The Kansas City Chiefs are in the midst of a playoff push. Having won four games in a row and having their future fate mostly in their own control will likely keep this team highly focused. At the same time, there are many potential 2022 NFL Draft prospects to focus on this weekend that could become future Chiefs.
There are plenty of stakes on the line in this weekend’s college football landscape. Some teams are looking to achieve their goal of winning their conference championship. Meanwhile, other teams are looking to make one final statement that could help them finish as a top four team and make it to the College Football Playoff.
For this weekend, we will be listing ten total players worth keeping an eye on. That will once again include wide receivers, defensive ends and defensive backs. Like our prospect watchlist names from last week, some names may be household ones to die hard football and NFL draft niks. Others could be new names for people to learn about, or players who are flying under the radar.
Pac 12 Championship
Mykael Wright- Oregon
Kickoff: Friday, December 3, 8:00 pm ET on ABC
Oregon Ducks cornerback Mykael Wright exudes top flight athleticism. He does not always play with consistent technique in coverage, possibly leaning on that athleticism a bit too much. Nonetheless, Wright works efficiently when guarding receivers and playing the ball when it is in the air.
He has consistently shown that he can flip and open his hips quickly, while gaining depth. The quick downhill twitch and trigger that Wright provides allows him to gain more leverage against opposing wide receivers. On the other hand, Wright has been routinely successful in run support. He could stand to clean up his hand placements and get his eyes up earlier in coverage. But, his competitiveness and mental toughness is exactly what you would want to build off of at the cornerback position.
Big 12 Championship
Jalen Pitre- Baylor
Opponent: Oklahoma State
Kickoff: Saturday, December 4, Noon ET on ABC
Jalen Pitre plays the STAR position in the Baylor Bears defense. Not a smaller prospect per se, but he plays much bigger than his size (Six foot, 198 pounds). Pitre has been used in a hybrid safety/linebacker role, while also receiving opportunities to play snaps near the line of scrimmage.
As someone who can play over the top, this defender provides tremendous instincts and patience in pass coverage. Pitre works through traffic, deciphers urgently and flies downhill at a rapid pace against quick passes or against the run. His ball skills and nose for the football are sneakily good as well. In a defense like Kansas City’s, Pitre could transition quickly, given that he has already worn multiple hats in Baylor’s defense.
American Athletic Championship
Logan Hall- Houston
Kickoff: Saturday, December 4, 4:00 pm ET on ABC
Logan Hall possesses two vital things that Steve Spagnuolo looks for when building his defensive line. That would be length and heavy hands. Hall is still learning how to use those attributes to his advantage. Transitioning into using his strength more often at the point of attack will be much needed at the NFL level. However, his versatility could allow him more freedom on how he goes about reducing rush angles and attacking opposing blockers.
Hall has led Houston’s defense with many stops in the opposing backfield with the tools that are much more polished. He can surprise ball carriers with his closing burst. Meanwhile, his agility, mobility and change of direction skills allow Hall to cover ground quickly and catch opponents from behind just as often as making plays in the backfield.
Coby Bryant- Cincinnati
Kickoff: Saturday, December 4, 4:00 pm ET on ABC
A lot of focus on the Cincinnati defense, specifically at cornerback, goes toward Ahmad Gardner. Rightfully so, as Gardner is set to be one of the first cornerbacks drafted this upcoming April. There is another Cincinnati cornerback that is just as capable of becoming a dominant threat at the NFL level.
Coby Bryant is a ballhawk who provides airtight coverage and an aggressive nature. He is quick to recognize play flow and has the range to catch up if need be, when getting turned in coverage. Maintaining better balance has been a work in progress. Though, Bryant has provided steady ball production. He has 35 pass breakups, nine interceptions and four forced fumbles already in his college career.
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John Metchie III and Jameson Williams- Alabama
Kickoff: Saturday, December 4, 4:00 pm ET on CBS
I’ve admittedly been a bit lower compared to others on John Metchie III and have been wanting to see more consistency. His late season push was certainly better than the start of the 2021 campaign. Where Metchie III wins is with technically refined route running, a tremendous understanding of angles, how to adjust his attack against certain techniques and with his spatial awareness. The way in which he baits defensive backs into biting on certain moves helps him immensely.
There are a few things that Metchie III has not been able to fully work on inside the Alabama offense. He has not seen a ton of press coverage, which could change this Saturday against Georgia. Yet, Metchie III has struggled to consistently fight through contact at the line of scrimmage and release cleanly off the snap. The results in contested catch situations have been largely hit or miss as well.
On the other hand, Jameson Williams transferred from Ohio State. Most players do not transfer to Alabama to receive more playing time. What a benefit that decision was for both Williams and the Crimson Tide offense. His impressive speed puts fear into opponents at all three levels of the field. Williams appears to be more advanced than he began the season in terms of field vision, his understanding of counters during the route and not getting thrown off balance during the route too early. The amount of explosive plays that Williams has hit on would be an electric addition to the Chiefs offense with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.
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Travon Walker and Derion Kendrick- Georgia
Kickoff: Saturday, December 4, 4:00 pm ET on CBS
There are plenty of credible options to choose from the one of a kind Georgia defense. Today, we will focus on a defensive end and a cornerback. Even though he will likely stay as a true defensive end at the NFL level, Travon Walker provides noticeable versatility. He can rush the passer from both a stand up position or with his hand in the dirt. Meanwhile, Walker moves around the defensive front. Where he wins the most as a pass rusher starts with his explosive get off. Walker also has a great understanding of how to convert speed to power.
Derion Kendrick is a former wide receiver, so his ball skills and nose for the football are understandably some of his more polished tools. The transfer from Clemson to Georgia is still working to better refine his read and reaction skills. Recognizing where offenses are trying to attack and reading the opposing wide receiver’s tendencies earlier have been points that I have been watching for. Overall, his comfort level and patience in coverage has improved at Georgia, as Kendrick has been allowed more freedom to sit and pounce in zone coverage. The amount of man coverage reps he ran at Clemson resulted in a more high variance track record.
Big Ten Championship
Daxton Hill- Michigan
Kickoff: Saturday, December 4, 8:00 pm ET on FOX
Daxton Hill can thrive as a free safety that moves around the defensive formation. The Michigan defender has a rare combination of tackling prowess, long speed, range and ball skills. Where Hill has flown under the radar a bit, is with how well he has done in man coverage.
He attacks opposing receivers violently at the catch point. This physicality can leave opponents punished and leads them to become more hesitant when running over the middle of the field. Hill also possesses a motor that is almost too hot at times. You see him flash to high point balls and snatch it away from the receiver’s grasp. At the same time, Hill will have to learn how to better control his arms and hands to stay away from becoming too grabby. I’d rather take a player that is over excited than timid at the safety position, nevertheless.
Jaquarii Roberson- Wake Forest
Kickoff: Saturday, December 4, 8:00 pm ET on ABC
Wake Forest’s Jaquarii Roberson has primarily won from the slot in the Demon Deacons offense. He is not your traditional slot receiver, necessarily. Roberson has the capabilities to win on the outside. His ability to sink his hips and get in and out of breaks sufficiently is crucial for a longer, bigger wide receiver.
Meanwhile, Roberson makes everything look slow around him when hauling in a pass. This means that his ability to adjust and provide a softer body control will almost result in him making even faster defenders look slower around him. On top of that, Roberson has shown that he can consistently fight through contact and display strong hands at the catch point.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs articles throughout this week. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.
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