Week 1’s Biggest Draft Winners and Losers

Week 1 of college football hit, but it’s still #DraftSzn here. There were some fantastic performances, and then some not so fantastic performances. Ultimately, evaluating a player’s draft stock after one week is not a good idea, but these performances definitely impacted their draft stock.

Winners:

Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

Will Grier started his season and contention for the first quarterback draft off on the right, carving up Tennessee’s secondary for 429 yards and 5 TDs. He made some fantastic throws on Saturday. His draft stock is still up in the air, but he certainly helped himself with this performance.

Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma

Rodney Anderson didn’t get much playing time in Oklahoma’s route of FAU with only 5 carries, but he made the most of them with 100 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day. He’s already being viewed as the top running back for the 2019 NFL Draft, and this performance certainly helped.

Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

Nick Bosa did Nick Bosa things against Oregon State. He finished the game with 2 sacks, and it was encouraging to see the potential #1 pick start off strong this week.

Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama 

Deionte Thompson started two games for Alabama last year, both in the national spotlight against Clemson and Georgia. With those two games, he got massive draft buzz all summer long. Against Louisville, he backed that hype up with 5 tackles, 1.5 TFL, and an INT and showed off for Bama. He looks like the next great Alabama safety.

The Notre Dame defense

Notre Dame’s defense went off on Michigan all night long, wrecking the UM offense and bursting the bubble on Patterson’s debut. LB Te’Von Coney finished with 10 total tackles, DL Jerry Tillery and LB Asmar Bilal were constantly demolishing the UM offensive line, and the DB duo of Julian Love and Alohi Gilman were making play after play in the secondary. A fantastic start to the season for them.

Ed Oliver, DL, Houston

Much like Bosa, Oliver came in and wrecked shop against Rice. He dominated the Owls’ OL on his way to 13 total tackles and 3.5 TFL as well as a few QB pressures. He reaffirmed his stock and now gets to go up against Khalil Tate next week who is also on this list.

N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

N’Keal Harry is viewed by many as the top receiver for the 2019 draft, and he showed why Saturday against UTSA. he went off for 6-140-2 against the Roadrunners, including this incredible touchdown after the catch.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford

JJAW had a spectacular game against San Diego State Friday night, going 6-226-3 on the Aztecs and putting the nation on notice with some fantastic grabs. His draft stock is TBD, but he’s now got lots of eyes on him that he might not have had beforehand.

Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State

My preseason pick to be the top G5 prospect, Brett Rypien came out strong against Troy, going 20 of 28 for 305 yards and 4 TDs. He’s going to be on the national radar all season long while leading Boise State to a potential G5 New Year’s Six bid, and he started off his draft campaign strong.

Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State

On a night where Florida State had nothing going offensively, Brian Burns took the stage and made the most of his national spotlight, flying all over the place and demonstrating big-time pro potential. Burns finished this 6 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 2 TFL. Most importantly, he reaffirmed my preason ranking of him as my EDGE2 for this draft class (PS, check out this move here for the sack).

Losers: 

Jake Browning, QB, Washington

Jake Browning wasn’t draftable to begin with, but any attempts to rectify and pick up his draft stock crashed and burned against Auburn. He looked awful all game long, especially under pressure. This was not a good showing for Browning, but next week’s FCS matchup should give him a rebound game.

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

It’s hard to say Stidham is a real loser like Browning, but he wasn’t exactly a winner either. Stidham made some really nice throws all game, but he still looked shaky under pressure and didn’t answer any questions about his scheme either. The jury’s still out here.

Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan

Yes, blame the OL. The OT play was horrendous for Michigan Saturday night and Patterson was under pressure all game long. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the game still hurt his stock. If the throw wasn’t wide open and short, Patterson wasn’t making the throw. Michigan’s gameplan was to Keep It Stupid Simple for Patterson and when Notre Dame countered, Patterson and the offense crumbled. He’s got time to rebound, but there wasn’t any growth from Shea from Ole Miss to Michigan, which is worrisome.

The Louisville Receiving Corps

Louisville has a really talented trio at receiver in Jaylen Smith, Dez Fitzpatrick, and Seth Dawkins. However, they went up against the Alabama giant this week. This was a chance for them to show off on the national stage and play against a top-notch defense to help their stock, but instead, the trio combined for 7 catches, 130 yards with no scores. Overall poor performance.

Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

Bryce Love entered the season as a Heisman hopeful and a potential first-round pick according to many analysts, but really struggled Week 1 against San Diego State, gaining a measly 29 yards on 18 carries, with 14 of those coming on one carry. His offensive line didn’t do him many favors, but a tough showing for Love Week 1.

Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona

Khalil Tate’s performance against BYU was…not a great one. Tate was held to 14 yards rushing and his throwing was hit and miss all night long. Many people believe Khalil Tate is the next Lamar Jackson (somehow), and that performance shot his stock in the foot. Next week’s test against Ed Oliver and Houston’s defense will either reignite his stock or send it crashing down.

Other impact performances:

Buckshot Calvert, QB, Liberty & Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty

You wanna talk the most unknown QB-WR duo in the league? These two lit up Old Dominion on Saturday. Calvert went 25-36 for 345 and 4 TDs, while Gandy-Golden went 6-53-3 and made some highlight reel performances. While Calvert looks to be more of a 2020 prospect, Gandy-Golden is a prime candidate to have some fans in the 3rd or 4th round of the draft. 6’4 220 with some ridiculous body control and contested catch ability. These two will be CFF darlings and may garner some serious draft attention against Army and Auburn this season.

Mason Fine, QB, North Texas & Jalen Guyton, WR, North Texas

Another QB-WR duo that doesn’t get talked about enough debuts on this list. Fine went 40 of 50 (with three drops and a throwaway) for 444 yards and 3 TDs, while Guyton posted a 7-95-2 stat line. These two carved up SMU’s defense and they deserved a mention on this list.

Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Hollywood Brown went off on FAU, hauling in 6 catches for 133 yards and 1 TD, including a 65 yard bomb from Kyler Murray. He showed off his vertical ability too, making an excellent contested catch, something I didn’t expect him to do at 5’10.

Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii

McDonald’s excellent level of play put the nation on notice of this Hawaii team. Through 2 weeks, McDonald has gone 56 of 78 for 846 yards passing and 9 touchdowns against Colorado State and Navy. He’s garnered the attention of a few draft analysts on Twitter, and has become must-see TV. We’ll see if it’s sustainable, but Cole deserves a shoutout for his performances.

Jalin Moore, RB, App State

Everyone wanted to see an App State upset (save for Penn State fans), and Jalin Moore was a big reason why the Mountaineers took the game to overtime. He had several big plays, using his athletic ability to his advantage to slice through the Penn State defense. A great showing for a player who has quite a few fans in the draft community.

Tyre Brady, WR, Marshall

Tyre Brady looked ridiculous against Miami Ohio, going off for 9-116-2 including some ridiculous grabs. He’s already got the attention of many draft fans and analysts and he started his 2019 campaign off the right way. Just look at this grab.

Marquise Copeland, DT, Cincinnati and Cortez Broughton, DT, Cincinnati

These two guys aren’t really discussed all that much, but they were a huge reason why Cincinnati pulled off the upset against Chip Kelly’s Bruins this week. Copeland finished with 7 tackles and several key plays against the run. PFF credited him with a run-stop percentage of 30%, which was best in the nation. Cortez Broughton brought the heat in the pass rush, nabbing 6 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 4.5 TFL. These two showed up on the big  stage and caught my eye. The Bearcats have a few more key games on the schedule (Ohio, Navy, UCF) for these two to really show off, but a terrific start to the season.

 

 

 

 

aschulte

Amateur scout for the NFL http://Draft.Here to talk sports and have fun. Keep learning! Writer and editor for @DFF_Dynasty and @DFF_College. You can follow me on Twitter @AJDraftScout.

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