and Gilchrist have already secured spots in the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit.

In: Amarius Mims

Mims is identified as the top tackle option behind starters Broderick Jones and Warren McClendon at Georgia. He played regularly in 2022, and is expected to become the next Georgia player to attract NFL Draft attention. Mims entered the transfer portal in April 2022 after playing only six games during his freshman season, but eventually removed his name from the portal and stayed with Georgia.