A lot of talk for the 2022 NFL Draft will absolutely surround Western Michigan. Whether it’s quarterback Kaleb Eleby, wide receiver Skyy Moore, or edge rusher Ali Fayad, each has the chance to not only represent WMU in the draft but in the NFL for some time. Eleby is as talented as any of the late-round quarterbacks, while Fayad possesses an incredible speed off the edge.
Both Eleby and Moore will look to cement their status as part of the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, as they were both on the official invite list released by the NFL. Moore is an interesting study, as some will be enamored with his versatility.
Western Michigan 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
While Eleby takes the crown as the most-discussed prospect from the Broncos this season, it should be said that Fayad and Moore are likely underrated at this time. Then, of course, there are a few more prospects that we’d be remiss to not mention. Eleby threw for 3,277 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2021. He has an incredible arm with sharp accuracy at times, and he’ll look to put that on display in Indianapolis during the Combine.
Moore led the way on the receiving end of Eleby’s passes with 1,292 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s not just a slot receiver as his height may portend. In fact, Moore has a great ability to control his body and high-point the football over defensive backs. You could even say he skyys for the ball.
In addition to Moore and Eleby, Fayad is the other name to know. He put on a display with his spin move at the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl. His smarts were off the charts during the interview process as well.
There are a few more players to name, so let’s get into the full scouting reports for Western Michigan with eyes on the 2022 NFL Draft.
A.J. Thomas, S
Positives: Nice-sized safety who is best defending the run. Displays good range, takes proper angles to plays, and works hard. Stays with coverage assignments, effectively reads and diagnoses the action, and displays ball skills between the numbers. Fires up the field defending the run and wraps up tackling.
Negatives: Inefficient. Deep speed is a concern. Best facing the action.
Analysis: Thomas has switched between safety and linebacker the past two seasons and is best facing the action and making plays up the field. He projects as a traditional strong safety and may even get consideration at linebacker if he adds 10 pounds.
Ali Fayad, EDGE
Positives: Undersized college pass rusher who can stand over tackle or come out of a three-point stance. Breaks down well, rarely gets knocked off his feet, and effectively uses his hands. Fluid moving in every direction, easily alters his angle of attack to chase plays in pursuit, and can bend off the edge. Disruptive force who fires off the snap with a quick first step and plays with excellent lean. Fluid when asked to twist or stunt, plays with balance, and displays outstanding closing speed.
Negatives: Consistently out-positioned from the action by opposing linemen and tight ends. Lacks bulk and may not have much growth potential. Long speed is a question.
Analysis: Fayad was a very good player at Western Michigan the past three seasons and is a potential Day 3 selection who projects as a situational third-down pass rusher on Sundays.
Brett Borske, TE
Positives: Big, strong blocking tight end who plays nasty football. Bends his knees, blocks with excellent lean, and stays square. Easily controls opponents in pass protection and takes them from the action. Gets movement run blocking. Keeps his head on a swivel and always looks for someone to hit. Fluid releasing off the line into pass routes.
Negatives: Plays to one speed and has no burst in his game. Struggles to come away with difficult receptions. Totaled just 6 receptions last season and 5 the prior year.
Analysis: Borske is a one-dimensional blocking tight end, though he stands out in that single dimension. He’s almost like a sixth offensive lineman on the field and could make a roster as a third tight end due to his blocking skills.
Bryce Nunnelly, WR
Positives: Tennessee-Chattanooga transfer with nice size and reliable hands. Sells routes, effectively uses his frame to box out opponents, and displays focus as well as concentration. Comes back to the quarterback to make himself an available target, adjusts to errant throws, and gets down to scoop up low passes. Displays terrific focus as well as concentration and possesses soft hands. Shows good awareness and works to be productive.
Negatives: Gathers into routes and shows no burst in his game. Plays to one speed. Watched his production drop off significantly last season after transferring to Western Michigan.
Analysis: Prior to last season, Nunnelly displayed himself as a dependable possession receiver with potential as a return specialist. His game really fell off last year, and he’ll have to make it through camp the hard way.
Dylan Deatherage, OL
Positives: Wide-bodied, nasty blocker with outstanding strength at the point. Explosive, fires off the snap, and stays square. Anchors in pass protection, keeps his feet moving, and turns defenders from the line as a run blocker. Stays with assignments and always looks for someone to hit.
Negatives: Stiff and struggles finishing blocks. Lacks balance and ends up all over the place.
Analysis: Deatherage is a solid small-area blocker who comes with athletic limitations. He lacks great upside, and the ability to play only in a power gap scheme is a disadvantage.
Kaleb Eleby, QB
Positives: Athletic QB who can be a game changer behind center. Patient in the pocket, displays great poise under the rush, and possesses a live arm with a quick release. Generally makes good decisions in the pocket, protects the football, and takes the safe underneath outlet if nothing else is available. Knows where receivers are on the field, effectively sells ball fakes, and uses all his targets. Incredibly elusive and improvises or finds ways to keep plays alive. Easily gets outside the pocket, keeps his eyes downfield looking for open wideouts, and delivers strikes.
Sees the field and goes through progressions. Accurate, puts deep passes out in front of targets, and lets them run to the ball. Senses pressure and sidesteps defenders to buy time. Puts touch on throws and delivers a catchable ball. Quickly delivers the ball when necessary and gets passes through tight windows. Sits in the pocket and takes big hits in order to get the throw away. Throws the ball away if nothing else is available.
Negatives: Lacks pocket stature and has a smaller build. Not a true RPO quarterback who is a threat to pick up yardage on designed runs. Was streaky at times in 2021.
Analysis: Eleby was considered a potential Day 2 selection by scouts entering the season, and he lived up to expectations on occasion. He showed a lot of inconsistency throughout the 2021 season, yet at the top of his game, Eleby proved he can carry the offense by playing smart, productive football. Eleby has a high upside but will need proper coaching and time before he’s NFL-ready.
Want more information on Eleby? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan QB | NFL Draft Scouting Report
La’Darius Jefferson, RB
Positives: Tough, strong downhill runner with an underrated game. Patient, waits for blocks to develop, and displays outstanding field vision. Possesses a burst through the hole and has a punishing style. Picks up a lot of yardage after initial contact and makes defenders bounce off him. Grinds it out on the inside and works runs. Effectively helps the quarterback sell ball fakes. Barrels through defenders and falls forward when tackled.
Negatives: Solely a downhill ball carrier who lacks the speed to turn the perimeter. Rarely used as a pass catcher out of the backfield and had just 3 receptions last season.
Analysis: Jefferson is a strong, compactly built short-yardage ball carrier with an aggressive game. He has limitations but can fit any offense and be brought onto the field during third-and-short or goal-line situations.
Mike Caliendo, OL
Positives: Versatile, durable offensive lineman who can line up at guard and center. Instinctive, effectively quarterbacks the offensive line, and is very good in a small area. Strong, explosive at the point, and gets movement run blocking. Keeps his head on a swivel, blocks with a nasty attitude, and stays square.
Negatives: Heavy-footed, stiff, and struggles adjusting or redirecting to linebackers on the second level. Falls off blocks rather than finishing off opponents. Lacks footwork in space.
Analysis: Caliendo was a terrific five-year starter at Western Michigan but has athletic and agility limitations. His ability to play center or guard gives him a chance to make a roster for a power gap offense.
Ralph Holley, DL
Positives: Disruptive interior lineman who fires off the snap with a great first step, plays with terrific pad level, and consistently gets leverage on opponents. Changes direction with ease, immediately alters his angle of attack, and chases downfield to make plays. Hustles, fires through the gaps, and redirects to ball handlers.
Negatives: Undersized and consistently controlled by a single opponent. Gets engulfed by offensive linemen. Limited size and growth potential.
Analysis: Holley was a terrific defensive lineman for Western Michigan and a fun player to watch, but he has limitations for the next level. He possesses the style and substance to be a 3-technique tackle, and his intensity gives him an advantage.
Skyy Moore, DL
Positives: Big-play receiver who is a true vertical threat. Fires off the snap, immediately gets to top speed, and possesses a burst that he turns on in a single step. Plays faster than his 40 time and shows a second gear on the field. Tracks the deep pass in the air and makes the difficult over-the-shoulder reception downfield at full speed.
Displays terrific eye/hand coordination, extends his hands, and snatches the ball away from his frame. Gets vertical, effectively times receptions, and competes to come away with the contested throw. Uses his hands to separate from opponents, loses no speed coming out of patterns on deep routes, and consistently catches the ball with his hands.
Negatives: Will struggle in battles at the next level. Cannot come away with overthrows due to his lack of height. Must improve his short and intermediate route running.
Analysis: Moore is a terrific vertical receiver who teamed with Kaleb Eleby to form a lethal duo. He’s a smaller slot receiver who needs to work on the finer details of the receiver position. Still, he comes with an upside. Moore possesses the ability to develop into a productive third receiver and brings special-teams potential.
Want more information on Moore? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Skyy Moore, Western Michigan WR | NFL Draft Scouting Report
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