2022 NFL Draft: 14 College Football Players to Watch in Week 3

by Pat Pryor
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It’s hard to believe that it’s been three weeks since the college football season kicked off, but it has. It’s gone by in a blur and now we’re into the thick of it. We’ve got some great games coming up this week, and you’ll need to know who to watch for the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Quarterback

Jayden Daniels, Arizona State

Daniels has started out the year fairly well, but really has a chance to step up this week. He’s leading the No. 19 Sun Devils into what could be the best matchup of the week against 23rd ranked BYU. With an O/U of 50, it’s bound to be electric. The junior has high level poise in the pocket and a natural ability on the ground. Jumped from 2.8 to 6.8 yards per carry from 2019 to 2020, and has averaged 8.7 in his two games this year. He’s a fun quarterback to watch, and in for a big test against BYU.

Running Back

Tyler Goodson, Iowa

Goodson and Iowa proved they were legit against Iowa State, as they won 27-17 and knocked the rival Cyclones down five spots in the rankings to 14. Goodson rushed 21 times for 55 yards and scored Iowa’s first touchdown to take the lead in the second quarter, which they never relinquished. Now Goodson takes on Kent State, and should be in for a much better day, as he had to fight hard against the stout Iowa State defense.

Wide Receivers

Khalil Shakir, Boise State

Off to a productive start in 2021, Shakir has hauled in 12 catches for 257 yards and 2 touchdowns. Oklahoma State is coming off two wins, but will be challenged against Boise State, and Khalil Shakir is one of the most dangerous weapons they can face. He’s always a threat to break off big gains and score. In another talented wide receiver class, Shakir could be a hot commodity when the 2022 NFL Draft comes. 

John Metchie III, Alabama

The last time that Alabama faced a ranked team from Florida, Metchie had 6 receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown in a 44-13 victory. Now taking on the Florida Gators, Metchie will play a central role for what they hope to be a dominant Crimson Tide victory. He’s a dangerous deep threat with the ability to consistently create separation. He tears off big chunks of yardager and will try to do that against a defense who has only let up 17 points per game so far in the season. 

Tight End

Cole Turner, Nevada

Turner is part of a very talented skill group on offense for the Wolf Pack. With him, Elijah Cooks, and Romeo Doubs (who was touched on last week) catching passes from Carson Strong, it’s a nightmare for opposing defenses. They’ll try to challenge Kansas State this week. In the teams first ever matchup, Turner will hope to use his scoring ability to set Nevada apart. 

Offensive Line

Dohnovan West (IOL), Arizona State

Protecting the aforementioned Daniels will be West, a first-team All-Pac 12 guard. He has started every game at Arizona State, and played along all of the interior of the offensive line. Currently playing at center, he’s a gifted athlete and talented lineman. In one of Arizona State’s top games of the year, he’ll look to put up a good game and improve his 2022 NFL Draft stock. 

Rasheed Walker (OT), Penn State

Walker is an experienced left tackle with 22 starts. Standing at 6’6” and 330 pounds, he is highly athletic. Making the All-Big 10 third team last year, he’s an accomplished and experienced player. Now Penn State takes on No. 22 Auburn in primetime, where Walker will face talented defenders like Zakoby McClain. If he can keep up his quality play, he’ll continue to make a name for himself. 

Interior Defensive Line

Phidarian Mathis, Alabama

Alabama’s defensive line, despite losing Christian Barmore, is incredibly talented. Phidarian (known as Phil) Mathis, pairs with DJ Dale and Justin Eboigbe to make up a line that starts three players who should all hear their names called in the 2022 NFL Draft. Mathis loves to push back multiple lineman, and becomes a force to be reckoned with. Against Florida, the Gators line will struggle to keep Mathis and his group away from Emory Jones. 

Edge

Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina

Enagbare is a versatile end with next level athleticism. In just over three years, he has 80 tackles, 12.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. He took a big jump in 2020, and has since established himself as a quality edge prospect for the draft. Now he takes on No. 2 Georgia in what will be South Carolina’s toughest matchup of the year. While the chances are incredibly slim, if South Carolina is to pull off the upset, they’ll need Enagbare consistently in the backfield.

Brenton Cox, Florida

Cox is an exciting prospect who plays strong and with a high motor on every snap. He’ll be battling top tackle prospect Evan Neal when the Gators take on Alabama. It could be the most talented player to player matchup of the week. If Cox can prove himself against Neal, NFL teams will definitely take notice.

Linebackers

James Patterson, Buffalo

Despite Buffalo losing 28-3 against Nebraska last week, Patterson racked up 12 tackles, bringing his two game total to 18. He’s a solid linebacker in both the run game and pass defense. Currently, Buffalo is only scheduled to play one ranked team, Coastal Carolina this week. There’s significant linebacker talent in the 2022 NFL Draft, so this game is a premier chance to to help his stock.

Brandon Smith, Penn State

Three players on this list hail from the Penn State vs Auburn matchup, the most of any game. Brandon Smith could be a difference maker in the matchup. Both defenses have played exceptionally thus far, and Smith has led Penn State with 15 total tackles. He’ll look to continue his hot start in one of Penn State’s biggest games this season.

Defensive Backs

Avery Young (CB), Rutgers

While Rutgers doesn’t produce a ton of talent, they had two defensive backs drafted on the third day of the 2019 draft. Young has a significant chance to shake things up and get drafted in a higher position for the Scarlet Knights. Against Syracuse last week, he had 7 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. He is an intriguing prospect who will try to make a splash as Rutgers looks to start 3-0. 

Smoke Monday (S), Auburn

In each of these articles, I touch on one player’s name. Well this is it. You can’t get a cooler name than Smoke. However, he has plenty of talent to go along with his name.. He has quick reactions and loves to come downhill to make the tackle. So far, Auburn has allowed 10 points in their first game followed by a shutout the following week. They hope to keep this defensive energy up against No. 10 Penn State and pull off the upset. 

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