Week five of the college football season is now in the books and it was another key weekend for several 2022 NFL Draft prospects. One prospect who saw his stock go back up this week after a disappointing performance last week is Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. We also got to see more from players like Iowa running back Tyler Goodson and Michigan outside linebacker Aiden Hutchinson and the pro potential they possess.
Still Worth a Late Round Pick
One of the more polarizing prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft is Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. On one hand, you have a player who has never had great results consistently on the football field, but on the other hand, you have a player with all the physical skills to make an NFL team.
The biggest issue with Nix has been his lack of accuracy. In four of his five games this season he completed less than 60% of his passes. This includes completing only 48% of his passes against Georgia State which led to his benching. There are several issues that lead him to be far from the most accurate quarterback including poor footwork, a lack of awareness in the pocket and overall a questionable football IQ.
Despite all of these concerns though he is still worth a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft due to his impressive physical skillset. A classic example of the tools he posses showed up in the 2nd quarter vs. LSU when he showed his mobility and arm strength to throw one of the most impressive touchdowns of the season.
These raw tools make scouts wonder if he could develop into a better pro prospect than college player especially if he gets the right coaching. For example, if he went to the New Orleans Saints got to develop for a couple of years under Sean Payton could he develop into a potential starting quarterback?
While Iowa running back Tyler Goodson has only had average production on the ground the past two weeks, he is showing he has the skillset to be an offensive weapon in the NFL. The area he is really impressing people with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Against Maryland, on Friday night he caught one pass which he took for a 67-yard touchdown and over the past two weeks has 119 receiving yards.
What makes him so dangerous when catching the ball out of the backfield is his ability to make people miss in the open field. On his 67 yard reception, he cut on a dime and took what could have been just a 15-yard reception to the house. This trait helps him as a runner as well. While he has only averaged three yards a carry the past two games he has made numerous defenders whiff when trying to tackle him in the backfield.
When it comes to where Goodson will go in the draft he will likely be a day three pick. His lack of size and power as a runner will prevent teams from taking him before the 5th round and his lack of production as a runner will not help in this area either. Although it must be noted that his low rushing totals the past two weeks has been more due to an average Iowa offensive line.
Position Switch Benefits Hutchinson
A player who has benefited from a coaching change this offseason is Michigan’s, Aiden Hutchinson. The Wolverines moved on from long time defensive coordinator to Don Brown to current defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and his pro-style 3-4 defense. This moved allowed Hutchinson to move from a down defensive lineman to a standup outside linebacker.
The switch to outside linebacker has made Hutchinson a more productive pass rusher as he already has tied his career high in sacks in a year with 4.5 in just five games. Along with being a more dominant pass rusher, he continues to be a force vs. the run, which was his strong point going into the 2021 season.
As a pro prospect, Hutchinson likely fits best in a 3-4 defense and it would not be a surprise if a team who favors this style of defense takes him in the mid to late part of the first round.
Wide Receiver Number One
Going into the season most draftniks had either Garrett Wilson or Chris Olave rated as the number one wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, Drake London of USC was the top-rated receiver on my board, and he is definitely backing up this ranking this year.
In three of his first four games of the 2021 season, he had at least 10 receptions and 135 receiving yards. He has also already posted career highs in receptions and touchdowns for a season this year in just five games.
What makes London such a threat is his combination of imposing size and athletic ability. London is one of the bigger receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft coming in at 6-foot-5 and 210. He also does a great job of adjusting to the ball in the air and shows impressive agility for someone his size.
While some scouts might knock him for his lack of elite speed a player with his catch radius and playmaking ability is definitely worth a first-round pick.