2022 ACC Championship Game: Top NFL Draft Prospects To Watch Include Bryan Bresee, Josh Downs

Here are the top 2023 NFL Draft prospects to watch in the 2022 ACC Championship Game. Clemson's defense leads the way with three first-round talents.

There’s no shortage of 2023 NFL Draft prospects to watch in the 2022 ACC Championship Game. In an exciting clash that pits an unstoppable force against an immovable object, these are the players you’ll want to keep an eye on.

Top NFL Draft Prospects To Watch in 2022 ACC Championship Game

Clemson Draft Prospects

True to form, the Clemson Tigers remain a defensive powerhouse, and their 2022 group might be one of their best yet. Three prospects listed below are almost surefire first-round picks, while two more are very safe NFL bets.

LB Trenton Simpson

In the modern age of NFL defenses, true versatility is an invaluable commodity. That’s what Clemson’s Trenton Simpson provides, to a degree that few others do. He’s a 6’3″, 230-pound defensive joker with the ability to play in the slot, out in space, in the box, or even off the edge.

Simpson’s play strength can stand to improve at the next level, but his range, instincts, and dynamic ability should make him coveted in the early rounds.

EDGE Myles Murphy

Along with Will Anderson Jr. and Tyree Wilson, Myles Murphy is another edge rusher who’s frequently garnered top 10 hype in mock drafts and 2023 NFL Draft projections. He has 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss in 2022, and interestingly enough, those stats aren’t even indicative of the impact he provides.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Prospects

At 6’5″, 275 pounds, Murphy is an elite power threat off the edge, and he also has the burst and foot speed to be a threat with his athleticism.

DT Bryan Bresee

Clemson could very well have three top 10-15 picks on defense. Last but certainly not least, there’s Bryan Bresee — a former five-star recruit with elite explosiveness and lateral agility at 6’5″, 305 pounds.

Bresee’s athleticism would be rare for a lineman much smaller, but his spark off the snap and ability to stress blockers laterally — combined with his length and powerful hands — truly makes for a devastating combo.

EDGE K.J. Henry

There’s an abundance of riches on Clemson’s defensive line. That’s evident when watching K.J. Henry. He’s another former highly-touted recruit who, while he hasn’t been as productive as Bresee and Murphy, has been a steady cog on the Tigers’ line.

Henry has 28 tackles for loss and 13 sacks across his career, with nine TFLs and 3.5 sacks coming in 2022. At 6’4″, 255 pounds, Henry offers good size and fluid hips, and he quietly has some of the best hands in the class.

DT Ruke Orhorhoro

He doesn’t always get the same buzz as his counterparts on the Clemson line. But Ruke Orhorhoro is on track to be a productive professional defender in his own right.

The 6’4″, 295-pound lineman has 15 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks over the past two years. He’s very alignment-versatile, with the natural leverage, short-area athleticism, proportional length, and strength to cause problems for blockers.

North Carolina’s Draft Prospects

The North Carolina Tar Heels’ high-octane offense is the setting for a number of 2023 NFL Draft ascensions this year. But the defense also has a few players worth noting, starting with their talented CB duo.

WR Josh Downs

When a wide receiver is worth Round 1 capital, sometimes you can tell just by how much target share they absorb. That’s the case with Josh Downs.

No receivers in college football have seen the ball come their way more often than Downs over the past two seasons. Through 2021 and 2022, Downs has 184 catches for 2,264 yards and 19 touchdowns. Although undersized, Downs’ impact is enormous. He’s an elite separator with a rare mix of burst, twitch, and throttle control. He can also convert at the catch point with body control.

CB Tony Grimes

It’s not a certainty that Tony Grimes declares, but the former five-star recruit undoubtedly has the talent to command interest if he does. Grimes just looks the part at cornerback. He’s 6’0″, 195 pounds, with good length. He shows off excellent matching athleticism off the line and has made strides with his technique.

At the catch point, Grimes’ best moments paint him as one of the most natural playmakers on the CFB circuit. A good game against Clemson could springboard a declaration decision.

WR Antoine Green

The sheer presence of Downs helps open up the UNC passing attack, but he also has a very capable complement in senior WR Antoine Green. Green is embarking on a career season, with 38 catches for 745 yards and seven touchdowns — averaging almost 20 yards per catch.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

At 6’2″, 200 pounds, Green brings the size and length that Downs lacks, but he also has underrated foot speed and burst. He uses those traits, along with his smooth catching instincts, to be a high-level big-play threat.

CB Storm Duck

Grimes isn’t the only cornerback worth watching on North Carolina’s defense. Across from him, there’s Storm Duck — a 6’0″, 205-pound defender who always seems to have a nose for the football.

Grimes’ sticky coverage has flushed targets toward Duck at times, and Duck has capitalized. He has three interceptions and nine deflections this year, and could leverage that production into a 2023 NFL Draft selection.

OT Asim Richards

Drake Maye and Downs have ultimately been the composite engine for the North Carolina offense’s success, but it doesn’t hurt that they have quality talent blocking up front.

Asim Richards catches perhaps the most attention as the team’s left tackle. He’s not an elite athlete, and he can be a bit stiff laterally. But Richards has great size and density at 6’4″, 315 pounds, along with excellent proportional length. And over the course of the year, he’s improved his hand usage.

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