Week 9 of the college football season was full of high-scoring, entertaining affairs. Michigan fell from the ranks of the undefeated after getting dropped by unbeaten Michigan State. Kenny Pickett passed for more than 500 yards, yet Pittsburgh lost to Miami. And Houston beat their interstate rival SMU by a score of 44-37 on a last-second kick return of 100 yards. With that, which 2022 NFL Draft draft stock report changed the most?
2022 NFL Draft Stock Report: Risers from Week 9
Whose draft stock rose the most in Week 9 of the college football season? You’ll notice two prospects from the Michigan-Michigan State slugfest.
Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan State
After three productive seasons at Wake Forest, Kenneth Walker III has taken his game to the next level on several fronts. He’s not only playing in a more competitive conference after transferring to Michigan State, but he’s also dominating the Big Ten. His latest performance was one for the ages: 23 carries for 197 yards and 5 TDs against Michigan, who ranked as the top defense in the conference coming into the game.
Until Saturday, the Wolverines were surrendering just 116 yards rushing and 14 points each game. Walker ran over Wolverine defenders, ran away from them, and created his own yardage when necessary. He must improve his pass-catching productivity, but Walker has made his mark for a running back prospect who came into the season without being graded by scouts.
David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
It’s rare for two players from a single game to be listed as risers, but it was a necessity considering David Ojabo’s play. The explosive pass rusher totaled 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, and forced a fumble during the defeat to rival Michigan State. In eight games this season, Ojabo’s totals include 7 sacks, 7 TFLs, and 3 forced fumbles.
Ojabo is athletic, intense, and fast. He flies up the field, bends off the edge, or chases the action in pursuit. Ojabo’s development has been startling, as he totaled just a single tackle last season after redshirting in 2019. The sky is the limit for the redshirt junior.
Xavier Newman-Johnson, OL, Baylor
One of the more versatile interior offensive linemen from the senior class, Xavier Newman-Johnson is dominating at the center spot this season after lining up at guard in 2020. His blocking helped pave the way for 199 yards rushing during Baylor’s victory over Texas, a defense with solid next-level prospects in their front seven.
Newman-Johnson is a dancing bear of sorts — a short, wide-bodied blocker, but he’s strong on the line and effective in motion. He holds an early sixth-round grade on my board, and the position and scheme versatility Newman-Johnson brings are very appealing.
Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State
Highly rated entering the season, Abraham Lucas has not disappointed scouts this year. During the Cougars’ victory over Arizona State, his blocking helped pave the way for 400 yards of total offense with no sacks given up. Lucas is large, powerful, and leads by example. He possesses all the skills necessary to be a starting right tackle in the NFL.
Charleston Rambo, WR, Miami
Two seasons ago when Jalen Hurts was putting up big numbers at Oklahoma, Charleston Rambo looked like the next big-time receiver prospect on Oklahoma’s roster. After his play fell off last season, Rambo chose a change of scenery, transferring to Miami. Thus far, it’s worked out in his favor, and Rambo has been a pass-catching force for the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes are on a two-game winning streak, and during that time, Rambo has 16 receptions, 228 yards, and 2 TDs. Earlier this season, he caught 12 passes for 156 yards and 2 TDs against undefeated Michigan State. Rambo has nice size (measuring 6-foot-1, 190 pounds) and runs the forty in the 4.4s. He’ll be a solid late-round pick and projects as a fourth receiver in the NFL.
Sleeper Prospect | Cade Hall, EDGE, San Jose State
A Spartan makes the risers list for the second week in a row, though it’s a prospect few talk about. Cade Hall entered the season with a seventh-round grade on my board, and he’s been tearing it up lately. During the victory over Wyoming, he finished with 7 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, and 1 sack.
In the prior game, Hall’s numbers included 6 tackles and a forced fumble against UNLV. He comes with average size (6-foot-3, 268 pounds) and growth potential, but he’s athletic, fast, and very intense. He’ll make a good defensive end in a four-man front.
Small School Prospect | Henry Litwin, WR, Slippery Rock
Scouts will tell you Henry Litwin isn’t even the best next-level receiver prospect at Slippery Rock. They believe it’s Jermaine Wynn, yet Litwin has outperformed his teammate all season.
During Slippery Rock’s 63-21 victory over Gannon on Saturday, Litwin’s stats line read 12 receptions, 127 yards, and 3 TDs. Litwin offers nice size, reliable hands, and he’s a smart wideout who finds the open space in the defense. Litwin will be a good fit for a timing offense as a possession receiver.
Week 9 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 9 and possibly affected their draft stock?
Spencer Petras, QB, Iowa
Entering the season, there were plenty of scouts who gave junior signal-caller Spencer Petras late-round grades. Based on the results, scouts may want to rethink that opinion.
During the Hawkeyes’ defeat at the hands of Wisconsin, Petras completed just 9 of 19 passes for 93 yards. While Petras beat up on lesser competition such as Kent State and Maryland this season, he struggled against Indiana, Purdue, and Penn State. The tall, strong-armed pocket passer has not played well, and it would be a mistake if Petras entered the draft.