College football / 2022 NFL Draft notes, 9/17
College Football Thoughts
The 2024 NFL Draft might have an early favorite for first overall QB: Memphis true freshman Seth Henigan, who was only a three-star prospect in the 2021 class. Henigan looks like one of the better starters in his conference already, if not the country.
My new exercise is to read 2022 NFL Mock Drafts and to see how far down the list I get before I see a name that I don’t recognize. There’s nothing wrong with admitting ignorance and the whole point of this process of this website is to face what I don’t know; then know it. Here’s a 2-round mock from the /r/NFL_Draft subreddit. First name I didn’t recognize? DT Travon Walker, Georgia. There, now he’ll always be the guy who I first wrote on this blog as a name that I’m learning via this exercise. Walker “was dominant against Clemson” according to this mock drafter. Isn’t everybody from Georgia kinda dominant right now?
Next new name to me: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa. I love becoming familiar with new offensive linemen. I think part of the reason they’re so hard to judge isn’t just stats, but also that there are so many of them. More than any other position, which we never really talk about.
LB Owen Pappoe, Auburn is my next new prospect and he goes 27th in this draft. Fun name to get to know. Said he “reminds him” of Fred Warner. Technically he said “Fred Werner” but I don’t think he was talking about the media guy.
I might have heard of WR George Pickens, Georgia (A George at Georgia is like a Wash at Washington--oh wait that happened) but just in case I’m marking him down now. Oh great, another “first round receiver.”
DE Nolan Smith, Georgia. Jesus, Georgia!
That’s it for the first round. Five names and two from Georgia. Not bad.
Florida ILB Ventrell Miller is out for the year with a torn biceps. He’ll be drafted at some point in 2022.
Matt Miller’s scouting notebook for 2022 (from after Week 1): Alabama TE Jahleel Billingsley has great skill and athleticism but in trouble with Nick Saban for lack of discipline, which could hurt his draft stock. RB Mo Ibrahim, LB Christopher Allen, WR Ronnie Bell all went out for season in Week 1. Note Dame S Kyle Hamilton is special football player. Purdue DE George Karlaftis was “all over the field” against Oregon State. Penn State WR Jahan Dotson was his sleeper of the week. Miami QB D’Eriq King might be seen as a WR prospect to the NFL. Notre Dame RB Kyren Williams is a sleeper to be the top back in the draft.
Another Matt Miller post from this week: DE Aidan Hutchinson is quickly becoming a top-20 lock. OL Kenyon Green could play tackle or guard and still be a top-10 pick. His big board has Kayvon Thibodeaux at number one, followed by Derek Stingley, OT Evan Neal, Hamilton, and LB Christian Harris. UW OT Jaxson Kirkland is number 9, Matt Corral is the top-ranked QB at 10, followed by Spencer Rattler and Sam Howell in the top-15. Georgia OLB Adam Anderson (another UGA!) is number 20, followed by OT Charles Cross, S Jalen Catalon, DT Jordan Davis, CB Andrew Booth, and WR Drake London rounding out the top-25.
Wow, really good find here for a resource…it’s from the NFL_Draft subreddit and it’s rankings of offensive and defensive players going into the season, with height, weight, perceived NFL ceiling (superstar, star, normal) and the “type” of player they are, whether as a QB or as a defensive end (more pass rusher or run stopper) and there are a lot of names on it. This is great, even if the user did not rank Grayson McCall in the top 25 of QBs. Perfect, more examples that I entered the season on my own.
Some notes from the OFFENSIVE rankings: Keep in mind these all happened before the season started, but most of it would still hold true today I’m sure. Has Sam Howell, Spencer Rattler, Malik Willis, Kedon Slovis, and Matt Corral as the top-five QBs. I understand that nobody had Grayson McCall anywhere, but surprised that Desmond Ridder isn’t more highly regarded. McCall, Ridder, and Carson Strong would be my top-three in some order. An order that starts with McCall. Here, Strong is sixth and Ridder is eighth. Other QBs, like Iowa State’s Brock Purdy, look much different already: he’s ranked ninth here but might not be in the top-25 now. Jake Haener was 24th entering the season, but now, for me, he’s at least in the top-10.
Five RBs were considered future “star” prospects: Breece Hall, Isaiah Spiller, Zamir White (Georgia), Jerrion Ealy (Ole Miss), Chris Rodriguez (Kentucky). Don’t think I’ve written about White or Ealy yet. Which RBs would have moved up already? Tyler Allgeier, BYU. CJ Verdell, Oregon. Neither of those players were in the top-12 but now they’d be much higher than that, I think.
Writer does acknowledge one Coastal player as a prospect: WR Jaivon Heiligh is ranked 26th but perceived ceiling is a rare “star” who is way down one of these lists. Another guy like that on this list is Minnesota’s Chris Autman-Bell, ranked 19th. A number of names have emerged “out of nowhere” at the position already but also the guys at the top, like Garrett Wilson and Treylon Burks, are also playing too well to drop. Going to be another deep class for receivers.
Top-five TEs: Jalen Wydermyer (A&M), Cade Otton, Isaiah Likely, Jahleel Billingsley, and Jeremy Ruckert (Ohio State). Ruckert isn’t productive, but how could any tight end compete for targets at Ohio State?
Then there’s a lot of good info about Offensive Linemen, but I’ll save some of that resource for later.
Here are the DEFENSIVE rankings.
Oregon’s Thibodeaux just made $20,200 on an Ebay action for his merch.
Some notes from PFF on what to watch for on Saturday. I’m happy to see an endorsement for Desmond Ridder. There’s going to be a lot more to learn after another day of games tomorrow. I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m excited to watch and follow college football every weekend now.
There were three games on Friday: Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa went 32/43, 350 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT against Illinois. He’s demanding to go back into my top-10. Maryland DL Greg Rose had two sacks.
Louisiana QB Levi Lewis was 21/29, 212 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT against Ohio. RB Montrell Johnson scored four touchdowns.
UCF QB Dillon Gabriel was 22/29, 188 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT in a 42-35 loss to Louisville. He’s one of a few lefty quarterbacks of note in college football. Louisville QB Malik Cunningham was 23/38, 265 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 13 carries for 99 yards and 2 TD. WR Marshon Ford had 8 catches for 100 yards and 1 TD.
Grayson McCall takes on Buffalo on Saturday at 9 AM, so get some rest and I’ll have more notes coming.