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Bowl season is in full swing, which means we’ve got some more prospects to watch in what could be their final games in college football. We’ve identified over 200 college prospects to keep an eye on ahead of the 2022 NFL draft, all of whom might be potential fits with the Kansas City Chiefs. I’ll be releasing my thoughts on many of the prospects in random groups of four on Saturdays throughout the college football season.
Our sixteenth group of prospects includes a productive linebacker, an underrated cornerback, an athletically-dominant offensive tackle and a shifty slot receiver.
Ball State LB Christian Albright
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One of the top draft prospects in the MAC, Albright is a hybrid edge defender and off-ball linebacker for Ball State. No matter where he’s lined up, the 6-2 and 240-pound defender has a knack for getting his hands on the football. He’s forced nine fumbles since his freshman season in 2017, also notching 11 passes defended and two interceptions in that span. His production extends to the backfield too, with 34 career tackles for loss and 15 career sacks.
For Kansas City, Albright would likely be looking to play the outside linebacker position in their 4-3 alignment with the ability to kick onto the defensive line on passing downs. His skillset and size remind me of the type of player that Steve Spagnuolo has traditionally utilized for the SAM linebacker position.
Next game: Camellia Bowl – Georgia State vs. Ball State – Saturday, Dec. 25 at 1:30 p.m. CT – Live stream on fuboTV (free 7-day trial).
ECU CB Ja'Quan McMillian
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Listed at 5-10 and 185 pounds, McMillian has been one of the best cornerbacks in the nation this season. Yet, a lot of people simply don’t know about McMillian or his impressive performance this season. A three-year starter for the Pirates, McMillian led the FBS in interceptions (5) and passes defended (16) during the 2021 college football season. Only Auburn’s Roger McCreary earned a higher grade from PFF (85.5 for McMillian) on the year.
While McMillian primarily plays outside at ECU, his position coach, Steve Ellis, tells me that he’s “a dog at nickel.” He also praised his toughness and smarts, calling him the “real deal.” Ellis also coached current Chiefs CB Charvarius Ward and Titans DB Kevin Byard at Middle Tennessee. He has a keen eye for how his guys will translate at the next level and McMillian could be the next of his former pupils to make a name for himself in the league.
Next game: Military Bowl – Boston College vs. East Carolina University – Monday, Dec. 27 at 1:30 p.m. CT – Live stream on fuboTV (free 7-day trial).
UCLA LT Sean Rhyan
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
A starter at left tackle for the UCLA Bruins for three seasons, the 6-4 and 320-pound offensive lineman is one of the more impressive athletes at the tackle position in this draft class. In 31 games started and over 1,100 pass-blocking snaps, Rhyan has only given up two sacks per PFF. He boasts strong hands, balance and footwork, moving well in space given his size. Some will probably say he projects best on the inside at the next level, but they said that about Chargers stud rookie LT Rashawn Slater when he was coming out too.
The Chiefs obviously invested a ton into their offensive line in the 2021 NFL offseason via free agency, trade and the draft. The key moving forward is to continue adding pieces to it and not to get complacent because of their performance this season. Rhyan might have been a better fit for the pre-2021 offensive line group for Kansas City, but it’s hard not to love what he brings to the table athletically alongside his production.
Next game: Holiday Bowl – UCLA vs. NC State – Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 7:00 p.m. CT – Live stream on fuboTV (free 7-day trial).
SMU WR Danny Gray
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Billed as a dynamic slot with a high football IQ, Gray has been one of the most impressive offensive weapons for the SMU offense this season. The 6-1 and 180-pound receiver originally got his start at Blinn College, transferring to SMU as a junior. A two-year starter with the Mustangs, Gray essentially doubled his offensive production as a senior on just 16 more receptions and two more games played in 2021. He finished the year with over 800 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 49 receptions.
The Chiefs are going to be looking to add to their receiver room this offseason. They’ll have to be pretty specific with the rookies they target just because so many in the past have failed to contribute to an Andy Reid offense right away. Gray is an intriguing Day 2 or early Day 3 target for Kansas City, who could pick up some steam in the pre-draft circuit.
Next game: Fenway Bowl – SMU vs. Virginia – Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 10:00 a.m. CT – Live stream on fuboTV (free 7-day trial).