Detroit Lions 2022 draft watch: Keep an eye on Monday this Saturday

The college football season is drawing to a close, and our weekly draft watchlists for 2022 have highlighted a ton of potential top 100 candidates that Detroit Lions scouts should be interested in. to dive back into some Day 3 players who saw their stocks rise with impressive offseasons.

This week we’re going to keep things simple. Simply turn on ESPN and leave it there. If you do, you will see the games here:

  • Wake Forest (12) at Clemson at 12:00 PM ET on ESPN

  • SMU in Cincinnati (5) at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Auburn, 17, in South Carolina 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Arizona St. on Oregon St. at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

If you’re interested in going back and looking at the previous watchlists to revisit some of the profiled players, these links are here:

  • Quarterback watchlist before the season
  • Week 1, September 4th
  • Week 2, September 11th
  • Week 3, September 18
  • Week 4, September 25th
  • Week 5, October 2nd
  • Week 6, October 9th – Issue of all linebackers
  • Week 7, October 16
  • Week 8, October 23
  • Week 9, October 30 – Everyone from Michigan and Michigan State
  • Week 10, November 6 – Matt Corral vs Malik Willis and more
  • Week 11, November 11 – Kenny Pickett vs. Sam Howell
  • Week 12, November 13th

Okay, let’s get to this week’s profiles.

Wake Forest (12) at Clemson at 12:00 PM ET on ESPN

Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest (Redshirt Junior)

6-foot-1, 208 pounds

Don’t be fooled by Wake Forest listing Hartman as a sophomore redshirt student, he’s been playing college ball since 2018 and turns 23 this summer. Hartman started as a freshman but only played four games in his sophomore year (he lost his starting job), which made the Redshirt possible for him. In 2020, his third season was his Redshirt sophomore season, but due to the COVID-19 exception option provided by the NCAA, Wake Forest applied the exception and technically made a second Redshirt sophomore season in 2021. For Wake Forest, that means Hartman will be eligible to play for two more years after this season, but if he hopes to play in the NFL and be drafted in a decent location, he may have to take the plunge sooner rather than later.

Like Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh, Hartman is a late bloomer and, statistically, is having his best season. He’s smart, a good leader, confident in his decisions, and has the athleticism to win with his feet in Wake’s RPO scheme. He has a solid arm with high accuracy but tends to float his deep shots too much and relies on his receivers to win jump balls instead of placing the ball for them – this could be a problem in the NFL.

Jaquarii Roberson, WR, Wake Forest (Senior)

6-foot-0, 182 pounds

Roberson, a solid distance runner with athletic edge to create a breakup, appeared for Wake when Sage Surratt (former Lions UDFA WR) was eliminated from the 2020 season. He started the year as a fringe player but has worked his way into the conversation from Day 3. He has shown strong hands at the catch point but needs to increase his reliability.

Roberson will likely report on Clemson-corner Andrew Booth Jr., whom I profiled earlier:

“With impressive reporting skills, length, athleticism and physical nature, he will likely be considered in the first round.”

Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson (Senior)

6-foot-3, 205 pounds

Ross, a stellar WR 1 at Clemson, was well on the way to becoming a surefire first-round pick before sustaining an injury that required spinal surgery and forced him to miss the 2020 season. Ross played 10 games that season, registering 47 catches for 524 yards and three touchdowns. He’s talented enough to make some noise in the NFL, but where he’s selected depends largely on his medical exams.

To update: It has been announced that Ross will need foot surgery, immediate surgery in order to prepare for the NFL draft, and will not be attending this game.

SMU in Cincinnati (5) at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Reggie Roberson Jr, WR, High School (Senior)

5-foot-11, 197 pounds

Blessed with speed and acceleration, Roberson can be used in a variety of ways. SMU doesn’t ask him to run a detailed route tree, but it’s effective on slopes, crossers, screens, and as an above average vertical option to quickly gain distance and present a target for the quarterback. What he really enjoys is when he has the ball in hand. He’s got enough speed to easily run away from the defenders, but his explosive movements can make the defenders look silly – as the second play in the following clip shows when he snatches the soul of the corner:

The big concern for Roberson is that he hadn’t finished either of the previous two seasons due to a foot injury in 2019 and a knee injury in 2020.

Some honorable mentions of the SMU are potential late-round prospects, OL Jaylon Thomas and TE Grant Calcaterra. Thomas is SMU’s left tackle, but he has a guard body and movement skills. He has the chance to be drafted as a developmental lineman with swing potential. Calcaterra was well on his way to a great career in Oklahoma before retiring early due to concussions, which put his motivation under the microscope.

Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati (Senior)

6-foot-2,213 pounds

Pierce is effective at beating the press, chewing a pillow, and piling the corner. He has solid body control and uses it to regularly box smaller defenders. He’s used to going vertical, but he’s more of a 50/50 winner than a divider.

Previously profiled Cincinnati players: QB Desmond Ridder, EDGE Myjai Sanders, CB Ahmad Gardner

Auburn, 17, in South Carolina 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Smoke Monday, Security, Auburn (Senior)

6-foot-1,200 pounds

Auburn’s best NFL drafting candidate is CB Roger McCreary (whom I profiled earlier), but his runner-up security guard Smoke Monday is a legitimate playmaker. He has the positional range to play in a split zone scheme, as a deep defender, above the slot in cover and in the box.

Monday has NFL range, above-average acceleration, and impressive closing speed. Combine that with his plus instincts and he’ll find himself on the ball a lot. In his career, including two as a starter, Monday has returned three interceptions for a touchdown, including this pick-six against Alabama’s Mac Jones.

Monday also shows excellent technique in a duel and is not afraid to throw his shoulder into the mix. This intensity, when physicality is required, is also shown in special teams, in which he can participate in the NFL in four phases.

Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina (Senior)

6-foot-4,260 pounds

Enagbare has high speed, but he wins by chasing the ball carrier after him with his non-stop motor instead of being a fast-twitch athlete. He’s the size and length NFL teams covet, and his pass-rushing toolbox is growing, suggesting he’s not yet reached his developmental limit. While most of his snapshots come by hand in the dirt, Enagbare has had experience standing up and dropping into coverage of what will appeal to the Lions.

South Carolina DE Kingsley Enagbare was a 1st Team All-SEC DE in 2020 with 23 QB Pressures & 7.0 Sacks

Long + strong! Funny gamer to watch pic.twitter.com/GYqBFv9tBi

– Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) January 7, 2021

Arizona St. @ Oregon St. at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Jermayne Lole, defensive device, State of Arizona (Senior)

6-foot-1, 305 pounds

Lole is a tickly too small defensive device that uses its quick first step and low center of gravity to gain leverage and create pressure. He has the power to take on and defeat teams of two, is strong against the run, ends duels with violence, and has the instinct to sniff out screens and predict the movement of the ball. He has the positional range to play the 0-to-3 technique and stylistically reminds me of the slightly less athletic Alim McNeill.

Previously profiled player from the state of Arizona: QB Jayden Daniels.

Jaydon Grant, Security, Oregon St. (Redshirt Junior)

6-foot-0,193 pounds

Grant has corner coverage skills in the slot and uses instincts and athleticism to get himself in the right positions to make games. He’s not a burner and a little undersized for the NFL position, but he’s smart and has enough development skills to warrant a draft selection. The real question will be, will he jump into the NFL and likely be a day 3 election, or will he return to the state of Oregon to try and develop his skills?

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