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2023 NFL Draft: 3 Prospects to Watch Before Week 12

Prospects for Packers fans to watch before Sunday night.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers are on the verge of being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but the front office has already been preparing for the 2023 NFL Draft for months.

A loss on Sunday night to the Philadelphia Eagles would put the Packers at just 4-8 with an insurmountable hole to dig themselves out of. On the bright side, being eliminated from postseason contention would allow the team to evaluate younger players to better understand which positions to address in the 2023 draft.

It’s rivalry week in college football, so let’s take a look at a few prospects trying to show something to NFL scouts on Saturday.

Broderick Jones, OL, Georgia

Georgia Tech vs #1 Georgia, 12:00 PM ET on ESPN

The tight ends tend to get all of the attention for the Georgia Bulldogs on offense, but their starting left tackle Broderick Jones is pretty formidable as well.

Listed at 6’4” and 310 pounds, Jones is an intense lineman with great play strength that allows him to bully defenders in the trenches. He’s consistently looking for work as a run blocker and will help push the pile when his running back is in a stalemate.

In pass protection, Jones has a good anchor that could be improved more with better hand placement. There are questions about his lateral agility and ability to handle shiftier pass rushers, but he has good size and length to stay in front of most defenders.

Jones isn’t the most athletic tackle prospect and could benefit by kicking inside to guard, but that kind of positional versatility is something that teams like the Packers value in their OL prospects.

Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee

#9 Tennessee vs Vanderbilt, 7:30 PM ET on SEC Network

As interesting as some of the wide receiver prospects are in this year’s class, the Packers have a very particular type of player in mind when drafting at the position. Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs were just further examples of what the Packers look for, taking a pair of players over 6’0” and 200 pounds.

Cedric Tillman out of Tennessee fits those size thresholds, listed at 6’3” and 215 pounds. He put himself on the map as a junior with the Volunteers, surpassing 1,000 receiving yards with 12 touchdowns.

Injuries have limited Tillman’s impact in 2022, but you can still see the traits that make him a pro prospect. Tillman uses his size and play strength to play through contact on contested catches or through his routes, positioning himself well on curl and comeback routes.

Although he’s not a quick-twitch receiver who flies off of the snap, Tillman has the size and top-end play speed to push the field vertically, even if takes him a bit to gear up to top speed.

Tillman isn’t the top receiver in the 2023 class, but his skill set fits well with what Matt LaFleur wants in his wideouts.

Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

#25 Louisville vs Kentucky, 3:00 PM ET on SEC Network

The quarterback position is going to be discussed a lot in the coming months. If Aaron Rodgers decides to retire, and the team isn’t sold on Jordan Love, they could try to take a swing on another top QB prospect.

Will Levis will likely be a top-five pick due to the nature of the position, but if the Packers are doing their homework on this QB class, the Kentucky prospect could be at the top of their list.

Coaches rave about Levis’ competitive toughness and love of football. That, combined with excellent arm strength and effortless zip on the ball, has helped him move into the conversation as one of the top QB prospects in this draft class.

That being said, there are some concerns with Levis’ game. His fearlessness can lead to him taking too many hits, leading to him getting banged up. He’s making an active effort to do a better job of working through his progressions in 2022, but that has led to him being too hesitant at times, resulting in turnovers off of late throws.

The Packers may not take a quarterback, but if things go south and Rodgers retires, it’s worth keeping an eye on.