Week 5 of the college football season did not fall short of expectations. It was as exciting and unpredictable as it could have been, with three top-15 teams (Florida, Oregon, Texas) falling to unranked teams.
Cincinnati moved up two spots from No. 7 after a statement win over then-No. 9 Notre Dame. The Bearcats finished 8th in the Associated Press Top 25 poll in 2020 but proved that they have a real shot at the College Football Playoff this year.
Unranked Stanford sent their game against No. 3 Oregon to overtime thanks to an Elijah Higgins touchdown on the final play of regulation. Stanford struck first in overtime with another touchdown before holding the Ducks to just two yards on their lone possession.
No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Georgia seem to be on a collision course for an SEC Championship matchup with an abundance of talent on both sides of the ball. We’ll once again see that talent on display this weekend as we look at five NFL Draft prospects to watch in Week 6.
1) Jalen Catalon (DB) - Arkansas Razorbacks
Arkansas started off hot with impressive performances against Texas, Georgia Southern and Texas A&M but put up a goose egg against No. 2 Georgia. The Razorbacks’ offense simply couldn’t keep up with the Bulldogs, who had a field day on the ground with 273 rushing yards.
Catalon and the Arkansas secondary were not to blame as they held Georgia to just 72 yards passing. Catalon was named to the All-SEC First Team last season, and his seven tackles against the Bulldogs brings him up to 37 on the season. He’s also recorded a tackle for loss, two interceptions and three passes defended.
Catalon is currently pegged as a Day Two selection, should he declare for the draft, but might sneak into the first round when it comes down to it. A solid performance against the high-powered offense of No. 17 Ole Miss would do wonders for his stock.
2) Jermaine Johnson II (EDGE) - Florida State Seminoles
A transfer from Georgia, Johnson decided to head to Florida State for his senior season. He was mostly a third-down specialist for the Bulldogs and recorded 7.5 sacks ad 24 quarterback pressures in 21 career games.
Now with the Seminoles, Johnson is off to a remarkable start. He ranks fourth in the nation with 5.5 sacks and has 38 total tackles, 7.5 for loss and two passes defended. Johnson’s size (6-5, 262) and strength make him nearly impossible to contain.
Johnson is currently projected as a mid-round pick but would almost certainly continue to fly up draft boards with continued success as a pass-rusher.
3) Rachaad White (RB) - Arizona State Sun Devils
White has found the endzone in every game this season and has been doing it all for Arizona State. At 6-foot-2, the JUCO transfer is able to be effective as both a rusher and a receiver.
White is currently the Sun Devils’ leading rusher and pass-catcher with 64 carries for 331 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground and 23 receptions for 225 yards and a score through the air.
Despite receiving just 12 touches against No. 20 UCLA, he recorded 107 total yards and two rushing touchdowns. White could easily find himself as one of the first five running backs taken in 2022.
4) Jalen Tolbert (WR) - South Alabama Jaguars
A two-star prospect out of high school, Tolbert’s work ethic has made him the player he is today. He became the first 1,000-yard receiver in program history by setting the single-season records for receptions (64) and yards (1,085) in 2020.
Through four games this season, White has caught 20 passes for 460 yards. Already the program’s all-time receiving leader, He will continue to build on his legacy at South Alabama as well as his draft stock.
White sits firmly among the top 10 wide receiver prospects and could climb even higher with another 1,000-yard season. His 23.0 yards-per-reception - good for 6th in the nation - make that more than possible.
5) Perrion Winfrey (DT) - Oklahoma Sooners
Winfrey was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team in 2020 after posting 19 total tackles, six for loss and three pass breakups. He’s already built upon that season in a big way with four tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 2021.
Winfrey is projected to go in the second round and will likely be one of the first interior defensive linemen taken in the draft. No. 6 Oklahoma remains undefeated, but they’ll face a big challenge against No. 21 Texas in the Red River Showdown.
A huge game from Winfrey could help the Sooners slow down the Longhorns, who are averaging 53.3 points in their last three games including a 70-point performance against Texas Tech.