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College Football: Draft Stock Watch and Championship Matchups To Watch

Championship Matchups To Watch

Top SEC Matchups

1) Auburn CB Roger McCreary vs Alabama WRs John Metchie III and Jameson Williams

The Alabama pass attack kept Auburn’s Roger McCreary busy, targeting him an eye-popping 19 times. McCreary’s stat line wasn’t pretty (8 receptions allowed for 119 yards and 5 1st downs), but he was competitive all day, forcing 5 incompletions and continuously challenging Alabama’s top receivers in man-to-man coverage. With his foot speed and quickness, McCreary was outstanding at limiting separation against two of the country’s best pass-catchers. He was instrumental in building Auburn’s early lead with his ability to stay in phase, and get his head around to defend in deep coverage. The final play shows a win for Metchie III versus McCreary, but Auburn is not in that position without him.

2) South Carolina CB Cam Smith vs Clemson WRs

South Carolina CB Cam Smith is an intriguing potential early entrant after a productive year in coverage as a redshirt sophomore (89.7 coverage grade). Smith was particularly sticky against Clemson, limiting his opposition to just 1 reception on 5 targets for 37 yards. Smith also forced 2 incompletions, 1 of which came on a nice heads up play splitting zones. Later, he brought down an acrobatic interception in deep coverage where he showed his vertical top end speed. Smith is a raw, young player, but should he choose to declare, his skillset as a long, rangy corner will be in demand.

3) LSU OG Ed Ingram vs Texas A&M DL

LSU’s Ed Ingram saved his best for last in pass protection, boosting his draft stock against a formidable front. Texas A&M found plenty of success rushing the passer (7 sacks), but none against Ingram, who allowed 0 pressures in 49 pass sets, turning his 5th 100.0 pass block efficiency rating of the season. He was up and down in the run game (58.5 run block grade), where his aggressive tendencies can work against him; prone to play over his toes and off balance as he looks for kill shots. However, 2021 has been a success for Ingram as he built off of his run-blocking prowess, improving protecting the passer (81.8 pass block grade, highest by far, of his long LSU career).

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Ole Miss EDGE Sam Williams: 78.5 defensive grade – 10 total pressures – 7 hurries – 2 sacks
  2. Texas A&M EDGE Micheal Clemons: 73.4 pass rush grade – 10 total pressures – 4 sacks
  3. South Carolina CB Cam Smith: 87.4 coverage grade – 5 targets/1 rec allowed for 37 yds – 1 INT

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Florida OT Jean Delance: 33.5 pass block grade – 6 pressures allowed – 1 sack allowed
  2. Mississippi St. WR Malik Heath: 46.0 receiving grade – 4 targets – 1 rec – 5 yds
  3. LSU OT Austin Deculus: 55.8 pass block grade – 4 pressures allowed

Eyes On Next Week: SEC Championship

Georgia vs Alabama

  1. Georgia CB Derion Kendrick vs Alabama WR’s John Metchie III, Jameson Williams
  2. Georgia DT Jordan Davis vs Alabama OL Emil Ekiyor Jr.
  3. Georgia EDGE Travon Walker vs Alabama OT Evan Neal
  4. Georgia Run Game vs Alabama LB’s Christian Harris, Henry To’o To’o

Top Big 12 Matchups

1) Oklahoma St ED Tyler Lacy vs Oklahoma OT Tyrese Robinson 

Lacy typically lined up as a 3 technique vs Robinson, who was typically aligned a 2 point stance. Neither player demonstrated high level explosiveness off the ball. This matchup was based more on technical ability, as Lacy was able to win with utilization of strength and tenacity to shed blocks moving from the outside across the face of Robinson. Robinson did enough to force Lacy to run the edge and had difficulty at time chasing down Sooners QB Caleb Williams. Although Lacy had 4 pressures on the day, he earned a pass rush grade of just 56.3 per PFF, whereas Robinson earned a pass blocking grade of just 60.0 per PFF.

2) TCU OT Obinna Eze vs Iowa St ED Will McDonald IV

This matchup could be described as size (Eze) against speed (McDonald). Eze found himself in good position out of his 2 point stance, extending his arms and keeping McDonald at distance. McDonald’s success came when he aligned as a stand up edge through utilization of speed, quickness and an above the line spin move that Eze was not able to recover and stay in front of. On the day, McDonald earned a pass rush grade of 71.0 per PFF.

3) Texas Tech TE Travis Koontz vs Baylor DB Jalen Pitre

Koontz typically benefited from a roughly 7-yard free release cushion when lined up against Pitre. Having this type of distance from the snap allowed for Koontz to position himself to gain inside leverage agains Pitre, which was usually enough separation for Tech QB Donovan Smith to find Koontz. Pitre’s lack of size came into play against Koontz, who benefited from the 4 inch height advantage, being able to still haul in passes with Pitre on his back. Koontz was the top graded Big 12 offensive player this week with an offensive grade of 90.4 per PFF, while Pitre had his second worse pass coverage grade of the season at 48.1 per PFF. 

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Iowa St RB Breece Hall: 18 car 242 yards 3 TDs, 2 rec 39 yards 1 TD 88.6 PFF offensive grade
  2. Oklahoma St LB Malcolm Rodriguez: 11 tackles 2 sacks 3 TFL, 78.6 PFF pass rush grade 
  3. Texas Tech TE Travis Koontz: 5 rec 117 yards 1 TD long 75 yards PFF offensive grade 90.4

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Oklahoma OT Tyrese Robinson: 83 snaps, 5 hurries allowed. PFF offensive grade 71.7
  2. TCU OT Obinna Eze: 65 snaps, 4 hurries 1 QB hit allowed, PFF offensive grade 63.7 
  3. Baylor DB Jalen Pitre: 6 targets 6 receptions allowed 10.7 YPR. PFF coverage grade 48.1 

Eyes On Next Week: BIG 12 Championship

Baylor vs Oklahoma State

  1. Oklahoma St ED Brock Martin vs Baylor OT Connor Galvin
  2. Oklahoma St WR Tay Martin vs Baylor DB Jalen Pitre 

Top Big 10 Matchups

1) Michigan EDs Aidan Hutchinson & David Ojabo vs Ohio State OT’s

Aidan Hutchinson has officially cemented himself in the Heisman conversation. Hutchinson saw multiple snaps against three very good offensive lineman, including Nicholas Petit-Frere, Dawand Jones, and Thayer Munford.

Regardless of who went against him, they all struggled to keep him out of the backfield. He was able to do whatever he wanted, whether it was going speed to power, pure speed, or pure power, the Ohio State trio had no answers. Hutchinson finished the game with 15 total pressures generated and three sacks.

Hutchinson had multiple pressures against each of the three OL, and drew a couple holding calls as well. Munford struggled mightily at LT against Hutchinson, and Hutchinson’s best play of the day came on a bull rush that knocked Munford on his back. Munford has played OG for a majority of the season, so it is not a huge surprise to see him struggle at LT against one of the top players in the country. Petit-Frere also saw some snaps at RT (has aligned at LT all season), however he did not see success at both LT and RT in this game.

This was collectively the worst game for the three of them and it is mainly because of Hutchinson. David Ojabo was also disruptive in this game. He finished the game with 3 total pressures and 1 sack. He had one hurry and one sack against Thayer Munford (aligned at LT). He had one hurry against Nicholas Petit-Frere (aligned at LT).

2) Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III vs Penn State Front Seven

Kenneth Walker III has continued to see his stock increase all season long. Walker III had a tall task facing Penn State. Penn State has one of the top defenses in the country, including one of the top LB corps in the country. Players such as Brandon Smith, Ellis Brooks, Jesse Luketa, Arnold Ebiketie, and Jaquan Brisker make this defense so dangerous.

With there being a ton of snow coming down during the day, the running game was emphasized even more. Despite this, Walker III was able to finish the game with 138 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries. His longest run of the day was a 35 yarder, and he forced three missed tackles. He had zero catches on the day which is not too surprising given his minimal receiving production all season. His receiving ability is something that is holding back his stock, and it is something to monitor moving forward.

3) Purdue ED George Karlaftis vs Indiana OT Caleb Jones

This game may not have been the most exciting, however this matchup was a fun one to watch. George Karlaftis is one of the most disruptive players in the conference, and Caleb Jones is one of the better tackles in the conference. Jones has about 3-4 inches on Karlaftis and around 85 pounds, according to PFF. Unfortunately for Jones, being bigger does not guarantee that the player is better, and Karlaftis proved this on Saturday. Karlaftis generated three pressures and had one sack versus Jones. Jones' lack of hip bend and short area quickness are concerning and these were two big reasons why Karlaftis was able to win this matchup.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Michigan ED Aidan Hutchinson: 3 sacks, 15 total pressures, 34% pass rush win rate, 90.0 PFF
  2. Michigan RB Hassan Haskins: 28 carries, 169 yards, 5 touchdown, 6 YPC, 84.5 PFF grade
  3. Penn State WR Jahan Dotson: 11 targets, 8 receptions, 137 yards, 2 touchdowns, 85.9 PFF

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Ohio State OT Nicholas Petit-Frere: 8 pressures allowed, 1 sack allowed, 2 holding penalties, 7.7 pass blocking grade, 42.9 PFF grade
  2. Ohio State OL Thayer Munford: 7 pressures allowed, 17.4 pass blocking grade, 39.5 PFF grade
  3. Indiana CB Jaylin Williams: Targeted 6 times, 4 catches allowed, 56 yards allowed, 2 touchdowns allowed, 57.5 PFF grade

Eyes On Next Week: BIG 10 Championship

Michigan vs Iowa

  1. Michigan RB Hassan Haskins vs Iowa’s defense
  2. Michigan OT Andrew Stueber vs Iowa ED Zach VanValkenburg
  3. Michigan SAFs Daxton Hill & Brad Hawkins vs Iowa TE Sam LaPorta

Top ACC Matchups

1) Clemson OT Jordan McFadden vs South Carolina EDGE Kingsley Enagbare

Clemson’s Jordan McFadden had a strong day in pass protection as he didn’t allow a single sack, hit, hurry, or pressure good for a pass blocking grade of 84.1. It’s been a strong season for one of the nations highest graded pass blockers. McFadden hasn’t allowed a sack since Week 1 and has only allowed 6 pressures all year. It was one of the quietest days all season for Kingsley Enagbare, who only had 1 pressure and his lowest pass rushing grade since Week 8.  

2) Wake Forest WR Jaquarii Roberson vs Boston College Secondary  

Wake Forest WR Jaquarii Roberson had a quiet day compared to running mate A.T. Perry. He finished the day with 5 receptions for 71 yards and no scores on 7 targets. With the output Saturday, Roberson now stands at a career high 1,029 yards and is two receptions away from breaking what he did last season. Boston College’s secondary had a decent day defending Wake Forest’s receivers. They accumulated a PFF grade of 72.1 and allowed just 6 first down receptions. On the other hand, they allowed multiple touchdown passes to be caught and had a passer rating against of 120.3. 

3) Wake Forest EDGE Rondell Bothroyd vs Boston College OT Tyler Vrabel

Rondell Bothroyd had a mostly ineffective game going against the Boston College offensive line. Bothroyd recorded 1 sack, but was only able to get pressure on 6.7% of his snaps. Boston College OT Tyler Vrabel was able to bounce back after a rough performance last week, but still wasn’t on top of his game against Wake Forest. Vrabel allowed pressure on 10% of his dropbacks, slightly better than the 13.9% from last week, and registered a pass blocking grade of 67.0 His efforts in the run game weren’t much better with a 64.1 run blocking grade.   

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Clemson CB Andrew Booth: 4 targets, 0 receptions allowed, 0 yards, 2 INT, 92.2 PFF Grade
  2. Syracuse LB Mikel Jones: 16 tackles, 2 TFL, 3 pressures, 87.1 PFF Grade
  3. Wake Forest OT Zach Tom: 1 pressure allowed in 43 pass block snaps, 72.6 PFF Grade

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Boston College QB Phil Jurkovec: 3/11, 19 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 36.0 PFF Grade 
  2. Louisville QB Malik Cunningham: 12/20, 145 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 67.5 PFF Grade
  3. Boston College WR Zay Flowers: 4 targets, 1 reception, 1 receiving yard, 1 rush, 4 rushing yards, 67.4 PFF Grade

Eyes On Next Week: ACC Championship

Wake Forest vs Pittsburgh

  1. Wake Forest OT Zach Tom vs Pittsburgh EDGE Habakkuk Baldonado
  2. Wake Forest WR Jaquarii Roberson vs Pittsburgh CB Marquis Williams
  3. Wake Forest EDGE Rondell Bothroyd vs Pittsburgh OT Carter Warren
  4. Wake Forest SAF Traveon Redd vs Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett

Top Pac 12 Matchups

1) California QB Chase Garbers vs UCLA secondary

Garbers struggled making the correct reads in this game. He had multiple throws where he threw to the wrong receiver on stacked routes, throwing to the receiver who had the defenders follow them rather than the open receiver under. He was under constant pressure and due to this he failed to step into some throws, which resulted in some missed opportunities deep to his receivers when they had separation. One of his interceptions was due to a lack of recognition on a stacked route combination, while his other was with 0:16 left in the 2nd quarter trying to make something happen before half. Overall, it was a sloppy performance from Garbers as the season comes to a close.

2) Washington’s secondary vs Washington State WR Calvin Jackson Jr. 

Most of Jackson’s 5 receptions came on passes that were within the first 5-10 yards of the LOS. He was utilized in open space and despite this game plan he struggled to make much happen after the catch. Washington’s talented secondary rallied to the ball well. However, Jackson had two receptions which he used his understanding and awareness to pick up two chunk gains by finding the soft spots in Washington’s zone and made the receptions despite, in some instances, getting leveled by one of Washington’s defenders. 

3) USC RB Vavae Malepeai vs BYU front 7

Malepeai got the opportunity to handle a full workload this week with Keaontay Ingram absent. Malepeai played well, showing explosion, vision, and ability to play behind his pads at times. He showed some patience behind the LOS to find holes behind an offensive line that’s struggled this season. He didn’t make many defenders miss in open space but did break some tackles when he ran low and behind his pads, something that wasn’t seen often earlier this season from him. 

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. UCLA ED Mitchell Agude: 5 TOT, 3 solo, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 5 total pressures, 81.7 PFF
  2. Utah C Nick Ford: 0 pressures allowed, 91.2 PFF
  3. UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson: 19/28, 164 yards, 3 TDs, 13 carries, 102 yards, 2 big time throws, 0 turnover worthy plays, 88.4 PFF

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. USC LB Kana’i Mauga: 9 TOT, 3 solo, 0.5 TFLs, 2 missed tackles, 1 INT, 2 1Ds allowed, 43.1 PFF
  2. Stanford WR Michael Wilson: 6 rec, 52 yards, 41.9 PFF
  3. Oregon CB Mykael Wright: 5 rec allowed, 64 yards allowed, 3 1Ds allowed, 51.3 PFF

Eyes On Next Week: PAC 12 Championship

Oregon vs Utah 

  1. Oregon ED Kayvon Thibodeaux v Utah OT Bamidele Olaseni
  2. Oregon QB Anthony Brown v Utah LBs Devin Lloyd & Nephi Sewell