Mountain West Football: First Look At 2024 NFL Draft Prospects
Next year’s class of NFL prospects from the Mountain West is an interesting mix of stars and under-the-radar breakout candidates.
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Who could be next April’s top players?
As usual, it’s always tough to determine which cadets are most likely to be on the NFL’s radar, but the Falcons project to have a very stingy defense this fall and that could bode well for someone like Camby Goff. The defensive back from Reynoldsburg, Ohio has played all over the secondary, and often in the box, over the last two seasons and led Air Force in 2022 with three interceptions and nine passes defended while allowing just 42.9% of receiver targets to be caught. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, he’s definitely worth tuning in for.
CAMBY GOFF INT WINS IT FOR AIR FORCE ✈️
The Falcons clinch their first Commander-in-Chief's Trophy since 2016 pic.twitter.com/SZbRI0aECg
— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) November 5, 2022
In the mix: Trey Taylor, S; Everett Smalley, OT
If the bounceback can last for another season, then it’s easy to think that NFL teams will be interested in running back George Holani. Though he had help in the offensive backfield throughout 2022, Holani led the Broncos with 1,157 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns while contributing 24 receptions for 151 yards to the passing game, as well.
The most enticing statistic, though? According to Pro Football Focus, Holani had 15 more missed tackles forced (70) than any other Mountain West running back. As usual, the Broncos are likely to have a handful of prospects worth following, but he may be something else entirely.
In the mix: Cade Beresford, OT; Stefan Cobbs, WR; DJ Schramm, LB
The Rams didn’t have a great 2023 as a team, but Mohamed Kamara thrived under new defensive coordinator Freddie Banks. Among Mountain West defenders, the Newark native finished in a tie for fourth with 8.5 sacks and third with 16.5 tackles for loss while tallying 35 quarterback hurries. Now that he has a full year within Banks’ system under his belt, he should be in the conversation as the conference’s most disruptive player next season.
Mohamed Kamara with an impressive pass-rush rep for @CSUFootball pic.twitter.com/kaoCwxDYAc
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) September 3, 2022
In the mix: Chigozie Anusiem, CB; Tory Horton, WR
The Bulldogs may not be quite as rife with prospects next year, but Levelle Bailey is an underrated defender who figures to anchor a veteran linebacker unit. Over the past two seasons, he’s racked up 144 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and 13 passes defended; in 2022, Pro Football Focus credited him with 48 stops, tied for the second-most among all Mountain West players.
Hold the fort down 6️⃣
One more time REDWAVE🗣🐶 #GoDogs pic.twitter.com/s4scQiaUyN
— 6️⃣ (@LevelleBailey6) January 17, 2023
In the mix: Cam Lockridge, CB
The Warriors will have much more experience on hand in Timmy Chang‘s second year at the helm and, among their veteran group, Virdel Edwards II is someone who deserves more attention. After transferring in from Iowa State, he made a switch from safety to cornerback and became the top player, per PFF, in Hawaii’s secondary last year with a 71.4 overall grade. He tied for the team lead with three interceptions and broke up five passes while collecting 50 total tackles and, at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, has a blend of size and athleticism unlike many of his peers at the position throughout the Mountain West.
Braddahs and Sistas… @EdwardsVee #BRADDAHHOOD pic.twitter.com/Uejx9iQBHw
— Hawaii Football (@HawaiiFootball) August 2, 2022
In the mix: Matthew Shipley, P/K; Cam Stone, CB; Solo Vaipulu, OL
It might seem lazy to select a specialist here, but Brandon Talton is no ordinary kicker. He announced himself back in 2019 by crushing a game-winning 56-yard field goal in the Wolf Pack’s season opener against Purdue, then connected on his first 13 field goal tries and then, four years later, set the Mountain West record for career field goals made with a 80% success rate. Oh, and did we mention that includes making 20-of-31 of field goals from 40-plus yards? Nevada hasn’t been shy about letting him use his cannon leg to put points on the board over the years.
Brandon Talton knocks through the 55-yard field goal. 💰 pic.twitter.com/vv7OrLCVdr
— Nevada Sports Net (@NevadaSportsNet) April 22, 2023
In the mix: Dalevon Campbell, WR
One of the few mainstays on a Lobos defense that’s seen plenty of upheaval over the past two off-seasons, Donte Martin is back to make another argument that he’ll belong in the NFL this time next year. Since breaking into the starting lineup as a redshirt freshman in 2019, Martin has defended 27 passes and, according to Pro Football Focus, he had his best season yet in 2022 with an overall grade of 74.0. If UNM has a resurgence this fall, Martin is likely to be a big reason why.
In the mix: Dylan Hopkins, QB; Aaron Rodriguez, P