Another week of college football is in the books.
We are inching closer and closer to the NFL draft season. Prospects are jostling for positioning on draft boards and rankings. As usual, we are here to discuss my top college performers of the week. These NFL draft prospects are known as “Dame’s Dudes”.
You can check out Week 9’s 2022 NFL prospects and performers here.
David Bell, WR, Purdue
The Purdue Boilermakers played the role of spoilers again for the third-ranked team in the nation, a Michigan State team coming off an emotional win over in-state rival Michigan. The Boilermakers played with a stronger desire for victory. The two biggest components are the QB/WR combo. David Bell has made his biggest impact against teams ranked top four in the nation.
DAVID BELL ARE YOU SERIOUS?!
Another MONSTER performance. 🔥
— 247Sports (@247Sports) November 6, 2021
Bell tallied over 200 yards receiving earlier this season versus the Iowa Hawkeyes. Saturday was an encore versus the Spartans, finishing with 217 yards on eleven receptions and a touchdown. Bell has consistently won his matchups this season. He has taken his game to another level when facing top-tier competition. He is not the most flashy receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft class, but he is technically sound. Therefore, his stock should continue to rise as we inch closer to April 2022.
Aidan O’Connell, QB, Purdue
As I mentioned above, the Boilermakers knocked off the Spartans in part due to the play of their quarterback. Aidan O’Connell played the game of his life. As a result, Purdue dropped 40 points on Michigan State. O’Connell threw for 536 yards and three touchdowns on 54 attempts. The connection between him and Bell was electric.
.@BoilerFootball reclaims the lead vs. No. 3 Michigan State. 👀
This time, it's Aidan O'Connell to Broc Thompson in the corner of the end zone. pic.twitter.com/sOSUW2acDo
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 6, 2021
O’Connell was efficient and accurate all afternoon. He displayed good footwork and navigation ability in the pocket. O’Connell simply picked the Spartans’ defense apart on Saturday. It was a fantastic performance.
Ty Chandler, RB, UNC
Sam Howell is the name that draws the eye of the draft community. Quarterbacks usually do, as they are viewed as the most important position in the spot. Howell had another hot-named quarterback across the field in Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman. The Tarheels pulled out the victory with the help of Howell, but the biggest contributor to the team’s victory is running back Ty Chandler.
Ty Chandler’s FOURTH TD gives UNC the upset over No. 9 Wake Forest https://t.co/hX1mFWPZfB
— Sideline Views (@SideIineViews) November 6, 2021
Chandler ran with purpose, elusiveness, and toughness. He was determined to make a play every time he touched the football. As a result, nine of his 22 carries went for first downs. Chandler was difficult for the defense to corral, notching 143 yards after contact. He finished the game with 213 rushing yards on 22 carries and four touchdowns. Ty Chandler is a versatile/dual-threat running back that should hear his name called during the 2022 NFL draft.
Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn St.
A masterful performance during the Penn St/Terps contest came from wide receiver Jahan Dotson. The Terps defense did not have an answer for Dotson. He successfully attacked them vertically and horizontally. Dotson is a technical and explosive route runner. Factor in the coaching staff scheming him open with his alignment and release combinations, Maryland’s task was even tougher. Also, Dotson was efficient converting seven of his eleven receptions into first downs.
Jahan Dotson's acceleration/speed/pro ready routes should make him a high impact rookie
He's a 1st round WR pic.twitter.com/5Xrnwin9bb
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) November 8, 2021
Dotson reeled in eleven of his 15 targets for 242 yards receiving and three touchdowns. I am a believer in NFL draft tiers per position, based on scheme, roles, and team needs. Dotson is not a tier-one receiver at the moment, but his skill set should land him early day two of the 2022 NFL draft.
Deven Thompkins, WR, Utah St.
A newcomer and fresh face to the Dame’s Dudes list. Deven Thompkins is having a phenomenal season. Out of his nine contests, he has seven 100 yard games and five with 170 or more. Against New Mexico St., Thompkins went off for 215 yards on nine receptions for two touchdowns. At 5 foot 8 and 155 pounds, Thompkins plays with lightning quickness as expected. He is not afraid to attack the ball at its highest point or go across the middle of the field.
how good is Deven Thompkins lol pic.twitter.com/xivnTh9ma0
— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) November 6, 2021
His size will cause evaluators to take a step back, limiting his NFL draft expectations. Good news is, the NFL is becoming more space-oriented. Playmakers like Thompkins can find a home easier than in our former eras.