College Football 2023: Highest-graded players at every position through Week 7

2T1XN37 October 14, 2023: LSU's Malik Nabers (8) tries to escape from the grasp of Auburn's Champ Anthony (25) during the NCAA football game between the Auburn Tigers and the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA. Kyle Okita/CSM (Credit Image: © Kyle Okita/Cal Sport Media) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

  • QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington: The Heisman favorite’s 93.4 grade leads all quarterbacks in the country.
  • WR Malik Nabers, LSU: The LSU star's 91.2 grade ranks first among receivers. 
  • G Cooper Beebe, Kansas State: The Kansas State guard's 85.1 grade is the best mark among Power Five guards.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

We’re already at the midway point of the 2023 college football season, and the top teams and players are separating themselves from the pack.

After unveiling our midseason All-American team and midseason awards, here are the highest-graded Power Five and Group of Five players at every position through Week 7.

Quarterback

POWER FIVE: MICHAEL PENIX JR., WASHINGTON HUSKIES – 93.4

Penix has been the best quarterback in college football this season. He leads the nation in passing grade (93.1) and is tied for second with 18 big-time throws.

GROUP OF FIVE: KAIDON SALTER, LIBERTY FLAMES & DARREN GRAINGER, GEORGIA STATE PANTHERS – 84.7

Salter is one of the quarterbacks tied for second with Penix in big-time throws. Grainger’s 83.9 passing grade is second among all Group of Five quarterbacks.

Running Back

POWER FIVE: JONAH COLEMAN, ARIZONA WILDCATS – 90.7

Coleman is the only running back in the country with 90.0-plus grades as both a rusher and receiver. No other back in the FBS even has 85.0-plus grades in both facets.

GROUP OF FIVE: ASHTON JEANTY, BOISE STATE BRONCOS – 90.1

Jeanty and Coleman are the only two college running backs with top-10 rushing and receiving grades. Jeanty’s 405 receiving yards are 99 more than the next-closest running back.

Wide Receiver

POWER FIVE: MALIK NABERS, LSU TIGERS – 91.2

Nabers’ 91.6 grade and 860 receiving yards rank first at the position. The junior has also proven to be one of the best deep threats in the country, as his 95.4 receiving grade on 20-plus-yard throws leads the Power Five.

GROUP OF FIVE: JARED ROZNOS, AIR FORCE FALCONS – 89.3

Air Force runs the ball on 91% of its plays, 14 percentage points higher than the next-closest FBS school. So, how does one of the Falcons’ receivers lead the way here? On only 24 receiving snaps, the junior has 279 receiving yards. That’s good for an absurd 11.63 yards per route run and a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeted.

Tight End

POWER FIVE: AJ BARNER, MICHIGAN WOLVERINES – 89.6

Barner is almost like a third offensive tackle for the Wolverines when he’s on the field. The Indiana transfer’s 82.0 run-blocking grade leads all tight ends in the country.

GROUP OF FIVE: LINCOLN SEFCIK, SOUTH ALABAMA JAGUARS – 82.9

Sefcik is the only tight end in the nation who has top-15 receiving and run-blocking grades ahead of Week 8.

Offensive Tackle

POWER FIVE: TALIESE FUAGA, OREGON STATE BEAVERS – 87.2

Fuaga’s 91.9 run-blocking grade is over five points higher than the next-closest FBS tackle. His nine big-time blocks (PFF’s highest-graded blocks) also rank first at the position.

GROUP OF FIVE: ADAM KARAS, AIR FORCE FALCONS – 87.8

Air Force runs the ball at the highest rate in the country. Karas paves the way. His 83.7 run-blocking grade is the nation's best mark at the position.

Offensive Guard

POWER FIVE: COOPER BEEBE, KANSAS STATE WILDCATS – 85.1

Beebe is demonstrating why he began the year as our top interior offensive lineman. He’s the only Power Five guard who is top-five in both pass-blocking (second) and run-blocking grades (second). The senior also hasn’t allowed a sack since the 2020 season.

 

GROUP OF FIVE: CHRISTIAN HAYNES, UCONN HUSKIES – 88.8

Haynes was one of our top five interior offensive linemen entering the season and is proving why. He’s the only FBS guard with 85.0-plus grades as both a pass-blocker and run-blocker. The redshirt senior’s 89.8 run-blocking grade is over five points higher than the next-closest guard's.

Center

Power Five: Matt Lee, Miami (FL) Hurricanes – 82.7

Lee is one of only two centers in the country with top-10 grades as both a pass-blocker and a run-blocker. The UCF transfer hasn’t given up a sack and has surrendered only two pressures on 195 pass-blocking snaps.

GROUP OF FIVE: SINCERE HAYNESWORTH, TULANE GREEN WAVE – 79.3

Haynesworth’s 81.6 run-blocking grade is second among all centers in the country.

Interior Defensive Lineman

POWER FIVE: T’VONDRE SWEAT, TEXAS LONGHORNS – 91.1

Sweat is the only defensive tackle in the country who possesses a top-five grade as a pass-rusher and run defender. The senior’s 90.0 pass-rushing grade leads the position by over four points.

GROUP OF FIVE: EVAN ANDERSON, FAU OWLS – 82.6

Anderson eats up blocks in the run game. The 356-pounder’s 90.8 run-defense grade is nearly three points higher than the next-closest defensive tackle.

Edge Defender

POWER FIVE: LAIATU LATU, UCLA BRUINS – 93.5

Latu has the best comeback story in college football. While at Washington, he missed the 2020 and 2021 seasons after being forced to medically retire with a neck injury. He then transferred to UCLA and posted a 91.0 pass-rushing grade, fourth among Power Five edge defenders.

Latu's 93.5 PFF grade leads all players in the country. His 25% pressure rate is second among FBS edge defenders, while his three forced fumbles are tied for the second-most among all defensive players. To top it off, Latu also has an interception.

Group of Five: Elijah Alston, Marshall Thundering Herd – 90.9

While most edge defenders excel as pass-rushers or run defenders, Alston's 96.2 coverage grade leads all FBS edge defenders. He’s one of only 11 edge defenders in the nation with an interception this year.

Linebacker

POWER FIVE: MICHAEL BARRETT, MICHIGAN WOLVERINES – 87.5

Barrett’s 94.2 pass-rushing grade is second among all linebackers. He has six pressures on just 18 pass-rushing snaps.

GROUP OF FIVE: DALLAS GANT, TOLEDO ROCKETS – 86.4

Gant is the only linebacker in the country to place in the top 10 in both run-defense grade and coverage grade. In fact, he’s the only one who’s in the top 20 for each metric.

Cornerback

POWER FIVE: SEBASTIAN CASTRO, IOWA HAWKEYES – 90.6

Castro hasn’t allowed a touchdown on 258 coverage snaps this season. The only cornerback who has more coverage snaps without surrendering a score is his teammate, Cooper DeJean.

GROUP OF FIVE: QUINYON MITCHELL, TOLEDO ROCKETS – 85.2

Mitchell was the highest-graded corner in the country last season, with a 92.5 mark. He’s continuing that success this year with a sub-50% completion rate allowed.

Safety

POWER FIVE: MALAKI STARKS, GEORGIA BULLDOGS – 89.8

Starks earned a respectable 67.1 grade as a true freshman while leading the defense with 847 snaps. He’s taken the leap to becoming the best safety in the country as a sophomore. He has the fifth-best coverage grade and eighth-best run-defense grade. No other safety in the nation is in the top 15 for both.

 

GROUP OF FIVE: BRYLAN GREEN, LIBERTY FLAMES – 90.7

Green is one of only four safeties in the FBS with 80.0-plus grades in coverage and as a run defender. His 10 combined interceptions and forced incompletions lead all safeties in the nation.

Safety worth way more than 2 points. Help protect your family with fast, free will.
Sponsor
College Featured Tools
  • Power Rankings are PFF’s NCAA power ratings based on weekly player grades in each facet of play. These power rankings are adjusted based on coach, quarterback and the market each season.

    Available with

  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

    Available with

  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NCAA player performance data.

    Available with

Subscriptions

Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
OR
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit