Another week is in the books and it seems the sample size is increasing enough to make definitive statements on players. This week’s Stock Up, Stock Down, and Names To Know highlights some big dips and some stocks up that people need to get on board with.
Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Hutchinson continued to have a consistently dominant season and kept it going against Rutgers. He has had a sack in every game this season and got another one against Rutgers. Ragdolling the Rutgers offensive line all game with penetration, Hutchinson’s size, power, and athletic ability are among the best in college football. It is time to get on the bandwagon if you haven’t gotten on board with him as a first-round pick.
Zach Tom, OT, Wake Forest
Brian has written about Tom before, and it was my first look this season. I was not disappointed with Tom against Virginia, especially in his pass protection. He is excellent at not letting defenders disengage with him with superb hand placement and balance. A former Center, Tom can be a swing back-up in the NFL for all 5 offensive line positions. He stonewalled a few different defenders throughout the game, and though Tom won’t pancake anyone soon, he got a decent push. He is likely an early 3rd-day pick at this point with upside for higher.
Trey Dean, CB, Florida
Though Kaiir Elam is likely the better pro prospect, Dean had an excellent game against Tennessee. With Elam out, Dean drew top CB duties and had his best game. A good tackling CB, Dean, played close to the line and sniffed out a screen early in the game. He also played downhill against the run at times to help with the edge. Add in some solid tight coverage, and Dean might be moving up into the early 3rd day.
Perrion Winfrey, DL, Oklahoma
Though Oklahoma had some struggles against West Virginia, Winfrey was not part of the problem. His explosiveness off the snap was apparent as he seemed to move in conjunction with the snap often. Going up against another draftable player in WVU’s Doug Nester, Winfrey used his athleticism to win. He got into the backfield often and changed the course of a few plays even when not picking up anything on the stat sheet. He did end up with a solid sack toward the end of the game to help get OU the ball back.
Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma
After four weeks, the sample size is big enough to make some conclusions about Rattler. He isn’t a bad QB prospect by any means, but the expectation for Rattler to take a big step forward and be a high-end QB just isn’t happening. He simply isn’t playing as well as past Lincoln Riley QBs like Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts. The West Virginia game was another mediocre performance where Rattler made terrible decisions and was never comfortable taking over. He missed some easy passes sailing them high or putting his receivers in a lousy position to continue running after the catch. He also had an interception where a safety jumped the route (though it was not wholly Rattler’s fault, it had to be accounted for reading in the moment).
Ultimately, Rattler is a great talent who hasn’t put it together yet and may even be served to stay for another season. But, with Sooner fans calling for freshman Caleb Williams, Rattler will have to keep his head on straight and keep getting better to be a first-round pick.
Tyler Shough, QB, Texas Tech
Shough struggled early in the game against Texas. He threw a bad Pick 6 to the sideline, floating the ball so CB Josh Thompson could pick it off. Ultimately, Shough left with a broken collarbone that will keep him on the shelf for a month. Shough was a player I was pretty high on and felt he could take a big step to become a high draft pick; Shough has not adjusted well from Oregon to Texas Tech. Another QB who will need another year to get himself right.
Eric Gray, RB, Oklahoma
Gray’s transfer to Oklahoma had the potential to turn him into one of the best RBs in the country. But, Oklahoma’s struggles have also resulted in Gray struggling to find his footing. He isn’t a super elusive RB in short space trying to brute force his way through the line of scrimmage. The hope was his movement ability and vision would improve a bit, but it hasn’t. He has essentially been in a 50/50 split with Kennedy Brooks and been much less effective. Against WVU, it was more of the same. Gray running into contact and not being able to shake it off for any significant gains is a problem for his draft stock.
Doug Nester, G, West Virginia
Nester had a ton of success early in his career at Virginia Tech, and he has been perfect for WVU so far, but the Oklahoma game was rough. Nester was having trouble blocking Perrion Winfrey throughout the game in pass protection. Even though Nester has been the go-to for the run game, he didn’t get much of a push leading to RB Leddie Brown struggling as well. Not a great game for Nester and his stock took a slight dip, but he is still a good player.
Names To Know
Olakunle Fatukasi, LB, Rutgers
The Michigan/Rutgers game was a tale of two halves. Rutgers’ defense played poorly in the first half and then tightened up in the second half for a close game. One of the reasons for the late success was Fatukasi, who flew around the field trying to make big plays and keep Rutgers in the game. Though he didn’t put up any eye-popping stats in the game, Fatukasi leaped off the page with his burst and ability to shed blocks on the second level. Rutgers has some solid defensive prospects in Fatukasi, CB Avery Young, and even another LB in Tyshon Fogg, and should not be overlooked just based on the school name.
D’Shawn Jamison, CB, Texas
Jamison had a solid day at CB, but he made my head turn with his impressive return ability on special teams. Jamison’s 43-yard punt return was nearly a TD as he ran navigated his way through Tech’s coverage team. An electric burst gives him CB upside and puts him in the conversation for the best PR in the draft. Jamison is a draftable prospect moving up my board for sure.
Colin Schooler, LB, Texas Tech
Schooler’s game against Texas will be known by the stiff arm RB Bijan Robinson game him in the flat after a catch, but Schooler played pretty well for most of the game. A downhill tackler who is good at wrapping up, Schooler is a name to know for later in the draft. He played the run against Bijan well for most of the game, holding him until other defenders could help with the tackling. Schooler’s smarts and football IQ should go a long way.
Gabe Brkic, K, Oklahoma
Brkic was money this week against West Virginia, knocking in 3 Field Goals (though all were 35 yards or less,) including a game-winning 30 yard FG. That doesn’t mean he isn’t solid from long distances either. So far this season, 3 of Brkic’s hits were from over 50 yards. He is competing with a few kickers for the top spot this year, but if an NFL team needs a kicker who can clutch a win, Brkic showed that he could.