2022 NFL Draft: The Best of the Rest of the Mountain West Prospects By School
Shaq Bond was a part of the program’s fall and rebirth over the last several years, stepping into a starting safety role back in 2018 before an injury shortened his campaign in late October that year. He’d recover to make 29 more starts for the Aggies over the next three seasons, intercepting six passes and collecting 14 tackles for loss. After running a 4.82 40 at Utah State’s pro day, however, he’ll need to rely on his track record as a sure tackler with some ball skills for a chance to compete in the pros.
The wide receiver trio of Brandon Bowling, Derek Wright, and Jordan Nathan each played a role in the Aggies’ rise to the top of the Mountain West last fall. Bowling spent his one year in Logan, and his time at Arkansas State before that, burnishing his bonafides as a reliable slot option, so it wouldn’t be a shock if a NFL team gave him the chance to keep doing so despite an overall lack of size (5-9, 183 pounds).
Wright, meanwhile, actually led Utah State with 11 receiving touchdowns in 2021 and almost certainly turned some heads with a 38-inch vertical at the team’s pro day. Nathan, meanwhile, was relegated on the depth chart when other pass-catching options emerged last year and may not have the size (5-8, 177 pounds) or speed (4.65 40-yard time) to be much more than a camp body in the pros.
— USU Football (@USUFootball) November 26, 2021
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) November 10, 2019
Marcus Moore did a lot of unheralded dirty work in the trenches for the Aggies after transferring from UCLA, racking up 10.5 tackles for loss as an interior lineman for the Utah State defense. He also put on a show at his pro day, as well, with a 34.5-inch vertical and 32 bench reps that hint at an athlete who perhaps deserves a longer look from NFL coaches than it would seem at first glance.
I was watching USU from 2 weeks ago evaluating talent. USU DTs Marcus Moore and Hale Motu’apuaka were dominant! NMSU needs a new Oline coach, or new Olinemen. pic.twitter.com/Nn8sxFqRlE
— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) November 16, 2021
Cash Gilliam converted from safety to linebacker in his time with Utah State and played a key role during the championship run, collecting 64 tackles and two tackles for loss. However, at 5-10 and 201 pounds, he might be better served transitioning to the defensive backfield again for a chance to stick at the pro level and better take advantage of his quickness and smarts.
Last week with the guys, bitter sweet ❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/y10QzxHHbH
— Cash Gilliam (@aye5ive) December 12, 2021
Carson Terrell contributed to the Aggies right away as a true freshman in 2017 and finished his career with 24 starts at tight end, though his NFL utility may be somewhat limited with only average size for the position (6-4, 248 pounds) and questions about his ability to block inline.
I’m gonna send a string of USU bowl game reviews.
USU getting Carson Terrell involved! pic.twitter.com/RjGSKgt02S
— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) December 20, 2021
Offensive lineman Demetrick Ali’ifua leaves the program as its longest-tenured player ever, having played in 59 games at both center and guard. That longevity may be held against him, though, when compared with younger prospects, but his tenacity and balance should help him compete for a job, anyway.
Kyle Mayberry had only one year with the Aggies after transferring from Kansas and contributed mostly on special teams during the team’s championship run. That willingness to do unglamorous work, as well as his previous experience at both cornerback and safety, could endear him to a front office looking to fill out the last few spots on a roster.
Jaylin Bannerman provided much-needed depth to the defensive line for three seasons, starting five career games while picking up 4.5 TFLs and two sacks in 2021. After putting up a 10′ 3″ broad jump and a 32.5-inch vertical at Utah State’s pro day, he might deserve a look.
Running back Devonta’e Henry-Cole was a role player at Utah before transferring in-state to the Aggies, but he more or less disappeared from offensive game plans in 2021 and played in just two games. At the Aggies pro day, he ran a 4.44 40 at 5-7 and 193-pounds and had a 39-.5-inch vertical and a 10′ 11″ broad jump, so there might be something worth following in that flash of athleticism.