2022 NFL Draft Stock Movement: Part 1by Mason Thompson September 21, 2021 1 comment
Both the NFL and CFB seasons are underway. Over the last month or so, NFL scouts have attended college practices and games, getting a look at some of the upcoming draft prospects for the 2022 Draft. The process as a whole is a year-long process that never truly stops.
Last year, players such as Zach Wilson soared up draft boards while Marvin Wilson and Dylan Moses went from first-round prospects to undrafted free agents. There is plenty of movement throughout the year in terms of which prospects are soaring up draft boards while others plummet. Here is the first edition of the stock movement for 2022 draft prospects.
Be sure to check out all of the previous parts of this series.
Stock Up: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Michigan has sent multiple pass-rushers to the NFL in recent years, including Kwity Paye, Rashan Gary, and Chase Winovich. Once again, the Wolverines have one of the best pass-rushers in the upcoming draft. Some said Hutchinson was a better player than Paye last year before his return to Michigan for the 2021 season after only playing in three games in the 2020 season due to a fractured bone in his leg.
Coming into the season, Hutchinson was down the list in a stacked edge-rusher class. In Week 1 against Western Michigan, he had four tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and a blocked field goal. In Week 2, Hutchinson faced off against Jaxson Kirkland, one of the best tackles in this year’s class. Hutchinson manhandled Kirkland throughout the game and may have now thrust himself into the conversation for the second-best edge rusher in the class.
Stock Down: Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota
Another player that returned to school for his senior season was Ibrahim. Following a 1,000-yard rushing season with 15 touchdowns, the Minnesota running back looked as if he would be one of the running backs to follow leading up to the 2022 draft. In the first game this season against Ohio State, Ibrahim got his season off to an electric start as he carried the ball 30 times and averaged over five yards a carry on his way to a 163-yard performance capped off by two touchdowns.
Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends. Ibrahim suffered a season-ending injury late in the game that looked to be an Achilles rupture or tear. With his season now done, Ibrahim now turns his attention to the NFL draft, where it is unknown where his draft stock will be thanks to the injury.
Stock Up: Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
As you will see further into the article, the 2022 quarterback class is a mess with all the stock exchanges from each quarterback. Strong was a favorite to many in the draft community heading into the season. Following his performance over the last few weeks, he has fully cemented himself into the QB1 conversation. With seven touchdowns and two interceptions to start the season, including a four-touchdown performance in Week 2, Strong is now getting more attention heading into the time where most sites turn their eye to the draft.
While Nevada’s game against Cal this week may have appeared to be the worst performance of the season for the star quarterback, that is not the case. In the clips seen below, Strong makes multiple NFL-caliber throws. He is just getting started and if these first few weeks have anything to say about the rest of the quarterback class, there will be continuous movement up and down the draft board for each.
First throw, he fits a post over the middle in a tight window.
Second, throws a glance route before the safety rotates over.
Last throw, drops it in the bucket, over the shoulder. All NFL throws. pic.twitter.com/ow194G5N7i
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) September 20, 2021
Stock Down: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma
Since the preseason, Rattler looked like the clear choice for the number one quarterback in the class and potentially the top overall choice in the 2022 class. While there were many mistakes to clean up in his game coming into the 2021 season, many expected those to be cleaned up. Unfortunately, they haven’t thus far. Unlike another quarterback that will be talked about later, Rattler hasn’t seemed to get away from the mistakes that many in the scouting community were afraid of coming into the season.
Stock Up: Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas
The defensive back class in the upcoming draft is one of the deepest positions as a whole, with both the cornerback and safety positions having plenty of stars. While Kyle Hamilton is getting most of the attention for the safety class and good reason, don’t count out Catalon as another potential first-round prospect from the safety position. The NFL has emphasized versatility on the backend, and Catalon has more than enough in his game. The Arkansas star has played snaps as a single-high safety, as a box safety, and as a boundary and slot cornerback.
Through three games, Catalon has soared up draft boards and already has two interceptions on the year. He is a smart, instinctive, and highly athletic player on the backend but doesn’t have the most experience. While that is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time, the biggest thing working against the Arkansas safety may be his height, as he is only 5’10”. After seeing Ar’Darius Washington go undrafted in the 2021 draft, it will be interesting to see what the NFL thinks about Catalon.
More of #Arkansas S Jalen Catalon
— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) September 5, 2021
Stock Down: Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State
Ohio State has sent many defensive backs to the NFL over the last few years, and Banks was supposed to be another one in the long line of OSU cornerbacks to make it big in the NFL. Unfortunately, the cornerback hasn’t seen many starting snaps for the Buckeyes this year, making this an obvious stock-down candidate for a player that many had high hopes for coming into the 2021 season.
Stock Up: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
While a few other Big Ten receivers from Ohio State have gotten most of the attention from the receiver position, Dotson was a sneaky first-round player entering the season. This weekend, he put on a show by catching ten passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 19, 2021
With Penn State inching towards the top of the rankings, Dotson will continue to get attention, and putting together a top performance against Auburn this weekend is pivotal to his draft stock and will continue to get more eyes on him.
Stock Up: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Speaking of Auburn, what were they thinking when they opted to play Bo Nix over Willis? The Liberty quarterback has continued to show why many have him as one of the top quarterbacks in the upcoming draft. With a 7-0 touchdown to interception ratio and completing over 70 percent of his passes, the star quarterback continues to climb up draft boards and has found himself right in the thick of the QB1 conversation with Strong, Rattler, and another name to be mentioned later in the article and finds himself right in the thick of the Heisman conversation as well. Willis has also already started drawing comparisons to Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, and it is easy to see why.
Is Malik Willis making the case to be the #1 QB in the 2022 NFL Draft?
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 13, 2021
Stock Down: Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington
In what is yet another stacked offensive tackle class, Kirkland was expected to be one of the best and found himself in the middle of the first round in many mock drafts already this season. Against Michigan and Hutchinson, Kirkland saw himself on the losing side of many reps in the game. While he did win some against the star pass-rusher, it is a bit concerning to see him struggle against some of the top competition in the country when he was said to be a first-round pick.
Stock Up: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
No player in all of college football has improved their draft stock as much as Corral. He entered the season as debatably a top-ten quarterback in the upcoming draft by most outlets but is right in the thick of the QB1 conversation. Through three games, the Ole Miss quarterback has completed almost 70 percent of his passes for almost 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns, with no interceptions.
Against Tulane this past weekend, Corral put on a clinic where he had seven touchdowns, including four on the ground in a dominant performance where he totaled 403 yards combined.
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) September 19, 2021
Set your calendars for October 2nd, as Corral and Ole Miss face off against Alabama. The game features the top two Heisman candidates currently as well and will be a big game for Corral’s stock. Along with that game, turn your attention to November 6th, as Corral and Ole Miss face off against Willis and Liberty.
Follow Mason Thompson on Twitter @Thompson22Mason
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