2023 NFL Draft Prospects Watch Week 12: It’s Time To Talk About Jordan Travis as a Quality Quarterback Option

Jordan Travis leads our 2023 NFL Draft prospects to watch in Week 12, as the FSU QB quietly establishes himself as a legitimate prospect.

With just two weeks remaining of the 2022 college football season, we take another dive into the top 2023 NFL Draft prospects to watch this Saturday. A mixture of well-known and under-the-radar players make up our NFL draft prospects watch for college football Week 12.

Top 2023 NFL Draft Prospects To Watch in Week 12

Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State

As Florida State returns to national relevancy as a top 25 ranked team, it’s easy to point to their impressive running back room and stellar offensive line play as the reason for their offensive success this season.

However, there’s another reason why the Seminoles have been in scorching form. Have we been focusing on the wrong ACC QB from the state of Florida all along?

It’s no coincidence that Jordan Travis is having a career year as the Noles find success. Ahead of Week 12, the FSU QB has logged career-highs in completion percentage (65.3%), passing yards (2,414), yards per attempt (8.9), and touchdowns (20) while throwing just four interceptions. Although he’s been used less as a ground threat this fall, Travis has still added three rushing scores.

Can he enforce himself amongst the 2023 2023 NFL Draft’s top quarterback prospects? Travis certainly has an alluring skill set with impressive athleticism that provides scrambling potential but also pocket manipulation. He can throw accurately on the run, has the arm elasticity to generate excellent velocity, and has touch and anticipation throws in his repertoire.

Durrell Johnson, EDGE, Liberty

Malik Willis ensured there was a lot of focus on Liberty last season. However, most people must have only watched the Flames’ offense because there wasn’t the appropriate level of buzz for Durrell Johnson as one of the most dangerous EDGE prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. Only Ivan Pace Jr. has more tackles for loss this season than Johnson’s 18.5, while the latter’s added seven sacks on the season.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

At 6’3″ and 240 pounds, Johnson is an explosive presence who should be, at the very least, a situational edge rusher at the NFL level. He’s strong, oozes competitive toughness, and plays with violence at the point of attack. Meanwhile, the Liberty EDGE  showcases some impressive lateral athleticism that allows him to effortlessly change his rush trajectory.

Cooper Beebe, G, Kansas State

With two games of the season remaining, Kansas State has a Big 12 Championship Game spot within their grasp and are in control of their own destiny. One of the key components of the Wildcats’ success this season has been their ground game. While Deuce Vaughn and new QB Adrian Martinez have been a significant element of that, they couldn’t achieve it without the offensive line and Cooper Beebe in particular.

There’s a reason why Beebe is being considered one of the top guard prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. In fact, there are multiple reasons.

The Kansas State guard is a 6’4″, 322-pound mauler who combines an aggressive mindset with the physicality to act upon his bad intentions. The size alone makes Beebe a considerable roadblock, but he also has impressive athletic capability to catapult that hulking frame to the next level as a moveable feast of lane creation. With his ground game prowess, it’s easy to forget Beebe’s a stellar pass protector too.

Xazavian Valladay, RB, Arizona State

Just one week after Rachaad White announced his arrival on the global NFL stage for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Munich, another Arizona State RB will look to shine in an unusual time spot. The Sun Devils’ All-Pac-12 clash with Oregon State at 2:15 p.m. ET puts them in a rare daylight spot, and with no other game kicking off at the same time, it might command some attention.

After rushing for two 1,000+ yard campaigns for Wyoming, Xazavian Valladay has continued his productive ways in his first season in Tempe. The 6’0″, 198-pound rusher should surpass 1,000 yards for the season against the Beavers, while he’s amassed 15 total touchdowns this fall.

Valladay is a bursty rusher with impressive acceleration and the fluidity of movement to cause defenses issues. Furthermore, he’s a reliable receiving option like the Arizona State RB he replaced.

Christopher Dunn, K, North Carolina State

If you’re an NFL team looking for a kicker, North Carolina State’s Christopher Dunn is ascending as one of the top prospects at the position in the 2023 NFL Draft. This season, Dunn has showcased both power and consistency. He’s 100% on both field goals and extra points, while demonstrating his leg power with a 53-yarder against FSU.

MORE: Top Kickers and Punters in the 2023 NFL Draft

Having missed all of his 50+ yard attempts a year ago, Dunn has shown impressive development this season and should attract attention next April.

Rusty Staats, C, Western Kentucky

As we emerge out of several weeks of pure conference play, there are several matches that provide opportunity for “smaller school” prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft to prove themselves against more recognized powerhouses of college football. One of those matchups comes as Western Kentucky visits Jordan-Hare Stadium to take on an Auburn team with some top-tier NFL talent.

Facing a defensive line that consists of Derick Hall and Colby Wooden — plus hyper-athletic linebacker Owen Pappoe — will be a great test of Rusty Staats’ NFL credentials.

Boasting good size at 6’4″ and 310 pounds, the WKU center also has good length on the interior. He’s technically impressive in terms of his understanding of leverage, hand usage, and pad level while flashing the football intelligence that’s a requisite for being a communicator at the pivot.

Justin Ellis, EDGE, Georgia Southern

With two games of the 2022 college football season left to play, Georgia Southern EDGE Justin Ellis has already outstripped the impressive production from his 2021 campaign. As the top returning defensive player on the Eagles’ roster, that was to be expected, but his consistent ability to disrupt the opposing backfield is impressive.

In addition to nine tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks this year, Ellis has showcased his disruption by logging a forced fumble for the third consecutive season. The 6’2″, 255-pound DL prospect has been used in a number of alignments during his Eagles career. His ability to win with technical excellence, a relentless motor, and eye-catching ferocity off the edge could earn him a shot in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Charlie Thomas, LB, Georgia Tech

Few NFL draft prospects will have a tougher matchup than Georgia Tech linebacker Charlie Thomas this weekend. The Yellowjackets travel to Chapel Hill to take on a North Carolina team led by genuine Heisman Trophy contender and potential QB1 of the 2024 NFL Draft, Drake Maye. Whether it’s being tasked with coverage or attempting to halt the redshirt freshman in the open field, Thomas should see plenty of action this weekend.

At 6’2″, 207 pounds, the former safety is something of a divisive prospect who may be considered undersized by some NFL teams. But what he lacks in stature at the LB position, Thomas makes up for with physicality.

He hits with ferocious energy, although he’s capable of tempering that so he isn’t a loose-cannon liability. With excellent athleticism and timing, Thomas is a force in all phases of defense.

Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah

Some prospects you want to watch because of their talent. Others feature in our 2023 NFL Draft prospects to watch articles because their matchup gives them the opportunity to maximize that talent, or test it on the national stage.

For Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III, all the above apply as the Utes take on Oregon in a clash that will capture the national imagination with a place in the Pac-12 Championship on the line.

Meanwhile, as one of the top cornerback prospects in the NFL draft, Phillips’ talent demands attention every week, but particularly, this week against a high-powered Oregon passing offense led by Bo Nix.

While discussions around his draft stock are dominated by his diminutive stature, Phillips lets his play on the field do the talking. He’s competitive at the catch point, is an impressive athlete with fascinating fluidity, and is as intelligent as any cornerback in this class. Watch him go to work against Oregon this weekend with a free trial of fuboTV.

Aidan Robbins, RB, UNLV

If you want an excuse to stay up until Sunday watching college football, Hawaii entertains UNLV with an 11 p.m ET kickoff from Honolulu. The UNLV Rebels are reeling after losing five games straight, but one of their 2023 NFL Draft prospects gives them a reason to be optimistic about running back to Las Vegas with a fifth win of the season.

Aidan Robbins leads the team with 931 scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns following his transfer from Louisville. An upright runner whose 6’3″, 230 pounds gives him an obvious physical advantage, Robbins also possesses impressive straight-line speed and has shown this season that he can take a big play to the house. Facing the worst rush defense in the Mountain West gives the UNLV rusher a chance to add to his statistical résumé ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.

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