This week’s 2022 Draft watchlist kicked off this past Thursday when top quarterback prospects Kenny Pickett and Pittsburgh got the best of Sam Howell and North Carolina. But just because we had a special edition in the series this week, doesn’t mean will we get to rest our scouting eyes on Saturday.
As always, my goal is to get readers a nice combination of interesting games to watch in each time slot of the day, but also games that include players that Detroit Lions scouts are also likely watching.
Here are the featured games on this week’s watchlist include:
- Oklahoma (8) at Baylor (13) at 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX
- Purdue (19) at Ohio State (4) at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
- Texas A&M (11) at Mississippi (15) at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
If you’re interested in going back and looking at the previous 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
- Week 6, October 9 — All linebackers edition
- Week 7, October 16
- Week 8, October 23
- Week 9, October 30 — Every prospect from Michigan and Michigan State
- Week 10, November 6 — Matt Corral vs Malik Willis, and more
- Week 11, November 12 — Kenny Pickett vs Sam Howell
Alright, let’s get to this week’s profiles.
Oklahoma (8) at Baylor (13) at 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX
Jalen Pitre, Hybrid S/LB, Baylor (Senior)
6-foot-0, 200 pounds
Pitre plays a hybrid role for Baylor, spending time in coverage at safety, in the slot, at the linebacker level, and his responsibilities will even put him on the line of scrimmage at times. He is a terrific run defender and he explodes to the ball, often relying on his instincts and disciplined eye level to identify plays ahead of schedule.
Been watching #Baylor defense film and rising senior S/LB Jalen Pitre keeps flashing. Enforcer, comes off the edge with blitzes, all over the field making plays.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) March 30, 2021
First team All Big 12, 60 tackles, 13 TFL's, 2 INT's he took back for TD's...special player. Name for 2022 class... pic.twitter.com/Bs0EbV7xYP
At his size, he is likely destined for a safety role in the NFL, but his ability to play off coverage will be appealing for the Lions if they are looking for a chess piece weapon on defense who can thrive in subpackages. His coverage skills will be tested against Oklahoma, but how he keys on their running game will be fun to watch.
Kennedy Brooks, RB, Oklahoma (redshirt Junior)
5-foot-10, 216 pounds
Brooks was one of the better backs during his freshman and sophomore campaign’s rushing for over 1,000 yards in each season. He sat out 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, but he is back in his starting role this season despite Oklahoma bringing in quality competition for his job.
He’s doesn’t possess a lot of elite intangibles, but he is very elusive in traffic, routinely finds the hole, and has the power to brush off contact. He’ll be a nice option as a rotational back in the NFL if he declares, and could probably be selected on Day 3 of the draft.
Purdue (19) at Ohio State (4) at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
David Bell, WR, Purdue (Junior)
6-foot-2, 207 pounds
All Purdue does is knock off teams ranked in the top five and David Bell is the best offensive weapon they have at their disposal. Bell is a possession receiver who wins on the outside with physicality and consistency. Strong hand and terrific body control, Bell is capable of making big catches in big moments. He lacks long speed, which results in him receiving more off coverage than normal, but he makes defensive back pay with his skill set. In the NFL he’ll have to work more on shedding press coverage.
Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State (Senior)
6-foot-0, 200 pounds
Banks could draw the unenviable task of covering Bell, but this will be his opportunity to show scouts he is better than what he has shown this season after returning from injury. While Bell has been a model of consistency, Banks has struggled with his. He has decent NFL size and athleticism, and has flashed upside in the past, but he’ll need to make some big plays against Bell to get back on scout's good sides.
Texas A&M (11) at Mississippi (15) at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
At this point, Mississippi’s Matt Corral appears to be the front runner for QB1 in this class, and it makes sense for the die-hard Lions fans to watch him in difficult matchups to see if he has what it takes. Texas A&M’s defense is a heck of a lot better than Liberty’s last weekend and Corral will be tested.
I just profiled Corral last week, so for this game, I’ll profile two players to watch when Corral isn’t on the field.
Isaiah Spiller, RB, TAMU (Junior)
6-foot-0, 225 pounds
Spiller is one of the top eligible backs in this draft cycle due to his vision, ability to weave through traffic, patience to set up blocks, power to break tackles, and tremendous contact balance. He is averaging 6.1 yards per carry, the highest mark of his career. He’s also a capable contributor in the passing game.
Yet, in today’s game, running backs are devalued and Spiller has seen his stock drop on several analysts' draft boards despite working behind an offensive line that had to replace four starters.
Isaiah Spiller: Most 15+ yard runs among returning SEC RBs (32)pic.twitter.com/1Ri8KjZn7G— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 24, 2021
If he declares for the draft, he will likely be competing with Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State) and Breece Hall (Iowa State) to be RB1 in this draft class.
Jalen Wydermyer, TE, TAMU (Junior)
6-foot-5, 255 pounds
There probably isn’t a first-round tight end in this draft cycle, but like at running back, Texas A&M has arguably one of the top three players at this position among eligible prospects.
Jalen Wydermyer is capable of contributing all over the field due to his size, ball skills, and athleticism. While the Aggies like to run their passing offense through him, he doesn’t have the statistical numbers you would expect for that role, averaging around 45 yards and half a touchdown per game. He is a savvy route runner and capable of making the tough catch, which will draw a lot of suiters on Day 2 of the draft.
What a grab by Jalen Wydermyer pic.twitter.com/x7TaJzhYBX— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 5, 2020
Another Aggies’ skill player to watch is wide receiver/offensive weapon Anians Smith, who I profiled in mid-October.