College football is back!
As the 2022 season rolls along, so will our weekly previews of games and NFL prospects to watch. This will come in addition to our sporadic NFL Draft coverage over the course of the fall and winter. Whether you’re a fan of the draft or just a college football fan, this series looks to give you an idea of what to watch each week.
Windy City Gridiron’s Lead Draft Analyst Jacob Infante will be taking a look at what to expect in Week 12 of this year’s college football campaign.
Game of the Week
Jacob: No. 1 Georgia vs. Kentucky, Saturday Nov. 19, 2:30 p.m. CST
Georgia is typically lauded for its defensive talent, and this year is no exception. Defensive tackle Jalen Carter and cornerback Kelee Ringo are likely first-round talents, and edge rusher Nolan Smith could sneak into Round 1 despite having a season-ending injury. Safeties Christopher Smith and Tykee Smith are both rangy and intelligent defensive backs, as well. The Bulldogs also have one of the best offenses in college football so far this season. Offensive tackle Broderick Jones and center Sedrick Van Pran projects as potential starters from Day 1, while running backs Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Minton could both get drafted this year, especially the former. Georgia also has a loaded tight end room, including monster athlete Darnell Washington, while quarterback Stetson Bennett has sneaky Day 3 potential.
Kentucky is coming off of a tough loss to Vanderbilt last week, but they have a chance to turn things around with a potential upset. They are led by quarterback Will Levis, whose tools in terms of size, arm strength, toughness and athleticism have many projecting him as a first-round talent in the pros. Their offense has such talents as powerful running back Chris Rodriguez Jr., shifty wide receiver Tayvion Robinson and physical specimen offensive guard Tashawn Manning. The Wildcats’ defense isn’t as full of eligible 2023 draft prospects, but linebacker J.J. Weaver could generate Day 3 looks.
Big Matchup to Watch
Jacob: UAB RB DeWayne McBride @ No. 6 LSU, Saturday Nov. 19, 8:00 p.m. CST
Few running backs have been as good as DeWayne McBride has been this season.
He ranks second in the FBS with 1,407 rushing yards and is tied for second with 17 rushing touchdowns. McBride is a tough-nosed runner with a strong upper body and a willingness to lower his shoulder when engaging with contact from would-be tacklers. He’s a solid straight-line athlete with good initial burst out of the backfield, and he has shown intriguing ball-carrier vision in outside-zone situations. Though he isn’t the most elusive athlete out there, he definitely deserves consideration as a committee power back in the pros.
McBride has topped 100 rushing yards in every single one of the games he’s played in the 2022 season. He’ll be tasked with keeping up that streak against a dominant LSU defensive front that features edge rushers like Ali Gaye and BJ Ojulari, as well as defensive tackle Jaquelin Roy, all of whom could be drafted this year. That’s not even including intriguing prospects like defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo and true linebacker Harold Perkins who aren’t draft eligible. If McBride can excel against such a talented defense, that will propel his draft stock from a national perspective.
Jacob: Jackson State WR Dallas Daniels vs. Alcorn State, Saturday Nov. 19, 2:00 p.m. CST
Whether it be at Jackson State or Western Illinois, Dallas Daniels has been a difference maker at the collegiate level.
A lanky wide receiver at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, what really stands out about Daniels is his shiftiness as a route runner. He understands the nuances of different releases and blends his assignments well in his stems. He also has solid explosiveness coming out of his breaks, and his body control in tracking down lobs and making sideline catches stands out on tape. He’s not overly physical at the catch point or against press coverage, but he projects well as a potential backup at the next level.
Daniels recently accepted an invitation to the Shrine Bowl, but the rest of his season will be crucial for him to continue to build momentum heading into the all-star circuit. Jackson State has just Alcorn State in its path before finishing with an 11-0 undefeated regular season, and Daniels’ presence on offense will be crucial for them to move the ball down the field.