Future Stars: The Best NFL Draft Prospects To Discover – Week 4

Future Stars: The Best NFL Draft Prospects To Discover – Week 4
Reading Time: 5 minutes.

Future Stars in week 4 features some high calibre players who will hear their names called in the first few rounds of the next NFL Draft.

Future Stars brings you the 2022 NFL Draft Prospects you should keep your eye on every week in the UK televised games, throughout the college season and into next year’s Draft.

Week 4 of college football has 5 games that you can watch in the UK across BT Sport.


Of course keep an eye on your TV guide for any scheduling changes!

Here are your Future Stars in week 4!



Charles Cross - Future Stars
Image Credit: Mississippi State Athletics

In an offensive tackle class which is wide open, Charles Cross is a name to watch. No draft eligible OT has really taken this season by the scruff of the neck. Zion Nelson was included in Future Stars last week and had a shocker, showing just how unpredicable the 2022 NFL has become.

However, Cross is doing all he can to put his name in the mix. He was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week, two weekends ago and if he can continue to press on he can really stack a claim in this class.

On the field, Cross is a great athlete who has ideal size and length. His footwork is insane for a man of his stature. Having taken on a large percentage of snaps in pass protection, he is a player who has developed a strong anchor, but he is also intelligent enough to understand defensive play designs and concepts.

As a run blocker, Cross has great balance and explosiveness off the line of scrimmage. He has the burst to get to the second level quickly and is able to absorb pressure and drive back oncoming defenders.

Cross has the traits and mesurables to be highly sort after by NFL teams. He has done well this season, but in a tackle class which is yet to be claimed, Charles Cross can put down a marker. 


After a quiet start to his 2021 season, Treylon Burks showed why he is viewed towards the top of this wide receiver class last week, in Arkansas’ blowout win against Georgia Southern.

Physically, Burks is a freak. Athletically, Burks is a freak. An absolute anomaly of a player, you simply don’t find many humans on this Earth built like Treylon Burks. 

Burks is able to combine size and power with exceptional explosiveness. His rare size and build means he is undervalued as a blocking receiver. But, it is with the ball in his hands where Burks really takes off. 

Burks plays the game like a gadget player. He is used in multiple different ways by the Razorbacks, where he gets lots of success on screen plays and running the ball out of the backfield. As a pure X receiver he has an excellent catch radius. With strength and speed, he is a demon for opposing defences and will be an exciting chess piece in the NFL.

Going into this season we were hoping to see Burks work outside the numbers and see him with the ball in his hands more. That appears to be starting to happen and if Arkansas are to get a win against a Texas A&M team, who are ranked in the top 10, then Burks having a big day is going to be essential. 


Ainais Smith - Future Stars
Image Credit: Gig Em Gazette

Coming off an injury against New Mexico last weekend, Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher indicated during his press conference that Smith would be able to play against Arkansas. 

Is Ainias Smith a running back or a wide receiver? Can he be both? One thing we do know is he is a dynamic playmaker who will be a future star at the next level. 

The term swiss army knife when used to describe players is perennially overused. But, when used to describe Smith, it is apt. 

He is the definition of a utility player. You watch one snap he is blocking. The next he is running deep routes. The next he is lined up in the backfield. The most important thing is that Smith is successful at them all. 

Smith has an extremely varied route tree and he has the speed to run them all. He is explosive and sudden off the line of scrimmage and he has really sticky hands. You rarely see him drop a ball and Smith shows the same explosive speed after the catch. 

Smith may be best suited as part of a committee of running backs, but wherever you line Smith up on the field he is a baller and will be a playmaker. He is happy to do the dirty work, but will offer so much as a dynamic weapon once he reaches the NFL.  


When you think of stars in this Oklahoma team, you automatically think of the offensive weapon available to Lincoln Riley. But, don’t sleep on this defense, and this defensive line in particular, which has a number of names which could have their name called in the 2022 NFL Draft. 

One such name is defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey.

Winfrey is a strong and powerful defensive tackle who plays up to his size. He is a mauler and a finisher, who has a really impressive motor. Winfrey plays with 100% effort and is explosive off the line of scrimmage. That explosiveness causes pressure on the pocket and his power can be overpowering for interior lineman; where he can push them back to cause disruption. 

Winfrey is an exciting prospect in a 2022 Draft defensive tackle class which is again underwhelming. He is still raw and needs some more refinement and more development in his counters. Taking more snaps will help this and Winfrey could sit quite highly in a poor defensive tackle class. 


Verone McKinley III - Future Stars
Image Credit: Daily Emerald

You will hear us say this time and time again. This 2022 NFL Draft safety class is historic. There are so many quality safeties available, which we just haven’t seen in many years. 

One player who wasn’t being spoken about in preseason, but after an extraordinary start to this season is firmly in the mix, is Verone McKinley. 

McKinley has turned up in every game so far in 2021. He has been all over the field and has been excellent in coverage. A player who blossoms in zone coverage, his field awareness is excellent. His football intelligence is superb. He rarely gives up much separation and his explosive closing speed is first rate. 

McKinley has the ball skills, the speed and phenomenal movement skills. His success and traits will be easily translatable to the NFL game.

McKinley isn’t going to be a player who you leave in single high. He isn’t a centre fielder due to his lack of size, but in a cover 2 scheme, McKinley will thrive. If McKinley can continue his trajectory he can expect to be a player NFL teams take a serious look at. 

Which Future Stars will you have your eye on this week? Let us know over on Twitter @NinetynineYards and @Owain_Jones_ 

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