2022 NFL Draft: Week 3 thoughts from College Football
Dillon Gabriel's injury, Grayson McCall hurt by his receivers
College Week 3 Thoughts
UCF QB Dillon Gabriel suffered a broken clavicle and that could keep him out for the rest of the year. He joins Boston College’s Phil Jurkovec as QBs who will now be out for the season and unfortunately fall out of my Top 25.
The NJCAA Division I Offensive Player of the Week is a QB at Tyler Junior College named General Booty. General Booty had 528 yards and eight touchdowns in a 69-57 win. Will General Booty be good enough to transfer? He’s averaging six touchdowns per game.
We follow at least these three FCS programs: Presbyterian (coach doesn’t punt, always does an onside kick), Ferris State (QB was the Heisman winner in lacrosse at Maryland and is crushing it), and Jackson State (Deion Sanders is the head coach and his two sons are on the team, including the starting QB). Last week, Presbyterian won 68-3 and Jackson State improved to 2-0 as well. Will have updates on all three programs later, but always looking for more interesting stories outside of FBS Division-I.
Syracuse RB Sean Tucker is only a redshirt freshman, but he’s building an NFL-worthy resume. Tucker had 235 rushing yards in the first two games and on Saturday had 12 carries for 125 yards and four touchdowns against Albany, as well as three catches for 126 yards and another score. Albany is not Alabama but that’s 251 yards on 15 touches with five touchdowns and Tucker is not likely surrounded by NFL talent at Syracuse.
Michigan State RB Kenny Walker III highlight:
I can’t believe I’d be upset with a QB Grayson McCall win where he goes 13/19 for 239 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT in a win, but Coastal Carolina’s receivers really let him down on Saturday. Jaivon Heiligh, who I like a lot, dropped a huge first down on third-and-11 on a perfect throw by McCall, and receivers also dropped TWO long would-be touchdown throws by McCall. The score was 28-25 and McCall had three touchdowns. It should have been 42-10 and McCall should have had at least five. I also don’t blame McCall for the interception, seemed that there was a miscommunication where the receiver went to the wrong spot. I’m a reasonable person, but if you think there’s a better football player in the world than Grayson McCall, I’ll fight you on Pay-Per-View as an undercard to Jake Paul vs Michael Rappoport.
Coastal Carolina RB Shermari Jones was a star on Saturday too, rushing for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Head coach Jamey Chadwell is either going to be the Mark Few of NCAAFB or he’s not long for Coastal Carolina. I mean, nobody at USC has called Chadwell? I doubt that they haven’t considered it. Heiligh had four catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. Star tight end Isaiah Likely only had one target, catching a six-yard touchdown pass. Coastal plays UMass next week and that should be a blowout.
Kentucky QB Will Levis went 23/36, 254 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT in a narrow 28-23 win over Chattanooga. Levis has been getting a bit more draft buzz. Not a dominant performance against Chattanooga. He targeted WR Wan’Dale Robinson 14 times, and he caught eight for 111 yards.
Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler went 23/34, 214 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, one rush TD in a 23-16 win over Nebraska. Not as bad as his first start but not the start that I think will put Rattler back into my “first round” consideration yet. In fact, it may have pushed him back even further. Oklahoma WR Marvin Mims had 117 yards in Week 1 against Tulane, but he’s only caught three passes for 51 yards in the last two games. DE Isaiah Thomas is a draft prospect looking to get his season going and he shared in one sack. Potential first round LB Nik Bonitto had two sacks. DL Jalen Redmond had 1.5 sacks. RB Kennedy Brooks had 14 carries for 75 yards and a TD. Recall: Oklahoma OT Wanya Morris is a potential first round pick too.
The top draft prospects at Nebraska are CB Cam Taylor-Britt and CB Tyreke Johnson. Both potential day three picks.
West Virginia pulled off a 27-21 upset over Virginia Tech on Saturday. WV RB Leddie Brown had 19 carries for 162 yards, including an 80-yard run in the first quarter. Brown rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2020.
Virginia Tech G Lecitus Smith is seen as one of the top draft prospects at his position. I’ve mentioned OLB Amare Barno here before and he had a sack on Saturday.
Pitt QB Kenny Pickett had a day. The redshirt senior has been flirting with draft consideration for a while now and I’ve had my eye on him, waiting for him to either make a move up or down. Against Western Michigan, Kenny Pickett went 22/30, 380 yards, 6 TD, 1 INT. Pickett’s career-high for TD passes coming into the year was 13, which he did in both 2019 and 2020. Through three games of 2021, Pickett has 10 touchdowns and one interception. Pickett passed Dan Marino for second-most career passing yards in Pitt history.
Now…was WMU QB Kaleb Eleby even better? Eleby went 22/34, 336 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT against Pitt. Eleby now has 5 TD,0 INT through three games. The redshirt sophomore is 6’1, 210 lbs, and getting more draft consideration each week. WR Corey Crooms had seven catches for 161 yards, 1 TD. That gives Crooms 275 yards through three games.
Pickett’s favorite target was WR Jordan Addison, who had six catches for 123 yards and three touchdowns. WR Jared Wayne also had 100 yards.
Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder had some struggles against Indiana on Saturday, but finished well: 20/36, 216 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 rush TD. Cincinnati had three picks on defense. DE Myjai Sanders had two tackles. WR Alec Pierce had five catches for 86 yards and a TD and he might be a day three pick.
Indiana QB Michael Penix, Jr. continues to slide into obscurity: 17/38, 224 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT in the loss.
Final note for the morning games: Michigan State got a 38-17 win over Miami and the Hurricanes may have been the most overrated team going into the year. QB D’Eriq King is not a prospect. He went 38/60 for 391 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT and 12 rushes for seven yards. WR Charleson Rambo did have a nice day, catching 12 passes for 156 yards and 2 TD against the Spartans.
Michigan State RB Kenny Walker III finished with 172 yards on 27 carries. Walker now has almost 500 rushing yards through three games. QB Payton Thorne went 18/31, 261 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT. He now has 9 TD/0 INT on the season with almost 10 yards per attempt. Thorne is a sophomore. Michigan State C Matt Allen is a potential NFL Draft prospect. The whole line is looking good when you have days like Saturday.
More to come…