Week 1 of the college football season has wrapped up and it was one hell of a week. College football never disappoints. So many prospects lived up to the hype, some hurt their stock, and some came out of nowhere to put themselves on the map.
Tweet of the Week
Alabama really is letting Deionte Thompson play the same cornerstone single-high role Clinton-Dix did in 2012-2013. In Saban's defense, that's an honor. They've played some single-high since, but not in the way Clinton-Dix did. Not until now. Thompson is a special talent.
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) September 4, 2018
There’s not necessarily one tweet that stands out from this past week but rather a theme of tweets from Saturday. There was a point in time Saturday where everybody realized, “dang flabbit, Saban got himself another one.” Deionte Thompson might be the best player on Alabama’s defense. A defense that includes Mack Wilson, Raekwon Davis, Anfernee Jennings, and Isaiah Buggs. What Thompson did and showed versus Louisville was incredible. He was all over the field making plays against the run. When playing in coverage he showed elite range and ball skills. This is a first-round talent and the best safety in the country.
In the News
The big news in the NFL this week is the Oakland Raiders trading All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears. This trade has NFL Draft implications because of the six draft picks involved. It also raises the question, how valuable are first-round draft picks? Khalil Mack is a rare type of player. The high draft pick, who arguably exceeds expectations both on-and-off the field. Paying a player like him costs a lot. The Bears understand how rare a guy like he is, so they gave him a six-year $141 million deal with $90 million guaranteed.
Sure, it costs a ton, but Mack is the missing link for their defense to be one of the best. Back to what the Raiders got: two first-round picks. The chance of either of those picks being anything near Khalil Mack is slim. Both those picks might not even be high picks with the direction the Bears look to be headign. So why did Jon Gruden and the Raiders do this? It makes no sense; they’ll be lucky if they find two players half as good as Mack with those picks. Just pick any two random first-round picks over the past couple drafts and ask yourself, “are they two guys equal to Khalil Mack?” Oh yeah, the Raiders also threw the Bears a second-round pick in the deal… nothing makes sense.
|Raiders Receive||Bears Receive|
|2019 1st-round pick||Khalil Mack, EDGE|
|2019 6th-round pick||2020 2nd-round pick|
|2020 1st-round pick||2020 5th-round pick|
|2020 3rd-round pick|
Star: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State (6-3, 270 pounds)
Ohio State's D-line is ridiculous. Nick Bosa will probably be the #1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Across from him, Chase Young looks like he could be the #1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Here they meet at the QB. pic.twitter.com/x8Sx6I6m8D
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) September 4, 2018
Nobody refers to Nick Bosa as Joey’s little brother anymore. He’s made his own name for himself and after summer grades and Week One, he looks like the favorite to be the 1st overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Bosa is the best pass rusher in the country. He might not be the athletic bendy freak that we’re use to seeing go at the top, but he’s a sack artist.
Heavy and violent hands are the key to consistency when pass rushing, nobody has better hands than Bosa. He loves to slap the tackles initial shot with their hands and work a combo move off of that. If that doesn’t work he’s great with speed to power due to his explosive first step and impressive strength for an edge rusher. There are few tackles in this world that will be able to stop Bosa for four straight quarters. Against the run, he’s just as good. When he needs to set the edge he has no problem doing it and when he needs to crash, he usually makes the play. An edge with his technical skill, strength, athleticism, and motor is rare to find.
Pro Comparison: Joey Bosa
Sleeper: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia (6-5, 308 pounds)
West Virginia has one of the most exciting offenses in college football. They have a Heisman contender at quarterback in Will Grier, a top receiver duo in the country in David Sills V and Gary Jennings, and they run the beloved Air Raid offense. All of that overshadows the dominance of their left tackle, Yodny Cajuste.
Cajuste is a top five tackle prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft. He has a real shot to go in the first-round based off of early tape study. Going up against Tennessee he had zero issues and was on his game all day. Cajuste is one of the best pass blockers in the country. He’s a smooth mover with quick footwork and rarely wastes steps. On top of that, in pass pro he uses his length and hands well to keep defenders off of him. One thing that sticks out is his balance. He shifts so well through contact and always remains square, an underrated ability for a tackle. Sometimes he plays too high and at times he needs to be more of a finisher in the run game. However, his ability as a pass protector is going to shoot his stock up.
Pro Comparison: David Bakhtiari
Overrated: Bryce Love, RB, Stanford (5-9, 196 pounds)
Being a Heisman contender gives an extra boost to summer NFL Draft grades it seems. Some people have projected Bryce Love as a first-round pick and even a top 10 player. That’s ludicrous. He’s one of the best college football players right now, but that doesn’t make him a top running back prospect. In fact, he isn’t event he best running back prospect in the Pac-12 (hello Myles Gaskin). Love is a polarizing player. He’s got impressive elusiveness and burst on top of elite quickness, but he isn’t an RB1 in the NFL. Not being able to break tackles is a huge problem for Love. He has no power and goes down far too easily when contacted. A lot of his game is based off of breaking the big run, but when he’s keyed in on he becomes a non-factor. With solid ability in the passing game and his athleticism he should be able to find a nice role as a satellite back, but he’s far from an elite prospect.
Pro Comparison: Reggie Bush
Riser and Sliders
- Even though Miami was embarrassed by LSU, a star was born on their defensive line. Gerald Willis had a dominant performance racking up eight tackles, four TFLs, one sack, and a batted ball. He was involved in almost every positive defensive play by the Hurricanes. Willis has a checkered past, but has the makings of an elite 3-tech prospect.
Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State
Brett Rypien made some big throws vs Troy. Puts the ball high and outside over the DB where only his WR can make a play. Looks like a guy I was too low on entering the season. pic.twitter.com/yhGZyVnVtc
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) September 3, 2018
- Everybody knows Brett Rypien at this point. He’s the nephew of Canadian Super Bowl champion quarterback Mark Rypien and has been Boise State’s starting quarterback for four years now. Against Troy this past weekend he showed improved accuracy on every level on his way to throwing four TDs and completing over 70% of his throws. The arm strength is there for Rypien too; he could be a developmental starter.
Jerry Tillery, IDL, Notre Dame
- A huge reason Notre Dame beat Michigan on Saturday was because of the performance of Jerry Tillery. He didn’t light up the stats, he had three tackles, one TFL, and one sack, but he did show he’s an every down interior defensive lineman. Tillery used his length well as a pass rusher and the Michigan O-line couldn’t handle his size and strength vs the run.
- It’s not everyday the Hokies go into Tallahassee and win, prior to Monday night it hadn’t happened since 1974. The victory had a lot to do with Bud Foster’s defense. Edge rusher Trevon Hill’s play was terrific. He racked up four tackles, three TFLs, and two sacks, showing an explosive first step, good bend around the edge, and multiple pass rush moves.
Garrett Brumfield, OG, LSU
- The play that changed the game for LSU was Nick Brossette’s 50-yard TD run. That run doesn’t happen without Garrett Brumfield working his way to the secondary and making the key block. Brumfield has terrific movement skills and plays like an SOB. He’s the type of offensive linemen NFL coaches will love.
Trey Adams, OT, Washington
- Unfortunately for Trey Adams, he lands at the top of the sliders list not due to play, but due to injury. Before kickoff versus Auburn on Saturday it came out that Adams wouldn’t be playing due to a back injury. Since then it’s been reported he’ll miss the majority of the season. Taking into account he missed half of last season with a torn ACL, Adams will be a risky prospect to draft early.
Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan
- Michigan fans shouldn’t give up hope that they have their quarterback, but Shea Patterson struggled a ton versus Notre Dame. Leaving the spread offense at Ole Miss for the pro-style at Michigan hurt him. Patterson loves to play in a wide open offense where he can move around and make plays. In the classic Michigan offense, he looks uncomfortable and never got into a rhythm. He’ll need to adjust quickly to keep his draft stock up.
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
- Stanford rarely has trouble running the ball, but Friday the Pac-12 After Dark got too dark for Bryce Love. At no point was Love effective. He was bottled up all night and showed an inability to break tackles. When defenses key in on him like the Aztecs did he adds nothing to the Stanford offense. If he can’t break the big run consistently, Stanford’s run game won’t be the same.
Ahmmon Richards, WR, Miami
- There still doesn’t seem to be much of an explanation for Ahmmon Richards lack of playing time in the loss to LSU. There were times Miami went five wide and Richards was standing on the sideline. When he was on the field he didn’t do much and Sophomore Jeff Thomas was who the Hurricanes leaned on to make plays.
Levonta Taylor, CB, Florida State
- It was a tough for Florida State to lose and look so ineffectively against Virginia Tech. Other than Brian Burns, the Florida State defense couldn’t do anything. Levonta Taylor could be a first-round pick, but against the Hokies his lack of size and physicality was picked on. Multiple times he was out jumped and outmuscled for balls.
Game of the Week
#17 USC @ #10 Stanford
The Pac-12 is slept on a lot, probably because us East Coast folk are in bed by kickoff, but every season is full of NFL talent. Pac-12 After Dark is one of the more fun traditions in college football and this Saturday the best game kicks at a reasonable time.
Bryce Love is the name everybody will be watching with an offensive line full of NFL talent blocking for him. The most interesting matchup will be Stanford wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside vs USC cornerback Iman Marshall. Both players have size and physicality to win downfield. USC has some talent on the D-line and this will be a major test for them because Stanford has a top five O-line in the country. Both teams have a linebacker to watch for with USC’s Cameron Smith and Stanford’s Bobby Okereke. Also Stanford tight end Kaden Smith could be the X-factor. QB KJ Costello has a ton of trust in him and Arcega-Whiteside. There’s no definite first-round talent in this game, but there’s double digit NFL players.
|#17 USC||#10 Stanford|
|Cameron Smith, LB||JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR|
|Iman Marshall, CB||Nate Herbig, OG|
|Porter Gustin, ED||Bryce Love, RB|
|Chuma Edoga, OT||KJ Costello, QB|
|Tyler Petite, TE||Bobby Okereke, LB|
|Tyler Vaughns, WR||Jesse Burkett, C|
|Christian Rector, DL||Kaden Smith, TE|
|Marvell Tell III, S||Brandon Fanaika, OG|
|Toa Lobendahn, OL||Trenton Irwin, WR|
|Chris Brown, OG||AT Hall, OT|
|Michael Pittman Jr., WR||Alijah Holder, CB|
|Chris Tilbey, P||Jake Bailey, P|
The All-Best Kept Secret Team
There’s way too many teams in college football for people to keep track of every talented future NFL player in every conference. There’s a bunch of guys that will be playing on Sundays that aren’t household names yet. These are the guys I call: the best kept secrets of college football. The guys who when you throw on a random game, your eyes immediately go to them because they’re better than everybody around them. Sometimes they’re on talented teams but are overshadowed by bigger names. Nevertheless they are NFL talents. These are the guys in college football who haven’t received the hype they deserve… yet, but they’ll be playing on NFL Sunday’s.
|QB||Riley Neal||Ball State|
|RB||Matt Colburn II||Wake Forest|
|TE||Dawson Knox||Ole Miss|
|OT||Yodny Cajuste||West Virginia|
|OG||Chandler Brewer||Middle Tennessee State|
|C||Ryan Anderson||Wake Forest|
|EDGE||Zach Allen||Boston College|
|IDL||Renell Wren||Arizona State|
|EDGE||Maxx Crosby||Eastern Michigan|
|LB||Tuf Borland||Ohio State|
|LB||Germaine Pratt||NC State|
|CB||Amani Oruwariye||Penn State|
|NB||Antoine Winfield Jr.||Minnesota|
Underclassmen on the Radar
Freaky Frosh: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
It’s not everyday everybody everywhere is tweeting about a tiny Freshman wide receiver from Purdue on a Thursday night. But, it’s not everyday a kid has 313 total yards in their first ever college football game. Rondale Moore might have had the most impressive offensive output of anybody from Week One. Moore had a 32-yard receiving touchdown and a 76-yard rushing touchdown on back-to-back drives for the Boilermakers. He’s the weapon Jeff Brohm needs to take Purude to the next-level. Moore is a burner in the open field, but he’s also got the elusiveness to make defenders miss. His ability to stop on a dime and cut is rare for a young wide reicever. Despite his slight size, he plays tough and looks like a future star slot receiver.
Super Sophomore: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Is it too early to declare Chase Young the best prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft? This kid is a freak and it isn’t fair that Ohio State has him and Nick Bosa rushing off the edge. Bold prediction: the next two NFL Draft’s will have edge rushers from Ohio State go first overall. Saturday against Oregon State, Chase Young dominated. In the stat sheet he only registered two tackles, but on tape he was unstoppable. In the first half I counted at least eight quarterback pressures, yes eight. This guy wasn’t even playing full-time snaps and was winning reps that frequently. His size, explosiveness, heavy hands, motor and strength are crazy for his age. Other than twice being drawn offside, Young had a perfect Sophomore debut. He has the makeup of a defensive franchise cornerstone.
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