Following the slate of games on Saturday, we will be highlighting several college football prospects and their respective performances as well as how they could be viewed going forward into the 2023 NFL Draft specifically by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Drew Sanders, OLB, Arkansas
The Arkansas Razorbacks took care of business against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Fayetteville Saturday, winning 44-30 in SEC action. While the offense lit up the scoreboard for the Hogs, the most dominant player on the field graced the defensive side of the football OLB Drew Sanders had a game to remember as he totaled 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and a pass deflection making an impact in a big way by putting pressure on Spencer Rattler and forcing turnovers to get the ball back to the offense.
A former five-star recruit, the Alabama transfer little playing time his first two seasons with the Crimson Tide, promoting the move inside the conference to Arkansas. Having recorded a sack in his previous game, Sanders is running hot to start 2022. While he may only be a junior, should the production continue for the talented athlete possessing an NFL frame, Sanders may be tempted to declare early.
Jordan Addison, WR, USC
The USC Trojans look to be in control of the PAC 12 conference early in the season after beating Stanford 41-28. QB Caleb Williams looked in control the entire game and 2021 Biletnikoff winner WR Jordan Addison looked right at home with his new team. He torched the Cardinal defense to the tune of seven receptions for 172 yards and two TDs. He displayed filthy route running to break free of coverage from cover corner Kyu Blu Kelly, beating him over the top for a 75-yard TD strike. Addison came into 2022 as one of the top WR prospects in the nation, and with the early chemistry between he and his star QB, the former Pitt wideout could be in-line for a spectacular season.
Andrew Vorhees, OL, USC
While players like Caleb Williams, Jordan Addison, and Travis Dye will get the headlines for the USC offense, OL Andrew Vorhees had an impressive game himself against the team’s PAC 12 rival. The 6’6, 325lb redshirt senior looked like a seasoned vet against the Cardinal front seven, being sound in pass protection while also having the athleticism and mobility to pull and get out in space to pick up blocks in the run game. He is extremely versatile, having started five games at right guard, eight games at left guard and four games at left tackle prior to 2022. While an only prospect as a 6th-year senior, Vorhees is as polished as they come and figures to be plug-and-play the day he is drafted.
Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee
Tillman was highlighted as a player to look out for in our preview series and the wide receiver did not disappoint. The Volunteers won in a shootout against the Pitt Panthers 34-27 in OT and Tillman stole the show in the passing game as he hauled in nine receptions for 162 yards and a TD. Tillman caught the game winning TD catch in overtime to put Tennessee on top.
Having the size and body control to be a viable red zone threat, the 6’3, 215lb redshirt senior has improved his game every season, having the opportunity to go pro last year, but chose to return and improve his draft stock more. So far in 2022, Tillman is doing just that as a likely mid-round WR prospect who continues to rise.
Jacoby Windmon, OLB, Michigan State
The Michigan State Spartans decimated the Akron Zips at home Saturday in a 52-0 shutout. The defense was impeccable for the Spartans and Jacoby Windmon led the way with his second standout performance of the season. He posted five tackles, 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and a pass deflection against Akron, following up a four-sack performance with a forced fumble against Western Michigan. Windmon showcased a full toolbox as a pass rusher, having the speed and burst to win off the edge as well as the strength and hand moves to defeat blocks routinely to get into the pocket and force the ball out on multiple occasions.
The 6’2, 250lb senior came to East Lansing as a transfer from UNLV this season and is off to a hot start with 5.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in two games. Should the production follow him into Big Ten conference play, look for Windom to gain more traction as one of the better pass rushers in this draft class.
What are your thoughts on the names listed above and their potential fit in Pittsburgh? Do you think they could translate well to the league? What other names stood out Saturday that the Steelers could have interest in come the spring? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!