Another week of college football in the books. Lot’s of things happened. Like Nick Bosa getting injured, Dwayne Haskins putting his name in the quarterback convo, Jarrett Stidham playing awful against LSU, Florida State becoming the worst program in Florida, and a guy named Squally Canada taking down #6 Wisconsin. Also, it’s finally the week we get to see Justin Herbert face a real defense, so get excited!
Tweet of the Week
Trade now agreed to: Patriots are sending Cleveland a 5th-round pick and if Gordon isn't active for 10 games, Patriots get back a late-round pick from Browns, sources tell ESPN.
The Browns finally moved on from the enigma that is Josh Gordon and sent him to the Patriots for a conditional 5th-round pick. That’s correct a wide receiver with potential Pro Bowl ability was traded to the PATRIOTS for just a 5th-round pick. Cleveland was shopping him for a few days and talked with multiple teams, and this was the best offer they could get.
Obviously, Gordon is a complete question mark, having played in just 11 games since 2014, but his talent is undeniable and he’s still just 27-years old. He fits a major need for the Patriots as an outside downfield threat and if he doesn’t play 10 games this year for them, they get a 7th-round pick back from the Browns. So taking on Gordon is a risk, but for that little it seems completely worth it. The Patriots did once trade a 4th-round pick for Randy Moss.
It’s crazy that the Browns would give up a player of Gordon’s talent for a 5th-round pick. Looking at the wide receivers drafted in the 5th-round between 2012-2017 (Gordon’s rookie year) there have been 24 selected. Of those 24, four have been above-average or better players, two have been serviceable depth players, three have shown promise, 14 have had less than 400 career receiving yards, and one was moved to cornerback.
Marvin Jones, Kenny Stills, Stefon Diggs, and Tyreek Hill are outliers. The chance the Browns hit a player of any of their talents in the 5th-round are so slim. Gordon has 3,106 career receiving yards, only Jones and Stills have had more. Gordon has also only played in two and half seasons worth of games. For his career Gordon averages 75.8 receiving yards per game, more than any player on this list. The NFL overvalues draft picks.
5th-Round WRs Drafted 2012-2017
|Danny Coale||Virginia Tech||2012||0|
|Rashad Greene||Florida State||2015||125|
|Tony Lippett||Michigan State||2015||Switched to CB|
|Keith Mumphrey||Michigan State||2015||198|
|Tyreek Hill||West Alabama||2016||2,035|
|Rashard Higgins||Colorado State||2016||474|
|Shelton Gibson||West Virginia||2017||11|
|Rodney Adams||South Florida||2017||0|
|Trent Taylor||Louisiana Tech||2017||458|
In the News
Unfortunately, this is injury news. Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa was injured early in the third quarter against TCU and didn’t return to the game. Bosa has now been ruled out versus Tulane with an abdominal and groin issue. It’s not a massive deal that Bosa won’t be there to take on the Green Wave because the Ohio State d-line still is stacked. Chase Young, Robert Landers, and Dre’Mont Jones should be able to carry the load, but the length Bosa is out is still in question.
The following week Ohio State goes to Happy Valley to take on #10 Penn State. Bosa is the best player in the country. He’s an absolute game changer but he’s basically already locked up being the #1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. So there’s a serious question, why bother rushing back for this game? Why risk potential further injury that could hurt his draft stock? It’ll be interesting to see how it all unfolds.
Star: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State (6-4, 230 pounds)
Florida State pass rusher Brian Burns is nasty. Explosive off the edge, sheds the block with a quick swipe using his hands, has the flexibility to bend the edge, and finishes with the sack. pic.twitter.com/M1CmklirRM
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) July 21, 2018
Florida State’s season is off to a disgusting 1-2 start and they’ve been awful. Their big bright spot is edge rusher Brian Burns. In just three games this season Burns has 3.5 sacks and five TFLs. Every week he shows up and balls out despite the rest of the team slumping. In a deep edge rusher class, Burns has risen up above a clumped grouping and put himself fully into first-round talk.
Although he lacks some size, it’s rare that it effects him because he’s an athletic pass rusher. What stands out most in Burns game, is his explosion off the line. He’s a great athlete which automatically gives him an advantage over most offensive tackles. Bend is always important for great pass rushers and nobody in this class bends the edge like Burns. His body flexibility allows him to dip and get his hips around tackles effortlessly.
Everybody already knows it, but Brian Burns ability to bend and dip around the edge is a thing of beauty. Absolutely mugs Florida's left tackle on this strip sack. pic.twitter.com/5cxX7TNEFc
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) August 29, 2018
The explosion and bend make him a great speed rusher on the outside and he even has a spin move in his arsenal as a counter. Burns is very good at making up for his lack of weight by consistently cutting the offensive tackle in half and attacking their outside shoulder. When he does that with his get off and bend ability the tackle has to overcompensate to their outside and BAM, that’s when Burns can pull the inside spin to counter.
Although, he isn’t elite with his hands, he still uses them well. He has a swipe move in his repertoire that he’ll go to with quicker offensive tackles. Against the run he can get washed out at times due to his lack of size, but he has a motor and gets involved as much as he can. In the right system, Burns can be a pass rushing monster in the NFL.
Pro Comparison: Yannick Ngakoue
Sleeper: Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis (5-9, 200 pounds)
This isn’t the best running back class in the world. The 2017, 2018, and 2020 running back classes are much better than this one. With Rodney Anderson’s torn ACL, the class is pretty wide open after David Montgomery and Damien Harris. A guy who is putting his name into the conversation of top five RB is Memphis’ Darrell Henderson.
Right now, Henderson leads the country in rushing with 521 yards in three games. The craziest part is he’s averaging 14.5 yards per carry and has the least amount of carries among the top 22 rushers in the country. My point is he’s tearing it up as a junior after rushing for 1,154 yards on 8.9 per carry as a sophomore.
Henderson doesn’t look like a bell cow NFL runner but he looks like an explosive playmaker that any offense would be happy to have. He has the rare ability to hit a home run every game with his elite burst, quickness, and elusiveness. When the hole is there and he hits it hardly anybody can catch him. He might have the best breakaway speed in the class.
Another plus with his game is his ability as a pass catcher. Henderson can move around and make plays lined up in the slot or out wide as a well. He’s not just a running back. In today’s NFL with his athleticism and versatility he can be a very useful piece in a progressive offense.
Pro Comparison: CJ Spiller
Overrated: Ahmmon Richards, WR, Miami (6-1, 190 pounds)
It’s been a rough start to the season for Ahmmon Richards. Once hyped as a first-round pick, his stock has fallen off a cliff. Richards has been battling a knee injury and has only played in one of Miami’s three games. In that game he caught one pass for nine yards. With the emergence of Sophomore Jeff Thomas, it’s not even a guarantee Richards will be the go to guy for the Hurricanes when he returns to the lineup.
On the field Richards was being hyped as a first-round pick but the tape didn’t show a player of that caliber. Although he’s got decent size and a lot of speed as a downfield threat, he lacks what you need in a top wideout. Richards constantly struggles with drops and has some of the worst hands among the big name receivers in college football. A lot of the time he struggles to adjust to balls that don’t have perfect placement and can’t make a play for his quarterback. He’s a bit of a one-rick pony who’s game is all about being a deep threat.
Pro Comparison: Will Fuller
Risers and Sliders
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
- It’s not too early to say this, Dwayne Haskins is the best pure passer Ohio State has had at quarterback in my lifetime. He’s probably the best since Art Schlichter. In three games Haskins has thrown 11 TDs to just 1 INT, completed 72.5% of his passes and averaged 9.8 yards per attempt. After playing a tough TCU defense it’s time Haskins is put into the top QB conversation. In that game he carried the offense and put up huge numbers despite a ton of drops from his receivers. He has the arm talent, poise, and build. Now we just need to see more of him on tape.
- It didn’t take long for Deionte Thompson to lock down the top safety spot. His performance against Louisville was dominant. As he plays more, the higher it looks like he’ll move on the draft board. Against Ole Miss he showed off the range and ball skills that separate him from the rest of the class. He’s also shown on multiple occasions he’s not afraid to come up and hit. It might not be long until he’s looked at as a top 10 pick.
Here's Devin White getting involved in coverage. Breaks up a pass on 4th down vs Florida to seal the win for LSU. White is a complete LB and looks like a future top 15 pick… pic.twitter.com/UuBtWWv6ob
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) May 4, 2018
- In the big win over Auburn, the LSU defense was a wrecking crew. One of the biggest playmakers was linebacker Devin White. White showed the explosion, aggressiveness, and motor that teams will covet. He was blowing up plays at or behind the line of scrimmage all game. White is moving closer to locking up LB1.
Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
- No player put themselves on the map better than Hakeem Butler. Against Oklahoma, Butler caught five passes for 174 yards and rumbled for two TDs. After spending last season as a deep threat, Butler looks like he’s emerging as a legit WR prospect. His size (6-6, 225 pounds), speed, and physicality are intriguing.
- Everybody knows how good Boston College RB AJ Dillon is, and he’s damn good, but so is his offensive line. The leader of that offensive line is right guard Chris Lindstrom. Against Wake Forest, Lindstrom was mauling and opening big holes for Dillon explode through. On Dillon’s 45-yard TD run, Lindstrom was the lead blocker on a pull and sprung him by picking up the outside linebacker with ease. He’s one of the best interior linemen in the country.
Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
- No player disappointed more, hurt their draft stock more, and was tweeted about more than Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham. His performance against LSU couldn’t have gone worse. At no point did he seem to get into a rhythm. He threw two interceptions and completed just 57% of his passes. There was talk that the NFL viewed him as the top quarterback in the country, but with this game it would be surprising if they still did. He didn’t look like a first-round talent: lacking poise, missing throws, and making poor reads.
Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
- If there’s one blatant flaw with Ohio State right now it’s their play at cornerback. They’ve given up big passing plays throughout the season and a lot of that falls on cornerback Damon Arnette. Arnette has been hyped at times as an NFL cornerback but he has struggled a ton. He doesn’t seem to be a good enough athlete to compete down the field and has poor ball skills.
Travis Homer, RB, Miami
- Last season when Mark Walton went down for Miami, Travis Homer stepped up and filled his shoes. His performance last year led to hype going into this season, but Homer has been almost irrelevant. Against Toledo he had just 62 rushing yards and averaged 3.9 per carry. Sophomore DeeJay Dallas outperformed him and has looked like the better back this season.
Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
- Touted as a top 10 pick, Greg Little just hasn’t made the strides necessary to be taken that high. He’s a project right now. This size and athleticism are rare, but his technique issues haven’t been fixed and his footwork is sloppy. Against Alabama he struggled to show he’s a consistently capable pass blocker. While Little is talented and has shown flashes, there are multiple tackles ahead of him at this point.
Deondre Francois, QB, Florida State
- No quarterback has it worse than Deondre Francois. Florida State has a pathetic offensive line and every game Francois has ever played in as a Seminole, he has been beat up. He might be the toughest quarterback in the country. Unfortunately, because of the o-line, the awful play-calling, and the lack of playmakers around him, Francois’ stock is sliding. He’s a talented passer, but it’s hard to gauge that with what’s around him. It would be awesome if he could grad transfer to Wisconsin.
Game of the Week
This is a massive game for a couple reasons. First of all, it will have major implications on the Pac-12 and the winner of the game will likely be competing with Washington to win the Pac-12 North. Second of all, there’s a whole bunch of 2019 NFL Draft prospects playing in the game. Finally, it’s the world’s chance to see Justin Herbert play a good team this year in a nationally televised game.
Herbert has been talked about as potentially the top QB off the board in the NFL Draft and he’s currently my QB1. He has all the physical tools a team could ask for, but there are questions about his mental processing, consistent accuracy, and ability against top defenses. This is his first chance to show everyone the strides he has made from his Sophomore year.
On top of Herbert there are plenty of prospects to tune in for. Bryce Love is always going to sell tickets because of his explosive running style. Stanford also has one of the best playmaking wide receivers in the country with JJ Arcega-Whiteside and an up-and-coming quarterback prospect in KJ Costello. Of course, they have a ton of offensive linemen to watch as well.
As for Oregon, this is their first nationally televised game of the year. Meaning most people will be seeing the monster that is Jalen Jelks for the first time. With Jelks on D, the Ducks have a top LB prospect in Troy Dye, super athletic edge rusher in Justin Hollins, and do it all DB in Ugo Amadi. Oregon also has a handful of offensive linemen to watch.
|#7 Stanford||#20 Oregon|
|KJ Costello, QB||Justin Herbert, QB|
|Bryce Love, RB||Tony Brooks-James, RB|
|Kaden Smith, TE||Jacob Breeland, TE|
|JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR||Dillon Mitchell, WR|
|Trenton Irwin, WR||Jake Hanson, C|
|Brandon Fanaika, OG||Dallas Warmack, OG|
|Jesse Burkett, C||Calvin Throckmorton, OT|
|Nate Herbig, OG||Jalen Jelks, DL|
|AT Hall, OT||Justin Hollins, EDGE|
|Bobby Okereke, LB||Troy Dye, LB|
|Alijah Holder, CB||Ugo Amadi, DB|
|Jake Bailey, P|
Top 10 Edge Rushers
|1||Nick Bosa||Ohio State|
|3||Brian Burns||Florida State|
|5||Montez Sweat||Mississippi State|
|10||Zach Allen||Boston College|
Underclassmen on the Radar
Freaky Frosh: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
It’s not everyday the best offensive player on USC is a true freshman. It’s a down year for the Trojans, but Amon-Ra St. Brown is the reason to tune in every weekend. The 5-star recruit has been making plays since game one and his performance against Texas was damn impressive. USC struggled a ton on offense against the Longhorns but St. Brown was their star downfield. He hauled in nine passes for 167 yards and was the key playmaker. His older brother’s are Green Bay Packers WR Equanimeous St. Brown and Stanford WR Osiris St. Brown, so you know he’s got that bloodline.
Super Sophomore: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Who is the best safety in the country? Well, it might be LSU Sophomore Grant Delpit. If his name wasn’t already on the map, it is now after what he did to Auburn in the Tigers win. The LSU defense was dominant and multiple draft eligible players were fantastic, but Delpit was the best player on the field that day. He was everywhere. Coming up against the run, hammering anyone near him, showing off range and ball skills in coverage, and challenging Alabama safety Deionte Thompson for the best safety title.
Against Auburn, Delpit racked up 10 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, and a pass breakup. He has the rare size, speed, and physicality combination similar to what Derwin James has and, Delpit dominates the same way James did at Florida State. Watch out 2020 NFL Draft, we may already have our top safety prospect.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.