The tape of last year's Rose Bowl is a good example of why CJ Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are well-liked by NFL scouts. But the same could be said for Phillips, who gave up a few plays but whose cover talent, including an interception, was impressive vs. the Buckeyes.
Improving the protection around Kyler Murray should be a top priority for Arizona, particularly at right tackle. Nelson could have been a fairly early pick in this year's draft, but another year of improvement should have him prepared to be a franchise tackle at the next level.
In the loaded Buckeyes receiving corps, it was JSN who led the team in catches (95) and yards (1,595) last season. He's been a slot-only so far, so it will be interesting to see if his role expands next fall.
Joseph opted to return to school -- though he transferred from Northwestern to Notre Dame for 2022 -- but he had top-100 buzz in the fall. He'll have a chance to improve his stock with a strong fall campaign.
I can't remember the last time the Cardinals truly had an ideal set of cornerbacks. A transfer from LSU, Ricks should come into his own at Alabama with every trait needed to develop into a first-round selection in 2023.
Once upon a time, a player like Simpson would've been called a tweener, because explosive athletes who were even a little undersized found themselves out of favor with NFL coaches. Now, players like this are highly coveted, and if you're getting the feeling like Clemson's going to have a heckuva defense in the coming year, you would be correct. Simpson provides linebacker size with defensive end pass rushing ability and near-defensive back speed.
The Utah Utes are known for their defense. And soon, they'll be known for Clark Phillips III. A dominant cornerback, Phillips has speed for days and plenty of football IQ that allows him to maintain coverage against any receiver. He's a ball hawk with plus skills against the run as well. The Arizona Cardinals were unable to attack cornerback early in the 2022 NFL Draft, but they don't make that mistake here.