In one of the most exciting weekends of the college football season thus far, from upsets to pivotal conference matchups, Week 6 brought plenty of action. With lots of future NFL draft picks in action, there were several players that helped themselves over the weekend.
Emptying out my journal from Week 6, here are some prospects that managed to improve their draft stock.
Kenyon Green, IOL, Texas A&M
The shocker of the weekend, Texas A&M set the tone early and often in a 41-38 upset over the No. 1 ranked team in the country. From the beginning, the Aggies controlled the line of scrimmage. A large reason behind that is the play of Green. Starting the game at left guard, he managed to play nearly every position across the offensive front by the time the clock expired in the fourth quarter.
Versatility is one of the best compliments that an offensive lineman can have on their resume. Despite most thinking that he projects best inside on the next level, Green showing that he can play multiple positions bodes well for his future draft stock. Even though offensive linemen hardly ever receive much notoriety throughout games, the telecast continued to highlight Green and rightfully so.
Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
In what was a rollercoaster of a weekend for the projected 2022 quarterback class, the final game of the night was Strong against New Mexico State. A weekend that included Spencer Rattler being benched, Sam Howell falling to Florida State, and Malik Willis being his usual mix of highs and lows, the Nevada signal-caller had a prime opportunity to continue to strengthen his resume.
Taking advantage of the limelight, Strong turned in one of the better performances of his career. In a 55-28 victory, he finished with 25-of-32 for 377 yards and six touchdowns—five of those scores went to six different targets. Strong turned in as a good of a performance as he could’ve imagined. For the east coast crowd, Strong’s late-night games are beginning to become must-watch TV, similar to what we saw a year ago with Zach Wilson.
Oklahoma Defensive Front
In what was a high-scoring affair, the Sooners came out victorious in what was another chapter of a historic rivalry. Despite the game involving lots of offensive fireworks, there were many notable prospects that seemed to have flashes of positive play.
Outside linebacker Nik Bonitto collected 1.5 sacks and showed off why scouts are excited about his future. As a pass rusher, his explosiveness and hand maturity are NFL-ready. Creating havoc in spurts, he generated lots of pressure and displayed traits that translate well to the next level.
The player who had the best afternoon of anyone along Oklahoma’s defensive line was Isaiah Thomas. Possessing a bit of a linear build, Thomas’ hustle and power immediately stand out. Playing everything from 3-technique to 5-technique, he’s a versatile first-level defender that has a chance to be a second-day selection.
Interior defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey is the classic case of a prospect who likely could turn out to be a better pro than college player. Because of Oklahoma’s heavy defensive line rotations, he’s hardly ever able to get into a groove. Containing a relentless motor, obsession with getting to ball locations, and improved hand usage as a pass rusher, he was able to show off a few moments of promise.
Drake London, WR, USC
A prospect that continues to surge up draft boards, London has continued to be one of the lone bright spots for a program that’s at one of its lowest points in history. At 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, London is a big-bodied target that plays as such. A large chunk of his game involves making contested catches and winning at the catch point. That’s not the only thing he can do, however, and he’s managed to turn into the go-to target for the Trojans offense. Still needing to clean up an issue with drops, his most frequent blunders have come on in-breaking routes or one’s where he’s forced to work back to the quarterback.
Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Lloyd against USC is one of the better game tapes of a player at the position that you will see this year. What made it stand out so much is his willingness and unselfishness with playing defensive end and still giving all effort on each rep. Also playing plenty on the second level, he displayed plenty of lateral agility, instincts in pass coverage, and showed how sure he was as a tackler. With it being somewhat of a down year overall at linebacker, Lloyd has taken advantage of areas where the class lacks.