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 9 recap.
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1. Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State couldn’t quite keep up with Ohio State in the end, but played well against the Buckeyes. Their offense showed more life than expected, as they scored 24 points against the Buckeyes. Penn State’s receivers specifically played well. Their best receiver, Jahan Dotson, finished the game with 11 receptions for 127 yards and also had a two-yard touchdown run.
Dotson has played well this season and is one of a number of wide receivers to keep an eye on in the 2022 NFL Draft class. There will be plenty of jockeying for position the rest of the way. Currently, Dotson is a day two prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft.
2. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State’s offense played well against Penn State and helped them secure the victory. Quarterback C.J. Stroud played well and found Garrett Wilson often in this game. Wilson had seven catches for 82 yards and had a carry for seven yards. He was able to display his good route-running and his ability to move with the ball in his hands.
Wilson played well against a good secondary at Penn State and even forced some pass interference calls. There is still plenty of time left in the season, but Wilson has proven to be able to produce. He has a shot to be the first receiver drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft.
3. Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan Wolverines
Although they played well early, Michgan blew their lead and lost to their in-state rivals. While their defense played solidly early, it didn’t last. Aidan Hutchinson had a big game for the Wolverines. He had three total tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and one pass defended. On a play that was later overturned, Hutchinson also recovered a fumble for a touchdown.
The quality of Hutchinson’s game doesn’t fully show up just from stats. He was wreaking havoc on the Michigan State offensive line. Hutchinson’s play has already generated plenty of draft buzz. Even with four regular-season games left, he has already made himself into a first-round prospect. Whether he can make it into the top 10 of the 2022 NFL Draft is still in question, but he is a very good prospect.
4. Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State was down by 17 points, but stormed back to beat the Wolverines 37-33. It took a miraculous effort by the running game of the Spartans to pull off the comeback. Walker cemented himself as a Heisman candidate in this game with 23 carries for 197 yards and five touchdowns.
Walker had a great day against a great defense. His stock won’t likely rise too much from the performance, but he is solidifying himself as a day-two prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. There is still a lot of football left and Walker could etch his name into some record books if he keeps playing at the same pace.
5. Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina played Notre Dame close, but they were unable to come away from South Bend with a win. The offense played well and Sam Howell showed his talent on a number of good throws down the field. He finished the day 24/31 passing for 341 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Howell added 18 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown.
While there haven’t been many quarterbacks in this draft class who have stood out, Howell has played well. He has also added the ability to rush the ball this season, which adds to his value. With no clear frontrunner in the 2022 NFL Draft, Howell could be a first-round pick and the first quarterback taken.
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