PFF believes a Michigan football freshman would be a top pick in the 2023 NFL draft if eligible
Michigan fans are lucky college football doesn’t have the same rules that college basketball has.
In basketball, a player only has to play one season in college or the G-League before entering the NBA draft. Good thing it’s three seasons in college football, or Will Johnson may have entered the 2023 NFL draft — at least according to Pro Football Focus.
PFF came out with an article showing a 2023 NFL mock draft if every player was eligible — regardless of class. The analytic site had one Michigan player getting selected in April, and that one player was the former five-star corner. Max Chadwick, the author, had the Philadelphia Eagles selecting Johnson at No. 10 overall.
10. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: CB WILL JOHNSON, MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (2025)
James Bradberry outperformed his one-year deal with the Eagles and is now likely priced out of Philadelphia this offseason. He ranked third among all cornerbacks this season with a 54.2 passer rating allowed.
Johnson is a similarly big cornerback (6-foot-2) and locked down his opposition in his true freshman season. The former five-star recruit ranked first among Power Five cornerbacks with a 91.1 grade in man coverage.
Johnson began the 2022 season as a rotational piece in the secondary before getting his first start against Rutgers. After starting against the Scarlet Knights, he never looked back. The lock-down defender finished the season with 27 tackles, two tackles for loss, three interceptions, and six pass breakups. After his fantastic freshman season, Johnson was named a freshman All-American.
Johnson should lock down the No. 1 assignment every Saturday next season, but the question for the Michigan secondary is who starts opposite of him? Spring practice is underway in Ann Arbor, so we may get some details emerging from that in the coming weeks.
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Ranking Big Ten teams by 2023 college football preseason SP+ ranking