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College Football: Week 1 Draft Stock Watch

Draft Stock Watch

Each week during the college football season, the 33rd Team will review key college matchups, with a look at what they mean for the 2022 NFL Draft...

Top SEC Matchups

The SEC was front and center in college football’s opening weekend. Reigning National Champion Alabama took care of business against an overmatched Miami team, while Georgia’s defense stifled a new-look Clemson offense. On the West Coast, LSU fell flat to start the season yet again, setting the tone for what could be another difficult season in Baton Rouge.

Top Matchups We Saw

  1. Alabama OT Evan Neal vs Miami ED Deandre Johnson

Evan Neal looked very comfortable in his first start as Bryce Young's blind side. In week 1 he looked trimmed up and lighter on his feet than he had in previous seasons. He was solid in pass pro, protecting the edge no matter who Miami rushed to his side. Alabama ran mostly left-handed behind Neal, who showed more punch than previously seen, consistently getting movement. Tennessee transfer Deandre Johnson found little success on either side following his 2020 season where he was one of the SEC’s better pass rushers.

  1. LSU CB Derrick Stingley Jr. vs UCLA WR Kyle Philips

LSU's defense had their hands full with UCLA’s offense, falling on their collective face in week 1 for the second consecutive season. Stingley Jr. in particular has failed to live up to the pre-season hype. After an all-time freshman season in 2019, Stingley just hasn’t been the same. He doesn’t play the game fast as we saw two seasons ago and lacks focus for stretches of games. In his two targets, Stingley allowed generous separation, and look no further than UCLA’s last touchdown to their star slot receiver Kyle Philips for evidence of his apathy.

  1. Georgia CB Derion Kendrick vs Clemson Receivers

Clemson has an embarrassment of future NFL pass-catchers in EJ Williams, Justyn Ross, Ajou Ajou, and Joe Ngata. Kendrick, a departed Clemson Tiger himself, held his own against his former teammates. Targeted four times, with two completions allowed, Kendrick was tight in coverage much of the night. With his foot speed and smooth hips, Kendrick is hard to beat vertically and can drive on short routes with burst. His downfall is that he can be late to get his head around and be over-aggressive on double routes (see his late allowed completion).

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up

  1. Alabama LT Evan Neal
  2. Alabama TE Cameron Latu – 3 Catches, 43 Yds, 1 TD, 2 Missed Tackles Forced
  3. Georgia SAF Christopher Smith – INT Returned for TD

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down

  1. LSU CB Derrick Stingley Jr. – 2 Receptions Allowed on 2 Targets, 1 TD
  2. Miami DB Tyrique Stevenson – 5 Receptions Allowed on 6 Targets, 3 1st Downs

Eyes On Next Week

Week 2: Notable Games

  • Arkansas vs Texas
    • Arkansas DB Jalen Catalon vs Texas Skill Players
    • Arkansas WR Treylon Burks vs Texas LB DeMarvion Overshown & DB Anthony Cook
  • Kentucky vs Missouri
    • Kentucky OT’s Darian Kinnard & Dare Rosenthal vs Missouri ED Trajan Jeffcoat

Top Pac-12 Matchups

The most important news from an eventful West Coast weekend may be Oregon Defensive End Kayvon Thibodeaux’s exit against Fresno State. Early reports say the lower leg injury is a sprain, his status heading into next week’s marquee match up with Ohio State will be one to monitor.

Top Matchups We Saw

  1. UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet vs LSU Front 7

Zach Charbonnet tore up Hawaii’s defense in UCLA’s first game of the season for 6 carries, 106 yards, 3 TDs. Charbonnet–a Michigan transfer–had the perfect opportunity this week to show out against a 16th ranked LSU team. Charbonnet finished the game with 11 carries for 117 yards and 1 TD. He showed good vision, tackle-breaking ability, balance, and explosiveness and was a huge contributor in UCLA’s upset win.

  1. Northern Colorado QB Dylan McCaffrey vs Colorado LB Nate Landman

After rupturing his Achilles at the end of the 2020 season, Colorado linebacker Nate Landman was able to fully recover and start week 1 for Colorado’s defense in their opener against Northern Colorado. He looked good as well, finishing the game with 4 solo tackles while also recording one pass defense. He’ll be someone to look out for next week when Colorado plays #6 Texas A&M.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up

  1. Utah LB Devin Lloyd vs Weber State - 12 TOT, 7 solo, 2 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 FF.
  2. USC WR Drake London vs San Jose State - 12 receptions, 137 yards.
  3. UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet vs #16 LSU - 11 carries, 117 yards, 1 TD, 1 reception, 35 yards.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down

  1. Oregon QB Anthony Brown vs Fresno State - 15/24, 172 yards, 1 TD, 16 carries, 56 yards, 1 TD

Eyes On Next Week

Week 2: Notable Games

  • Oregon vs Ohio State
    • Oregon ED Kayvon Thibodeaux (if healthy) vs Ohio State OT Nicholas Petit-Frere and OT Dawand Jones
    • Oregon DB Mykael Wright vs Ohio St. WR’s Chris Olave & Garrett Wilson
    • Ohio St. DB’s Sevyn Banks & Cam Brown vs Oregon WR’s Mycah Pittman & WR Johnny Johnson III
  • Washington vs Michigan
    • Washington LB Edefuan Ulofoshio vs Michigan OC Andrew Vastardis
    • Washington OT Jaxson Kirkland vs Michigan DE Aiden Hutchinson
  • Stanford vs USC
    • Stanford CB Kyu Blue Kelly vs USC WR Drake London
    • Stanford OT’s Walter Rouse & Myles Hinton vs USC ED Drake Jackson

Top ACC Matchups

It was a rough weekend to open the season for the ACC. Duke and Georgia Tech lost to teams outside of the Power 5. A Florida State comeback fell flat with a missed 37-yeard field goal in OT. Miami was throttled by a mostly new Alabama team, while Clemson’s Offense yielded exactly zero points. One of the few bright spots was in Blacksburg, VA where the return of Virginia Tech's triumphant home-field made a considerable difference against #10 North Carolina.

Top Matchups We Saw

  1. Georgia Pass Rush vs Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei and Clemson O-Line

A stellar effort from Georgia's front seven overwhelmed Clemson's offensive line which accounted for seven sacks, on the way to a rare consecutive loss for the Tigers. NFL Draft eligible’s Nakobe Dean, Nolan Smith, Adam Anderson, and Travon Walker, among others, all got in on the party in Clemson’s backfield. QB DJ Uiagalelei had the “deer in headlights” look all night in a constantly collapsing pocket, holding the ball far too long in search of the rare open receiver. Guard Will Putnam especially struggled en route to an abysmal 11.9 PFF Pass Block grade.

  1. Clemson Pass Coverage (CB Andrew Booth Jr., LB Baylon Specter) vs Georgia QB JT Daniels

Tight Clemson coverage limited Daniels to short throws much of the night, as he averaged only 4.5 yards per attempt. Booth Jr. looks like a future NFL Star after driving on short routes, blowing up perimeter passes while maintaining sticky coverage (84.1 PFF Grade and 86 coverage grade). Specter was also strong in coverage against a talented group of Georgia pass catchers (1 INT, 78.6 overall PFF grade, and a 90.6 coverage grade).

  1. Miami Secondary (DJ Ivey, Te’Cory Crouch, Gurvan Hall) vs Alabama Wide Receivers

Miami’s defensive backfield had their hands full with Alabama’s new-look receiving core. John Metchie III and Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams were open all day, comprising the lion share of the team’s 345 total receiving yards. In a rough outing for Hurricane NFL Draft prospects, the DB group registered just one pass deflection and zero turnovers in a dismal opening performance.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up

  1. Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr. - 4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PD
  2. Clemson WR Joseph Ngata - 6 catches, 110 yards
  3. Virginia Tech DL Amare Barno - 1.5 Sacks, 1 FF, 3 tackles

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down

  1. North Carolina QB Sam Howell - 17/32, 208 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT, 41.1 QBR
  2. Miami SAF Bubba Bolden - 5 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 PD, Ejected in 1Q (targeting)
  3. Miami QB D’Eriq King - 23/30, 179 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT, 4 sacks, 9 rushes for 10 yds

Eyes On Next Week

Week 2: Notable Games

  • Pittsburgh vs Tennessee
    • Pitt DL Calijah Cancey vs Tennessee OL Cade Mays, Darnell Wright

Top Big Ten Matchups

Two ranked interconference matchups underlined a solid opening weekend for the Big 10. Number 18 Iowa thumped their ranking neighbor number 17 Indiana by four touchdowns. Number 19 Penn State escaped Camp Randall with a six-point win versus twelfth ranked Wisconsin, while heavyweight Ohio State survived an early-week challenge against a feisty Minnesota team.

Top Matchups We Saw

  1. Minnesota OT Daniel Faalele vs Ohio State Edge Rushers

Faalele’s rare size at Right Tackle (listed at 6’9 380 on their roster) lends him a considerable advantage in pass pro. He has functional foot quickness to match rushes. In week 1, against one of the best pass rush units he will see all year in Ohio State, Faalele allowed just one pressure. Though not a perfect prospect, if Faalele can continue to put together a solid showing, he should get a look come Spring.

  1. Wisconsin LT Tyler Beach vs Penn State ED Arnold Ebiketie

Beach, a preseason All-Big 10 Honorable Mention selection, was awful against Penn State. A human turnstile as a pass blocker, Beach finished with a PFF pass-block grade of zero, yes you read that correctly, zero. Beach allowed seven total pressures, several to ED Arnold Ebiketie. Ebiketie showed some serious burst at the snap, with a nice bend to flatten back in his rush. With this tape and a strong finish to the season, Ebiketie will likely have NFL eyes on him.

  1. Penn State LB Ellis Brooks vs Wisconsin O-Line and Run Game

The redshirt senior linebacker was all over the field for Penn State on Saturday. Before an unfortunate targeting ejection, Brooks racked up 3 defensive stops, 11 tackles, 2 TFL/No gains, and 1 pressure (per PFF). He was fast flow in the run game, getting downhill and into the backfield in a hurry. Against what is usually one of the toughest run games in football, Brooks blew up pullers and blockers all day until his exit. Though his 65 PFF grade from Saturday won’t blow you away, throw on the tape and see what has Penn State fans excited.

  1. Iowa CB Riley Moss vs Indiana QB Michael Pennix Jr.

While he may not be the biggest or fastest at corner, Riley Moss gets it done. Moss finished the game with the highest PFF defensive grade for Iowa, and the second-highest in CFB Week 1 (minimum 50 snaps), allowing 0 catches on 7 targets. Even more impressive was his patience and ball skills, baiting Indiana’s Pennix Jr. into two interceptions that he cashed in for return touchdowns. His skill set may translate better to Safety at the next level, but his production will be hard to ignore.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up

  1. Ohio State DE Zach Harrison
  2. Ohio State WR’s Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson
  3. Penn State LB Ellis Brooks
  4. Maryland WR Dontay Demus Jr.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down

  1. Indiana QB Michael Pennix Jr
  2. Minnesota OT Sam Schlueter
  3. Wisconsin OT Tyler Beach

Eyes On Next Week

Week 2: Notable Games

  • Oregon vs Ohio State
    • Ohio State tight end, Jeremy Ruckert vs these Oregon LB’s Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell.
    • Oregon ED Kayvon Thibodeaux vs Ohio State OT Nicholas Petit-Frere and OT Dawand Jones
    • Oregon DB Mykael Wright vs Ohio St. WR’s Chris Olave & Garrett Wilson
  • Washington vs Michigan
    • Washington LB Edefuan Ulofoshio vs Michigan OC Andrew Vastardis
    • Washington OT Jaxson Kirkland vs Michigan DE Aiden Hutchinson

Top Big 12 Matchups

The most notable Big 12 storyline from the weekend was the nail-biter in Norman. What should have been a tune-up game to start the Heisman Trophy campaign for Sooners QB Spencer Rattler, turned into a four-quarter fight all the way to the wire as Oklahoma squeaked out a 40-35 victory. In Austin, the Steve Sarkisian era got off to a good start, as the Longhorns took care of a usually tough UL-Lafayette team

Top Matchups We Saw

  1. Texas ED Jacoby Jones vs Louisiana Lafayette rushing attack

Against the Ragin’ Cajuns, Jones does what he does best – hold the edge in the run game. His strong 79.3 PFF run defense grade was close to his 2020 season average of 80.2. While he did not light up the box score with just one solo tackle and one assist, Jones was credited with one TFL/No Gain stop, while grading positively on 27.8% of his run defense plays. The 6’ 4” 255 lb senior looks to build upon a good run defense performance as Texas takes on Arkansas on September 11th.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up

  1. Baylor OT Connor Galvin
  2. Baylor OG Jacob Gall
  3. TCU WR Taye Barber

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down

  1. Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler
  2. Texas OC Derek Kerstetter

Eyes On Next Week

Week 2: Notable Games

  • Iowa vs Iowa State
    • Iowa State TE Charlie Kolar vs Iowa LB Seth Benson
    • Iowa State WR Xavier Hutchinson vs Iowa CB Riley Moss
  • Texas vs Arkansas
    • Texas LB DeMarvion Overshown vs Arkansas RB Trelon Smith

The 33rd Team's Weekly Draft Stock Series is provided by: Will Myers, Brandon Tamres, Kevin Ivers, Adam Carter, Jared Hammond & Brian Filker