Week 13 of the college football season had some great play as the draft eligible players showcased themselves for the NFL Draft. In this edition of Stock Up, Stock Down & Names to Watch, I will dig into the games I watched and prospects who made an impact or lagged behind. These are only taken from the games I watched for Draft Countdown, but we will discuss even more prospects on our Podcast. If you want to see where I think players are in terms of their overall stock, head over to my Rankings, and if you want more specifics, sent me a tweet @ShanePHallam
Ryan Hayes, OT, Michigan
Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State
Sometimes when scouting, you watch a match-up and come away impressed by both sides. Though “The Game” saw the Wolverines dominate the Buckeyes in numerous areas, the Michigan OL vs. Ohio State DL was a highlight. Hayes showed some great push in the run game and used excellent leverage. But, Ohio State often brought blitzes that got the better of the left side, leading to Harrison getting numerous pressures and batted balls throughout the game. Both of these players look like potential Top 100 picks that can help NFL teams immediately.
Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
Some of the first round buzz has faded for Foskey, but it should pick back up very soon. Despite Notre Dame’s loss to Southern Cal, Foskey was an absolute terror off the edge pressuring Caleb Williams, forcing a fumble, and setting the edge against the run. With violent hands and a great first step, Foskey should provide a solid pass rusher with the bulk to handle smaller OTs with ease.
AT Perry, WR, Wake Forest
It was a disappointing loss for Wake Forest, but Perry had an excellent game using his big body and long arms to make key receptions throughout the game. A good route runner for his size, Perry does not get a ton of separation, but he boxes out well and can bail his QB out of off target passes. Numerous times against Duke, Perry kept Wake in the game, ending up with 8 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. He is a potential early Day 3 pick with some startable upside.
Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
NC State’s varied defensive strategy left the North Carolina passing game in the lurch for much of the game. Downs was a definite focus on the defense and in the overtime game, and he struggled to find big plays despite his speed. There is some worry about zone recognition and press coverage for Downs, who is an exceptional athlete and can do damage after the catch. It may be what keeps him out of Round 1, similar to Elijah Moore a few years ago.
Names To Know
Sundiata Anderson, EDGE, Grambling
Grambling does not usually have a ton of NFL Draft options, but I was excited to check out Anderson whose draft stock is growing. Grambling struggled mightily in the game, but Anderson got some good pressures throughout and batted down a pass early. Though the stat sheet wasn’t on fire, he was often chipped after initial blocks and a focus of the offense. Despite this, the explosive athlete shined and he was a man amongst boys out there, showing his NFL potential.
Drake Thomas, LB, NC State
Thomas seems to be forgotten about despite a great career at NC State so far. He racked up the tackles against North Carolina, not missing one. Great wrap-up ability and read/recognition in the run game makes Thomas an intriguing NFL prospect for teams that need a run defense boost. Against North Carolina, he even flashed some coverage ability in zone and keeping receivers in front of him to make clean tackles.
Tyrus Wheat, LB, Mississippi State
Wheat was a big part of Mississippi State’s defensive win over Mississippi. A multidimensional player who can rush the passer or drop into coverage against TEs, Wheat is an intriguing defensive weapon. He had a nice sack in this game and flashed that pass rush ability. Add in good tackling in the run game, and Wheat is an interesting Day 3 LB to keep in mind.