Another team fell from the ranks of the undefeated as Oklahoma lost to Baylor. Expect no
changes at the top of the national rankings, but several highly rated NFL Draft prospects continue to impress NFL scouts and turn heads. This week’s risers included a pair of players from the state of Mississippi and two prospects from the Mountain West. Here are the risers and sliders for Week 11 with our 2022 NFL Draft Stock Report.
2022 NFL Draft Stock Report: Risers from Week 11
Whose draft stock rose the most in Week 11 of the college football season?
Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
There’s been talk Charles Cross could end up as a first-round pick if he enters the 2022 NFL Draft and I’ve confirmed both — Cross is getting first-round grades from several scouts, and his present intentions include entering the draft. And while some could argue Cross is rough around the edges and needs work on his game, no one can deny his upside.
The redshirt sophomore did his part during the Bulldogs’ stunning comeback victory over Auburn. Cross controlled Tigers pass rusher Colby Wooden throughout the contest, holding him without a sack. Area scouts question whether Cross has the arm length to stay at left tackle in the NFL, but he definitely has the size, agility, and movement skills to play in the NFL.
Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss
While everyone raves about the Rebels’ high-scoring offense, the team’s defense has made major strides this season. Sam Williams has been a catalyst in the improvement and presently leads the unit in tackles for loss (13), sacks (10), and hurries (6). He’s an athletic edge rusher who can stand over tackle or come out of a three-point stance.
Williams is agile enough to make plays in backside pursuit and was a constant nuisance during the Rebels’ victory over Texas A&M on Saturday when he faced the talented left side of the Aggies’ offensive line. Off-the-field issues have raised red flags for some, but no one denies Williams is a terrific pass rusher with an ever-improving game.
Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State
Opinions in the scouting community were mixed on Rachaad White before the season. Some graded the senior as a fringe seventh-rounder, while others had him as a Day 2 selection. After a solid start to the season, White has been brilliant the past two weeks and looks every bit a top-100 pick. The running back has literally carried the ASU offense the past two games and was the dominant factor during their comeback victory over Washington on Saturday.
White finished with 184 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns on 32 carries and added 5 receptions for 53 yards. His totals the prior week included 202 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns as Arizona State thrashed USC. White is a better version of former Sun Devil running back Eno Benjamin, who is now assisting the Arizona Cardinals’ offense.
Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
The Cowboys lost a tough game to conference foe Boise State, and their chances for a postseason berth took a hit. Yet, the team’s top NFL prospect, linebacker Chad Muma, was once again the best player on the field. Muma finished the contest with 14 tackles and one-half tackle for loss. It was the ninth game this season Muma registered double-digit tackles — his best tally thus far.
The senior is an imposing defender playing with both instincts and intensity. He quickly locates the ball handler, flows to the action, and defeats blocks on his way to make the tackle. Muma is better moving forward than in reverse and has limitations in coverage, but he will be a solid Day 3 pick who can line up at middle or inside linebacker on Sunday.
Dontae Bull, OT, Fresno State
When discussing next-level prospects from the Fresno State program, the name of Jake Haener is the first usually mentioned. Nonetheless, while the quarterback has improved his draft stock this season, Dontae Bull is the top Fresno State prospect on my board.
The senior is built and plays to his name. Measuring 6’6″, 335 pounds with super long arms, Bull is a powerhouse who consistently dominates opponents from his left tackle spot. He’s strong, fundamentally sound, and plays smart football. Bull lacks the footwork and agility to stay at left tackle in the NFL, but he projects as a strongside blocker and should slot into the sixth round next year.
Sleeper Prospect | Marques Cox, OT, Northern Illinois
Marques Cox is a prospect I’ve graded as draftable the past two seasons, and he continues to impress. He’s an agile left tackle who moves well and easily slides off the edge. Fundamentally sound, Cox is fluid getting to the second level and shows ability blocking in motion. He must get stronger and improve his blocking balance, but Cox comes with terrific upside for a zone-blocking scheme in the NFL.
Small-School Prospect | Nick Zakelj, OT, Fordham
Nick Zakelj is a prospect who jumped on my radar at the end of the 2019 season. He played well during the 2021 spring season and has been even better this fall. Zakelj is a tall, thick-bodied left tackle who displays good footwork off the edge and outstanding fundamentals. He did a great job against Nebraska earlier this season and has shown continual improvement in his game.
Zakelj needs to get a bit stronger and learn to finish blocks, which should come once he enters an NFL weight training program. Scouts initially graded Zakelj as a street free agent but have since reversed course, and the small-school blocker is now justifiably receiving middle-round grades.
Week 11 Sliders
As much as we like to focus on the positive side of things, not every prospect rises through the ranks. Who slid down in Week 11 and possibly affected their draft stock?
Nick Ford, OL, Utah
The Utes have been on a run recently, but their starting center has not lived up to expectations. Coming into the season, Nick Ford was graded by some scouts as a second-round prospect, but he’s shown minimal improvement in his game. In many aspects, he’s regressed on the field. Ford is a nice athlete with good size, but he needs to transition from athletic prospect to football player.