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Week 1 - Which College Players Are Future Vikings 2022

College football season is here!

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Notre Dame v Stanford Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It’s that time of year again! College football is here. The first games are this weekend and while there are not any must see matchups, the games count and few prospects may be worth watching. I’ll highlight a few players that I want to watch and if there are any others, please feel free to add them in the comments.

Looking at the past draft, the current roster, and the salary cap may provide some guidance as to what positions could be on the Vikings radar in the next draft. I tend to look at the strength of the draft rather than team needs but EDGE rusher, center, guard, defensive tackle (5 technique?), and cornerback all could be good positions to watch this collegiate season.

Here are the games and I have listed some of the players even though they may not get drafted or signed as undrafted free agents. I might do more of this during the season but I usually only stick to players listed on big boards.

Austin Peay @ Western Kentucky 12:00 PM

Daewood Davis Western Kentucky WR 6-2 195
Rusty Staats Western Kentucky OL 6-4 310
Juwuan Jones Western Kentucky DE 6-3 275
Will Ignont Western Kentucky LB 6-1 235
Jaden Hunter Western Kentucky LB 6-2 240
Brodric Martin Western Kentucky DT 6-5 330
Darius Shipp Western Kentucky DT 6-1 305
Kaleb Oliver Western Kentucky DB 6-4 215

Nebraska @ Northwestern 12:30 PM

Tyreke Johnson Nebraska CB 6-1 190
Ochaun Mathis Nebraska EDGE 6-5 257 *
Caleb Tannor Nebraska EDGE 6-3 220
Devin Drew Nebraska DL 6-2 280
Trey Palmer Nebraska WR 6-1 190
Omar Manning Nebraska WR 6-4 225
Kevin Williams Nebraska OL 6-5 325
Trent Hixson Nebraska OL 6-4 305
Broc Bando Nebraska OL 6-5 295
Travis Vokolek Nebraska TE 6-7 260 *
Peter Skoronski Northwestern OT 6-4 294
Adetomiwa Adebawore Northwestern EDGE 6-2 280*
A.J. Hampton Northwestern CB 5-11 180
Charlie Schmidt Northwestern OL 6-4 308
Conrad Rowley Northwestern OL 6-4 308
Charlie Mangieri Northwestern TE 6-4 250
Henrik Barndt Northwestern DL 6-5 285
Taishan Holmes Northwestern DL 6-3
Malik Washington Northwestern WR 5-9 192
Raymond Niro III Northwestern WR 5-10 190

Idaho State @ UNLV 3:30 PM

Tyler Clemons Idaho State OL 6-5 293
Raemo Trevino Idaho State DL 6-0 299
DJ Hagler Idaho State LB 6-1 232
Shelton Zeon III UNLV TE 6-4 250
Adam Plant Jr. UNLV DL 6-5 260
Austin Ajiake UNLV ILB 6-2 220

UConn @ Utah State 4:00 PM

Ian Swenson UConn 6-2 215 LB
Tre Wortham UConn 6-0 203 DB
Logan Bonner Utah State QB 6-1 230 QB
Calvin Tyler Jr. Utah State RB 5-8 210
Justin McGriff Utah State WR 6-6 215
Alfred Edwards Utah State OL 6-7 325
AJ Vongphachanh Utah State ILB 6-2 230
Ajani Carter Utah State CB 6-0 195
Hunter Reynolds Utah State S 6-0 200

Wyoming @ Illinois 4:00 PM

Isaiah Neyor Wyoming WR 6-2 218
Titus Swen Wyoming RB 5-11 206
Cole Godbout Wyoming NT 6-4 285
Tommy DeVito Illinois QB 6-2 210
Chase Brown Illinois RB 5-11 205*
Luke Ford Illinois TE 6-6 265*
Sydney Brown Illinois DB 6-0 205*
Jartavius Martin Illinois DB 6-0 195
Devon Witherspoon Illinois DB 6-0 180*

Duquesne @ Florida State 5:00 PM

Akeem Dent Florida State S 6-1 203*
Robert Scott Jr. Florida State OT 6-5 312
Amari Gainer Florida State ILB 6-3 237
Fabian Lovett Florida State DL3T 6-4 306*
Robert Cooper Florida State DL1T 6-2 338
Jammie Robinson Florida State S 5-11 203*

Charlotte @ Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM

Chris Reynolds Charlotte QB 5-11 202
Victor Tucker Charlotte WR 6-0 188
Markees Watts Charlotte DE 6-1 240
Geo Howard Charlotte CB 5-11 195
N’Kosi Perry Florida Atlantic QB 6-4 198
Je’Quan Burton Florida Atlantic WR 5-10 187
Teja Young Florida Atlantic S 5-11 192

Florida A&M @ North Carolina 8:15 PM

Florida A&M Isaiah Land LB 6-4 225
Josh Downs North Carolina WR 5-10 175
Corey Gaynor North Carolina OL 6-3 305
Raymond Vohasek North Carolina DL 6-2 310*
Noah Taylor North Carolina LB 6-5 240*
Cam’Ron Kelly North Carolina DB 6-1 210
Giovanni Biggers North Carolina DB 6-1 200
Storm Duck North Carolina DB 6-0 200

North Texas @ UTEP 9:00 PM

KD Davis North Texas LB 6-0 229
John Davis North Texas DB 6-1 190
Manase Mose North Texas OL 6-1 292
Gavin Hardison UTEP QB 6-2 215*
Zuri Henry UTEP OL 6-6 293
Praise Amaewhule UTEP DE 6-3 250*
Tyrice Knight UTEP LB 6-1 235
Breon Hayward UTEP LB 6-0 230
Dennis Barnes UTEP DB 5-10 170

Nevada @ New Mexico State 10:00 PM

Nate Cox Nevada QB 6-9 215
Toa Taua Nevada RB 5-9 218
Aaron Frost Nevada OL 6-5 306
Dom Peterson Nevada DT 6-0 299
Tyson Williams Nevada DB 5-9 207
Thomaz Whitford New Mexico State TE 6-4 250
Gabriel Preciado New Mexico State OL 6-4 315
Donavan King New Mexico State DL 6-3 255
Trevor Brohard New Mexico State LB 6-3 235
Eric Marsh New Mexico State LB 6-1 245
Chris Ojoh New Mexico State LB 6-1 220

Vanderbilt @ Hawai’i 10:30 PM

Michael Owusu Vanderbilt DE 6-5 232
Christian James Vanderbilt DL 6-4 275
Anfernee Orji Vanderbilt LB 6-2 230
Jaylen Mahoney Vanderbilt DB 5-11 195
Maxwell Worship Vanderbilt S 6-1 210
Dedrick Parson Hawai’i RB 5-8 205
Blessman Ta’ala Hawai’i DL 6-2 305
Penei Pavihi Hawai’i LB 6-3 245
Isaiah Tufaga Hawai’i LB 6-1 230

As always, I will include a mock draft.


Dallas Cowboys

Sent: Round 1 Pick 19

Received: Round 1 Pick 24, Round 4 Pick 24

San Francisco 49ers

Sent: Round 3 Pick 19

Received: Round 3 Pick 25, Round 5 Pick 25

24: R1 P24 QB Tanner McKee - Stanford 6’6” 230 4.77

California v Stanford Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

51: R2 P19 G Andrew Vorhees - USC 6’6” 320 5.17

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 09 Utah at USC Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

89: R3 P25 DL Mazi Smith - Michigan 6’3” 337 4.91

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 21 Michigan at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

127: R4 P24 C John Michael Schmitz - Minnesota 6’4” 320 5.25

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Guaranteed Rate Bowl - West Virginia v Minnesota Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

155: R5 P19 EDGE Tuli Tuipulotu - USC 6’4” 290 4.91

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 09 Utah at USC Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

161: R5 P25 CB Storm Duck - North Carolina 6’1” 205 4.44

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 North Carolina at Pitt Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

195: R6 P19 EDGE Ochaun Mathis - Nebraska 6’5” 257 4.65

TCU v Kansas State Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

213: R6 P37 TE Luke Musgrave - Oregon State 6’6” 252 4.49

Oregon State v Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

215: R6 P39 LB Mohamoud Diabate - Utah 6’4” 222 4.51

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 30 Georgia v Florida Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It will be interesting to see if the new regime wants to go after a QB in the next draft. I expect Kirk Cousins to have a similar season to last year and probably a little bit better in terms of yards and TDs. He will be entering the last year of his deal next year and a decision can be made but does not have to be made. They can leave his deal as is next offseason, not draft a QB, and let it play out.

Tanner McKee is older as he went on a LDS (Mormon) mission prior to going to Stanford. He will have eligibility left too. It is unknown if he will turn pro and I expect it will remain this way until after the season. He is highly thought of though.

Drafting another guard could be silly but the jury is still out on Ezra Cleveland. He has improved every year and will be entering his last season in 2023. What kind of contract is it going to take to extend him and will it be worth it? Wyatt Teller received a 4 yr 56.8M deal in 2021 at age 26. I expect Cleveland, if he improves in pass protection, to likely have a market of around 9 to 13M.

Vorhees is a seasoned veteran as he has appeared in 44 games on the offensive line in his career, with 25 starts at right guard, 8 starts at left guard and 4 starts at left tackle. He will add to these numbers this year. He is very solid.

Mazi Smith is the #1 player on Bruce Feldman’s College Football Freaks list. Smith does 22 reps on the bench press, but that’s with 325 (not 225). He close-grip benched 550 pounds. He vertical-jumps 33 inches. He broad-jumped 9-4 1/2. Smith, who had 37 tackles last season, has clocked a 4.41 shuttle time, which would’ve tied the best by any defensive tackle at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, and it would’ve been better than any defensive tackle weighing 310 pounds or more in the past decade. His 6.95 3-cone time would’ve been by far the fastest among defensive tackles in Indianapolis. The fastest was 7.33. Smith’s 60-yard shuttle time is 11.90. He probably goes much earlier.

Schmitz should be very familiar to most here and grabbing a center around this area of the draft feels right.

Tuipulotu might be a nice defensive tackle to play the 5 technique and I could not help drafting another Trojan as Capt Stubing has trained me well.

The remaining prospects are players to keep an eye on this season.

As usual, most of these players likely will end up going earlier but feel free to remind me that they will not be available.

An alternate mock ...


Kansas City Chiefs

Sent: Round 3 Pick 19

Received: Round 3 Pick 28, Round 4 Pick 28

19: R1 P19 DL Bryan Bresee - Clemson 6’5” 300

51: R2 P19 EDGE Derick Hall - Auburn 6’2” 256

92: R3 P28 G O’Cyrus Torrence - Florida 6’5” 347

131: R4 P28 DL Mazi Smith - Michigan 6’3” 337

155: R5 P19 QB Grayson McCall - Coastal Carolina 6’3” 215

195: R6 P19 C Joe Tippmann - Wisconsin 6’6” 320

213: R6 P37 TE Luke Musgrave - Oregon State 6’5” 252

215: R6 P39 S Jalen Green - Mississippi State 6’1” 200

Well, there it is. Enjoy the games if you watch!