The 2023 NFL Draft process is fully underway as this week saw the deadline for draft-eligible underclassmen to declare come and go with Monday serving as the last date to file the paperwork. There’s now a 72-hour window for reconsideration before final approval from the league drops on Friday.
Some announcements came as no surprise, both to fans and likely to their coaches as well, but there was some drama surrounding a couple big stars leading right up to Monday’s deadline. But now that these players — all at least three years removed from high school with college eligibility remaining — have decided to move on to the next level, we here on the college football side of things will turn the page to the next wave of stars coming up to fill their shoes.
With plenty left to learn before the 2023 season kicks off, including another transfer portal window after spring practice, these are merely projections for how some of the top players in college football will be replaced at their formal school. But these are undeniably key names to know heading into spring practice; they will at least be shouldered with expectations of taking on more responsibility with the absence of NFL Draft first-round talent in their respective position rooms.
Replacement — Ty Simpson or Jalen Milroe: When 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young was injured during the 2022 season, it was Milroe who was tapped to lead the offense. The former four-star prospect was able to utilize his size and athleticism effectively, but the offense had an entirely different look in terms of the passing attack. With Young under center, Alabama threw the ball about 31 times per game. When Milroe played the entire game against Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide threw the ball just 19 times and…