While the 2022 NFL Draft is still far off in the distance, players that will be drafted early are on the field now. Each week presents unique matchups for draft prospects and this week is no different. Here are NFL Draft prospects to watch in college football week 7.
1. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia has gone undefeated so far and a big reason for that is their elite defense. They are allowing just 5.5 points per game and have a chance to be historically good if they can finish the year out strong. Linebacker Nakobe Dean has been a leader on the defense and has produced. He has registered 23 total tackles, four tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and an interception on the season.
The matchup this week will present a unique challenge for Dean. Kentucky has a good offensive line that is proficient in both run and pass blocking. His main focus will be shutting down the run, as the Wildcats rush for over 200 yards per game. He has already proven to be one of the best linebackers in the class, but keeping his level of play up will only help.
2. Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky is a surprise 6-0 team, but after wins over Florida and LSU in back-to-back weeks, are starting to prove they are really good. Their offense has been more dynamic this year and a lot of that is thanks to Nebraska-transfer Wan’Dale Robinson. Robinson has totaled 37 catches for 527 yards and four touchdowns. He has added four carries for 78 yards on the ground.
Against a tough Georgia defense, Robinson will need to help create big plays for the Wildcats. If he does, Kentucky may be able to shock the world. Robinson is used much like Deebo Samuel is in the NFL, so the Wildcats will be trying to find creative ways to get him involved. He is currently projected as a mid-round pick at best, but if he continues his level of play, he could move up draft boards.
3. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi State has had mixed results on the season and sit at 3-2. With Mike Leach as head coach, they throw the ball a lot. That is a lot easier to do with a star at tackle protecting the quarterback. Charles Cross has been a good pass blocker for the Bulldogs, which has helped their air raid attack.
Cross will have his hands full against Alabama this week. The Crimson Tide have a few talented pass rushers that he will have to neutralize. His stock has risen this year, but this game presents the opportunity for him to further improve his draft stock. The 6-foot-5, 311-pound tackle could be a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
4. David Bell, WR, Purdue Boilermakers
Purdue has a 3-2 record and are trying to fight their way to a bowl game. They have some good players on their roster to help them in that quest, including wide receiver David Bell. Bell has helped the team with his 27 receptions for 439 yards and three touchdowns. He also has one rush for 26 yards.
At 6-foot-2 and 205 hands, Bell has demonstrated tremendous hands and has the potential to be a good possession receiver in the NFL. He will be tested against Iowa, who has a secondary that is registering a lot of interceptions. While he will be tested, the potential first-round pick should be able to help the offense move the ball in this game.
5. Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah Utes
Utah is another 3-2 team that will be looking to notch some more wins in order to make a bowl game. They have a solid defense that allows 23.0 points per game. Their best player is Devin Lloyd, who has been an impact player for a few years now. He has 54 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, two sacks and two passes defended this year.
In week 7, the Utes play the Arizona State Sun Devils who are ranked 18th in the country. It will be a test for Lloyd because the Sun Devils have a balanced offense. Quarterback Jayden Daniels can run and throw. The team as a whole averages 228.7 passing yards per game and 212 rushing yards per game. Lloyd will have to do a little bit of everything to get his team the win, but he has been playing so well that it shouldn’t be an issue. Lloyd has a chance to be one of the first linebackers off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft.
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