With the 2021 NFL Draft behind us and the college football season around the corner, it’s time to set our eyes on the next group of NFL hopefuls that could be available next April in the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas. As such, it’s time to begin my annual Preseason Summer Scouting series, starting with draft prospects and scouting reports from the Mid-American Conference (MAC).
All of my MAC previews are below. To view my grades and projected draft rounds for MAC draft-eligible prospects, scroll to the end of the article.
2022 MAC Preseason Summer Scouting | Draft prospects to know
Who are the 2022 NFL Draft prospects to watch from each MAC team?
Akron Zips Draft Prospects
It’s been a disastrous situation for Akron on the field and in NFL war rooms. Unfortunately, it’s a situation that won’t change anytime soon.
Chu Ogbonna, CB | Grade: 2.92 | Projected Round: FA
Cornerback Chu Ogbonna is the highest-rated player from Akron on my board, and he’s a potential backup who ranks as an undrafted free agent. He has nice size but comes with an incomplete game.
Michael Scott, LB | Grade: 2.88 | Projected Round: FA
Linebacker Michael Scott showed flashes in 2019 but barely played last year.
Kato Nelson, QB | Grade: 2.65 | Projected Round: FA
I gave quarterback Kato Nelson a UDFA grade last summer, and although he’s a good athlete with an NFL-caliber arm, he really hasn’t shown much progress the past two years. Some scouts presently grade Nelson as a next-level receiver.
Ball State Cardinals Draft Prospects
In a bit of a surprise, Ball State won the MAC title game last December and defeated San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl. None of their NFL prospects currently have a draftable grade, but there are a few to keep an eye on.
Christian Albright, LB | Grade: 3.19 | Projected Round: FA
Christian Albright is a prospect I’ve liked the past two seasons, and he showed improvement in 2020. He’s a fluid pursuit linebacker with next-level instincts and a tough defender who sells out on the blitz. Albright comes with average size and speed but is out of position in Ball State’s 3-4 alignment. Still, he does a little bit of everything well and has a special-teams mentality.
Bryce Cosby, S | Grade: 3.16 | Projected Round: FA
Safety Bryce Cosby is tough, smart, and productive. He is constantly around the ball making positive plays, but he lacks next-level size and speed like Albright. Still, there is a place for Cosby in the NFL.
Amechi Uzodinma II, CB | Grade: 3.15 | Projected Round: FA
Amechi Uzodinma II showed flashes of ability in 2019 but never capitalized last year. He’s a cornerback who struggles making plays with his back to the ball. Uzodinma also does too much thinking rather than reacting.
Drew Plitt, QB | Grade: 3.07 | Projected Round: FA
Drew Plitt is an intelligent, tough, and accurate quarterback who does a great job leading the Ball State offense. That said, he comes with an average arm and would be more of a game manager in the NFL.
Bowling Green Falcons Draft Prospects
Bowling Green had a taste of success with Quintin Morris last season, a tight end who was invited to the Senior Bowl and signed after the draft. However, the cupboard has again run bare for BGSU for next year’s draft.
Karl Brooks, DE | Grade: 2.72 | Projected Round: FA
Defensive end Karl Brooks gets the most from his ability but lacks size, growth potential, and overall athleticism. He could make it as an eighth defensive lineman in a four-man front, but he won’t be drafted.
Buffalo Bulls Draft Prospects
The Las Vegas Raiders drafted Bulls edge rusher Malcolm Koonce in the third round of April’s draft. Koonce was Buffalo’s only selection and the program’s first since 2017.
Kadofi Wright, LB | Grade: 3.35 | Projected Round: 6th
Despite being graded as a free agent by scouts, I think linebacker Kadofi Wright is worth drafting. He’s an athletic linebacker who covers many areas on the field and displays outstanding athleticism. Wright gets terrific depth on pass drops and shows next-level speed in pursuit.
E.J. Brown, S | Grade: 3.14 | Projected Round: FA
E.J. Brown is an explosive safety who shows excellent ball skills and the ability to defend the run. He demonstrates stellar range on the field and has a large upside.
Tyrone Hill, S | Grade: 3.05 | Projected Round: FA
Safety Tyrone Hill is a solid downhill safety who displays a lot of skill between the numbers. He’s efficient stopping the run and covering the pass, but I don’t see huge upside in his game.
Central Michigan Chippewas Draft Prospects
After years of struggling on the field and in NFL war rooms, Central Michigan looks like it may be turning the corner. I give two CMU players draftable grades — another pair could move into the late rounds.
Willie Reid, S | Grade: 3.41 | Projected Round: 5th
Junior Willie Reid is an impactful safety who patrols center field, intimidating receivers who challenge his space. He has no issue laying out ball carriers as he fires up the field. I love Reid’s size and upside and expect big things from him in 2021.
LaQuan Johnson, DE | Grade: 3.30 | Projected Round: 6th-7th
Defensive end LaQuan Johnson had a great season as a freshman and was a consistent nuisance for opposing quarterbacks. Yet, last season, he barely saw playing time. He’s explosive and shows natural pass-rushing skills, but he needs to fill out physically and continually improve his game.
Troy Brown, LB | Grade: 3.18 | Projected Round: FA
Troy Brown is a safety-sized linebacker who gets the most from his ability and flies around the field to make plays. Size is a restricting factor, and Brown has scheme limitations.
Bernhard Raimann, OT | Grade: 3.12 | Projected Round: FA
Offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann has solid size and flashed skill last season. Some scouts have stamped him as a late-round pick, but I believe Raimann needs to add strength and take his game to the next level.
Devonni Reed, S | Grade: 3.08 | Projected Round: FA
Devonni Reed was my highest-rated CMU prospect entering the 2019 season, but I really haven’t seen much improvement in his game since then. Reed is a nice-sized safety who flashes ability, but he must step up his play.
Eastern Michigan Eagles Draft Prospects
Except for pass rusher Maxx Crosby, the cupboard has been mostly bare for Eastern Michigan on draft weekend. Expect more of the same in 2022.
Terry Myrick, LB | Grade: 2.97 | Projected Round: FA
Terry Myrick is an undersized run-and-chase linebacker with terrific instincts. He shows excellent range and stands out in pursuit, but he must test well next March to have any chance of being drafted.
Sidy Sow, G | Grade: 2.95 | Projected Round: FA
During the summer of 2019, I graded left tackle Sidy Sow as a late-round prospect off the 2018 film. Sow moved to guard during the 2019 campaign, and he exhibited flashes but little in the way of improvement. He regressed last season and looked sloppy as well as overweight. Sow has the size and power to play in the NFL if he takes his game to the next level and improves the details of his position.
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