Breakdowns

College Football Draft Stock Watch and Championship Recap

College Football Draft Stock Watch and Championship Recap

Top SEC Matchups

1) Alabama OT Evan Neal vs Georgia D-Line

Alabama LT Evan Neal had the eyes of many scouts in a marquee matchup against CFB’s most dominant front. Neal rose to the challenge, turning in an 83.5 pass block grade, allowing just 1 pressure and 1 QB hit in 50 pass sets. Neal showcased his rare size/speed profile, using his outstanding foot quickness to mirror Georgia’s wide edge rushes. When he arrived at contact, Neal leveraged his massive size (listed at 6-foot-7, 350 pounds) to cover his opponents up. Neal does lack some of the core strength and anchor one would expect from a man his size, seen in his susceptibility to power and speed to power rushes. However, his uncanny combination of size and movement ability will keep him at the forefront of NFL Draft discussion.

2) Georgia DT Jordan Davis vs Alabama Interior O-Line

With just 2 QB pressures, 1 TFL, and a declining snap count in November, Georgia DT Jordan Davis has not been his disruptive self down the stretch. However, in 32 snaps against Alabama (his most since Week 11 versus Tennessee) he was a big part of Georgia’s effort that limited Alabama backs to just 76 yards rushing. Stockpiling 4 tackles, 1 TFL and 4 defensive stops, Davis took advantage of two young linemen in Javion Cohen and Seth McLaughlin; overwhelming Alabama’s promising interior with his uncommon power and violent play. As a massive, true nose tackle, conditioning and scheme fit will be key for Davis in his eventual NFL home; but when he is right, he is hard to block.

3) Georgia CB Derion Kendrick vs Alabama Receivers

Per PFF, Georgia CB Derion Kendrick suffered his worst performance of 2021, finishing with a season-low 47.8 coverage grade. However, Kendrick challenged CFB’s top receiving group throughout; conceding just 3 receptions on 7 targets for 27 yards. Separation on Kendrick was hard to come by, as he not only has the size and foot speed to play man-to-man, but also the reactionary ability to excel in off-coverage. He was targeted twice on vertical routes against Williams (who had a field day with 184 receiving yards), with neither resulting in a reception as Kendrick calmly stayed in phase, relying on his outstanding transition ability and top end speed. In his worst graded performance, Kendrick’s NFL skillset as an athletic, competitive corner that can play in any defense shined through.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Alabama WR Jameson Williams: 6 rec – 175 rec yds – 107 YAC – 2 TD – 4 1st Downs 
  2. Alabama DL Phidarian Mathis: 72.4 defensive grade – 3 pressures – 1 sack

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Georgia SAF Lewis Cine: 31.3 coverage grade – 7 rec allowed for 147 yds – 5 1st downs – 1 TD
  2. Alabama WR John Metchie III: injured ACL

Top Big 10 Matchups

1) Michigan Edge Rushers Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo vs Iowa OT Jack Plumb

Aidan Hutchinson is always the guy to watch whenever Michigan takes the field. He has been one of the best players in the country all season, and he once again made his presence felt on Saturday. This week he faced Iowa junior OT Jack Plumb, who is listed at 6-foot-7 and 296 pounds. Hutchinson gave Plumb fits all day. Plumb really struggled to anchor and struggled readjusting his hands after his initial punch. Hutchinson is a very polished prospect who can beat you in more than one way. Whether it is with his bull rush, clubs/swipes, pure speed, he is hard to stop. Hutchinson finished with 3 hurries and 1 sack versus Plumb. He also had two more hurries in the game against players not named Plumb.

2) Michigan RB Hassan Haskins vs Iowa’s defense

Hassan Haskins has been on a tear in recent weeks. He was coming fresh off a five touchdown performance against Ohio State. Iowa’s defense has been one of the strongest in the country and it is filled with quality players. These players include DE Zach VanValkenburg, DB Jack Koerner, LB Jack Campbell, and more. Iowa’s defense is both very physical and very disciplined. They are not a team that beats themselves. Haskins had a solid day finishing with two touchdowns, however they were both short yardage touchdowns. Haskins was only able to average 3.3 YPC, although he rarely fell backwards. He ran with good toughness all night and almost always fell forward and Iowa consistently needed at least two guys to make the tackle. Haskins also had three catches for 22 yards. Iowa also let up a 67 yard rushing touchdown to impressive freshman Blake Corum. Corum is not draft eligible but he is a name to monitor for the future.

3) Iowa DE Zach VanValkenburg vs Michigan OT Ryan Hayes

This matchup was fun to watch all night. Ryan Hayes aligns at LT for the Wolverines and he comes in at 6-foot-7, 307 pounds. Zach VanValkenburg aligns mostly as a 5T and can play with his hand in the dirt, or standing up in a two point stance. Hayes did a good job of keeping VanValkenburg quiet in this game. VanValkenburg was only able to muster one QB hit versus Hayes. VanValkenburg is very reliant on using a one handed long arm and he is going to need to add more tools to his pass rush plan if he wants to be successful at the next level. Hayes did have some difficulty anchoring versus his long arm, however he was never able to get home. He also was able to create stalemates at the LOS in the run game by using his long arm, although he only had two tackles on the day, and one was not against Hayes.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Michigan ED Aidan Hutchinson: 1 sack, 6 total pressures generated, 92.6 PFF grade
  2. Michigan OT Andrew Stueber: 0 pressures allowed, 87.5 pass blocking grade
  3. Michigan CB DJ Turner: Targeted 8 times, 2 catches allowed for 4 yards, 89.6 Coverage grade

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Iowa OT Jack Plumb: 5 pressures allowed, 1 sack allowed, 0 pass blocking grade, 27.2 PFF
  2. Iowa QB Spencer Petras: 9 for 22, 137 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 57 PFF grade
  3. Iowa SAF Jack Koerner: 51.7 PFF grade, 49.5 coverage grade, 4 tackles

Top ACC Matchups

1) Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman vs Pittsburgh DBs Erick Hallett II and AJ Woods

Hartman really struggled after the first quarter in this game, as they had 21 points in the first 12 minutes, but never scored again. In that first quarter, he went 12 of 20 for 118 yards and three total TDs. After that point, he went 9 of 28 for 95 yards and four INTs and was sacked six times. Pittsburgh’s pass rush deserves some credit for pressuring Hartman, but the secondary was exceptional over the last three quarters, led by Hallett and Woods, who not only combined for three of the INTs, but also just 39 of the passing yards on 14 attempts. After a very efficient and effective start to the season, Hartman closed the pre-bowl part of the season with 12 INTs in his last five games, raising real question marks around his decision making and accuracy.

2) Pittsburgh OT Carter Warren vs Wake Forest EDGE Luiji Vilain

Vilain was incredibly disruptive for Wake Forest in his 29 snaps, while Warren was probably the only notable Pitt offensive player to struggle in this game. Villain was definitely a bit lucky to get 3 sacks, but he was excellent in both pass rush and run defense, not just attacking Pickett well and finishing off plays, but clogging gaps in the run game at a high level. Warren had many of his struggles when opposite Vilain, but just struggled overall, not creating much push in the run game and allowing three pressures and two sacks in pass protection. Not a great showing for Warren, though it ultimately didn’t slow down the dynamic Pittsburgh offense one bit.

3) Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett vs Wake Forest SAF Traveon Redd and CB Zion Keith

Pickett put in a very solid performance in this one, moving the ball well through the air and breaking off a big, early rushing TD. He was more aggressive than usual, and definitely than he was last week, ditching the screens and shallow crossers for more downfield passing. Even though the process was quite different, the results were pretty similar for Pickett and Pitt’s offense, yards and points in bunches. On Wake Forest’s defense, Redd actually played pretty solid, but Keith was constantly targeted and exposed in this game. He allowed six completions for 96 yards for a passer rating against of 114.6, allowing Pickett to take what he wanted.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett: 20/33 (60.6%), 253 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 90.8 PFF Grade
  2. Pittsburgh WR Jordan Addison: 13 targets, 8 receptions, 126 yards, 0 TDs, 68.7 PFF Grade
  3. Wake Forest EDGE Luiji Vilain: 4 pressures, 3 sacks, 93.7 PFF Grade

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman: 21/46 (45.6%) 213 yards 2 TD 4 INT, 68.1 PFF Grade
  2. Wake Forest LB Luke Masterson: 6 tackles, 2 missed tackles, 3 pressures, 44.4 PFF Grade
  3. Pittsburgh OT Carter Warren: 3 pressures allowed, 2 sacks allowed, 58.3 PFF Grade

Top ACC Matchups

1) Oregon Edge Rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux vs Utah OTs Bamidele Olaseni and Braeden Daniels

In their second matchup within the last 3 weeks, Utah’s offensive tackles had a much better performance. Daniels and Olaseni neutralized Thibodeaux for the most part–in pass protection in particular. They neutralized Thibodeaux’s power by getting their hands on him early and keeping their pad levels lower than his. However, Thibodeaux did have success with speed around the edge–utilizing a hand swipe or swim move when he came off the edge. Thibodeaux also generated most of his pressures (4) when rushing both their inside shoulders. Overall both tackles showed significant improvement from their last matchup with Thibodeaux and kept him from wrecking the game.

2) Utah LB Devin Lloyd vs Oregon Offense

Lloyd was all over the field in this game and was the key contributor to slowing down Oregon’s offense. He showed impressive coverage ability in zone–contributing a pick-6 and showing active feet and ability to read the QBs eyes effectively. As a run defender he showed the ability to avoid more than shed blockers and make tough tackles with just one of his arms at times. In addition, he had some impressive pass-rush snaps off the edge, utilizing speed and an impressive ability to knock down the OT’s hands when they got close to him. Overall he was utilized in multiple ways and was effective and impressive in all the ways he was used. He is an exciting player who contributes in multiple ways.

3) Utah TE Dalton Kincaid vs Oregon Secondary

Kincaid was the most involved TE on the Utes in this game–drawing 5 targets compared to his running mate Kuithe receiving 3. Kincaid was utilized in multiple ways as a receiver as well, being split out wide or in the slot (20 snaps) and used in-line (27 snaps). As a receiver he showed good awareness and knowledge of Oregon’s zone coverage – understanding where the weak spots in the coverage were. He showed good timing on his routes and no fear crossing the middle of the field, knowing he would be hit. Was effective as a run blocker this game, could have been more violent with his blocking but was effective for the most part. 

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Utah LB Devin Lloyd: 7 tackles, 5 solo, 1 INT, 1 TD, 91.7 PFF
  2. Utah TE Dalton Kincaid: 4 receptions, 61 yards, 1 TD, 1 explosive reception, 77.8 PFF
  3. Oregon RB Travis Dye: 15 att/82 yards, 1 TD, 4 rec/27 yards, 2 missed tackles forced, 72.9 PFF

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Oregon QB Anthony Brown: 13/24, 147 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 2 turnover worthy plays, 2 big time throws, 37.0 PFF
  2. Oregon CB Mykael Wright: 3 TOT, 2 solo, 2 receptions allowed, 1 first down allowed, 55.7 PFF
  3. Oregon WR Devon Williams: 1 reception, 17 yards, 1 drop, 46.4 PFF

Top Big 12 Matchups

1) Baylor WR Tyquan Thornton vs Oklahoma State CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse 

At 6-foot-3, Thornton had a slight height advantage against the 6-foot-1 Bernard-Converse. Thornton typically enjoyed free release from the LOS, utilizing long strides and adequate speed Thornton pushed vertical towards the sidelines before a slight outward step in attempt to force Bernard-Converse to flip his hips. Although Bernard-Converse remained disciplined in his technique this slight step to the outside created enough separation for Thornton to get past the DB into the end zone, the pass was ultimately incomplete in part due to Bernard-Converse’s burst to close ability, which created a higher degree of difficulty on this target. Thornton earned a receiving grade of 75.0 per PFF, whereas Bernard-Converse earned a coverage grade of 65.0 per PFF.

2) Oklahoma State OG Josh Sills vs Baylor DL Brayden Utley

Utley, at 6-foot-1 270, pounds is significantly undersized against Sills’ 6-foot-6, 325-pound frame. Utley relied on lower center of gravity and a quickness advantage in this matchup. Sills relied on his length and size advantage to negate the initial russ from Utley. At times Sills lacked the ability to recover and consistently maintain his block when Utley utilized a counter pass rush move. Utley received a pass rushing grade of 69.6 per PFF. Sills did not have his best day at the office earning a pass blocking grade of just 32.6 per PFF. 

3) Oklahoma State RB Dezmon Jackson vs Baylor S Jairon McVea 

The former walk on, McVea was a ball hawk from the safety position in run defense and made it a difficult game for the Pokes’ RB Dezmon Jackson. McVea demonstrated above the line awareness and play diagnosis ability particularly on plays in which Jackson found a cut back lane, McVea would continuously meet him near first level defenders. On 4th-and-1 from Baylor’s 1 yard line Jackson took the hand off left and kicked the ball outside in attempt to gain the edge on McVea, whom remained disciplined in his pursuit angle demonstrated above the line hip explosiveness and tackling ability to stop Jackson short of the end zone thus securing Baylor’s Big12 Conference Championship. On the day McVea earned a run defense grade of 83.9 per PFF, whereas Jackson earned a PFF rushing grade of 60.3. 

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Baylor S: Jairon McVea 9 tackles (game saving tackle 4th & goal) 1 Int PFF defense grade 88.9 
  1. Baylor WR Tyquan Thornton: 6 rec 71 yards 11.8 avg 1 TD PFF offensive grade 73.5 
  2. Oklahoma St LB Malcolm Rodriguez: 12 tackles (1.5 TFL) 1 FF PFF run defense grade 83.1 

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Oklahoma St QB Spencer Sanders: 31/46 257 yards 4 Int, 13 car 33 yards. 
  2. Oklahoma St OG Josh Sills: 1 sack, 1 QB hit, 1 hurry allowed PFF pass blocking grade 32.6
  3. Baylor CB Mark Milton: 6 tackles, targeted 7 times allowing 5 rec PFF coverage grade 34.8