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Detroit Lions 2022 draft watch: Keep an eye on Monday this Saturday

2022 draft prospects to watch during each time slot on Saturday.

Mississippi State v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

It’s getting near the end of the college football season, and our weekly 2022 draft watchlists have featured a ton of the potential top-100 prospects that the Detroit Lions scouts should be interested in. While there are still plenty of prospects to evaluate, we’re starting to dip into some Day 3 players who could see their stock rise with impressive offseasons.

This week, we’re going to keep things simple. Just put on ESPN and leave it there. If you do that, here are the games you’ll see:

  • Wake Forest (12) at Clemson at 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • SMU at Cincinnati (5) at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Auburn (17) at South Carolina 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Arizona St. at Oregon St. at 10:30 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:

Alright, let’s get to this week’s profiles.

Wake Forest (12) at Clemson at 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest (Redshirt Junior)

6-foot-1, 208 pounds

Don’t be fooled by Wake Forest listing Hartman as a redshirt sophomore, he’s been playing college ball since 2018 and will be 23 years old this summer. Hartman started as a freshman, but only played four games his sophomore year (he lost his starting job), allowing him to redshirt. In 2020, his third season was his redshirt sophomore season, but due to the COVID-19 exemption option provided by the NCAA, Wake Forest applied the exemption, technically making 2021 a second redshirt sophomore season. What this means for Wake Forest is Hartman will still have two years of eligibility remaining after this season, but if he hopes to play in the NFL and be drafted at a reasonable spot, he may have to make the jump sooner than later.

Like Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, Hartman is a late bloomer and statistically is having his best season. He’s smart, a good leader, shows confidence in his decision-making, and has the athleticism to gain yards with his feet in Wake’s RPO scheme. He has a solid arm, with plus accuracy, but tends to float his deep shots too much, relying on his receivers to win jump balls instead of placing the ball for them—this could be an issue in the NFL.

Jaquarii Roberson, WR, Wake Forest (Senior)

6-foot-0, 182 pounds

A solid route runner with athletic upside to create separation, Roberson stepped up for Wake when Sage Surratt (former Lions’ UDFA WR) opted out of the 2020 season. He entered the year as a fringe draftable player but has worked his way into the Day 3 conversation. He has shown strong hands at the catch point but needs to increase his reliability.

Roberson will likely draw coverage from Clemson corner Andrew Booth Jr., who I previously profiled:

“With impressive coverage skills, length, athleticism, and physical nature, he is likely to get first-round consideration.”

Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson (Senior)

6-foot-3, 205 pounds

A standout WR 1 at Clemson, Ross was on his way to being a surefire first-round pick before suffering an injury that required spinal surgery and forced him to miss the 2020 season. Ross played in 10 games this season, registering 47 catches for 524 yards and three touchdowns. He is talented enough to make noise in the NFL, but where he gets selected will largely depend on his medical checks.

Update: It was announced that Ross requires foot surgery, will have the procedure immediately so he can prepare for the NFL Draft, and won’t be playing in this game.

SMU at Cincinnati (5) at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Reggie Roberson Jr, WR, SMU (Senior)

5-foot-11, 197 pounds

Blessed with speed and acceleration, Roberson can be utilized in a variety of ways. SMU doesn’t ask him to run an in-depth route tree, but he is effective on slants, crossers, screens, and as a above-average vertical option, quickly gaining separation and presenting a target for the quarterback. Where he is really fun is once he has the ball in his hands. He possesses enough speed to plain run away from defenders, but his explosive movements can leave defenders looking silly—as evidenced by the second play in the clip below when he snatches the soul of the corner:

The big concern surrounding Roberson is he had not finished either of the previous two seasons due to a foot injury in 2019 and a knee injury in 2020.

A couple of SMU honorable mentions are potential late-round prospects, OL Jaylon Thomas and TE Grant Calcaterra. Thomas is SMU’s left tackle but he has a guard body and movement skills. He has a chance to be drafted as a developmental lineman with swing potential. Calcaterra was on his way to a big career at Oklahoma before concussions prompted him to retire early, thus putting his motivation levels under the microscope.

Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati (Senior)

6-foot-2, 213 pounds

Pierce is effective at beating the press, chewing up a cushion, and stacking the corner. He has solid body control and uses it to box out/out-muscle smaller defenders on the regular. He is proficient at getting vertical but he’s more of a 50/50 winner as opposed to a separator.

Cincinnati players previously profiled: QB Desmond Ridder, EDGE Myjai Sanders, CB Ahmad Gardner

Auburn (17) at South Carolina 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Smoke Monday, Safety, Auburn (Senior)

6-foot-1, 200 pounds

Auburn's best NFL draft prospect is CB Roger McCreary (who I previously profiled) but his secondary running mate safety Smoke Monday is a legitimate playmaker. He has the positional range to play in a split zone scheme, as a deep defender, over the slot in coverage, and in the box.

Monday has NFL range, above-average acceleration and impressive closing speed. Combine that with his plus instincts, and he finds himself around the ball a lot. In his career, including two as a starter, Monday has three interceptions returned for a touchdown, including this pick-six against Alabama’s Mac Jones.

Monday also shows excellent technique when tackling and isn’t afraid to throw his shoulder into the mix. That intensity when physicality is required also shows up on special teams where he can be a four-phase contributor in the NFL.

Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina (Senior)

6-foot-4, 260 pounds

Enagbare has great speed to power, but he wins by chasing down the ball carrier with his non-stop motor, as opposed to being a quick-twitch athlete. He has the size and length NFL teams covet, and his pass-rushing toolbox is increasing, which points to him not yet reaching his development ceiling. While most of his snaps come with his hand in the dirt, Enagbare has experience standing up and dropping into coverage, which will appeal to the Lions.

Arizona St. @ Oregon St. at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Jermayne Lole, defensive tackle, Arizona State (Senior)

6-foot-1, 305 pounds

Lole is a tick undersized defensive tackle who uses his first step quickness and low center of gravity to gain leverage and create pressure. He has the power to take on and defeat double teams, is strong against the run, finishes tackles with violence, and has the instincts to sniff out screens as well as predict the movement of the ball. He has the positional range to play the 0-to-3-technique, and stylistically reminds me of slightly less athletic Alim McNeill.

Arizona State players previously profiled: QB Jayden Daniels.

Jaydon Grant, Safety, Oregon St. (Redshirt junior)

6-foot-0, 193 pounds

Grant has corner-like coverage skills in the slot, using instincts and athleticism to put himself in proper positions to make plays. He’s not a burner and is a bit undersized for the position in he NFL, but he is smart and has enough developmental skills to warrant a draft selection. The real question will be, will he jump to the NFL and likely be a Day 3 pick, or will he return to Oregon State to try and further develop his skill set?