This truly is the best time of the year.
With the college football season continuing and the NFL back in full swing, we have reached the point where fall is right around the corner and expectations for teams become realized. In terms of the NCAA, we had another great week of games. Alabama and Florida battled to the wire, Matt Corral hung a sixty-burger on Tulane, and the University of Oregon defeated Stony Brook 48-7 (it’s a Long Island thing).
We saw some great performances, yet some specific players continued to disappoint over the weekend. Check out this week’s stock report for some of the most noteworthy NFL Draft prospects down below!
STOCK UP: S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
I don’t know what terminology to use for Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. He was already one of the best players regardless of position in the nation before the 2021 season even started, so maybe being able to improve his stock isn’t as “hard” as it is “ridiculously impressive.”
For all of the struggles that Notre Dame has endured in the early parts of the year, Hamilton has been the brightest ray of sunshine for the Fighting Irish. He’s on pace to set a career-high in total tackles and averages at least one interception per game, including a beautiful pick against Purdue last Saturday.
Quite possibly the most impressive secondary prospect since Sean Taylor, Hamilton rarely plays a snap at less than 100% effort while still displaying his remarkable athleticism, range, instincts, and ball skills.
A big matchup is on deck for ND when they host the Wisconsin Badgers this week - a game that the Irish are currently six-point underdogs in. Regardless of the result of that game, one thing is sure: Kyle Hamilton will be a factor. He’s a legit top-5 talent in the 2022 NFL Draft class.
STOCK DOWN: The Clemson Offense
I’m sure most of us didn’t expect current Clemson starting QB D.J. Uiagalelei to turn into Trevor Lawrence overnight, and the loss of Travis Etienne isn’t easy to replace at all either. Still, this Clemson offense does not look good at all.
Uiagalelei is not draft-eligible until 2023, but he hasn't looked comfortable in the slightest through the first three weeks of the 2021 season. The same guy who filled in for Trevor Lawrence and almost beat Notre Dame in his first career start last season is not the same player we’re seeing now.
In terms of the guys who are draft eligible on the Tigers’ offense, the biggest name is Justyn Ross, who is coming off a severe neck injury and had doubts if he would ever play football again.
Outside of the concerns NFL teams will have due to that major scare, he’s looked slow, and his route running has taken a big step back. The offensive line as a whole has been horrible, and other pass catchers such Braden Galloway, Frank Ladson, and Joseph Ngata haven’t made much of an impact at all.
Not only is this a concern in terms of NFL Draft status for a lot of these players, but for Clemson’s hopes to get back into the College Football Playoff as well. Hopefully, Tony Elliot can turn the ship around.
STOCK UP: WR Wandale Robinson, Kentucky
These Kentucky Wildcats this year look frisky. Headed by a solid defense and the emerging quarterback play of Will Levis, UK looks like they might give their basketball team a run for its money for the best sports team at the university.
One guy who has taken the leap that many had been hoping for and expected is Nebraska-transfer wide receiver Wandale Robinson.
Use primarily as a hybrid tailback/receiver gadget guy during his first couple of years for the Cornhuskers, the Kentucky offense has allowed his game to open up tremendously.
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A great athlete who excels after the catch, Robinson’s yards-per-catch has jumped from 9.0 in 2021 to more than double that through three games in 2021 (18.7). His best position was always as a slot receiver, and he’s been using his improved route-running and excellent athleticism to become arguably the best player on Kentucky’s offense so far.
This praise may be a little premature as of this point, but he kind of gives off a little bit of an Elijah Moore vibe in terms of draft hype and play style. Hopefully, he continues his great play because he’s been super exciting to watch.
STOCK DOWN: IOL Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama
The Alabama Crimson Tide have long been known for having outstanding offensive linemen. It has often been one of the main cogs to their success over the past twenty or so years. While they certainly have many talented players this year, including projected top-10 pick Evan Neal, one spot has been somewhat of a weak spot for Nick Saban’s squad.
Ekiyor is an undersized right guard who has had some consistency issues so far in 2021, specifically in dealing with power and his timing. He was charged with four pressures allowed against Florida this past Saturday and has also been called for multiple false start penalties in the young season.
Ekiyor is a very sound pass blocker with good technique. Still, despite the ideal frame to maintain solid leverage on the line, he looks a little weaker than last year, which is very concerning for an already smaller interior lineman. He may be better off staying for his senior year in 2022 and focusing on adding more strength because, frankly, he looks like hair lost out there recently.
STOCK DOWN: CB Nehemiah Pritchett, Auburn
Staying in the SEC, we go to the defensive side of the ball to look at a cornerback who received some decent hype as a potential Day 2 draft selection next spring but has dealt with his inconsistency and overall struggles in 2021.
Nehemiah Pritchett was supposed to be a Carlton Davis-level cornerback for the Auburn Tigers, and he still has a chance to improve! However, the same issues that arose on his 2020 tape have surfaced so far in 2021. Despite having great size for an outside cornerback, Pritchett fails to be physical through the route that the receiver he’s covering is running.
Ideally, you want him as a pure man coverage corner. Still, despite his stickiness and athletic traits that allow him to match well, he’s not at that level as a playmaker as you would expect (zero interceptions + pass breakups this season). Throw in a few defensive pass interference calls as well, and Pritchett may need another year of seasoning as well before heading to the big leagues.
STOCK UP: LB Chad Muma, Wyoming
We end this week's article going to the Rocky Mountains to check out a linebacker prospect who is beginning to shoot up boards thanks to his sensational play so far this season.
The Wyoming Cowboys have begun their 2021 season 3-0, and a large part of their success can be attributed to their defense. The best played on said defense is junior Chad Muma, a former 3-star safety from Colorado who has transformed into the leader of this defense.
Muma has had an unbelievable start through the team's first trio of games, totaling 33 tackles, one sack, and two interceptions - one of which was a pick-six.
He has the highest PFF grade of any linebacker in the nation at 91.6, and here’s the most intriguing part of his game--his coverage ability. Muma isn’t an athletic specimen, but he’s solid enough with fantastic instincts.
He does a good job reading the offense and takes sharp and efficient angles to the ball carrier. With how great his play has been this year, Muma looks like he could develop in a potential Day 2 prospect at the position for the 2022 NFL Draft.
- College Football Stock Report: Risers and Fallers from Week 2
- College Football Stock Report: Risers and Fallers from Week 1
- 2021 NCAA Scouting Series: Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Prospects
- 2021 NCAA Scouting Series: Big Ten Conference Offensive Prospects
- 2021 NCAA Scouting Series: Big 12 Conference Offensive Prospects
- 2021 NCAA Scouting Series: Pac-12 Conference Offensive Prospects
- 2021 NCAA Scouting Series: SEC Offensive Prospects
- 2021 NCAA Scouting Series: ACC Defensive Prospects
- 2021 NCAA Scouting Series: Big 12 Defensive Prospects
- 2021 NCAA Scouting Series: SEC Defensive Prospects
- 2021 NCAA Scouting Series: Big Ten Defensive Prospects
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