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Chiefs draft prospects to watch in the weekend’s conference championships

This weekend, you can see plenty of potential Kansas City draft prospects playing in big-time games.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It is Conference Championship Weekend in college football. Some of the country’s best teams will be competing for hardware. And many 2023 NFL Draft prospects who could play roles with the Kansas City Chiefs will be on the field.

Let’s take a look at some of the marquee names in the Power Five conferences that you can watch live this weekend. All times are Arrowhead Time.

PAC-12 Championship
Utah vs. USC
7 p.m. Friday on FOX

Clark Phillips III • CB • Utah

Given the talented young defenders who have stepped up for the Chiefs this season, cornerbacks are not high on the list of the team’s needs. But Phillips is a rare talent who is still fairly underrated. He has been a playmaker for the Utes since 2020 — and can play outside or in the nickel spot at a high level.

Jordan Addison • WR • USC

The USC wideout could be seeing plenty of Phillips on Friday night; it could be a battle between two future first-round picks. Addison missed time due to an injury, but has returned just in time for USC to make its push for a national championship. Addison is a receiver who can score from anywhere on the field.

Big 12 Championship
Kansas State vs. TCU
11 a.m. Saturday on ABC

Felix Anudike-Uzomah • Edge • Kansas State

The Wildcats could not only capture their first conference championship since 2012, but also push TCU out of the college football playoffs. Anudike-Uzomah will be a big part of achieving those goals. The defensive end is one of the pivotal leaders and performers for the K-State defense. He would present a lot of value to the Chiefs — and the Kansas City native would have plenty of hometown fans to cheer him on.

Quentin Johnston • WR • TCU

TCU rolls into this game undefeated. In the college football playoff, they could represent the Big 12, which hasn’t sent a team since Oklahoma went in 2019. Johnston has dealt with injuries all year, but looks healthy for the season’s biggest game. He’s a big-bodied receiver who can deliver a big play at a moment’s notice.

SEC Championship
LSU vs. Georgia
3 p.m. Saturday on CBS

BJ Ojulari • Edge • LSU

This is an intriguing player. While the 6-foot-3, 240 pound Ojulari doesn’t fit the Chiefs’ typical profile for a defensive end, his explosiveness allows him to routinely beat blockers. So while his fit with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme is definitely questionable, he is worth the watch.

Broderick Jones • OT • Georgia

Jones is still relatively raw — but he could be molded into a franchise left tackle. He has experience on either side, but has primarily played on the left in the Bulldog offense. He has natural abilities that need to be sharpened — but given time (and the right situation) he could thrive.

ACC Championship
North Carolina vs. Clemson
7 p.m. Saturday on ABC

Josh Downs • WR • North Carolina

The Tar Heels have had a quiet year in the ACC. Nobody seems to talk about them — but even after a two-game skid, they have a shot at the conference championship. Downs has caught 11 touchdowns this season — and could eclipse 1,000 receiving yards on Saturday night.

KJ Henry • Edge • Clemson

Henry could be the third defensive lineman drafted from Clemson in 2023; this former 5-star prospect may be forgotten even in his own defense. Henry may not have a lot of room to grow, but he is the type of player who can carve out a niche on an NFL team and provide solid defensive line play for years. While he isn’t too flashy, you know exactly what you are going to get: one heck of a football player.

Big 10 Championship
Purdue vs. Michigan
7 p.m. Saturday on FOX

Charlie Jones • WR • Purdue

Purdue is in for an uphill climb in their game against Michigan — but with Jones at their disposal, the Boilermakers have an outside shot to pull off an upset. Jones began his collegiate days with Buffalo before spending a couple of seasons with the Iowa Hawkeyes — and then turned in a career year with Purdue this season. The Chiefs are in need of kick and punt returner depth — and Jones’ best path to the league could be his return skills.

Ryan Hayes • OT • Michigan

Michigan’s running game has gotten them back to the conference championship for the second straight season. The 6-foot-7 Hayes plays a major role in that ground success, but is relatively untested and unproven as a pass protector. During the pre-draft process, he’ll need to show his ability and technique in pass sets. If he does enough to prove himself, the Kansas City front office could find Hayes to be appealing.

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