2022 NFL Draft Notes, 9/4/2021 college football updates
Sam Howell, Spencer Rattler struggle, Grayson McCall does NOT struggle
I started writing this post months ago but didn’t feel there was enough content to post it yet. Now all of a sudden the college football season is here and we can follow-up on some of these offseason 2022 NFL Draft thoughts that I’ve had:
The Athletic’s QB rankings for 2022 are as follows: Sam Howell, Spencer Rattler, Matt Corral, Carson Strong, Malik Willis. Some thoughts…
One AFC scout said that Howell would be the only first round quarterback if the draft were held today. At least, on his board. It certainly feels that there is no consensus first round quarterback even though you’ll see that every mock draft will have no less than three or four. And both of those things can be true at the same time: there could be no quarterbacks with “first round grades” and then there might be three who get selected anyway. Remember E.J. Manuel’s year? It feels like 2022 could be like that, but because of how many quarterbacks have been drafted on day one recently, there is an expectation that every year must be like 2018 and 2021.
Dane Brugler says that the Baker Mayfield-Sam Howell comp is one of the easiest he’s ever done.
When I put all my chips in on Grayson McCall, I had a feeling that not many people would follow my lead. At the time, I noticed Matt Corral, but he does not intrigue me as much as McCall. I feel like since I chose McCall as my QB1, Corral has taken the skyrocket instead of him. And that’s fine by me. I just have a hunch that because there is no consensus on the top-ranked quarterbacks of 2022 yet, people are going to be gambling no matter who they decide to hype up before the next college season.
A lot of them are following Howell because he has some ballpark similarities to Trevor Lawrence, just in terms of being a blue-chip prospect who has never struggled at the college level against fairly good competition; others might like the fact that Rattler is another five-star recruit and that he’s following two recent first overall picks, plus he has a “cool quarterback name”; Corral put up a ton of passing yards and touchdowns in the SEC last season, but that came with far too many turnovers (this isn’t 1996); Strong, I do just feel like he’s being generally underrated and I think he’s starting to emerge as an analyst’s safe choice as a 2021 riser, but not many are willing to spend all of their “Gimme Credit” credits on him just yet; people get excited by the idea of a quarterback out of Liberty going in the first round and Willis is good enough to put up insane numbers against an extremely easy schedule, relative to many of the other first round potentials.
(These aren’t comments in response to Dane Brugler or anyone else directly, just a general meandering about those five quarterback prospects while there is still no consensus on a top-five.)
Update 9/3/2021: Sam Howell has played his first game of the 2021 season and it did not go well. Against Virginia Tech on Friday, Howell went 17-of-32 for 208 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions. Howell said after the game that he was “pressing” and trying to do too much and that he put UNC “in a bad position.”
UNC WR Josh Downs had nine catches for 132 yards. Downs is another one of these smaller receivers who is having a big impact: 5’10, 180 lbs. I expect him to have a big season.
Virginia Tech DL TyJuan Garbutt had two sacks. QB Braxton Burmeister had a fairly good game, though he slowed down after a hot start. The Oregon transfer might emerge as a dark horse for next year’s draft.
A “need to know top-20” by former NFL defensive back Bryant McFadden at CBS Sports.
Indiana QB Michael Penix is first on the list. I like the way Penix plays, so I’m down for this. The rest of the top-five: RB Chris Rodriguez (Kentucky), EDGE Myjai Sanders (Cincinnati), OL Cain Madden (Notre Dame), and DB Brandon Joseph (Northwestern).
I like what I see out of Rodriguez.
Myjai (My-Jay) Sanders has 11 sacks and 17 TFL over his last 24 games.
McFadden’s notes on Madden:
A huge transfer win for Notre Dame after a lot of people thought Madden was bound for Florida State when leaving Marshall. He's a technically sound player who understands leverage and proper hand placement. He has what I call typewriter feet: They're always moving.
McFadden’s next five: EDGE Jermaine Johnson (Florida State), TE Cole Turner (Nevada), QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA), RB Brian Robinson (Alabama), and WR David Bell (Purdue).
McFadden on Turner:
You need to be watching Nevada. QB Carson Strong is getting buzz as a first-round pick in 2022, and he gets to spread the love to guys like wideout Romeo Doubbs and Turner, a big-time red zone/goal line threat (nine touchdowns in 2020). Extremely soft hands, efficient in his routes and doesn't mind blocking. Will probably put up video game numbers again this year next to Strong.
David Bell, Purdue vs Minnesota:
McFadden’s next five: OL Jamaree Salyer (Georgia), DB Trent McDuffie (Washington), TE Isaiah Likely (Coastal Carolina), WR Jalen Tolbert (South Alabama), LB DeMarvion Overshown (Texas).
I saw a lot Likely while watching every play by Grayson McCall last season and I see his NFL potential too. Here’s video of Jalen Tolbert:
By the way: Jalen Ramsey, Jalen Hurts, Jalen Guyton, Jalen Camp, Jalen Saunders, Jalen Hurd, Jalen Mills, Jalen Mayfield, Jalen Reagor, Jalen Richard, Jalen Thompson, Jaylon Smith, Jaylon Moore, Jaylon Moore (there are two), Jaylon Johnson, Jaylon Ferguson, Jaylen Waddle, Jaylen Samuels, Jaylen Twyman, Jaylen Watkins, Jaelan Phillips, Jaelon Darden…and that’s just the beginning.
These are the final five players in McFadden’s list: WR Khalil Shakir (Boise State), EDGE Keion White (Georgia Tech), EDGE Tyreke Smith (Ohio State), OL Dylan Parham (Memphis), DB Joey Porter, Jr (Penn State)
Yes, his father is Joey Porter. Junior had 33 tackles and four passes defensed in eight games last season.
Shakir had 63 catches for 872 yards in 2019, then 52 for 719 yards and six touchdowns in only seven games last year.
QB C.J. Stroud has won the starting job at Ohio State. That could be the ticket to the first round of the NFL Draft.
In his 8/30 MMQB, Albert Breer talked to Jordan Palmer about the 2022 draft class QBs. They listed seven names and two dark horses: Kenny Pickett and Phil Jurkovec. The seven QBs were Desmond Ridder, Spencer Rattler, Malik Willis, Sam Howell, Carson Strong, Kedon Slovis, and JT Daniels. Few surprises in there but best of all I get to be the only guy who continues to pound the table for Grayson McCall.
Arizona State: QB Jayden Daniels was 10-of-12 for 132 yards passing, six carries for 40 yards. Some people love Daniels, but he’s accomplished little at the college level.
Michigan State: RB Kenny Walker had 23 carries for 264 yards and four touchdowns against Northwestern on Friday. The first play of the game was a 75-yard touchdown run by Walker.
Northwestern: QB Hunter Johnson was once the top pro style recruit in the nation, and he went to Clemson in 2017 but didn’t become Trevor Lawrence, so he transferred. He made his Northwestern debut on Friday and went 30-of-43 for 283 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT against Michigan State. Noteworthy.
“14 QBs the Broncos could target in the draft”; more proof that I’m all alone on my Grayson McCall projection!
Nebraska: WR Samori Toure had eight catches for 133 yards. Toure was one of the most prolific receivers in FCS history at Montana prior to transferring to Nebraska. He’s 6’3, 190 lbs.
K-State: Deuce Vaughn is a RB who had a strong true freshman season in 2020. His father is a scout for the Cowboys. Vaughn had 13 carries for 124 yards against Stanford this week. A potential player to watch for the 2023 NFL Draft.
Oklahoma: Spencer Rattler got the win (barely) against Tulane and it wasn’t a strong showing: 30-of-40, 302 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, and a rushing TD. Rattler “had some throws that had you scratching your head” according to the booth. Why not Grayson McCall?! WR Marvin Mims could be a big time receiver. As a true freshman in 2020, Mims had 610 yards and nine touchdowns in 11 games. Mims had six catches for 137 yards. He’s another smaller receiver at 5’11, 177 lbs.
Penn State: QB Sean Clifford helped the Nittany Lions get a 16-10 win over Wisconsin, a top-15 team, going 18-of-33, 247 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. WR Jahan Dotson (yep, he’s 5’11, 184) had five catches for 100 yards.
Wisconsin: LB Jack Sanborn had five tackles and a sack and is expected to be a good 2022 NFL Draft prospect.
Boston College: Maybe the best week for a 2022 NFL Draft QB prospect so far has come from Phil Jurkovec, who went 16-of-24 for 303 yards with 3 TD in a 51-0 win over Colgate. Jurkovec also rushed for 61 yards on five carries, but it was Colgate. Still, there are a lot of people pulling for Jurkovec to be the guy who rises up draft boards. WR Zay Flowers (5’10, 177 lbs) had seven catches for 135 yards.
Fresno State: I wrote about Jake Haener recently, but now I can’t remember where I did that. A former UW Huskies recruit, Haener transferred to Fresno State and last week went 20-of-26 for 331 yards and 3 TD. In the first half against Oregon on Saturday, Haener is 20-of-29 for 220 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. Remember, Oregon has the consensus top defensive player in the 2022 NFL Draft too. It’ll be interesting to monitor the progress of Haener. It seems like the theme for a lot of these QBs is that they were highly recruited, disappointed at first, and then transferred and are getting a second chance. Similar to Joe Burrow.
Oregon: Speaking of which, Kayvon Thibodeaux does have one sack on Haener in the first half. Second have just got under way.
I’ll be back soon for more 2022 NFL Draft and college football updates. I won’t cover college football really — I care not for the scores — but as it relates to the future of the NFL, is there any other choice?
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