Every time I write articles like this during the season I feel burdened to talk about how fluid the process of scouting an NFL draft class is. And as we broach the topic of prospects currently on the outside looking in of the TDN100 that are primed to enter the rankings for our next update, that reminder feels especially important.
For most teams, only three games have been played and the sample size is hardly big enough to have significant movers and shakers. That said, we are gaining new information through new exposures and the urge to start reacting is intensifying. As our sample size of new information is set to double by the next time we update the TDN100, these five NFL draft prospects come to mind as potential new entries in October.
Hendon Hooker QB, Tennessee
Ever since taking over as the starting quarterback for Tennessee early in the 2021 season, Hendon Hooker has been extremely productive in leading a high-octane Vols offense and it’s time for my TDN colleagues to start buying into his NFL potential. He’s got size, arm talent, mobility, easy mechanics, quiet feet, and leadership. He makes big throws down the field and takes care of the football.
With the emergence of Jalen Hurts in the NFL, it gives me even more hope for what Hooker can continue developing into. If he continues to torch defenses as Tennessee starts SEC play this week, Hooker will be impossible to not include in our October update.
Johnny Wilson WR, Florida State
One of my favorite things about Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard is how he speaks openly about how he wants his staff to gravitate toward unique football players and that’s exactly what Johnny Wilson is. Listed at 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds, the Arizona State transfer is breaking out this season for the Seminoles. He took over in Florida State’s most recent win over Louisville, hauling in seven receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
With an imposing frame and impressive ball skills down the field, Wilson has a chance to crack the TDN100 with continued production.
Jack Campbell LB, Iowa
Watching Iowa football can feel like a chore because of how ineffective the Hawkeyes are offensively, but the defensive side of the football is another story. The heart and soul of the dominant Iowa defense is Jack Campbell, who checks a lot of boxes in terms of size, processing skills, movement, skills, and physicality. There’s a lot to like about Campbell and plenty of teams that want the type of skill Campbell provides on the second level when the 2023 NFL Draft rolls around.
Devon Witherspoon CB, Illinois
A Week 0 contest and Friday night tilt in Week 2 have afforded us the opportunity to see a good chunk of Illinois football to start the season and Devon Witherspoon has popped in a big way. He’s aggressive attacking the football when challenged in coverage—as evidenced by six pass breakups and an interception through three games to start the 2022 season—but I also love his downhill trigger and enthusiasm to play through contact and tackle. Corners who can cover, play the ball, and tackle are usually coveted by the NFL and Witherspoon is proving that’s what he is.
Nick Herbig EDGE/LB, Wisconsin
The Badgers always seem to have these hybrid edge/linebacker types that are athletic tweeners with pass-rush upside and play with their hair on fire. Nick Herbig is the next one. When watching the Wisconsin defense, he’s impossible to miss. He’s all over the field and his athleticism pops.
So far in just three games to start the 2022 season, Herbig has already produced five tackles for loss and four sacks. The Badgers’ schedule has been light to start the season but with conference play opening up against Ohio State this weekend, Herbig will be more in the spotlight and primed to climb into the TDN100.
- Sep 26, 2022
- Sep 26, 2022