2022 NFL Draft: 14 College Players to Watch In Week 5

by Pat Pryor
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It’s another week of college football, and we have some loaded matchups this weekend! This means big ramifications when it comes to the 2022 NFL Draft, so we cover who you need to watch this weekend:


Matt Corral, Ole Miss

Corral will be taking on the toughest game of his season, and likely his career, against a loaded Alabama team. Averaging over 330 yards and 3 touchdowns a game, he’s led Ole Miss to a 3-0 record and the No. 12 ranking so far. Without a consensus number one, Corral has stirred up talk about possibly ending up as the top quarterback. This week is an enormous test for him. He’s an athletic quarterback with a very nice arm. It’s unlikely that the Rebels win, but if Corral has a good game, it could mean a lot for his 2022 NFL Draft stock which is already on the rise.

Running Back

Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky

Speaking of big games, Rodriguez and the Wildcats take on No. 10 Florida this week. Sitting at 4-0, Rodriguez has led Kentucky with a potent rushing attack. He has rushed for 520 yards on 85 attempts, averaging 6.0 yards per carry. He’s a dangerous runner, who combines contact balance, speed, and patience. He’s rarely been used in the passing game before, but has seen a bump this year. A good game against the Gators would certainly help improve his case as a top running back option in April.

Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State

Walker is a former Wake Forest running back who should be in for a big game this week against Western Kentucky University. He’ll be facing another member of this list in DeAngelo Malone, who is a formidable force. However, aside from Malone, WKU is lacking in run defense. Walker is fighting amongst a group of talented backs for a spot in the 2022 NFL Draft, and this game could mean a lot when it comes to if his name will be called. He’s off to by far his best season yet, almost breaking his career high in rushing in just three games. He’s exploded onto the scene so far, and just has to show he can keep it up.

Wide Receiver

Ty Fryfogle, Indiana

Another week, another awesome name on the players to watch list. Fryfogle on an NFL jersey will look great. He’ll greatly increase the amount of teams who want that name on their jersey this week with a good showing against No. 4 Penn State. He has a great catch radius, and can grab anything headed his way. He’ll be challenged by a Penn State team that doesn’t give up a lot on defense, but if he can perform, it will be yet another accolade to his already impressive resume.

David Bell, Purdue

Despite Rondale Moore’s injuries in 2019 and 2020, the Boilermakers could always count on their number two receiver in Bell. Now that Moore was drafted to the Cardinals, Bell is a clear-cut number one, and he’s performing like one. In 4 games, he 21 receptions for 319 yards. He has an innate ability to get the ball into his hands and shows it on every rep. Purdue faces a test against Minnesota, which will prepare them for an even tougher game against No. 5 Iowa next week. If Bell can play well, he could be drafted even higher than former teammate Moore was in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Tight End

Charlie Kolar, Iowa State

Kolar has been one of the most consistently productive receiving options of the entire game during his college career. He’s a receiving threat and no slouch when it comes to blocking. He’s racked up 119 receptions 1,599 yards and 18 touchdowns. One of Brock Purdy’s favorite targets, expect to see Kolar a lot this weekend in what should be a big offensive game for the Cyclones against Kansas.

Offensive Line

Jarret Patterson (IOL), Notre Dame

A reliable center can be a hot commodity to find, but Norte Dame got one with Patterson. He’s a physical center who plays with a high motor. He’s got a large frame and knows how to use it well. He’ll be featured in one of the best games of the week, as No. 9 Notre Dame faces No. 7 Cincinnati. If they want to have an effective offense, the Fighting Irish will look to Patterson and company.

Logan Bruss (OT), Wisconsin

Bruss combines both experience and versatility, as he has 25 starts and has played both guard and tackle. He’s a very smart player who has nice length, especially for the guard position. This week, the Badgers look to bounce back against No. 14 Michigan after falling to 1-2. With Graham Mertz having a very rocky start to the season, Bruss and the line will need to keep him safe if Wisconsin hopes to upset the Wolverines.


DJ Dale, Alabama

It’s not often that Alabama gets faced with a real challenge during the regular season, but this week they face the aforementioned Ole’ Miss Rebels. Dale is part of a defense that will see many players get drafted. He can disrupt the quarterback and halt the run. He won’t be the top Crimson Tide prospect, but a good game this weekend will help him for 2022 NFL draft.


DeAngelo Malone, Western Kentucky

In Downtown Rams’ first mock draft of the season, Malone was projected as a seventh round pick for the Rams, but he’s obviously looking to be picked much higher. Coincidentally, this week Malone heads into his biggest game of the season against 17th ranked Michigan State. It’s hard to debate that Malone is of, if not the best, players in the C-USA. He’s dominated FCS competition and can always be found in the backfield, with 26.5 career sacks. If he can keep up his level of play against Michigan State, that will help his stock in the 2022 NFL Draft.


Owen Pappoe, Auburn

Another selection in DTR’s first mock draft, Pappoe was a third round selection. He is a versatile linebacker, who can drop back in pass coverage or rush the quarterback. With 157 career tackles and 6 sacks, he is a productive linebacker that any team can use. This week, Auburn is in for a battle with LSU, as they look to stay in the top 25. Pappoe will hope to set the pace on defense and hold off the other Tigers.


Andrew Booth Jr, Clemson

Booth, Derek Stingley Jr, and Kaiir Elam are locked in a heated battle for the number one cornerback position in the draft. Booth and Clemson were sent reeling last week after a loss to NC State saw them drop 15 spots to No. 25. Despite Clemson’s struggle, the junior continues his impressive play. Booth is an incredibly talented athlete, and it can be seen in every part of his game. Now hoping to prevent freefall, Booth and the Tigers are looking to bounce back against Boston College.

Martin Emerson, Mississippi State

In yet another great matchup in this loaded week, Emerson and Mississippi State take on No .15 Texas A&M. Both teams are coming off big losses. Emerson is a dominant zone corner with fantastic physical tools. He’s been flying up draft boards this season, and shows no signs of slowing down. He’s got fantastic upside, and will get more recognition if he’s able to have a good game against A&M this week.


Brandon Joseph, Northwestern

One of the most productive defensive backs in college football, Joseph racked up 52 tackles and 6 interceptions while being named first-team All-American last year. He’s a physical safety with great reaction speed and an ability to hone in on the ball. Now facing the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Joseph and Northwestern have a tough task, but they may be able to pull of the upset. If they can, expect Joseph to be at the center of it on the defensive side.

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