Monday Movers | Bounce-back QBs, SEC Standouts and Overhyped Prospects

Thankful for Football (especially on Thanksgiving) DraftID Podcast

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Dawgs On Top

The top ranked Georgia Bulldogs took care of business against the Kent State Golden Flashes, which was no surprise. However, what was a surprise was Tight End Brock Bowers leading the team in rushing off of 2 attempts that went for 77 yards and 2 TDs. Bowers displayed just the tip of the iceberg in terms of his versatility and talent, but unfortunately draft fans will have to wait another year before he is eligible for the NFL. Bowers is locked in as one of the top TE prospects for the 2024 class. Fellow underclassman CB Maliki Starks also had another solid performance, as he is trending to become one of the top prospects in the 2025 class.

Bama Turns the Commodores to Crewmates

We weren’t expecting much out of Vandy against the almighty Crimson Tide, but the Commodores simply didn’t show up to this one. Bryce Young put together his cleanest performance of the season, throwing for 385 yards and 4 TDs. RB Jahmyr Gibbs had just 6 touches but made the most of them with 64 yards and a TD. The nations top pass rusher, Will Anderson, had another outstanding game with 2.5 sacks and 3 TFL. The season turns it up a notch for Alabama, who faces #20 Arkansas, #17 Texas A&M and #8 Tennessee in consecutive games.

Buckeyes Underclassmen Dominate

CJ Stroud had an easy day against Wisconsin, as the teams rushing attack got off to a hot start early. A pair of 2024 prospects, RB TreVeyon Henderson and WR Emeka Egbuka, put together dominating performances for the Buckeyes. This was also the first game of the season where WR Marvin Harrison Jr. looked human, as he was bottled up for 3 receptions for 45 yards. I continue to be so impressed with QB CJ Stroud, who has had no issues spreading the ball around and performing without his top targets. WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba was held out of this one due to his lingering hamstring issue, but there is a good chance we could see him next week against Rutgers.

Old School QB Shootout in Winston

We got an old school ACC shootout between two QBs that are looking like they could turn into draftable prospects in the spring. Clemson’s QB DJ Uiagalelei entered last season as a big time QB prospect looking to take over from where Trevor Lawrence left off. He struggled mightily and threw for just 2,000 yards, 9 TDs and 9 interceptions and went from a potential Heisman to a potential backup. Uiagalelei has bounced back in a major way this season and is off to a hot start through 4 games with 1,033 yards, 10 TDs and just 1 interception. On Saturday, DJ was the player of the game and out-dueled Wake Forest with 420 yards and 5 TDs.

On the other side of the ball, Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman shredded the Clemson secondary and threw for 337 yards and 6 TDs, which ties the ACC record for passing TDs in a game. The 5th year senior missed action earlier in the season due to an undisclosed medical issue but has gotten off to an amazing start through 3 games with 13 TDs and just 2 interceptions. It’s safe to say that both of these QBs are certainly on the draft radar. It is also worth noting that Clemson Edge Myles Murphy was quiet most of the day, but was a major disrupter late in the game when the Tigers most needed the pressure on Hartman and finished the day with half a sack and half a TFL to go along with 5 tackles.

The Trojans Offense Simmers

The USC Offense has been one of the best in the nation and was averaging 51 points per game heading into this week against Oregon State. The Beavers offense was no slouch either, which led to Vegas slapping a shockingly high 70.5 over/under for this matchup. This game turned into a sloppy defensive slugfest, with USC QB Caleb Williams completing just 44% of his passes for an average of 5 yards and just 1 TD that came late in the game with under 2 minutes left. WR1 Jordan Addison was locked up by his standards, but still was able to beat his man en route to the game winning TD catch.

USC RB Travis Dye, who is a 5th year graduate senior from Oregon, certainly has tread on his tires, but he is an accomplished veteran back that continues to make a case to be a late round RB that can contribute right away. However, the fact that he has 660 career touches in September is not a great trend and teams will likely elect to pick younger players who have yet to break out. However, Dye has been a solid veteran that has really wowed me this season with his improvement as a pass blocker, which is certainly something that could make him into a day 1 role player in the NFL.

USC LB Shane Lee, who was once a starter at Alabama and had 86 tackles in 2019, seemingly made the right choice to transfer to USC and is off to a dominant start to the season. He played a key role in the victory and led the defense with 12 tackles. Remember his name as a potential mid round pick that will be showing up on draft boards. USC struggled to put up their normal shootout performance but held it together under pressure and looks like a team that could make a case for the College Football Playoffs.

Levis Locking Down QB3?

Kentucky QB Will Levis has seemingly gotten better each week and continues to make eye-popping throws. The traits are awesome and Levis really seemed to clean up his progressions that were choppy a week before against Youngstown State. He finished the game with 303 yards and 4 TDs through the air and is slowly turning WR Tayvion Robinson into a breakout receiver in the SEC. This QB race is seemingly still wide open, but Levis reminds me of Zach Wilson just two years prior and may be a candidate for QB3 now, but don’t count out the possibility to launch past one of the top 2 sometime in the spring.

Jefferson Relies on Legs, Falls Short

Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson has been gaining some traction on Big Boards and sat at consensus QB7 heading into their matchup against Texas A&M. The rising QB just completed 12 passes for 171 yards and 2 TDs passing the ball but kept the Razorbacks alive with 105 yards on the ground and a rushing TD. On the other side of the ball, Aggies DB Antonio Johnson had another dominant performance with 11 tackles and just 26 yards allowed through the air, primarily lining up as the deep safety.

Richardson Bounces Back, Runs Out of Racetrack

Florida QB Anthony Richardson has been one of the most polarizing players in CFB at times this season but has also diminished at key moments. He pieced together a very solid performance against Tennessee and once again flashed the tools and ability sought after by the NFL. Richardson threw his first 2 passing TDs of the season to go along with 453 yards through the air and 2 rushing TDs. Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker looked phenomenal as a dual threat QB as well and couple 349 passing yards with 112 rushing and 3 total TDs. Both QBs have flashed the tools necessary to be drafted but there is a lot of games and tape left before crowning either as a top QB. Both certainly have a shot to prove that they could belong inside the Top 5 QBs in the 2023 class. Side note: It was also refreshing to see Hooker perform this well without top WR prospect, Cedric Tillman, who missed the game due to an injury.


The Best of the Rest

Utah’s TE pair of Dalton Kincaid and Thomas Yassmin look to both be Top 5 TE candidates and continue to impress. Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. put up another solid outing with 309 yards and 2 TDs. BYU QB Jaren Hall torched the Wyoming secondary with 337 yards and 4 TDs…will the 24 year old’s production and abilities be enough to outweigh his age? Mississippi State QB Will Rogers again dominates, throwing 409 yards and 6 TDs (186.3 rating) against Bowling Green. Michigan RB Blake Corum may be 5’8”, but his production is far from short as he added 243 rushing yards and 2 TDs to his hot start. Purdue WR Charlie Jones looked halfway human, but still finished with 9 receptions for 59 yards and 2 TDs to win against FAU. Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall still playing the sleeper role but sees another game with 25+ pass attempts and expanded role as a passer. It is also worth noting that McCall has struggled to get much going on passes over 20 yards this season, which was not a problem last year. Despite struggling against the run, Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr. has now been targeted 21 times this season but has allowed just 9 receptions for 89 yards and 0 TDs, with 7 PBUs. Top OT Peter Skoronski (Northwestern) continues to have a great season and has allowed just 1 pressure this season.


Be Careful Who You Trust     

A handful of flashy “media hyped” prospects are still showing up on Big Boards and watch lists despite underproduction, bad tape and some not even playing roles this season. Some of those prospects are as follows:

Eli Ricks | Alabama, CB

Ricks has not been involved in the Alabama DB rotation and does not seem to be part of Alabama’s big picture this year but is the media consensus 24th overall prospect and CB4. FADE RICKS!!! The former LSU standout is not looking like a top prospect, but may have enough good tape to land in the mid rounds.

Tyler Van Dyke | Miami, QB

I truly never understood the hype surrounding Van Dyke, a guy that never really touched our top 7 QBs. So far this season, I have been right as Van Dyke, a guy with minimal tape, experience, and production, has significantly struggled as a passer. He is currently the media’s QB5 and 41st overall prospect, but I do not have a draftable grade on Van Dyke right now.

Kayshon Boutte | LSU, WR

This is one that seriously has me scratching my head. Boutte hasn’t done much this season besides wiping his social media clean of all traces of being an LSU football player. On 19 targets, Boutte has 10 receptions for 93 yards and has 3 drops. Boutte has shown flashes of talent but has done the opposite from rising to the occasion and it is troublesome to see how putrid he has played, even when being force targeted. He looks far from an elite WR and much more like a late Day 2 target. Maybe he will rise out of this slump, but he’s currently listed as the media consensus WR1 and 8th overall prospect!! No chance!

Quentin Johnston | TCU, WR

Johnson is another traitsy WR that garnered a lot of pizazz due to his flashy testing abilities, but he has never looked like a dominant WR on the football field. Despite all of the athleticism, Johnston has yet to top 30 yards in a game this season and has been an absolute non-factor. Johnston is listed as #19 overall and WR4! I know a lot of these people putting together big board don’t watch the tape…but at least check the box score! I get upside…but a WR has to at least look like he’s played the position before.

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