5 for 5: NFL Draft Cornerback Stock, 5 Potential Replacements for Dan Campbell in Detroit, and More!

Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The middle of the football season is on the horizon for both college football and the NFL. The weekly 5 for 5 is back to recap the biggest surprises of the week. Also included in this edition: NFL Draft stock for cornerbacks, five replacements for Dan Campbell in Detroit, and much more!

Headline No. 1: Biggest Surprises of Week

•No. 1: Texas Curb Stomps Oklahoma in the Most Lopsided Red River Rivalry Game Ever

The Longhorns trounced their bitter rivals, the Oklahoma Sooners, 49-0. This beatdown represents the biggest margin of victory for Texas in 118 Red River Rivalry games. New head coach Will Venables sits at 3-3 and is on one of the ugliest three-game skids in the history of such an illustrious program.

•No. 2: New York Giants Improve to 4-1 After Thrilling Victory over Green Bay in London

Aaron Rodgers looked poised to leave London with a victory but the G-Men had other ideas. Green Bay held a 10-point lead at halftime, but the Giants would outscore the Packers 17-2 in the second half, leading to New York becoming the 4-1 team — not the Cheese Heads.

•No. 3: Gabe Davis Scores Six on a 98-Yard Bomb Against the Pittsburgh Steelers

A popular breakout pick for real life and fantasy football, Gabe Davis cashed in on the high expectations in a big way for those who sang his praises this past offseason. Davis hauled in a 98-yard touchdown, before catching another long touchdown, this time from 62 yards out. After a couple of quiet showings, Davis reminded the NFL world that he’s capable of scoring on any play.

•No. 4: UCLA Looks Like a Legit Playoff Contender Following Win Over Utah

Long ago, in what feels like a galaxy far, far away, Chip Kelly was once a transformative coach in the Pac-12 with the Oregon Ducks. Nowadays, he is spearheading a surprise playoff run by the UCLA Bruins. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is playing out of his mind in 2022 and after proving they belong with a victory against the Utes, keep an eye on Kelly’s Bruins.

•No. 5: Detroit Offense Shutout After Averaging League-Best 35 Points Per Game Thru 4 Weeks

Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions were without D’Andre Swift again this week, but few would have guessed the offense would pitch a goose egg. It’s never an easy task to travel to Foxborough, and the Patriots’ defense did play exceptionally well, but after putting up 140 points in their first four games… it all came crashing down for Jared Goff and Co. in week five.

Headline No. 2: 5 Potential Replacements for Dan Campbell in Detroit

•No. 1: Liam Coen (Rams OC)

The Los Angeles Rams have been the home of Liam Coen every year since 2018. Aside from one. In 2021, Coen took over as the play caller in Lexington and helped lead Will Levis and the Kentucky Wildcats to a transcendent season for the program.

He installed a pro-style scheme and showed that his talents and expertise translate — even when he’s not in the same room as Sean McVay. Coen should be one of the top options to replace Dan Campbell in Detroit.

•No. 2: Dan Quinn (Cowboys DC)

Love him or hate him, Dan Quinn was born to be a football coach. Similar to Campbell, Quinn embodies the passion and energy that is required of a head coach in the NFL. As a defensive specialist, Quinn has elevated nearly every unit he’s touched. With Kyle Shanahan at his side, the pair nearly won a Super Bowl for the ATL.

Since being let go of by the Falcons, Quinn has served as the defensive coordinator in Dallas. The brilliant defensive mind has been credited with helping Micah Parsons unlock his pass-rush potential. Prospective teams will covet this.

•No. 3: Ken Dorsey (Bills OC)

Ken Dorsey is the guy that you saw a couple of weeks ago losing his mind in the press box after a tough loss for the Buffalo Bills. The teams’ offensive coordinator went berserk on anything in sight and while that may draw the ire of some fans, I suspect that NFL teams will love seeing Dorsey’s passion.

He has worked his way up in Buffalo and if the team reaches the heights that Bills Mafia envisions, Detroit could look to get their hands on some of that success by tabbing Dorsey as the leader going forward. The fiery nature matches the culture that Campbell has built for the franchise.

•No. 4: Matt Campbell (Iowa State HC)

Another year, another article about how Matt Campbell could finally leave the Iowa State program this offseason. With each passing year, it feels more likely. The allure to signing with Detroit is that the roster is stocked with young talent and whoever becomes head coach will have the freedom to choose their signal-caller to build around.

It was reported the last offseason that the Lions offered a monster deal to Campbell. Those reports were never confirmed, but where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. You wouldn’t even have to get a new nameplate for the head coach office!

•No. 5: Bill O’Brien (Alabama OC)

A name that many have likely forgotten about is former Penn State and Houston Texan head coach, Bill O’Brien. Since being fired by Houston, O’Brien has kept a low profile, serving as the play caller in Tuscaloosa for the past two seasons.

He is not the most consistent play caller but O’Brien has proven that he’s capable of establishing a system and sticking to it. Perhaps the idea of hiring BoB is based on the ability to draft his quarterback, Bryce Young. The two could settle down together in Motor City if Dan Campbell is let go.

Headline No. 3: NFL Draft Stock Watch (CBs)

•No. 1: Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)

Entering the season, Joey Porter Jr. ranked as the No. 2 cornerback on my 2023 NFL Draft big board. As we near the midway point of the college football season, the Penn State product has seized the No. 1 spot. JPJ exhibits sound fundamentals and instincts when covering downfield and he brings the edge that is on brand for the son of former Pittsburgh Steeler, Joey Porter.

While he’s not quite to the level of Sauce Gardner in terms of the overall grade, he is similar in many aspects of the position. The cornerback will be a consensus top-ten pick by next April.

•No. 2: Kelee Ringo (Georgia)

Kelee Ringo laid claim to the top spot on my preseason cornerback rankings, and through no fault of his own, he’s fallen a spot. Ringo looks as advertised so far in 2022, helping lead a Georgia defense that hasn’t missed a step after losing several starters.

Ringo is a thumper in the secondary and as long as he keeps from falling into his grabby tendencies, the Bulldog is destined for a long career in the NFL.

•No. 3: Christian Gonzalez (Oregon)

Two former Colorado Buffaloes are the biggest risers in my cornerback rankings. Christian Gonzalez is the first one. He landed on the preseason power rankings, but through six games in 2022 for his Oregon Ducks, Gonzalez looks the part of a day-one pick.

He is a fluid mover but in coverage and when in full sprint while in pursuit of a ball carrier. Gonzalez is a versatile piece to any secondary and might even rise more before the 2023 NFL Draft gets here.

•No. 4: Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State)

One of my favorite players to watch in the entire 2023 NFL Draft class is Mississippi State’s, Emmanuel Forbes. Forbes is lean, but he plays much stronger at the point of contact. He can lock receivers up by jamming them off the line or use his elite athleticism to stick to his assignments hip like glue.

Forbes has a nose for the football as well, highlighted by his 12 career interceptions in only 28 starts. The Bulldog defender won’t have to wait long to hear his name called in the 2023 NFL Draft.

•No. 5: Mekhi Blackmon (USC)

The “other” former Colorado cornerback that I spoke of earlier is USC’s, Mekhi Blackmon. Blackmon earned the spotlight as a sleeper pick in my preseason rankings, but like Gonzalez, he’s surpassed even the loftiest of expectations.

Blackmon is twitchy and possesses arguably the most fluid hips in this draft class. He can switch directions on the drop of a dime and has more than enough athleticism to cover sideline to sideline.

Blackmon already has two interceptions in 2022, matching his career total in four seasons with the Buffaloes. The talented defensive back should be on everyone’s radar.

Headline No. 4: 5 Trades NFL Contenders Should Make Before the Deadline

•No. 1: Packers Trade for Brandin Cooks

Will it happen? Probably not. Should it happen? If possible! The Texans likely aren’t in a hurry to move Brandin Cooks after saying as much this past offseason. That being said, Nico Collins is trending toward being a solid player at wide receiver.

The Packers’ young guys have played relatively well so far in 2022, but an established No. 1 target like the sure-handed Brandin Cooks could make Aaron Rodgers and Co. a realistic Super Bowl contender. The pass catcher has six 1000-yard seasons under his belt, for four different franchises.

•No. 2: Dolphins Trade for Alexander Mattison

Raheem Mostert is holding up well as the primary ball carrier for the Miami Dolphins, but if history tells us anything, Mike McDaniel needs insurance at running back. Chase Edmonds has not been effective as a runner in 2022 and if the Dolphins have serious conference championship aspirations, they should send a middle-round pick to Minnesota for backup running back Alexander Mattison.

Mattison has only served as an insurance piece and change of pace back for Dalvin Cook, but he’s got the chops to handle more of the load. Mattison would mesh well with Mostert’s mythical speed and Edmonds’s ability as a pass catcher.

•No. 3: Ravens Trade for DJ Moore

There will be many teams linked to Panthers star wide receiver DJ Moore if he is made available in trade talks. The Baltimore Ravens need to be at the front of the line for his potential suitors. Lamar Jackson is making do with what he has, but Rashod Bateman missing the week five battle with the Bengals proved one thing — Baltimore needs more talent on the boundary.

Moore thrives at eating zones up and hauling in difficult catches in traffic when necessary. He’d slot in perfectly with Mark Andrews and a healthy Rashod Bateman. Please give Lamar some help.

•No. 4: Eagles Trade for Robert Quinn

Robert Quinn exploded for 18.5 sacks in 2021 and was expected to be traded after the new regime took over in Chicago. They ultimately decide to continue the partnership, but with Quinn and the team both off to slow starts, it’s worth wondering if gaining a pick is more beneficial to the process for the Bears.

The Eagles are a team that doesn’t necessarily need anything, and it might take a little creativity to fit such a high-priced contract, but Quinn could be the final piece to a championship puzzle in Philadelphia. If the price is right, take the shot.

•No. 5: Broncos Trade for Kareem Hunt

The Denver Broncos have a laundry list of issues that far exceed their current need at running back. That being said, Melvin Gordon’s best days are in the rearview, and Latavius Murray isn’t what he used to be either. The Broncos have no reason to concede the season because they do not own their first or second-round picks in 2023.

The team won’t be able to offer a high pick for Kareem Hunt, but the Browns might be willing to move on from Hunt amid Chubb’s dominant stretch to open the season. Cleveland made a blockbuster trade of their own for a quarterback, so recouping draft picks isn’t the worst idea.

Headline No. 5: 5 Small-School Prospects That Will See a Major Rise in NFL Draft Stock

•No. 1: WR De’Corian Clark (UTSA)

The UTSA Roadrunners are making their presence felt on the national landscape, but they have a budding NFL star at wide receiver with De’Corian Clark. Sure, teammate Zakhari Franklin is an exciting prospect that should be taken in the 2023 NFL Draft, but Clark brings an upside that few in this class possess.

He is listed at 6-foot-3, 209 pounds but if you just judged based on watching him, you’d assume that Clark was the size of Shaquille O’Neal. His catch radius is otherworldly and Clark has never seen a jump ball that he couldn’t get.

It remains to be seen if his speed will play against superior competition but ideally Clark will run a 4.5 40-yard dash and match his pro comparison — Chargers’ Mike Williams.

•No. 2: RB Isaiah Davis (South Dakota State)

Former Jackrabbits’ running back Pierre Strong Jr. left the program and was selected in round four by the New England Patriots after an illustrious collegiate career. The shocking thing? They have an even better running back prospect still on the roster.

Strong’s former partner-in-crime, Isaiah Davis, recorded 1327 yards on the ground in 2020 and 2021 as a second-fiddle on offense. So far as “the man” in 2022, Davis posted 626 rushing yards and five touchdowns in his first 6 games of the season.

Davis is an efficient runner with elite vision and a knack to bounce off of would-be tacklers. His top-end speed will be the determining factor in his NFL Draft stock, but I have yet to see him taken down from behind.

•No. 3: EDGE BJ Thompson (Stephen F. Austin)

There is an immense amount of projecting involved with Stephen F. Austin’s BJ Thompson. Thompson is incredibly raw and stuck between positions on the defensive side of the ball.

He is tall (6’6”), but still very lean, weighing around 230 pounds. Thompson is shot out like a rocket after the snap and when he’s able to keep free of getting jammed, he’s lethal as a pass rusher.

Thompson needs to add more weight to his frame or develop better skills in coverage as a linebacker. The athleticism, untapped potential, and hunger to improve will help Thompson win over NFL Draft scouts everywhere.

•No. 4: WR Taylor Grimes (Incarnate Word)

Taylor Grimes served as the No. 1 target for quarterback Cam Ward during the latter’s time with the Cardinals. Grimes recorded 87 receptions, 1145 receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns in 2021 and was all over the field during my deep dive into Ward’s film.

Grimes is a bit undersized as an NFL Draft prospect but his superb route running opens the possibility that a role can be found for him on Sundays. The senior wide receiver is a name to watch when the Senior Bowl and other college football all-star games take place.

•No. 5: EDGE Brevin Allen (Campbell)

I’ve only caught a couple of cut-ups of Brevin Allen but he’s such an intriguing prospect. Allen stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs 265 pounds but he moves so well for that size.

The Campbell pass rusher ranked inside the top 20 in sacks (9.5) and tackles for loss (17.5), setting the single-season program record in both in the process. If Allen can prove that he’s strong enough to hold up in the trenches on Sundays, there’s reason to believe he can climb NFL Draft boards.