Week 6 of the college season had surprise upsets and some big time NFL Draft prospects going up against each other. As always, some players have their stock up after their performance while others have their stock down after struggles. There is also a few names to know (mostly smaller schools) that should be on everyone’s NFL Draft radars.
Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
Green had his biggest test of the season against Alabama’s stout defensive line and killed it. He was absolutely dominant in the run game creating holes and space consistently. The Aggies ran behind Green and their true freshman Center Bryce Foster for most the game with ease. Add in some 2nd level run blocking (including on an Isaiah Spiller TD run) and Green is showcasing first round play.
Green also showed some solid pass blocking ability against an Alabama front that had been getting a ton of pressure. Though he isn’t as strong there, he kept a good base and didn’t let the pocket collapse from his side in most cases.
With functional strength, movement ability, and Football IQ, look for Green to establish himself as a Top 20 player in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Wilson made a statement to be the top WR in the 2022 NFL Draft this week. He was absolutely dominant against Maryland corners using athletic ability and movement to gain separation. Even some 5 catches, 84 yards, 2 TDs. Always open. His movement skills off the line to fool corners is pretty unmatched. On one touchdown, he shook the corner off and used explosion to get open in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
Even when not making a catch, Wilson showed blocking prowess and the ability to lay out for passes and make good effort. His stock is up as an alpha outside receiver who should contribute immediately in the NFL.
Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
Johnson has been a hot name after his successful Week 1 game against Notre Dame. He flashed that ability again this week getting to Sam Howell often and using a variety of pass rush moves to do it. He had a sack off the edge on Howell at one point and forced an interception on another. His athletic first step Got a sack on Howell.
Johnson’s lightning quick first step showcases his athleticism. Florida State has had some great pass rushers and Johnson is joining the ranks very quickly. He was a big reason for FSU’s success in this game and is creeping up into Top 100 territory.
Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame
Williams will be a divisive prospect due to his lack of size, but he is electric. In a tight game against Virginia Tech this week, Williams was the backbone of the Irish offense with some big runs and receptions to move the chains. He had two touchdowns in the game and broke numerous tackles late in the game.
Though Williams may never be a workhorse type RB, he can provide an offensive weapon in the NFL who creates big plays in space and has a second gear for long runs. This is the type of player NFL teams are incorporating more of, so he should find Day 2 draft capital.
Phidarian Mathis, DL, Alabama
Mathis was having an excellent season, but he was absolutely dominated by the A&M offensive line. Kenyon Green easily got the best of Mathis when they matched up, and even moving around the line, he did not see much success. It was strange after dominant penetration this season that Mathis could not get the leverage and push he did in week’s past.
This may just end up as a blip on the radar, but a big reason for the lack of defensive success was Mathis and the rest of the Alabama Front 7 failing to step up in this game. Don’t be surprised if this is cautionary tale to GMs who try to find the cogs that make the Alabama defense run, and could push Mathis down into the late 2nd/early 3rd day.
Jordan Tucker, OT, North Carolina
Tucker was an OT that I had on my radar as a potential candidate to move up. Unfortunately, this was not his game. Tucker gave up a ton of pressure throughout the game and just didn’t have the athletic chops to stand up to Florida State’s pass rushers from the right side. Sam Howell even became increasing anxious about pressure from that side and would take off at the hint of rush from there.
Tucker still has a good skillset and functional strength, but there should be some questions about his Football IQ and consistency to be an NFL player.
Jordan Williams, DL, Virginia Tech
Williams has had a very solid season so far. He was the star of the Week 1 game against North Carolina, but he took a step back against Notre Dame. Notre Dame’s offensive line has been suspect this season, but Williams didn’t make much of an impact despite this. He rarely got penetration and it freed up the middle for the Irish to run the ball.
Williams’ streaky abilities make for a difficult evaluation. The talent is there and he has a good feel for the game, but his motor can run hot and cold and it is becoming an issue.
Emil Ekiyor, Jr, G, Alabama
Ekiyor has had a few rough weeks for Alabama. After some mediocre film against Mississippi, Ekiyor struggled with the Texas A&M interior line in this one. Though he sprung a few good run blocks for Brian Robinson, Ekiyor’s pass protection and zone protection left a lot to be desired.
He plays off balance a lot, and it can cause him to be moved around or even flattened at times. The pocket often collapsed from the inside on Bryce Young leading to sacks and interior pressure. It is a rough game for a likely Day 3 pick.
Names To Know
Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
This week’s Names To Know feels a small school article, but the UNI/NDSU game showcased some great talents. Penning is massive with long arms and excellent footwork. He sealed the edge well and glides flawlessly. The pure upside makes him a Day 2 pick.
His run blocking also was impressive where he had a few pancakes and went to the 2nd level to do more. NFL teams are going to love his potential. Though there were a few mental mistakes in this game, Penning is a name to know and a future NFL starter.
Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
I’ve banged the drum on Watson for awhile, but even without Trey Lance, he was dominant. With 5 catches for 163 yards and an 85 yard TD, Watson is a deep threat with size and can beat corners off the line of scrimmage. North Dakota State uses him in a variety of ways including screens, curls, and jet sweeps. He can be an NFL weapon with a little bit of development.
Watson is a classic Day 3 NFL Draft pick. Size and speed create a skillset NFL teams crave. If he can be more consistent in running routes and catching the football, he could even go Day 2 when all is said and done. He is a definite name to know.
Sam Okuayinou, DL, Maryland
Despite Maryland getting thoroughly dominated by Maryland, a shining spot was Okuayinou. He was getting penetration throughout the game forcing Ohio State QB CJ Stroud to move around the pocket. He is quick for his size and has a nice lower leg drive that combines with a stack and shed technique that works against good competition. At 6’2, 280 he utilizes his size and experience well.
With Ohio State Guard Thayer Munford out, the Buckeye interior couldn’t get a good hold of Okuayinou. Even in the run game, he was filling gaps and able to 2-gap effectively at times forcing outside rushes. He is an intriguing late round prospect with upside.
Cordell Volson, OT, North Dakota State
Another player from the UNI/NDSU game, Volson wasn’t really on my radar until this game. The Right Tackle showcased some functional strength and good balance against the UNI defensive line. Volson has good feet and had impressive hand placement and usage throughout the game. There is some raw ability to unlock as a late round NFL Draft pick.