Week 12 of the college season showed continued dominance from the top teams while some unlikely upsets were pulled off. 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.
Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
Another week, and another Marcus Jones mention in this article. This time, it wasn’t his return ability but his defensive ability that put him on the list. He had 2 interceptions against Memphis and was impressive in reading the QBs eyes and closing on the ball. This is becoming a theme as Jones has an interception in each of the last 4 games. A nickel CB with ace special teams ability will be highly coveted in the NFL.
Haskell Garrett, DL, Ohio State
Garrett was an absolute bully of Michigan State all day filling gaps and stopping their run game from being effective. As the Spartans moved to the past, Garrett was disengaging blockers and finding interior penetration to break down the middle of the pocket. Add in a few batted down passes, and it was as consistent a game from a lineman as you’ll get. Garrett is flirting with the Top 100 for the draft and the arrow is pointing stock up.
Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
Though Tennessee easily dismantled the Jaguars, Tolbert was a shining point for that offense. Unfortunately, he spent of most of the game on Tennessee CB Warren Burrell instead of high end CB Alontae Taylor. Tolbert took Burrell for a couple long passes throughout the game. Tolbert clearly fits in against this SEC defense and shows little question marks in his abilities to get off the line clean and be a productive pass catcher in the NFL.
Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Utah’s thrashing of Top 5 Oregon was impressive in and of itself, but watching LB Lloyd command the defense and read what the Oregon offense would do was spectacular. Oregon’s running game had been on fire for week, but Utah was disciplined and set the edge most plays. That left Lloyd to play the middle, often tackling runners behind the lines. The first round may very well be within reach for Lloyd.
Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
Unfortunately, the Buckeyes dominance left Walker with his worst game of the season. He had one impressive run avoiding a tackler and flashing that shifty ability, but the rest of his runs were stopped short and he couldn’t shake any tacklers. It is doubtful this game will hurt his draft stock a ton, but a big game would have pushed him into RB1 territory.
Sterling Weatherford, S, Miami (OH)
Weatherford wasn’t on the Draftcountdown Watch List, but got an invite to the Senior Bowl so I was excited to check him out against Bowling Green. The results weren’t great. Weatherford is huge (6’4, 215 pounds) and he can blaze at that size. It makes a lot of sense that he will be playing on Sundays, but this game didn’t showcase his best. Weatherford wasn’t much of a factor for most of the game, but the worst play was on Bowling Green’s lone TD of the game where Weatherford was blocked, turned to tackle the runner, and missed that tackle. He appeared to be a raw project that NFL teams will want as a Special Teams player with athletic upside.
Names To Know
Dominique Robinson, EDGE, Miami (OH)
Robinson was another Senior Bowl invitee, and he showed up against Bowling Green. Robinson was in the backfield consistently racking up 2 sacks throughout the game. The big, long pass rusher impressed me thoroughly on my first real look at him and flashed that NFL upside. He even continued to get pressures and force the Falcons passing game to not be as effective. He is a definite name to know.
Brennan Armstrong, QB, Virginia
Armstrong is unlikely to declare this year, but the unconventional lefty went toe-to-toe with Pitt and was slicing through the defense throughout the game. Armstrong is athletic and seems most comfortable on the move. His release is pretty funky, but it seems to work well and isn’t overly slow. He is a definite name to keep in mind for 2023.
Cole Kelley, QB, SE Louisiana
Kelley was the entire SE Louisiana offense against Nicholls State and almost got the Lions the win. Kelley is a huge presence at QB with a strong arm, though he is erratic at times. He can run a bit too and got 3 TDs with his legs in this one. Watching Kelley a few times this season, he seemed to lack NFL potential, but this game at least showed his upside. Expect him to be a UDFA and make a camp.