Championship Weekend may be one of the best of the college season and some great performances from NFL Draft prospects. Some players have their stock up after their performance while others have their stock down after struggles. Many names are still going under the radar and we learned a lot about them this week.
Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Lloyd had another masterful game against Oregon that likely puts him in the first round of the NFL Draft. The most impactful play was a key interception that he returned 34 yards for a touchdown, putting the dagger in the Ducks early in the game. Add in 7 more form tackles both in coverage and against RBs, and Lloyd had a mistake free game.
He is such a great tackler, and that 2-down thumper role is likely his best fit. The big issue with Lloyd’s profile is his pass coverage ability and he has showcased improved instincts throughout the season. High end potential is there as the first LB off the board. Stock up may not be good enough as Lloyd’s stock is going way up.
Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Another week and another Hutchinson stock up. Though it wasn’t as explosive as the Ohio State game, Hutchinson notched a sack against Iowa and was even impressive setting the edge against the run game. With momentum carrying him toward the Heisman ceremony, he is building it up to go #1 overall in the NFL Draft. Stock up continues to be not a strong enough term for Hutchinson.
Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
Linderbaum is still a top prospect, but he struggled in this game. His athleticism could not create holes on his own, and freshman Guard Connor Colby was also struggling next to him. Linderbaum was used in a variety of ways to try to get something going with RB Tyler Goodson in the run game, but there wasn’t much push to be had. Even when pulling, linebackers were able to shed Linderbaum fairly easily.
It was his worst game of the year by far against one of his toughest challenges all year. Since taking a Center in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft is tenuous anyway, it could hurt him slightly when teams pop on the film. That being said, the offseason should be kind to Linderbaum in terms of workout numbers and buzz, so it should be just fine.
Names To Know
Noah Gindorff, North Dakota State
Everytime I watch Gindorff, he flashes NFL TE2 ability. An excellent blocker who can essentially add a 6th offensive lineman combined with soft hands, Gindorff is an ideal TE reserve for the pros. Though NDSU mostly stayed on the ground in the blowout against Southern Illinois, Gindorff was their leading receiver with 3 catches for 35 yards.
With the depth at the TE position in this year’s draft, Gindorff may not be drafted. But, he will be in a camp and I am predicting he catches an NFL TD at some point in his career.
Verone McKinley III, S, Oregon
McKinley has been around for awhile for the Ducks and is really starting to come into his own as a playmaking safety. He has notched 6 interceptions this season including 1 this past week against Utah. A smaller Free Safety, McKinley excels at reading the QBs eyes and using his closing speed to make a play. He could be a potential late round pick with upside.