This Saturday (October 9) has another fun-filled slate of college football games for fans to watch and in an effort to keep things fresh for the POD readers, this week is an All-Linebacker edition of our 2022 draft watchlist.
In order to maximize your viewing pleasure, instead of listing random players with games spread out throughout the day, we’ve identified one game in each TV time slot, as well as multiple prospects in each game that we believe Detroit Lions scouts may be keeping their eyes on.
The featured games on this week’s watchlist include:
- Oklahoma (6) vs Texas (21) in a Red River Showdown at 12 p.m. ET on ABC
- Penn State (4) at Iowa (3) at 4 p.m. ET on FOX
- Wyoming at Air Force at 7 p.m. ET on CBSSN
- Alabama (1) at Texas A&M at 8 p.m. ET on CBS
- Utah at USC at 8 p.m. ET on FOX
If you’re interested in going back and looking at the previous Saturday watchlists to revisit some of the players profiled, you can find those links here:
- Pre-season Quarterback watchlist
- Week 1, September 4
- Week 2, September 11
- Week 3, September 18
- Week 4, September 25
- Week 5, October 2
Alright, let’s get to this week’s profiles.
Red River Showdown
Oklahoma (6) vs Texas (21) at 12:00 p.m. ET on ABC
Brian Asamoah, ILB, Oklahoma (redshirt Junior)
6-foot-1, 228 pounds - potential BUCK or MIKE LB in Lions’ scheme
A theme amongst today’s prospects, Asamoah is a bit undersized for a traditional linebacker role, but with the smaller frame comes plenty of speed and athleticism—something coveted in the Lions' current defensive scheme.
Asamoah is also highly instinctive and not only understands his assignment but the assignments of those around him. He is a natural leader and is constantly directing the defense, despite only being in his second year as a starter.
He is comfortable dropping into zone coverage and can also turn and run with tight ends/running backs in man coverage. He’s is a sure tackler, who plays with violence, and that not only translates to defense but also special teams, where he was a standout player prior to earning his starting role.
DeMarvion Overshown, ILB, Texas (Senior)
6-foot-3, 223 pounds - potential BUCK in Lions’ scheme
Overshown spent his first two seasons at safety for the Longhorns, but a shift to linebacker in 2020 has been extremely beneficial. With only a little over a year at the position, a lot of his skills are very raw, but his speed and athleticism are undeniable, and his safety instincts show up in a big way when he is in coverage (both zone and man).
Someone I highlighted before the season was #Texas LB DeMarvion Overshown, who was making the transition from Safety to LB this season. He has made it seamlessly, as he picks up his second INT of the season here.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) December 30, 2020
Athletic, rangy, still learning, but he's someone to watch. pic.twitter.com/Plgr3FQori
Overshown is a long, fluid, speedy athlete with a tremendous burst that is evident when Texas sends him on blitzes. Like Asamoah, Overshown likes to bring the woodshed with him on tackles, and he relies on his natural instincts to put him in the right spots. He is still adding weight, but at his size, he often struggles to get off blocks, though that should improve with experience and muscle (he has the frame to add good weight).
When you combine his size with his lack of experience and raw skillset, he feels like a Day 3 player, but his upside and potential could get him some consideration on Day 2.
Penn State (4) at Iowa (3) at 4:00 p.m. ET on FOX
Brandon Smith, ILB, Penn State (Junior)
6-foot-3, 241 pounds, potential MIKE or BUCK in Lions’ scheme
Ok, I’m cheating a bit here because I profiled Smith in Week 1, but this battle of top-five teams should be a fun game to watch, and he’s not only the best linebacker in this game but also one of the best linebackers in the country.
A freaky athlete, Smith needed to improve his consistency this season and so far he has been off to a tremendous start. If he stays on pace, he’ll be in consideration to go in the first round.
Arnold Ebiketie, OLB/EDGE, Penn State (Senior)
6-foot-3, 250 pounds, potential WILL or SAM in Lions’ scheme
The only non-off-the-ball linebacker profiled on the watchlist today, Ebiketie is a Temple transfer who immediately earned a starting role with the Nittany Lions. So far this season, he has flashed first-step quickness, speed off the edge, and the ability to close on the passer. He projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level and at a minimum has a chance to be a situational pass rusher early on in his NFL career.
Wyoming at Air Force at 7:00 p.m. ET on CBSSN
Chad Muma, ILB, Wyoming (Senior)
6-foot-3, 243 pounds, potential MIKE or BUCK in Lions’ scheme
I haven’t had a chance to watch a ton of Wyoming football but Muma has my attention. NFL size and really fun above-average speed, Muma finds the football, both in run defense...
Wyoming LB Chad Muma (6’3 245) leads CFB in tackling... and only 1 missed tackle in 2021— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) September 22, 2021
He also has 2 INTs returned for TDs and a blocked FG this season. Over 400 special teams snaps in career. Big, tough, athletic & can run! @seniorbowl pic.twitter.com/Iw0ZFHzwto
... and in the passing game.
I don’t have a good feel for where he might land on draft day yet, but he’s most definitely on my radar.
Alabama (1) at Texas A&M at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS
Christian Harris, ILB, Alabama (Junior)
6-foot-2, 232 pounds, potential BUCK or MIKE in Lions’ scheme
Another linebacker I previously profiled (Week 3), here’s what I had to say about Harris:
Harris is a prototype new-age NFL linebacker. He’s fast to the ball, has good eye discipline, can stack and shed blocks, weaves through traffic with ease, understands blitzing angles, and can cover tight ends/receivers/backs all over the field. There’s a bunch of Fred Warner (49ers LB) to his game and pairing him with Derrick Barnes (after a year of development) would give the Lions a potentially dangerous duo for the future.
He and Henry To’o To’o form arguably the best linebacking duo in the country.
Henry To’o To’o, ILB, Alabama (Junior)
6-foot-2, 228 pounds, potential BUCK or MIKE in Lions’ scheme
A Tennessee transfer, To’o To’o is in his first year with the Tide but he looks like he was made for an Alabama defense. Like Harris, he flows to the ball, showcasing speed, fluidity and range the NFL is searching for in a new-age linebacker. A leader on defense, he has MIKE traits due to his high football intelligence and fearlessness operating over the middle. He works his way through traffic as a run defender and is comfortable in coverage, giving him three-down potential at the next level.
Henry To’o To’o stopping the fourth down play— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 2, 2021
Utah at USC at 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX
Devin Lloyd, ILB, Utah (Senior)
6-foot-2, 235 pounds, potential MIKE or BUCK in Lions’ scheme
Like most of the other linebackers on today’s watchlist, Lloyd is fast and athletic, but the one thing that separates him from the group is he is able to take on and shed blocks on his way to the ball carrier. That level of strength and toughness gives Lloyd a unique element to his game for a player with sideline-to-sideline range.
In addition to his success stopping the run and making open field tackles, Lloyd has the positional range to line up at all over the field, including off-the-ball in the middle of the field and at the line-of-scrimmage—and he’ll blitz from both spots. Lions fans have already seen defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn use his inside linebackers in this fashion this season, and it can be incredibly valuable.