North Dakota State has dominated the Missouri Valley Conference for a long time, and last season was no different. They finished the year with a 7-1 conference record and went 14-1 overall. However, they’re not the only school sending prospects to the 2022 NFL Draft. Here are the scouting reports for every draft-eligible prospect from the Missouri Valley Conference who might hear their name called during the three-day event.
Missouri Valley Conference 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Reports | A-I
The Missouri Valley scouting reports include two prospects from South Dakota State who might go quite early on and a number of other names that could find late-round success.
Andrew Ogletree, TE | Youngstown State
Positives: Tackle-sized tight end who possesses a long build and plays heads-up football. Tough, extends to make the reception away from his frame, and comes away with the contested pass. Follows the quarterback across the field to make himself an available target. Breaks down well, stays with blocking assignments, and gives effort. Out-positions opponents from the action.
Negatives: Really doesn’t sink his butt at the line of scrimmage. Does not finish blocks. Large, rumbling tight end who lacks naturally soft hands. Limited upside.
Analysis: Ogletree possesses the measurables to be a third tight end on Sundays, but he must really elevate his game and do the little things well.
Aron Johnson, OT | South Dakota State
Positives: Nice-sized offensive tackle who is best in a small area. Blocks with good lean, stays square, and turns defenders from the action. Displays outstanding vision and quickly picks up blocking assignments. Bends his knees, blocks with leverage, and anchors at the point.
Negatives: Ineffective blocking in motion. Displays minimal lateral range sliding off the edge. Struggles to adjust and gets beaten by inside moves.
Analysis: Johnson was a solid small-school left tackle prospect who is best in a small area. He possesses the size and skill to make a practice squad, and Johnson is a developmental right tackle or guard.
Austin Evans, S | Northern Iowa
Positives: Tough, physical safety who is effective defending the run and covering the pass. Reads and diagnoses the action, remains disciplined with assignments, and battles receivers throughout the route. Occasionally lines up over the slot receiver, engages opponents at the line, and possesses a solid closing burst to the action. Hard hitter who fires upfield and keeps plays in front of him.
Negatives: Not quick flipping his hips. Slow getting his head back around in man coverage and does a lot of face guarding. Deep speed is a concern.
Analysis: Evans possesses the size and tenacity to play on Sundays, though speed is a concern. He’s a strong-safety prospect who must earn his wage on special teams.
Avante Cox, WR | Southern Illinois
Positives: Small, super-quick receiver who can also help out as a return specialist. Quickly gets into pass routes, separates from defenders, and creates yardage whenever the ball is in his hands. Tracks the pass in the air, times receptions well, and adjusts to make the catch in stride. Follows blocks everywhere on the field.
Negatives: Lacks a quick release off the line. Gets lazy running routes, unnecessarily lets passes get inside him, and times faster than he plays.
Analysis: Cox flashed enough skill to get consideration as a slot receiver/return specialist in camp this summer. He must polish his game and consistently play at a high level.
Brayden Thomas, DE | North Dakota State
Positives: Athletic pass rusher who flashes ability. Quick up the field, fast off the edge, and bends around the corner to get behind the line of scrimmage. Possesses an outstanding closing burst. Resilient and rarely off his feet. Easily changes direction and chases the action to make plays in space. Agile, effective with his hands, and displays an array of moves to get off blocks. Shows ability standing over tackles as well as out of a three-point stance.
Negatives: Easily engulfed at the point of attack. Controlled by a single blocker and gets driven off the line on running downs. Was a decent pass rusher at North Dakota State, though his production was not overwhelming the past two seasons.
Analysis: Thomas is a physical freak with the size, speed, and skill to line up at defensive end in a four-man front. He’s a practice-squad prospect with a large upside.
Bryce Notree, LB | Southern Illinois
Positives: Nice-sized linebacker who gets the most from his ability. Intense, plays like a man possessed, and explodes upfield to fill gaps against the run. Breaks down well, effectively uses his hands, and quickly locates the ball handler. Remains disciplined with assignments, gives great effort, and wraps up tackling. Stacks well against the run.
Negatives: Plays to one speed and lacks a quick closing burst. Ineffective in pursuit. Stiff and possesses average quickness.
Analysis: Notree was a high-energy linebacker who plays with a next-level mentality. He possesses speed and athletic limitations but could back up on the inside for a team that keeps eight linebackers.
Chris Oladokun, QB | South Dakota State
Positives: Under-the-radar quarterback coming off a terrific senior campaign. Athletic, patient, and displays good intangibles. Stands strong in the pocket, remains poised under the rush, and dumps the ball off to the underneath outlet if nothing else is available. Natural looking off the safety, knows where his receivers are on the field, and spreads the ball around to all his targets.
Possesses a next-level arm, fires the ball to the intended target, and gets passes through the tight spots. Shows the ability to drop deep passes in the receiver’s hands. Agile and easily picks up yardage with his legs when necessary. Protects the ball and does not force throws.
Negatives: Lacks great pocket stature and size. Must improve his overall accuracy and pass placement.
Analysis: Oladokun came out of nowhere last season to jump on the scouting radar, and he now moves towards the draft as a hidden gem at the quarterback position. He’ll need time to develop his game and must prove that last year was not the exception to the rule. Nevertheless, Oladokun comes with a high upside and is worthy of keeping on a practice squad.
Christian Watson, WR | North Dakota State
Positives: Long, smooth receiver with consistent hands. Shows great awareness and quickly tracks the pass in the air. Gets vertical and correctly times receptions. Sturdy and takes a big hit yet holds onto the throw. Uses his hands to separate from defenders, contorts, and comes down with the difficult grab. Nicely makes the reception in the middle of the field and uses his frame to shield away defenders and protect the ball. Possesses soft and strong hands.
Negatives: Plays to one speed. Lacks a burst as well as quickness. Not a quick route runner.
Analysis: Watson had a terrific career at North Dakota State and then displayed himself as the most reliable and dependable receiver during Senior Bowl practices. He possesses speed as well as quickness limitations, which will hamper his ability to separate on Sundays. But his consistency catching the ball is very attractive.
Want more information on Watson? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Christian Watson, NDSU WR | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Cordell Volson, OL | North Dakota State
Positives: Large, nasty blocker who is best on the strong side. Patient in pass protection, keeps his feet moving, and stays square. Explosive, easily anchors at the point, and seals defenders from plays. Keeps his head on a swivel, displays outstanding blocking vision, and plays through the whistle. Effective with his hands, correctly places them into defenders, and steers opponents from the action.
Negatives: Doesn’t sink his butt at the line of scrimmage or consistently play with proper pad level. Lacks footwork off the edge, average skill blocking in motion, and did not stand out during Shrine Game practices.
Analysis: Volson possesses the size and mentality to play right tackle in the NFL, though he has limitations. He is a power-gap lineman who may eventually move into guard. In the end, Volson could be an inexpensive utility lineman on Sundays.
Want more information on Volson? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Cordell Volson, NDSU OT | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Dennis Houston, WR | Western Illinois
Positives: Quick, reliable receiver who can also double as a return specialist. Sells routes, quickly gets into breaks, and separates from defenders. Comes back to the quarterback out of breaks and follows the passer across the field to make himself an available target. Uses his frame to shield away defenders, consistently extends his hands, and makes the catch away from his frame.
Nicely makes the reception in stride and possesses soft hands as well as good eye/hand coordination. Gets vertical and extends to snatch the ball out of the air. Works hard even if he’s not involved in the action.
Negatives: Possesses a wiry build and struggles in battles. Displays minimal interest blocking. Lacks a second gear.
Analysis: Houston is a solid receiver with an underrated game. He plays smart football, has the versatility to be used as a wideout, reverse runner, or return specialist, and could surprise in camp this summer.
Elijah Reed, S | South Dakota
Positives: Nice-sized safety who leads by example. Keeps the action in front of him, remains disciplined with assignments, and quickly diagnoses plays. Breaks down well, fires upfield, and gives effort defending the run. Shows ability in zone coverage.
Negatives: Not quick or smooth pedaling in reverse. Shows no ability to quickly close to the action. Has physical limitations.
Analysis: Reed is a nice-sized downhill safety with long arms and a head for the game. He has limitations but could be a good zone safety/special-teams player.
Eric Johnson, DT | Missouri State
Positives: Athletic defensive tackle who has shone brightly during pre-draft all-star games. Quick off the snap, keeps his feet moving, and displays strength in his lower body. Plays with good lean, uses his hands to protect himself, and works hard. Active defender who is fluid when asked to twist or stunt. Easily changes direction and immediately alters his angle of attack. Forceful, bends off the edge as a pass rusher, and displays a variety of moves to get off blocks.
Negatives: Must develop more moves and become quicker at disengaging from blocks. Must polish his game and improve his pass-rushing skills. Average production on the small-school level.
Analysis: Johnson is a physical freak who played well at the NFLPA Bowl as well as the Senior Bowl. He possesses solid size and growth potential and is a late-round developmental prospect with a high upside.
Inoke Moala, DE | Indiana State
Positives: Hard-charging college defensive end who fires off the snap with a great first step and slices between blocks. Goes hard and doesn’t back down from a challenge. Quickly gets his hands up and plays with proper lean and a relentless attitude. Rarely off his feet and gets the most from his ability. Moves well about the field and plays faster than his 40 time. Bends off the edge and flattens to pursue the action from the back side.
Negatives: Must develop more moves to get off blocks. Controlled by a single opponent and gets out-positioned from the action. Poor size and speed.
Analysis: Moala is a high-revving, small-school defender who lacks the size for defensive end and the speed for linebacker. He’s a special-teams prospect with limited possibilities for the next level.
Isaiah Edwards, OL | Indiana State
Positives: Massive small-school lineman who is strong, gets movement run blocking, and overwhelms opponents at the point of attack. Immediately gets his hands up, stays square, and plays with a nasty attitude. Keeps his head on a swivel and gives effort.
Negatives: Does not bend his knees or block with proper pad level. Stiff, cannot slide laterally, and gets very tall. Only effective in a small area.
Analysis: Edwards is a size prospect who was able to overwhelm opponents on the small-school level. He lacks fundamentals for the next level yet could get a practice-squad spot due to his sheer size.
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