5 College prospects Detroit Lions fans should watch: Week 1 – 2022 Season

It is never too early to start paying attention to some players who could be an eventual fit for our Detroit Lions.
This article is part 2 of 3 in the series 5 College prospects Detroit Lions fans should watch in 2022

Believe it or not, Week 1 of the 2022 College Football season begins on Saturday and though the 2023 NFL Draft is a very long way away, it is never too early to start paying attention to some players who could be an eventual fit for our Detroit Lions.

That being said, here are 5 players Detroit Lions fans should keep an eye on during Week 1 of the 2022 college football season.

Today, we will focus on quarterbacks who have the potential to be selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

5 College prospects Detroit Lions fans should watch: Week 1

C.J. Stroud – Ohio State (7:30 p.m. ET – ABC)

Not only does Stroud play the most valuable position in football, but he’s also a true potential blue-chip prospect at that position. It goes without saying that Stroud is almost a surefire first-round pick — and a potential No. 1 overall pick — with the mix of talent and positional value in play.

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Teams only spend top selections on passers who have legitimate franchise QB potential, and that’s what Stroud is. Stroud has high-end arm talent and solid creation capacity. Beyond his raw talent, Stroud’s scouting report is far more complete than you’d expect for a prospect his age.

Stroud is tremendously accurate, composed, and adept as a processor. At his best, he can be in complete control of the field ahead of him with his vision, eye manipulation, and arm elasticity. The Ohio State QB still has room to further refine his mechanics, as well as become more consistently precise. But as it stands, Stroud’s a true franchise-caliber passer, with the physical and intangible tools to lead a team to contention. -Pro Football Network

Bryce Young – Alabama (7:30 p.m. ET – SEC Network)

Young’s arm is more than strong enough to be a starter, and he also has an incredibly elastic arm, able to generate velocity from multiple arm angles. His creation capacity is legitimately elite and makes him a constant threat to extend plays and nullify early successes by a defense. Throw in his active anticipation, off-script awareness, poise, pocket navigation, and natural accuracy, and it’s easy to be enamored by the potential.

In a way, it’s fascinating that Young is already coming off a Heisman-winning campaign, and his best football may be still to come. The Alabama QB perfectly fits the modern mold of a franchise passer. He’s a high-level creator with ability in rhythm and timing offenses as well. He has the potential to lead an NFL team to extended success. -Pro Football Network

Will Levis – Kentucky (7:00 p.m. ET – SECN+ and #ESPN+)

Levis is a polarizing prospect at the QB position. But after re-evaluating his most recent tape, I feel he’s worthy of Round 1 capital. And with a year of improvement, he could work himself into the early first-round range. Levis has high-end physical tools. And while he has room for further refinement, there are bright flashes on the operational side.

Levis has a clear path to improvement in 2022, but it will be easier said than done. He has to become much more consistent reading the field and anticipating windows, and he needs to more consistently lead receivers effectively, especially over the middle of the field. But as it stands, he has good mechanics and pocket management, his accuracy is far from a liability, and he does show flashes of anticipation to build on.

Taking Levis’ potential for growth into account, his stable, unteachable traits remain exhilarating. Levis is an athletic, resilient, and supremely talented passer, with the high-end attributes to buoy a franchise-caliber ceiling as he gains more starting experience. -Pro Football Network

Anthony Richardson – Florida (7:00 p.m. ET – ESPN)

Richardson was only a part-time player last season as former Gators coach Dan Mullen stuck with the inconsistent Emory Jones as his starter. In Mullen’s run-heavy spread attack, Richardson finished the 2021 season with 59.4% completions (38-for-64) for 529 yards and a 6-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio, adding 401 rushing yards (7.9 average) and three rushing touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how new head coach Billy Napier adjusts his offense to Richardson’s unique skills.

More potential than production right now, it is extremely premature to predict where Richardson will ultimately be drafted. But it felt wrong to leave him out of the top five quarterbacks for next year because of his sky-high ceiling if he continues to harness his skills and become a more consistent decision-maker. -The Athletic

Tyler Van Dyke – Miami  (3:30 p.m. ET – ACC Network)

Van Dyke has been a popular selection in early-round mocks this summer. It’s widely agreed upon that he has first-round upside. He has a long way to go before he locks in early-round status. Right now, he’s more of a Day 2 value. But it’s also understood that he was a redshirt freshman last year. With more time and more growth, Van Dyke has the tools to be coveted as a potential starter.

It’s also important to note that the opposite is just as reasonable a possibility. We’ve seen passers produce early in their collegiate careers, only to fizzle and fade out in the years that follow. Van Dyke has the high-level arm talent to avoid that fate. But he still needs a lot of progression in operational categories like mechanics, processing, and accuracy before he takes the next step. -Pro Football Network

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