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College Football: Week 8 Draft Stock Watch, Matchups and Notable Games

Week 8 Draft Stock Watch

Top SEC Matchups

1) Tennessee CB Alontae Taylor vs Alabama WRs

On a night where his opponent gained nearly 600 yards of offense (371 through the air), Tennessee CB Alontae Taylor was unusually quiet. Taylor, tasked with covering the terrific Alabama duo of John Metchie III and Jameson Williams, was targeted a mere 5 times — allowing 3 receptions for just 44 yards. However, the tape showed Alabama could (and probably should) have looked Taylor’s way more often, as he struggled in/out of his breaks fighting to stay in position. While the stat sheet may not bury him, Taylor’s struggles against future NFL pass catchers will not be overlooked.

2) Alabama CB Josh Jobe vs Tennessee Pass Game

A surging Volunteer offense kept Alabama’s top cover man busy all game. Tennessee did not shy away from Jobe, attacking him with 4 completions on 4 targets for 99 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown came via a frustrating lack of awareness on Jobe’s part, where he was ill-prepared at the snap. Big-bodied Tennessee WR Cedric Tillman, in particular, gave Jobe trouble with his physical release and vertical speed. Jobe has disappointed thus far, forcing just 1 incompletion in coverage despite abundant opportunities and media praise.

3) Ole Miss IOL Orlando Umana vs LSU Interior Defensive Line

Utah transfer Orlando Umana has been the lone constant on the interior offensive line, where Ole Miss has struggled to stay healthy. Against LSU, Umana spent the day bouncing between his natural center position and RG, as Ole Miss was forced to repeatedly shuffle its lineup. While Umana’s PFF grade (65.8) wasn’t stellar, he was solid across two positions, and surrendered just 1 pressure in 31 pass protection snaps against a talented front. Umana may not be a stand out at one position, but his ability at multiple spots will have value at the next level.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Alabama DL Phidarian Mathis: 70.6 PFF grade – 1 def. stop – 2 pressures – 1 sack
  2. Texas A&M ED Tyree Johnson: 90.1 PFF pass rush grade – 5 QB pressures – 2 sacks
  3. Ole Miss RB Jerrion Ealy: 89.7 PFF grade – 14 att/116 yds – 1 TD – 7 forced missed tackles

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Alabama IOL Emil Ekiyor Jr.: 54.1 PFF grade – 4 QB pressures allowed
  2. Texas A&M OT Jahmir Johnson: 29.4 PFF pass block grade – 3 QB pressures allowed
  3. Tennessee LB Jeremy Banks: 56.2 PFF grade – 51.0 PFF run def. grade – 3 missed tackles

Eyes On Next Week

Week 9: Notable Games

Georgia vs Florida

  1. Georgia WR’s Jermaine Burton, Kearis Jackson vs Florida CB Kaiir Elam
  2. Georgia DL Adam Anderson, Travon Walker vs Florida OT Jean Delance 

Ole Miss vs Auburn

  1. Ole Miss WR Dontario Drummond vs Auburn CB’s Roger McCreary, Nehemiah Pritchett
  2. Ole Miss RB Jerrion Ealy vs Auburn LB’s Zakoby McClain, Chandler Wooten

Top ACC Matchups

1) Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett vs Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr and LBs James Skalski and Baylon Spector

Kenny Pickett managed this game incredibly well, keeping the ball moving nicely with 18 first downs through the air and 4 more on the ground. It was far from a perfect performance from Pickett, but he came through in the key moments against a very good Clemson defense, and it was more than enough against a still-struggling Clemson offense. From Clemson’s perspective, Spector had a bad penalty that helped Pitt on one of their TD drives, but the LBs were mostly fine outside of that. Booth definitely struggled in his first game since Week 5 in this one, however, and they will need more from him going forward.

2) Boston College LB Isaiah Graham-Mobley vs Louisville QB Malik Cunningham

Graham-Mobley had huge struggles in this game, both in coverage and in rush defense. With three missed tackles and four completions allowed for 46 yards and three first downs, Graham-Mobley was a huge reason for the struggles of the Boston College defense that allowed Malik Cunningham and the Louisville running game to dominate. Mobley was seemingly the only player Cunningham had success targeting, while the rush game had no such issues.

3) Miami OTs Zion Nelson and Jarrid Williams vs NC State LB Drake Thomas and Edge Daniel Joseph

With three pressures and zero sacks allowed between them, Nelson and Williams did their jobs pretty well in pass protection. Run blocking was an issue, particularly for Nelson, but they allowed Tyler Van Dyke enough time to control the game through the air. Drake Thomas was the big thorn in the side of the Miami OL in this one, with two sacks and four pressures and 5 tackles in rush defense, though he did miss three. Overall, Miami’s OL did just enough to help them win this game.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Wake Forest WR Jaquarii Roberson: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 157 yards, 3 TD, 85.2 PFF Grade
  2. Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman: 23/29, 458 yards, 6 total TDs, 93.5 PFF Grade
  3. Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong: 29/43, 396 yards passing, 99 yards rushing, 6 total TDs, 90.3 PFF Grade

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Boston College OT Ben Petrula: 3 pressures allowed, 1 sack allowed, 53.4 PFF Grade
  2. NC State OT Ikem Ekwonu: 3 pressures allowed, 3 hurries allowed, 57 PFF Grade
  3. Boston College WR Zay Flowers: 10 targets, 4 receptions, 43 yards, 1 drop, 55.5 PFF Grade

Eyes On Next Week

Week 9: Notable Games

North Carolina vs Notre Dame 

North Carolina QB Sam Howell vs. Notre Dame Defense

North Carolina SAF Trey Morrison vs. Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer 

Virginia vs BYU

Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong vs BYU SAF Malik Moore

Virginia C Olusegun Oluwatimi vs BYU DL Lorenzo Fauatea and LB Max Tooley

Top PAC 12 Matchups

1) Oregon ED Kayvon Thibodeaux vs UCLA OTs Alec Anderson & Sean Rhyan

Thibodeaux had his way with the entire offensive line. He utilized both power and speed to win, showed elite explosion with his hands when contact was made with his blocker, and utilized a rip move often. Thibodeaux bullied TEs whenever they were tasked with blocking him. His closing speed was exceptional. He was a bit of a liability in coverage, but shouldn’t be used there considering he should be rushing the passer on all pass downs.

2) USC RB Keaontay Ingram vs Notre Dame’s Front 7

Ingram was quite efficient despite struggles along his offensive line. While the line got little to no push, Ingram managed to finish with a season-high 138 rushing yards. He showed good vision and patience to wait for blocks or a lane to open. He utilized jump cuts well and forced multiple missed tackles (5) near the LOS. He was tough for one defender to take down and commanded multiple defenders, with 102 of his 138 rushing yards coming after contact.

3) Oregon State ED Andrzej Hughes-Murray vs Utah OTs Bamidele Olaseni & Braeden Daniels

Hughes-Murray played with a high motor and showed plenty of twitch. He utilized speed more than strength and was effective. His hand usage was on display as he used both spin and rip moves. When the tackles got their hands to his chest, though, he was easily overpowered. Despite that, he displayed high effort and enerated 3 pressures with a 21.4% pass rush win rate. 

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. USC RB Keaontay Ingram – 24 carries, 138 yards, 1 TD, 5 missed tackles forced, 78.4 PFF
  2. California S Elijah Hicks – 6 TOT, 4 solo, 1 sack, 2.5 TFLs, 81.8 PFF
  3. California QB Chase Garbers – 22/30, 225 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 10 carries, 96 yards, 1 big time throw (BTT), 0 turnover worthy plays (TWP), 91.1 PFF

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. USC QB Kedon Slovis – 27/37, 299 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 2 BTT, 3 TWP, 59.0 PFF
  2. USC OG Andrew Vorhees – 1 pressure allowed, 54.3 PFF
  3. Washington TE Cade Otton – 2 rec, 17 yards, 62.0 PFF

Eyes On Next Week

Week 9: Notable Games

UCLA vs Utah

  1. UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet vs Utah LBs Nephi Sewell & Devin Lloyd
  2. UCLA ED Mitchell Agude vs Utah OT Bamidele Olaseni

Washington State vs Arizona State

  1. Washington State RB Max Borghi vs Arizona State LB Darien Butler
  2. Washington State OT Ron Stone Jr. vs Arizona State OT Kellen Diesch and TE Curtis Hodges

Top BIG 12 Matchups

1) Iowa State QB Brock Purdy vs Oklahoma State Pass defense (CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse) 

The return of Brocktober proved to be exactly what Iowa State needed to overcome a strong Oklahoma State defense. Purdy was able to take advantage of the short to intermediate throws taking advantage of heavy Cover 1 play by the Pokes defense. Purdy was able to complete 9 of 10 passes against Cover 1 on the day, with an average depth of target at 4.6 yards. As a result Purdy earned a 83.3 offensive grade on the week, per PFF. Oklahoma State CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse found himself on the field for all of Purdy’s pass attempts this week. Bernard-Converse was targeted 6 times on the day allowing 5 completions for 81 yards, 2 1st downs, and 1 TD. On the week, Bernard-Converse earned coverage defense grade of 53.1 and defensive grade of 54.7 per PFF.

2) West Virginia RB Leddie Brown vs TCU Run defense (LB Dee Winters)  

West Virginia RB Leddie Brown had himself a day against a porous TCU defense, racking up 111 yds of 24 carries. Brown forced 5 missed tackles and accounted for 9 carries for first downs and an impressive 75 yards after contact, earning a 73.5 rushing grade, per PFF. TCU LB Dee Winters was on the field for 39 run defense snaps, accounting for 7 solo tackles in run situations on the day. Two of those were for TFLs or no gain on the play, in addition to missing 2 tackles. Winters earned a run defense grade of 54.5 and an overall defensive grade of 59.0 per PFF. 

3) Iowa State WR Xavier Hutchinson vs Oklahoma St CB Christian Holmes, CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse

Iowa State WR Xavier Hutchinson had a good outing against a stingy Pokes defense, brining in 12 receptions on 12 targets, 7 of which went for 1st downs. Hutchinson had an impressive 83 yards after the catch and 18 yards after contact. Hutchinson’s average depth of target was 3.7 yards and he turned that into an average yards per reception of 10.4, which highlights his ability to be aggressive after completing the reception pushing downfield for extra yards. On the day, Hutchinson earned a receiving grade of 85.6, per PFF, which is the highest grade for a WR in the Big 12 this week. The Pokes CB tandem did not have a good outing against Hutchinson between Christian Holmes and Jarrick Bernard-Converse. They were targeted 9 times, allowing 9 receptions, 4 1st downs and 2 TDs with a collective coverage grade of 57.9, per PFF. 

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Iowa St QB Brock Purdy 27/33 307 yds 9.3 avg 2 TD 
  2. Iowa St WR Xavier Hutchinson 12 rec 125 yds 10.4 avg 2 TDs long 51 yds 
  3. West Virginia RB Leddie Brown 24 car 111 yds 4.6 avg 3 TD long 24 yds, 1 rec 3 yds 3.0 avg

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Texas QB Max Duggan 16/26 244 9.4 avg 1 TD 2 INT, 7 car 27 yds 3.9 avg 
  2. Oklahoma State CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse targeted 5 times, allowed 5 rec and 1 TD
  3. Texas Tech C Dawson Deaton allowed 4 pressures, 1 sack, 2 hurries on 28 pass block snaps 

Eyes On Next Week

Week 9: Notable Games

Texas vs Baylor

  1. Baylor QB Gerry Bohanon vs Texas CB B.J. Foster, CB Anthony Cook 
  2. Texas QB Casey Thompson vs Baylor CB Jalen Pitre

Iowa State vs West Virginia

  1. Iowa State QB Brock Purdy vs West Virginia CB Charles Woods, S Alonzo Addae
  2. West Virginia QB Jarret Doege vs Iowa St S Kym-Mani King, CB Anthony Johnson Jr.

Top BIG 10 Matchups

1) Indiana OT Luke Haggard vs Ohio State ED Zach Harrison

Unfortunately due to the score of the game, we did not see as much Zach Harrison as we would have liked. When he was in the game, he primarily went against Luke Haggard and Haggard held his own against the potential first round pick. Harrison was not able to create anything when he went against Haggard. Harrison did flash his abilities, but his best plays were against players not named Haggard. When he did not go against Haggard, he finished with 2 sacks and 1 TFL. He did not accumulate any stats when he was against Haggard. Tyreke Smith also had no luck when he went against Haggard. This was some of the best ball Haggard has played all season.

2) Indiana OT Caleb Jones vs Ohio State ED Tyreke Smith

This matchup is another one that we did not see as much as we would have liked, however, it was a good one when they did square off against each other. Caleb Jones is a massive individual and most players are not going to be able to go through him. This was the case for most of the matchup, however Tyreke Smith did get to the QB once due to an initial strong bull rush move against Jones. Outside of that one sack, Jones stonewalled Smith. One big concern for Jones, however, is his bend. He plays very high due to his marginal flexibility. This is very evident from his stance and it is something he needs to work on if he wants to succeed at the next level.

3) Illinois OT Vederian Lowe vs Penn State ED Arnold Ebiketie

This matchup had the potential to be the matchup of the week, however, it was cut short due to Vederian Lowe getting hurt and missing the second half. These are two players who have seen their stock rise in recent weeks. Lowe is a big guy, coming in at 6-foot6 and 320 pounds. His play strength is very evident as he was able to displace a lot of DL and LBs in this game. The highlight of the game for Lowe was when he pancaked Jesse Luketa, who is one of the best players on the Penn State defense. Hopefully Lowe will return soon, because scouts are going to want to see more of this man. This Penn State defense did not have such a great day overall, allowing a one dimensional Illinois team to run all over them. Ebiketie had a solid day, but most of his positive play came against players not named Lowe. All four of his pressures and his one sack came against Lowe’s replacement, Alex Pihlstrom. Ebiketie is going to need a big bounce back game against a very tough Ohio State next week.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up:

  1. Ohio State TE Jeremy Ruckert – 5 catches on 5 targets for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns, 83.7 PFF grade
  2. Michigan RB Hassan Haskins – 23 carries for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns, 87.4 PFF grade
  3. Illinois DT Roderick Perry II – 4 hurries, 4 tackles, 1 TFL, 83.4 PFF grade

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down:

  1. Penn State OC Mike Miranda – 5 pressures allowed, 2 penalties, 29.2 pass blocking grade, 48.3 PFF grade
  2. Indiana LB Micah McFadden – 4 catches allowed on 4 targets for 52 yards and a touchdown, 3 tackles, 29.9 PFF grade
  3. Penn State OT Rasheed Walker – 3 pressures allowed, 56.3 PFF grade, 46.4 run blocking grade

Eyes On Next Week

Week 9: Notable Games

Michigan vs Michigan State

  1. Michigan ED Aidan Hutchinson vs Michigan State OT AJ Arcuri
  2. Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III vs Michigan’s Defense

Ohio State vs Penn State

  1. Penn State OT Rasheed Walker vs Ohio State EDs Zach Harrison & Tyreke Smith
  2. Penn State EDs Arnold Ebiketie & Jesse Luketa vs Ohio State OTs Nicholas Petit-Frere & Dawand Jones