College Football Week 1: George Karlaftis impressive, other scouting notes

George Karlaftis and Nakobe Dean were just a couple of 2022 NFL Draft prospects we saw Saturday night during Week 1 college football matchups.

On Saturday evening (September 4), we saw several Week 1 college football matchups that provided an early glimpse at several 2022 NFL Draft prospects. This includes the likes of the Georgia Bulldogs vs. Clemson Tigers, Purdue Boilermakers vs. Oregon State Beavers, and more.

College Football Week 1: Scouting notes from the late Saturday games

While it’s still very early in the season, there are notes we can begin to jot down as we begin the journey to the 2022 NFL Draft. What can we take away from these games? Here are my scouting notes based on several performances.

Purdue DE George Karlaftis

While Oregon State is not a high-powered offense with dominant lineman, Purdue DE George Karlaftis showed why he’s so highly thought of in the scouting community. The Purdue edge rusher was dominant all evening, bull-rushing double-team blocks off the line and consistently penetrating the Beavers’ backfield. Karlaftis also showed a great amount of assignment discipline. He did more than just pin his ears back and rush up the field.

Over the summer, when I gave Karlaftis a second-round grade, area scouts told me he has the potential to ultimately wind up in the top half of Round 1. Though not written in stone, everything I’ve heard since July leads me to believe Karlaftis eventually enters next April’s draft.

Georgia LB Nakobe Dean

Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean looks poised to take the next step. Dean had some terrific moments against Clemson, stacking well against the run or disrupting the action on the blitz. He’s slightly undersized, yet very explosive. Coming into the season, I gave Dean a sixth-round grade, one frame earlier than scouts.

Indiana QB Michael Penix Jr.

The only thing more surprising than how flat Indiana came out against Iowa was how awful Hoosier quarterback Michael Penix Jr. played. Electrifying during much of 2020, I mentioned Penix must develop from a thrower into a passer, and he did nothing to prove he’s moving in that direction during the season opener.

Clemson OT Jordan McFadden

Clemson tackle Jordan McFadden was another player who had a tough Week 1. Making the move from the right side to left tackle, McFadden got torched on several occasions and did his quarterback no favors.

Welcome back, Jake Bentley? Maybe.

There was a time early in his South Carolina career when Jake Bentley was christened as the next franchise quarterback prospect in the college ranks. That was six years ago and Bentley has been well-traveled in his career since, making trips to the South Carolina bench, playing at Utah last year, then landing at South Alabama for his final college season.

On Saturday, he played very well as South Alabama defeated Southern Miss. Bentley completed 17 of 22 passes for 268 yards with 3 touchdowns (2 through the air and 1 rushing). Scouts still have hope for Bentley, who they grade as a priority free agent despite his recent woes.

Tony Pauline is the Chief Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Tony’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter @TonyPauline.