Week 13 of the college season saw the playoff picture shake up and some dominant 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.
Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Hutchinson went up against Michigan’s biggest rival and almost single handedly won the game. His 3 sacks showcased his upside as a huge but athletic pass rusher. After dominating young RT Dawand Jones, Hutchinson went to the other side and lit up LT Nicholas Petit-Frere. The highlight may have been tossing Petit-Frere like a ragdoll on a pass rush.
Hutchinson has played his way into being a Top 5 pick and actually competing with Oregon’s EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux as the top player overall in this draft. After Hutchinson blows up the Combine with eye-popping numbers, he will be talked about in that area of the draft.
Sam Williams, EDGE, Mississippi
Williams got to go up against Mississippi State OT Charles Cross and gave him all he could handle. Williams blew past Cross for a sack and had another sack to boot. Even though he isn’t the most athletic pass rusher, his brute strength and hand usage is phenomenal.
He also showcased some run tackling ability setting ability and filled gaps inside as well. Though he won’t be a high end prospect, Day 2 is getting within reach. With 12.5 sacks this year, Williams is a name that has to be accounted for in the NFL Draft.
Andrew Stueber, G, Michigan
Stueber was a recent Senior Bowl addition and his play at Right Tackle for Michigan helped pave the way for RB Hassan Haskins and the Wolverine offense. Showcasing a good bend and push with excellent hand placement underneath pads. His leg drive was phenomenal and shows why he would be an ideal NFL Guard, though he is convincing me of being a RT.
One of the most impressive aspects in the game against the Buckeyes was his ability to get to the second level and fend off fast LBs. Former RB Steele Chambers was blocked numerous times in space by Stueber and blown backwards. Look for Stueber to start getting some second day buzz.
Phidarian Mathis, DL, Alabama
Mathis continues to impress this season with his run stuffing ability and he has bounced back in a big way after a mediocre game against Texas A&M earlier in the season. Mathis showcased some interior pressure against Auburn to keep the game within reach as the Crimson Tide offense struggled.
Mathis’ leg drive and run defense instincts will make him an elite run defender at the NFL level which many teams still need. He has shown more pass rush prowess as of late and a 5-technique spot may be the best fit.
Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
Petit-Frere has been as up and down this season as a top OT prospect can be. He finally met his match in Michigan’s EDGE Aidan Hutchinson who absolutely dominated NPF for much of the game. After giving up only 1 sack all season up until “The Game” Petit-Frere gave up 2 in this one. It may push the athletic blindside protector out of the first round into the 2nd.
Jahleel Billingsley, TE, Alabama
In a game where Alabama needed offense, Billingsley remains out of site for most of their offense. His 1 catch for 14 yards didn’t add much, and he wasn’t on the field in key situations. Thought of at one time as an athletic pass catcher who could become this draft’s TE1, he will not have to return to school and hope to rehab his draft stock.
Names To Know
Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
Pierce has accepted his Senior Bowl invite after a huge game against ECU. Pierce is a big, long receiver who can play special teams and be a reserve pass catcher. His big hands and how he beats corners for contested catches make him an intriguing option for the NFL Draft.
He was jammed a few times at the line by the Pirates and beat it with ease. Pierce is starting to flash some real NFL starting potential and may take Mobile to push his stock into that Top 75 range.
Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn
Hall is an underclassmen who likely won’t declare but showed up in a big way against Alabama. Dominating Alabama Right Tackle Dameion George throughout the game as a pass rusher. Using long arms and explosion, Hall was able to blow right around the edge or spin inside to pressure QB Bryce Young. He has had a solid career and capped it by being in the backfield consistently against the Crimson Tide. If Hall isn’t in this year’s draft class, he is a name to know for next year.
Hassan Haskins, RB, Michigan
The hard nosed senior had easily his best game of the season against the most difficult team with 169 yards and 5 rushing TDs. Haskins never goes down at first contact and didn’t do that against the Buckeyes either. He will be in Mobile for the Senior Bowl and may be one of the best RBs there. With great footwork to keep churning for extra yardage and improved vision, Haskins is moving up the board to be an early Day 3 pick at the very least.
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