There are five games across the college football landscape featuring two teams ranked within the top 25, but there are also some new teams in the spotlight. This week is more about some of the other talented but unheralded teams rather than College Football Playoff contenders. With an eye on the 2022 NFL Draft, it’s time to take a look at which prospects you’ll want to keep an eye on.
No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 12 Baylor
Saturday, Nov. 13 at 12 p.m. ET on FOX
Oklahoma obviously has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. At running back, the Sooners are led by Kennedy Brooks and Eric Gray. The front seven on defense features Isaiah Thomas, Nik Bonitto, Brian Asamoah and Perrion Winfrey, among others. Thomas has been really impressive this season. He has powerful hands and a bag of tricks to apply pressure on the quarterback.
Baylor has a lot of speed and versatility on defense. Safety Jalen Pitre is a player capable of fulfilling many roles and he plays them all with a tenacious spirit. Linebacker Terrel Bernard is a bit undersized but he flies around the football field making plays. Those two are second and third on the team in tackles respectively.
No. 17 Mississippi State at No. 13 Auburn
Saturday, Nov. 13 at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN
Mississippi State’s Charles Cross is gaining steam as the second best offensive tackle prospect behind Alabama’s Evan Neal. Cross has reached the threshold of top 10 overall prospect in the eyes of some. The Mississippi native is just a sophomore.
Auburn’s secondary is loaded with NFL talent. Roger McCreary seemingly improves each week and that has led some to include him among first round projections. His counterpart, Nehemiah Pritchett, is long but has had limited ball production. Safety Smoke Monday also has his supporters in the draft community.
Defensive lineman Colby Wooden is tied for the team lead in sacks. He has the size to play on the edge or condense inside depending upon the situation.
No. 20 Minnesota at No. 22 Iowa
Saturday, Nov. 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network
Coming into the season, it was massive offensive tackle Daniel Faalele warranting the most discussion along that Minnesota offensive line. As the year has progressed, center John Michael Schmitz might have bypassed him. Edge rushers Boye Mafe and Esezi Otomewo have very different skillsets, but each has an NFL future.
Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum is the crown jewel of the Hawkeyes’ roster. He is the unquestioned top center prospect. The only factor working against his favor is positional value. Dating back to 2000, the highest that a center has been taken is No. 18 overall: Garrett Bradbury and Ryan Kelly both had that honor. Tight end Sam LaPorta leads the team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He has great size for the position.
No. 14 Texas A&M at No. 16 Ole Miss
Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
Texas A&M is among the most talented teams in the nation. Kenyon Green has a cup of tea at offensive tackle but he has since moved back to his more natural position, left guard, and the results are expectedly positive. Defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal has shown the flexibility to play on the edge or condense inside depending upon the situation. Tight end Jalen Wydermyer is an athletic specimen who leads the team in receiving yards.
Isaiah Spiller is a versatile back capable of making an impact on the ground or through the air. Ainias Smith, on the other hand, is smaller in stature but no less dual-capable. He leads the team in receptions and receiving touchdowns. Finally, safety Demani Richardson is a physical player more comfortable playing downhill.
Ole Miss’ Matt Corral has asserted himself as one of the two best quarterback prospects available in the 2022 NFL Draft. As the conductor of Lane Kiffin’s offense, Corral has shown quick and improved decision-making. A year ago, he threw 29 touchdowns compared to 14 interceptions (2.07:1 TD-INT ratio). In 2021, he has an 8:1 TD-INT ratio. His moments pushing the ball down the field have been inspiring.
Offensive tackle Nick Broeker, running back Jerrion Ealy, A.J. Finley and wide receiver Dontario Drummond are other talented prospects on that roster. Edge rusher Sam Williams leads Ole Miss with 10.5 of its 34 sacks.
No. 19 N.C. State at No. 9 Wake Forest
Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ACC Network
N.C. State’s Ikem Ekwonu has endeared himself to the pass protection community this season. Ekwonu was one of the country’s best run blockers coming into the year but he has shown improvement in the other category. The lineman is capable of sticking at tackle or moving inside to guard.
The rushing duo of Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person Jr. have been fantastic this year leading to a balanced offensive attack alongside quarterback Devin Leary.
Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman has played sensational this season but it is his pass catchers — Donovan Greene and Jaquarii Roberson — catching the NFL’s eyes. Greene was lost for the season in July with an injury. Offensive tackle Zach Tom has a good frame and has been a consistent performer for the Demon Deacons.
The full slate of Week 11 college football games can be found at CBSSports.com!