Defense wins championships: Five CFB defensive players to watch this week

Watch out these scary CFB defensive players

By: Tim Rodriguez

The 2022 NFL draft: Defined by the defense. After two years of elite quarterback classes, we have something “different”. A lot of these quarterbacks have yet to remove some of the questions that surround them. So here we sit in October, looking at the worst quarterback class since 2019. However, this class is shaking up to be even better defensively than that crop was almost three years ago. All of these players will be on full display this weekend. Who are five guys to watch this weekend on the defensive side of the ball? 

Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame: @ Virginia Tech

Did you think Kyle Hamilton was not going to be on this list? Kyle Hamilton should be on every list. Probably the best player in college football, Hamilton has NFL evaluators wondering how high a safety could realistically go in the modern era. Jamal Adams went sixth overall in 2017 and was the highest safety selected in quite a while. Sixth overall feels like a steal. I have a hard time finding five players that I can justify taking over Kyle Hamilton. The ultimate chess piece on defense, Hamilton is worth throwing out positional value for. 

Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State: @ North Carolina 

A positive thing being written about Florida State football! Senior transfer Jermaine Johnson has been the best thing about the Seminoles since the second he stepped on the field for them. Unable to consistently get on the field at Georgia, Johnson only had five sacks in 2020. Just five games in, he already has 5.5 in 2021. Johnson has been dominant and shoots up draft boards every single week.  

Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah: @ USC

Utah’s Devin Lloyd is a new age linebacker. With excellent range to flow from sideline to sideline and premier athletic traits, Lloyd is a constant playmaker for the Utes. Lloyd plays with good burst and can make up ground in a hurry, which also helps him in coverage. While his overall play in the run game leaves much to be desired, Lloyd has the tools to be a day two pick and start for an NFL team in his rookie year. 

Jordan Davis, IDL, Georgia: @ Auburn 

Why is he not playing in the NFL? It is objectively hilarious watching college lineman try to deal with Jordan Davis, who may also be the largest man on planet Earth. The 2021 defensive tackle class was as weak as it could possibly get and Davis would have easily been the first one off the board, likely in the late first round. Standing at a massive 6-6, 340 pounds, Davis is a mountain of a man in the middle of possibly the best defense we have seen in the last decade. Davis’ production has also taken an uptick in his senior year. He is on pace to set career highs in statistics across the board, but his impact goes well beyond the box score.   

Perrion Winfrey, IDL, Oklahoma: vs Texas (neutral site)

Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has completely transformed  the Oklahoma Sooners defense in recent years. Oklahoma gets after the quarterback like no one else and one of the biggest reasons for that is JUCO transfer Perrion Winfrey. Winfrey is having a breakout senior year for the Sooners and has made their defense sneaky good for the first time in quite a while. Winfrey plays with a relentless motor and uses his athleticism to push the pocket and frustrate quarterbacks. Grinch constantly has him looping on stunts and using that athleticism to frustrate offensive lines. Winfrey looks like a top 50 pick right now as a raw, athletic, high effort interior pass rusher.

Five CFB RBs to watch in week five of the college football season

Watch out for these CFB RBs

The running back position is in a weird state at the moment. While the position does not get nearly as much love as it used to from the Heisman voters and the NFL draft, there are still plenty of quality runners all throughout the college ranks. The 2021 college football season has seen some surprise names, some underclass gems and the usual suspects shine. This week, they all have the ability to continue their stellar seasons. Who are some of the top backs to watch this week. With the sport chock full of talented backs, these are just five of the many players to take note of.

Kenneth Walker – Michigan State: vs Western Kentucky 

Kenneth Walker has been a revelation for the Spartans. Averaging 7.3 yards per carry, Walker has helped lift Michigan State to a 4-0 record and an opportunity to keep on rolling this week. His vision, contact balance, and elusiveness in the open field have made him a Heisman candidate through the first third of the season. A draft eligible junior, Walker is going to be a name to watch if he chooses to declare. If he can find a way to add some receiving upside, he will be the first running back off the board. 

Jashaun Corbin – Florida State: vs Syracuse 

If there’s been one bright spot for the Seminoles, its sophomore running back Jashaun Corbin. Behind a porous offensive line, Corbin has managed 439 yards at a whopping 9.1 yards per carry. He has been a big play machine all season long and one of the main sources of offense in Tallahassee. Against a Syracuse defense that only allows 2.3 yards per rush, Corbin has a great test in front of him. Corbin, along with walk-on Treshaun Ward, provide the only real source of offense for Florida State.

Blake Corum – Michigan: Vs Wisconsin 

From a running back perspective, this is absolutely the matchup of the week. Blake Corum has had a breakout season so far for Michigan as a true sophomore. However, he faces the vaunted Wisconsin defense this week, that is surrendering just over one yard per carry. The Badgers are giving up just 23 rushing yards per game. If Michigan is going to dominate a 1-2 opponent like many expect them to, then it will be on Corum to figure out a rushing defense that no one has been able to yet. Last week, Corum totaled 125 yards and three touchdowns with almost ten yards per carry. 

Zonovan Knight – North Carolina State: vs Louisiana Tech 

The 2023 running back draft class is going to be one of the best in the last decade. Another non-eligible player, Zonovan Knight has been the best player for the Wolfpack this season, and has helped them surge, including an upset win over the Clemson Tigers. Even with some down games, Knight is averaging 6.5 yards per carry and shows his patience on each and every run. The man that they call “Bam” is looking like another talented running back coming out of the ACC. 

Isaiah Spiller – Texas A&M: vs Mississippi State 

Going into the season, Isaiah Spiller was in the conversation for being the first running back selected in the 2022 NFL draft. With touchdowns in two straight games, it appears that he is starting to turn it on. With great speed in the open field, Spiller is a threat to score from any spot on the field. Running behind a very good offensive line, do not be surprised if Spiller starts to put up astounding rushing numbers in the very near future.

2022 NFL Mock Draft: Three weeks into the NFL season

Here is the official 2022 NFL Mock draft

By: Chris Thomas

There are exactly seven months until the 2022 NFL Draft. But it is never too early to speculate on which prospect can be drafted early and which teams they could fit well with. The first three weeks of the NFL season have shown some surprising potential contenders and a few teams who could take a step back this season. While in the first four weeks of college football some prospects have confirmed their preseason hype that they could be early selections of the upcoming draft. Other prospects have not lived up to their preseason hype.

The draft order was created using NFL Playoff Predictor. Here is a brand new 2022 mock draft.

1. New York Jets (1-16): Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Regardless of who lands the first overall pick, unless the team desperately needs a quarterback Kayvon Thibodeaux should be the first overall pick. Robert Saleh could build a defensive line rotation similarly to how he built his in San Fransisco with Quinnen Williams, Sheldon Rankins, Shaq Lawson, Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Folorunso Fatukasi, and Thibodeaux. 

2. Atlanta Falcons (2-15): Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

The Atlanta Falcons were wildly criticized for passing on a potential franchise quarterback prospect in Justin Fields this past year. They could select this year’s QB1 Malik Willis whose mobility adds a dynamic to this offense that Matt Ryan lacks. 

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-15): Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

Pittsburgh desperately needs offensive line help and a replacement for Ben Roethlisberger. At the top of the draft, they could take Matt Corral who many believe has been the best quarterback in college football this season. 

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-14): Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Both Trevor Lawerence and Urban Meyer have struggled to transition to the NFL. Giving Trevor a new blindside protector in Evan Neal would help him feel a lot more comfortable in the pocket.

5. Houston Texans (3-14): Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

After taking Davis Mills in the third round this past draft the Houston Texans may opt to go with the best player available in the first round. Derek Stingley Jr. is both the best player available and fills a need at cornerback which they have had since they were a playoff team. 

6. New York Giants (3-14): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Outside of a few players, it seems the New York Giants could replace anyone on the roster. Adding an edge rusher like George Karlaftis would give New York a legitimate pass rusher to play opposite 2021 second-round pick Azeez Ojulari. 

7. New York Giants (via Chicago Bears (3-14)): Kenyon Green, IOL, Texas A&M

After how the Chicago Bears have looked during the first three weeks the New York Giants could likely land a top-10 pick from the Justin Fields trade. The offensive line must be a priority for the Giants and Kenyon Green would be a massive help to what many believe is the worst unit in the league. 

8. Indianapolis Colts (4-13): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

If Carson Wentz plays less than 70% of the teams and the team makes the playoffs snaps or 75% of the snaps and doesn’t make the playoffs the Colts could retain their first-round pick. Indianapolis could add the best receiver in the draft Chris Olave to replace T.Y. Hilton and be Wentz’s number one receiver.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (6-11): DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M

This past offseason the Cincinnati Bengals said goodbye to an all-time franchise great Geno Atkins. They could fill the void left by Atkins with a talented prospect like DeMarvin Leal whose addition would potentially put the Bengals defensive line into elite territory. 

10. Detriot Lions (6-11): Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Detriot Lions have lost three heartbreaking games at the beginning of the year that were each in reach of winning. For the second straight season, Detriot could elect to go with the best player available and take safety Kyle Hamilton to help this struggling young secondary. 

11. Washington Football Team (6-11): Sean Rhyan, OT, UCLA

A quarterback could be tempting to take in the first round for Washington, but they may want to give Taylor Heinicke a chance to be the team’s starting quarterback without anyone breathing down his neck. Washington can look at Sean Rhyan as their Trent Williams replacement since 2021 second-round pick Samuel Cosmi is playing right tackle. 

12. Minnesota Vikings (6-11): Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Minnesota has holes across their defense that need to be filled. Since this draft is so deep at cornerback they could address their needs at pass rusher by adding Aidan Hutchinson to play opposite Danielle Hunter. 

13. New England Patriots (8-9): Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

It seems very clear that the New England Patriots and Stephon Gilmore will part ways this offseason. Taking a productive cornerback like Ahmad Gardner in the first round could help fill the void of the former defensive player of the year. 

14. Baltimore Ravens (8-9): Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

Marcus Peters will miss the entire season with a torn ACL and could be a cap casualty because the Ravens need to give Lamar Jackson an extension. Andrew Booth Jr. is a raw cornerback with a lot of talent that could be coached up well by Baltimore’s coaching staff. 

15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-9): Darian Kinnard, IOL, Kentucky

Philadelphia has dealt with a lot of injury issues over the last couple of seasons across their roster, especially along the offensive line. Offensive lineman Darian Kennard could replace Brandon Brooks who the Eagles tried to trade away last offseason and potentially take over for Lane Johnson who is also often injured. 

16. New Orleans Saints (9-8): Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

There is no receiving core in the league with less depth than the New Orleans Saints. Since Michael Thomas’ long-term status with the team is in question, taking a player like Treylon Burks would give New Orleans a potential number one receiver or great number two to give Jameis Winston. 

17. Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami Dolphins (10-7)): Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern

Somehow this offseason the Philadelphia Eagles managed to sign Anthony Harris to a contract for one year $5 million. The Eagles could take ballhawk Brandon Joseph to replace him next year and going forward. 

18. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks (11-6)): Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

The New York Jets cornerback group may be the least talented position group in the entire league. They could take Kaiir Elam in the first round with Seattle’s first-round pick to give them a legitimate cornerback to cover the talented receivers in their division.

19. Denver Broncos (10-7): Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

The Denver Broncos appear to be the favorite to land Aaron Rodgers in the offseason, but cannot bank on it until the trade is official. Strong arm quarterback Carson Strong would be a perfect fit for Denver as their franchise going forward. 

20. Dallas Cowboys (10-7): Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati

After addressing defense early and often in last year’s draft Dallas’ defensive rebuild isn’t entirely over. Dallas could take edge rusher Myjai Sanders to give DeMarcus Lawerence some help rushing the quarterback. 

21. Arizona Cardinals (11-6): Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia

The combination of Patrick Peterson leaving in free agency and the sudden retirement of Malcolm Butler has opened up a gaping hole on this roster at cornerback. Derion Kendrick’s skillset feels like a perfect fit in Arizona and his addition would move Byron Murphy back to the slot where he is a lot more comfortable. 

22. Miami Dolphins (via San Fransisco 49ers (11-6)): Christian Harris, LB, Alabama

A shocking cut Miami made this year was linebacker Bernardrick McKinney who they acquired from Houston in a trade with the Houston Texans for Shaq Lawson. Miami could take their third former Alabama Crimson Tide player in the first round in three years in linebacker Christian Hill to fortify their front seven and run defense.

23. Las Vegas Raiders (13-4): Tyler Linderbaum, IOL, Iowa

Since Mike Mayock has taken over as the general manager for the Las Vegas Raiders they have become completely unpredictable in the first round. Tyler Linderbaum would be a safe pick to help improve this offensive line that had three starters from last season traded away. 

24. Los Angeles Chargers (13-4): Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

Through three weeks it appears that Los Angeles is ready to compete in AFC. Since both Uchenna Nwosu and Kyler Fackrell are free agents this offseason the Chargers could take local prospect Drake Jackson in the first round to fill their void opposite Joey Bosa. 

25. Tennessee Titans (11-6): Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington

The Tennessee Titans’ secondary and offensive line has been exposed early as the team’s biggest weaknesses on their roster. Jaxson Kirkland is a nasty offensive lineman who is versatile to play either right tackle or guard wherever they don’t play 2021 second-round pick Dillon Radunz. 

26. Carolina Panthers (12-5): Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Carolina appears to be a playoff contender after going undefeated after the first three weeks. One glaring need on this roster is at the offensive line which could be addressed with small school prospect Trevor Penning who has been shooting up draft boards in recent weeks. 

27. Green Bay Packers (13-4): Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

This offseason has the potential to have some major roster changes this offseason including trading away 2020-21 MVP Aaron Rodgers and figuring out what to do with Davante Adams. If the Packers trade away Adams (on a franchise tag) or let him walk in free agency they could add wide receiver Garrett Wilson to try to fill the void against who many believe is the best receiver in the NFL. 

28. Cleveland Browns (15-2): Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

The Cleveland Browns have one of the most complete teams in the league and could contend for a Super Bowl this year. They may have to take an edge rusher early in next year’s draft to replace Jadeveon Clowney if they cannot afford him after Baker Mayfield’s extension. 

29. Detriot Lions (via Los Angeles Rams (14-3)): Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State

Even though the Lions are thin at wide receiver, it doesn’t seem like a position Dan Campbell and this new regime would address early in the draft. They could add linebacker-hybrid Brandon Smith who could develop into one of the best defensive players on their roster. 

30. Buffalo Bills (14-3): Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

The Buffalo Bills have invested three top-61 picks on defensive lineman over the last two seasons. They can potentially spend another one on their defensive front in Jordan Davis to improve the interior of their defensive line and to give them insurance in case Ed Oliver extension talks get uncomfortable.

31. Kansas City Chiefs (13-4): Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Over the first few weeks, Kansas City has played sloppy at times which has made them look mortal. They could address a need they have had at cornerback by taking Trent McDuffie in the first round. 

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4): Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma

Even after a Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay should still be considered Super Bowl favorites. They may take raw defensive tackle prospect Perrion Winfrey in the first round to replace veteran Ndamukong Suh who will be a free agent this offseason. 

former college football powerhouses that could use major makeovers

What happened to USC?

By: Tim Rodriguez

There are some former powerhouses in college football in the midst of dark days. Former consistent winners and national champions have found themselves questioning the future of their program. With the USC Trojans already making a midseason coaching change, what other former college football powerhouses should be evaluating what’s next?

USC Trojans

The USC athletics department has already decided that the program needs to head in a new direction. Head coach Clay Helton was relieved of his duties earlier this season and the program is looking for someone to restore them to their glory days. With NIL going into effect, playing in Southern California should be even more attractive to recruits. One of the biggest problems at USC in recent years has been losing local quarterbacks to other schools. Since Clay Helton took over, there have been numerous quarterbacks from the are to go on and be difference makers for other schools such as Jared Goff, Josh Rosen, and DJ Uiagalelei. USC has had talent at the position with players like Sam Darnold and Kedon Slovis, but given their pedigree in the early 2000’s, those players left a lot to be desired. Through Helton’s tenure, the roster has been talented, but not nearly as talented as it should be. If USC can find someone to run the program and stop losing to other schools in recruiting, they may be on the rise again.

Miami Hurricanes

Similar to USC, Miami’s problems are relatively simple: Recruit better and you’ll win more (especially with NIL). There has to be a proven winner brought in after Manny Diaz is inevitably fired. Had Miami fired Diaz earlier, they would have potentially had a shot at Oregon’s Mario Cristobal, a former Hurricane who grew up in Miami and coached at FIU, but with his new extension, it seems unlikely that a move is happening. Miami has been getting embarrassed in the trenches by better programs such as Alabama for the better part of the last two decades. The Hurricanes just look soft in big games, and also allow lesser teams to hang around because of poor play in the trenches, but especially at quarterback. Had Manny Diaz not been able to swing a couple of big transfers in the last two years, this program may look even worse.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Scott Frost era has been tough on those who root for Nebraska. Since firing Bo Pelini after the 2014 season, the Cornhuskers boast just one winning season and two total bowl game appearances. The fall from grace in Lincoln has been dramatic and Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback was supposed to be the man to turn it all around. With Frost, Nebraska is in danger of missing a bowl for the fifth straight season. That hasn’t happened to this program since the late 50’s and early 60’s. Nebraska has no difference-makers on their roster and have not had any for quite some time. The cornhuskers sit at 2-2 now, which would be their highest win percentage since 2016. For a program that never had a losing season from 1969 to 2001, this is a fall unlike many others.

Florida State Seminoles

*sigh* The most dramatic fall for any program on this list is undoubtedly the Florida State football program. National champions just eight years ago, the Seminoles have found themselves at 0-3 and spiraling down even further. Mike Norvell’s first season was unspectacular, and the last hope for this program may be in the 2022 recruiting class. The current roster is uninspiring outside of some hidden gems on defense and a surprisingly effective running back room. If Norvell can find a way to keep Travis Hunter and A.J. Duffy committed, there is a shot at resurgence, but so many other blemishes need to be addressed as well. Mike Norvell isn’t going anywhere (strictly for financial reasons), and the team is about as poorly coached as power-five team can get. The fewest amount of penalty yardage yielded in a game by the Seminoles this season is 54 yards in an overtime loss vs Notre Dame. The offensive line is also something that has been poor for quite a few years now and has transcended multiple coaching staffs.

Penn State

By far the best team on this list, the Nittany Lions are not that far from contending. Consistently a top ten finisher under James Franklin, Penn State just needs one final push to get over the hump. They are always a few pieces away from being legitimate threats to the college football playoff, with the main ones being quarterback and offensive line. They always have the defense and the skill players to hang with teams like Ohio State, but have been held back by average quarterbacks and middling offensive line play. The 2017 team should have made the playoff, but back-to-back road losses against Michigan and Ohio State ended their season long before the committee sat down. James Franklin may be a better coach than most, but until Penn State finds their “Dabo Sweeney” they’ll be on the outside looking in (until playoff expansion).

Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux can really be the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft

Oregon’s Kavyon Thiodeaux has elite potential

By: Chris Thomas

Even though the 2022 NFL Draft is months away it is never too early to speculate about who could go first overall. Two weeks into the college football season it appears that a non-quarterback may go first overall since Myles Garrett was drafted in 2017. Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is the consensus #1 non-quarterback prospect. He is also thought of by many as the potential number one prospect of this entire draft. Here is why Thibodeaux could be the first overall pick in the draft in late April. 

Lack of premier quarterback talent

An NFL Draft class is defined by its quarterbacks. Over the last couple of seasons, it feels like there has been a premier quarterback prospect that has been on top of the class and went first overall. After the first two weeks of the college football season, none of the speculated upon top quarterback prospects have been over impressive. Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler had a brutal debut where he threw only one touchdown and two interceptions against Tulane. Oklahoma barely won that game. North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell had an even worse season debut against Virginia Tech. Howell threw for only 208 yards and one touchdown. He finished the game with three interceptions as well. Both quarterbacks bounced back in their second games of the season, but at this rate, none have looked like a first overall pick quarterback. The standard a quarterback must reach to be taken first overall for it to be worth it is Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow, and Trevor Lawerence.

Recently there have been a couple of quarterbacks that have gone first overall that was not worth the selection. Some of these quarterbacks aren’t considered busts but during their respective predraft processes other non-quarterbacks were considered better prospects and turned out to be much better than the quarterbacks taken first overall. Those quarterbacks are Baker Mayfield and Jared Goff. Both are solid starters but both the Browns and Rams had better options available. Cleveland could have drafted Saquon Barkley, Quenton Nelson, or Bradley Chubb with the first pick in 2018. All three of which are considered more talented than Mayfield, when healthy. Then the Rams showed they regretted trading up for Goff in 2016 when they packaged him with two first-round picks to Detriot for Matthew Stafford. Los Angeles could have drafted Joey Bosa, Jalen Ramsey, Ronnie Stanley, DeForest Buckner, or Laremy Tunsil with the first overall pick. 

This draft class is shaping up to be similar to the latter where there may be multiple non-quarterback prospects who could end up being better than the quarterbacks in this class. Whoever lands the first overall pick may want to learn from the previous mistakes of those teams and take the best player available which is Thibodeaux.

Production

Kayvon Thibodeaux is the number one edge rusher in a loaded edge rusher class. He isn’t just the number one edge rusher prospect in the draft class like Jaelan Phillips, Bradley Chubb, or Dante Fowler Jr. Right now he is spoken about above the likes of Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa, and Chase Young who were elite pass rusher prospects in their respective drafts. Thibodeaux has been placed in the same tier as Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett who were no doubt first overall picks in their respective draft class. He has been placed in that tier of player for good reason. 

During his first season at Oregon, Thibodeaux had 9 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. PFF gave him a 79.9 grade that season which was the best in the Pac-12 and ten points higher than any other freshman edge rusher in the Power Five. In seven games last season Thibodeaux had 3 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. Already this season Thibodeaux has a sack and forced fumble in one game played. He earned an 87.2 PFF grade for his sophomore season.

This is a player who has dominated college football over the last three seasons. Scouts have anticipated this season because Thibodeaux is now eligible for the draft. From what he has shown on the field, he is the type of player that scouts love the opportunity to analyze and potentially add to their roster. 

Multiple #1 pick contenders have a young quarterback

In a decent amount of cases when a team drafts a quarterback that team usually doesn’t improve dramatically from where they finished the season before. These are teams who selected quarterbacks early in recent drafts could be picking near the top of the draft and be in the range of this year’s top quarterbacks. These teams include the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, and Cincinnati Bengals. They are a few teams who could be in range to select a quarterback in this upcoming draft but should be content enough with their quarterback play to not consider selecting another one early this year, especially in a potentially weak quarterback class. 

Other teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, Detriot Lions, and Las Vegas Raiders have a great enough quarterback in house to pass on a quarterback. Also, the Houston Texans have shown in recent history that they are willing to take a pass rusher first overall went they have to choose between an elite one and a quarterback from a weak class (Mario Williams 2006 & Jadeveon Clowney 2014). Since they took Davis Mills in the third round it is likely they want to give him a shot to be the team’s potential QB1 before taking one in the first round. 

All of the teams listed could potentially land the first overall pick. If they land it they would likely have to choose between trading down to a quarterback-needy team or taking the draft’s best prospect Kayvon Thibodeaux.

2022 NFL mock draft is here

How will the 2022 NFL draft play out?

By: Tim Rodriguez

We are one week into the 2021 NFL season and hope is still in the air for all 32 franchises. However, it is necessary to be realistic in these times. It was wildly entertaining to see the Detroit Lions, a team that is obviously in rebuilding mode, battle back against a talented 49ers squad and make it a hotly contested game towards the end, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the Lions are ready to punch their ticket to the postseason. Fanbases like the Lions’ should be turning their attention to the 2022 NFL draft, chock full of questions at quarterback and intriguing defensive talent. 

{Pick 1} Detroit Lions: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma 

There is no safe option at quarterback in the 2022 class. They all have their question marks. The one with the highest upside, however, may be Oklahoma’s, Spencer Rattler. Rattler certainly has issues with consistency and decision-making but has all of the necessary traits to justify taking him at number one overall. If Detroit is uncomfortable with the questions surrounding this quarterback crop, they have the draft capital to push this decision to 2023. 

{Pick 2} Jacksonville Jaguars: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

The Jacksonville Jaguars made the ultimate investment in Trevor Lawrence this April. It’s high time to start protecting that investment. With offensive tackle Cam Robinson and A.J. Caan entering free agency and veterans Brandon Linder and Andrew Norwell continuing to age, right tackle Jawaan Taylor may be the only player on their current offensive line starting in a year. A 6’7”, 350 pound-force, Alabama’s Evan Neal is a battering ram who plays with exceptional power and would be a great option to protect Trevor Lawrence’s blindside for the next decade. 

{Pick 3} Houston Texans: Carson Strong, QB, Nevada 

It is time to give up on the Deshaun Watson dream. Aside from the incredibly disturbing accusations levied against him recently, Watson has made it clear he will not be playing in Houston. The Texans should be looking to move forward without their disgruntled star. Should they be moving forward with Nevada’s Carson Strong; they would be getting a strong-armed pocket passer with the ability to do everything asked of him, including escaping the pocket to make a play off-script. If Houston is able to acquire picks and/or players for Watson, they could use that capital to build an offensive line for Strong. 

{Pick 4} Atlanta Falcons: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

No quarterback? Whoever new general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith select to replace future Hall of Famer will define their tenure in Atlanta. There is no need to rush that decision and reach for a player with question marks they are uncomfortable with. Liberty’s Malik Willis and Ole Miss’ Matt  Corral may end up being talented players, but with the rebuild kicking off, the Falcons should push this decision to next year and select an elite prospect at a premier position. Thibodeaux, a freak athlete coming off the edge, has the burst and explosiveness to be an elite speed rusher and be the cornerstone of a defense that is getting a makeover with new coordinator Dean Pees.

{Pick 5} New York Jets: Kaair Elam, CB, Florida 

The cornerback room in New York may be the worst in the NFL by a mile. With some promising talent at safety, the Jets should be looking to complement those players with a shutdown corner. With an excellent length and ball skills, Elam feels like a cornerback that head coach Robert Saleh would be pounding the table for. After going with an offensive heavy approach in 2021, it is time for the Jets to bolster their defense. 

{Pick 6} Philadelphia Eagles: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Eagles are another team that has the draft capital to be creative with how they handle the quarterback position. With Jalen Hurts trying to prove that he’s a franchise quarterback and multiple other picks, the Eagles, at least in September, can opt to take the player who may be the best player in the class. Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton is a player that makes you throw away positional value. A 6’4” safety with the range to boot, Hamilton is going to be a force in the NFL on the back end. 

{Pick 7} New York Giants: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty 

Should the Giants actually be picking in the top ten, there will be plenty of changes coming for “Big Blue”. General manager Dave Gettleman will likely be gone, along with his former first round pick quarterback Daniel Jones. Head coach Joe Judge would likely get a “hot seat” year in 2022, meaning he would also change at least one coordinator, most likely offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. The Giants would have explosive athletes in tow with Kadarius Toney, Darius Slayton and Saquan Barkley, with some other nice offensive pieces. With that being said, why not add an explosive athlete at quarterback? Liberty’s Malik Willis brings next-level athletics and improving mechanics. 

{Pick 8} Las Vegas Raiders: Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M 

Regardless of the Raiders record, Jon Gruden will still be the head coach. However, if they are picking in the top ten, he may be working with a new general manager. With the offensive line getting ripped to shreds last off-season and the inevitable retirement of Richie Incognito, this feels like a no-brainer here. In 2021, the Raiders selected Alex Leatherwood, who can play guard or tackle. Kenyon Green has played guard and has recently been kicked out to right tackle. Las Vegas would be able to have them compete at tackle and then play the “loser” at guard. 

{Pick 9} Cincinnati Bengals: Andrew Booth Jr, CB, Clemson

The Bengals are still looking for some long-term answers at the cornerback position. Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton are great short term options, but the room could certainly use an influx of young talent. Clemson’s Andrew Booth has all of the potential to be a top-tier boundary corner for the Bengals. In the second round of 2020, when they needed an offensive lineman, the Bengals selected a receiver. They did the same thing in 2021 with the fifth overall pick. The Bengals have shown that they prioritize the outside. 

{Pick 10} Chicago Bears: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Justin Fields will be the man in Chicago eventually. When that happens, it will be on the Bears front office to surround him with talent. They also may be afforded a high draft pick as some rookie growing pains may cause the Bears to lose some winnable games. With star receiver Allen Robinson making it evident he wants out, the Bears will likely need to add a receiver to the room. The Bengals, Dolphins, and Eagles all gave their young quarterbacks their former teammates with first-round receivers. The Bears can elect to do the same with Ohio State’s Chris Olave, one of the smoothest receivers to come out in recent years.

Top 5 Heisman candidates for the 2021-22 college football Season

Will Spencer Rattler win the Heisman?

By: Chris Thomas

Now that the College Football season has started it won’t be long until Heisman candidates and storylines start to emerge. The Heisman is awarded to the best player in college football that season and cements a player’s legacy as one of the greatest college football players of all time. 

Last year was the first time in a couple of years that there wasn’t a clearcut favorite for the award. Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith became the first wide receiver to win the award since 1991 and the fourth wide receiver ever to do so. Smith also became the first non-quarterback to win the Heisman since former Alabama running back Derrick Henry won the award in 2015. 

Many great candidates could be nominated and win the award this upcoming season. Here are a few players to look out for who could take home the Heisman at the end of the 2021-22 College Football season. 

Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

It is hard to start a Heisman candidates list without the face of college football Spencer Rattler. The redshirt sophomore is about to enter his second full season as the team’s starting quarterback. Rattler is already the favorite to go first overall in the 2022 NFL Draft and by many to win the Heisman. He would be Lincoln Riley’s third quarterback to accomplish both feats since he took over the program in 2017. Both Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray won the Heisman and went first overall in the NFL Draft back to back in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. 

Last season Rattler threw for 3,031 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions. He also rushed for 160 yards and six touchdowns on 81 attempts. That performance earned Rattler a spot on AP‘s First Team All-Big 12 and made him a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien award. He finished the year with the third-highest PFF grade among quarterbacks in the FBS with a 92.5.

This upcoming season Rattler not only has the opportunity to build upon how he played last year but potentially take the Oklahoma Sooners to the College Football Playoffs and compete for a National Championship. If Oklahoma makes it to the College Football Playoffs it would be hard to imagine Rattler not at least being nominated for the Heisman after this season. 

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

It is not a ridiculous statement to say that Bryce Hall has the potential to be the most dynamic passer Nick Saban has had during his time at Alabama. That is not a shot at Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa, or Mac Jones who are all NFL starting quarterbacks. In the small sample size that Young has shown, he displayed more of a playmaker skillset compared to a distributor/point guard type like Tagovailoa and Jones or athlete that relies on mobility like Hurts. 

Last season Young finished the season completing 13 of his 22 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown. In high school, Young was considered the best dual-threat quarterback in the nation and a five-star prospect.

The sophomore quarterback has a fantastic opportunity to become one of the faces of college football now that he will be the starting quarterback of the reigning national champions. Young will be leading an extremely talented roster that is considered the favorite to repeat as champions. If Young shows why he was considered such a polarizing high school quarterback at the next level in a full-time starting role he could very well win the Heisman this year.

D.J. Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson

It cannot be an enviable position to follow up Trevor Lawerence as the starting quarterback of the Clemson Tigers. Lawerence was considered by many as one of the greatest college quarterbacks of all time. The sophomore quarterback will join a line of prestigious quarterbacks to start for Clemson over the last decade including Lawerence and Deshaun Watson. Both quarterbacks have left big shoes for D.J. Uiagalelei to fill. There are a lot of expectations that come with being the quarterback for a Dabo Swinney-led Clemson team. Both Lawerence and Watson were catalysts for the Tigers winning National Championships when they were starters. 

Last season he played in ten games but started two against Boston College and Notre Dame. In his first start against Boston College, Uiagalelei completed 73.2% of his passes going 30 for 41 and passing for 342 yards and two touchdowns. He also had six rushes for 25 yards and a touchdown. Then the following week against #4 Notre Dame, Uiagalelei went 29 of 44 for 439 yards and two touchdowns. Uiagalelei rushed for two yards on 13 attempts and a touchdown in that game as well. He finished the year completing 66.7% of his passes completing 78 of 117 of them for 914 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Uiagalelei had 28 rushing attempts for 60 yards and four touchdowns. His 146.4 pass efficiency rating was fifth-best by an ACC freshman quarterback since 2002. Uiagalelei also became only the second FBS player since 2000 to throw at least 115 passes and record at least five passing touchdowns and no interceptions.

As long as Clemson makes the College Football playoffs Uiagalelei should be a Heisman contender. What he brings to the table that separates him from the rest is the combination of size and athleticism. At 6’4″ and 249 pounds he is a fantastic athlete and a threat as a ball carrier. His combination of size, mobility, and arm strength could draw comparisons to another former Heisman winner former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton who is 6’5″ and 245 pounds. If Uiagalelei plays similarly to how Newton did in his Heisman campaign in the 2010 season, he could very well win the award at the end of this season. 

J.T Daniels, QB, Georgia

One player that has been trending towards being considered one of the nation’s best quarterbacks is Georgia quarterback JT Daniels. He will start his second season as a Georgia Bulldog after two years at USC. Many believe a great season from him could catapult Georgia back into the National title picture. 

Daniels transferred to Georgia after redshirting his sophomore season due to a season-ending knee injury. Last season only started four games for Georgia at the end of the season. Daniels finished the year completing 80 of his 119 passes for 1,231 yards, ten touchdowns, and only two interceptions. That is an average of 307.8 passing yards, 2.5 touchdowns, and .5 interceptions a game. 

He is entering his Junior year this season so Daniels is eligible for another year. However, he is gaining a lot of hype as a quarterback prospect to look out for that could potentially be a first-round pick. Daniels has a cannon for an arm which will get him on a light of highlight reels throughout the season. If Georgia makes a National title push and Daniels makes huge plays throughout the season he could have a legitimate case to win the Heisman at the end of the year. 

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Now that the Sam Ehlinger era is over at Texas the star Longhorn tasked with bringing them back to relevancy is running back Bijan Robinson. The Longhorns have needed a star on their roster who can bring them back to what they were over a decade ago. So far Robinson has shown that he has what it takes to be that guy. 

During his freshman year, Robinson played in nine games, but only started six of them. He had three games last season where he rushed for over 100 yards and averaged 10.3 carries in each of those games. His best game came at the end of the year against Colorado where he rushed for 183 yards and a touchdown off ten carries. In that game, Robinson also caught two passes for 37 yards and two more touchdowns. He finished last year with 703 rushing yards and four touchdowns on only 86 carries. 

Robinson has the size and strength to be a power back, but is shifty and has the athleticism to make him almost impossible to defend. He has shown that he is also a threat as a receiver. His style of play is similar to Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. 

If Robinson thrives in a workhorse role for Texas gets them closer to being a national title threat he could become the first running back since 2015 to win the Heisman. 

Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

Last season Breece Hall was arguably the best running back in college football. He discretely had one of the greatest seasons for a running back in college football history. He could put up similar production in his junior year at Iowa State. 

After an outstanding freshman season Hall broke out in a major way his sophomore year. In the twelve games he played, Hall rushed for 1,572 yards on 279 attempts and 21 touchdowns. He led the entire country in rushing last season. He averaged 131 rushing yards per game. Hall became the first player in College Football to have 75+ yards and a rushing touchdown in all 12 games since NFL Hall of Famer and former TCU running back LaDainian Tomlinson did it in 2000. He added multiple accolades to his resume including being the first unanimous All-American in Iowa State history, winning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, and First Team All-Big 12. This performance landed Hall sixth in the Heisman voting.

He came extremely close to winning the Heisman a year ago. If Hall were to repeat his performance or even break his records there would be slim to no chance that he does not get recognized as one of the greatest running backs to ever play in college football by winning the Heisman. 

Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama

Brian Robinson Jr. becomes the next running back to join the fraternity of Alabama starting running backs. The Crimson Tide have had an outstanding group of players at the position over the years including Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, Derrick Henry, and Najee Harris. There have also been other talented running backs for the Crimson Tide that weren’t workhorse backs including Alvin Kamara, T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake, Damien Harris, and Josh Jacobs. So expectations are high for a player like Robinson who will now control this backfield and have a major role for this offense. 

Over the last two seasons, Robinson Jr. has played a complementary role to Najee Harris. Last year he rushed for 483 yards and six touchdowns on 91 attempts. Robinson fits the bigger running back mold the Crimson Tide have been known for under Nick Saban. He has been used to run the ball outside of the tackles on outside zone runs. He has also returned kickoffs for Alabama on occasion. 

This year the redshirt senior finally gets his chance to lead this backfield. If Robinson has a breakout season and is as dominant as the Alabama running backs that have come before him he has a great of a chance as anyone to win the Heisman. There has not been a more dominant position group on a college football team over the last decade than Alabama running backs. Robinson could be the third to win the Heisman since 2009.

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

It is extremely unlikely that a wide receiver wins the Heisman in any given year. It is even more unlikely that a wide receiver wins the Heisman in back-to-back seasons. But after DeVonta Smith won last year it does open up the conversation to the position group and it is unlikely that a talent like Chris Olave isn’t considered for the award after the season.

Last year Olave broke out and established himself as one of the best receivers in college football. He almost matched his receiving yardage and touchdown total from the season prior despite having his season reduced to seven games. Olave caught 50 receptions for 729 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 104.1 yards per game. He was named First Team All-Big Ten after his performance. He was considered one of the best wide receivers in college football last season.

Coming into this season Olave is considered the best wide receiver in the nation. If he continues the pace that he set last season or exceeds it over a full college football season he could make it back-to-back seasons that a wide receiver wins the Heisman.

5 “under the radar” 2022 NFL draft prospects

The college TE group is very impressive

By: Tim Rodriguez

The NFL draft really is something to marvel at. The process, which begins about eleven months prior to draft day, is constantly in flux. Some of the players that are “first-round picks” in the summer, find themselves falling all the way until day three. The draft is a fluid process, and scouting in itself is so subjective that seeing drastically different opinions on players is not uncommon. With that, risers and fallers are natural. However, there are always some prospects who seem to slip through the cracks in summer scouting, but find themselves in first and second-round mock drafts by the time March and April roll around. Whether that be injury history clearing up, finally breaking out in college, or a positive combine performance, mock drafts vary in the span of eleven months. With the 2022 NFL draft just eight short months away, who could be this year’s Jaelan Phillips, Zach Wilson, or Terrace Marshall?

George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue 

Purdue’s George Karlaftis burst onto the scene as a Freshman in 2019 with 7.5 sacks and finds himself in many first-round mock drafts going into his junior year. Karlaftis lost most of his sophomore year to injury. Had he not been injured in 2020, we may have seen him put even better sack and pressure numbers. A rare blend of strength and athleticism makes Karlaftis a tantalizing prospect. As Karlaftis gears up for an extremely important 2021 season with the Boilermakers, his 2019 film indicates a healthy Karlaftis can be a top 15 pick. The tweet below (via Ben Glassmire) is a great example of the type of player an NFL would be getting with Karlaftis.

Grayson McCall, QB, Coastal Carolina

Ah, the 2022 quarterback class. It makes no sense. For the most part, everyone agrees that Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler has the best chance to hear his name called first, but it’s rather confusing after that. After names like Malik Willis and Carson Strong, there is a long list of guys with massive question marks. One of those is Grayson McCall, the breakout star for Coastal Carolina in 2020. As a redshirt Freshman, McCall was efficient and showed the ability to make plays with his feet. With a full off-season and a bonafide weapon in tight end Isaiah Likely, McCall has an opportunity to be a riser if he declares in 2022. 

The entire tight end class 

There may not be a Kyle Pitts in the class, but there is a massive amount of talent and depth at the position in 2022. It may all start with Alabama’s Jahleel Billingsley but continues on with Coastal Carolina’s Isaiah Likely, Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert, and many more after. A surprise riser may be SMU’s Grant Calcaterra, who is back after medically retiring following an injury-riddled career at Oklahoma. The 2022 class may end up producing more quality tight ends than 2021. As the tight end position grows in college football, classes like 2020 appear to be an anomaly.

Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State 

Yes, Joey Porter’s son is draft eligible. You are old. Moving past that, the younger Porter is one of the more intriguing cornerback prospects this year. As a redshirt sophomore, there’s no guarantee that Porter declares, and it may be wiser to stay as the 2022 cornerback class is chock full of talent, pushing him down the board. He has a great chance to shine on a Penn State defense that features NFL-caliber players at every level. With tremendous length and size, Porter will certainly be on NFL radars after being thrust into a starting role midway through the 2020 season. 

Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota 

This mountain of a man-made headlines for the Gophers when people started to realize how absolutely massive he is. Previously standing at 6’8”, 400 pounds, Minnesota offensive tackle Faalele is without a doubt the largest player in the draft. However, there were questions about whether or not he could play in the NFL at that weight. He has since lost at least 30 pounds and continues to drop to a more realistic weight. If Faalele puts out some good tape in 2021, he is going to shoot up draft boards.

3 CFB coaches that can make the jump to NFL in the near future

Will Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley head to the NFL?

By: Cody Molla (@Cmolla1)

Football is back! NFL preseason is wrapping up, NCAA Football is kicking off and soon the real NFL season starts. This 2021 NFL season will feature seven coaches making their head coaching debut in the NFL. Nearly a quarter of the league will be under the new direction on the field. Many of these new guys have previous NFL coordinator experience and coaching experience in the NFL. One in particular however has none. Urban Meyer, new Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Meyer has a historic collegiate coaching career. One of the most prolific coaches in recent history and ever in college football. In 17 seasons Meyer has a record of 187-32. A winning percentage of .853 across a few years at Bowling Green University, University of Utah, University of Florida, and Ohio State University. We all know his success from the last two stops. To summarize his career, he won two BCS titles at Florida, won the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship with Ohio State, became the first coach to lead a BCS non-AQ conference team to a BCS bowl at Utah, coached a Heisman Trophy winner at Florida with Tim Tebow, and coached a number one overall pick in the NFL draft with Alex Smith.

The biggest question is how will his previous college success translate to the NFL and what does it mean for future NFL coaching candidates? Meyer’s success or failure will have an impact on future coaching candidates across the NFL. Meyer is notorious for the spread offense. It’s what he ran at all of his college stops. We know the NFL game is not like the college game. Does Meyer try and force the spread offense as Chip Kelly did in his NFL tenure? Does he adapt to the NFL game? Either way, the Urban Meyer coaching experience will impact how the NFL views coaches purely from the college ranks. We will dive into three coaching candidates from the college ranks that could make the jump to the NFL in a near NFL coaching carousel.

Lincoln Riley – Oklahoma

Riley has been a head coach for four years in his young career. He took over as head coach at OU in 2017. He has compiled a record of 45-8 good for a .849 winning percentage. In his first three seasons, Riley and the Sooners lost in the semifinal of the college football playoff. Last year was his first bowl win in the Cotton Bowl, it was not part of the college football playoff.

Despite his limited experience as a head coach, his hat was in the ring for becoming the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys prior to the 2020 season. Riley is currently 37 years old. The NFL has not shied away from young coaches and Riley is one of the candidates for a future NFL job. Sean McVay took the Rams to the super bowl at age 33, the youngest age ever for an NFL coach. The Browns recently hired Kevin Stefanski who is 37 as well and went to the playoffs in his first season. The Arizona Cardinals also hired Kingsbury before turning 40 and after having a losing record as a college head coach!

The reason Lincoln has been linked to the Cowboys job was because of his close ties with Jerry Jones. The two got close after Riley had done some recruiting of Jerry’s grandson John Stephen Jones. Besides his connections, Riley has groomed some successful college players who have become bright stars in the NFL. Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray played under Riley at OU. Both of them won the Heisman trophy then became number one overall picks in the NFL draft the next year. Continuing the success at quarterback is Jalen Hurts. Not as much buzz in his NFL game as the other two but he is likely to start for the Eagles in his second year as an NFL player after playing for Riley at Oklahoma to close his college career. The Eagles were also rumored to be interested in Riley going into the coaching search knowing Hurts success with Riley in the past.

For the immediate future, Riley has the Heisman favorite as his quarterback in Spencer Rattler. Another successful college year is ahead for the Sooners and Riley which will likely leave him a top candidate for the NFL in 2022. I doubt he leaves for the NFL in 2022. However, come 2023 and the years after I can see him making the jump to the NFL. He will always be a candidate for the Dallas Cowboys.

Based on what I’ve seen in hard knocks Mike McCarthy is not going to be the head coach much longer. Even with a winning season, it’s Super Bowl or bust for Jerry Jones. If Jerry sees a way to improve the team he will do it, replacing the head coach is very easy for him.

Riley seems to be enjoying his time at OU and will likely want to win a championship before making the jump. Riley is one of the best quarterback coaches in the nation right now and seems to have a knack for coaching players to be successful at that position in the NFL.

Matt Campbell – Iowa State

Campbell was a candidate that intrigued a few NFL franchises in the last hiring season. He reportedly turned down a large offer from the Lions. He was also rumored to be of interest from the New York Jets.

Campbell has never had NFL coaching experience but has been a college head coach since 2011. He was given his first head coach job at the University of Toledo in 2011. He coached there till 2015 and went 35-15. He was the head coach for two bowl game wins, one his first game as the interim head coach in 2011 and one as the official head coach in 2014. In his last two years with the Rockets he was tied for first place in the MAC.

Campbell was named head coach at Iowa State in 2015 and has been there ever since. An impressive season last year included winning the Big 12 conference, a win in the Fiesta Bowl, for a 9-3 season, and a nine by their name to finish the year. Campbell is 35-28 at Iowa State. After struggling his first year the Cyclones have had a winning season every year since.

Campbell is a three-time Big 12 Coach of the Year Winner. He likely plans on being at Iowa St. for some time after turning down the contract from the Lions he signed an extension through 2028 with the Cyclones. I think he will be at Iowa St. until they are the team to beat in the Big 12.

Last year was their breakout season. The roster has lots of young talent that Campbell has recruited to his program and will likely want to see that building of a program pay off. The Cyclones are a strong team and for the next few years Campbell will continue to build his resume at Iowa St. He will also continue to be a candidate in the back of NFL minds. He is likely not willing to make the NFL jump for another year or two but may soon after that.

Jim Harbaugh- Michigan

Harbaugh has had success in the NFL and college ranks as a head coach. His only tenure as an NFL head coach was in 2011-2014 with the 49ers. Harbaughs NFL experience with the 49ers may have ended sour but it was sweet the first three seasons.

The 49ers would make three straight NFC Championships, winning one in 2012 where the lost in the Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens. It is impressive that their season ended three straight years to the Super Bowl champs. He compiled a record of 44-19-1 in the regular season and a playoff record of 5-3.

His college head coaching career started back in 2004 at the University of San Diego. At the time a Division One FCS school where he went 29-6 in three seasons.  Following the success at San Diego, he was hired by Stanford.

At Stanford, Harbaugh struggled to win games in 2007 and 2008. The Cardinal finished in 7th and 6th in the conference. However, with the emergence of Andrew Luck, Stanford became a conference title contender and finished second in 2009 with an 8-5 overall record then second again in 2010 with a 12-1 record and Orange Bowl win.

From Stanford, he made the jump to the NFL. After the NFL he returned to coach at his alma mater The University of Michigan. Hired in 2015, Big Blue was expected to compete for national championships. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been that way for Harbaugh. Harbaugh has only won one of five bowl games. The lone win was a Citrus Bowl victory in 2015.

Harbaugh has been average at Michigan. Never making a conference title game appearance and an 0-5 record vs rival Ohio State. We all thought the program at Michigan would explode onto the scene yet it has yet to detonate and even flare. Three ten win seasons and four times finishing in the top 20 rankings isn’t good enough in these circumstances. A rather disappointing 2020 season left Harbaughs status in the air.

With many NFL jobs opened up the return was widely thought to happen. Jim comes with a fiery, combative, and demanding personality. Because of this, he rubs people the wrong way and his stays at his previous stops have been cut short. Is this something NFL executives are holding against him?

His football knowledge and experience certainly qualify him as a head coach candidate for NFL teams. I think a bounce back year at Michigan would be satisfying enough for Jim. He certainly would love to do it to make Paul Finebaum eat his words and keep quiet.

Harbaugh is a name we hear every coach search season I think he finally returns back to the NFL after this year. He has a wide range of connections from his own NFL playing days, his coaching days, and his brother. It would be cool to see the brothers square off in another Super Bowl down the line!

Honorable Mention  

PJ Fleck- Minnesota

Luke Fickell- Cincinnati

Pat Fitzgerald- Northwestern

Falcons QB targets in the 2022 NFL Draft

Who is Falcons QB of the future?

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

Times are changing in Atlanta for the Falcons. They have started the process of moving on from the “Matt Ryan Era” and into a new future. Two major moves were made by the organization this offseason to indicate that the time has come to move forward. First, they hired a brand new head coach in Arthur Smith, who is a young and innovative offensive-minded coach. A move like this usually means a new QB is soon to follow and that is probably what will happen with the Falcons. They do not have a real replacement yet for the 36-year-old Matt Ryan, so that will likely be the number one focus in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The young options that they do have on the roster, Josh Rosen and Felipe Franks, are less than inspiring to say the least while AJ McCarron has proven to be no more than a solid backup in his career. When an organization brings in a young and exciting head coach, it only seems right to allow him to seek out a young and exciting quarterback to pair with him. The Draft is the best place to do that, especially considering the Falcons will likely have a top 10 pick this year. The rebuild has already started, and is signaled by the second major move they made this offseason. That is of course trading their superstar wide receiver, and probably the best WR in the NFL over the last decade, in Julio Jones. All of that being said, here is who the Falcons can target at QB in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

Oklahoma and the Lincoln Reilly offensive system have been a factory for quarterbacks in recent years, producing first overall picks and Heisman Trophy winners in Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Next up is Spencer Rattler and he has all of the tools to follow in their footsteps. He is the preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and is projected to have a huge season with the Sooners. He had a solid 2020 season passing for 3031 yards and 28 touchdowns while also rushing for an additional six touchdowns. He is a very high upside prospect, especially coming from this program that has proven they can develop NFL-ready quarterbacks. If Rattler lives up to his expectations he very well may command the first overall pick in the draft, which is unlikely to be the Falcons pick. If he falls a bit, or Atlanta trades up, Rattler would be a very intriguing pairing for head coach Arthur Smith.

Malik Willis, Liberty

Willis is an incredible athlete with extreme raw talent and has some of the highest upside of any player in the entire country. He fits the modern-day style of NFL quarterback with his true dual-threat ability. In the 2020 season, he threw for 2250 yards with 20 touchdowns and added an additional 944 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. Of course, playing at Liberty means that he is not exactly going against the toughest of competition, but those types of numbers are extremely impressive regardless. Arthur Smith is a creative offensive mind and a talent like Willis would open up endless possibilities for schemes and designs. It would be an exciting opportunity for Smith and an ideal situation for Willis, especially considering the Falcons have a reputation for being very patient with the growth of their coaches and key players. If all things play out the way they “should” than this is an ideal match.

Sam Howell, North Carolina

In two seasons as the starting quarterback for the Tar Heels, Howell has passed for 7227 yards with 68 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions. Many scouts believe that he is the best pure pocket passer available with the best arm talent in the country. While he is less dangerous with his legs than some of the other quarterback options, he is still mobile enough to roll out of the pocket and make things happen on the move. He has the “typical build for a quarterback” at 6’1 and 220 pounds with elite accuracy and very respectable throwing power. He is still only 20 years old so he can realistically still get even bigger and can definitely improve his game and raise his rating as a prospect even higher than it already is. Like Rattler, Howell is an early candidate for the Heisman and for the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Arthur Smith would be excited to work with Howell if he ends up in Atlanta.

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