2020 NFL Draft
The 2020 NFL Draft is shaping up to be a historic running back class. Cam Akers is just one of many and he put on a show in Week 1 of the College Football Season (Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire)

College Football is back and it feels so good. My favorite thing to do this time of year is scout. Who is the next NFL superstar? It starts at the college level. The 2020 NFL Draft will be here before you know it. This week I watch several games. The games that will be covered include: Boise State at Florida State, Northwestern at Stanford, and Auburn vs. Oregon. Here we go. Who stood out in Week 1 in regards to the 2020 NFL Draft?

Boise State At Florida State:

Florida State

Florida State was BAD last year. So bad that it wasn’t remotely acceptable for a team like Iowa State let alone Florida State. Kendal Briles is the new offensive coordinator and FSU at least moved the ball for a half. Florida State put up 31 in the first half and 0 in the second half eventually blowing a huge lead. Let’s first credit Boise State. They have proven to be a legit program so let’s not act like this is bad competition. That needs to be stated.

I came to watch one guy and one guy only, Cam Akers. In terms of overall talent, you’re not going to find many more talented than Akers. The Seminoles back is being overlooked for simply being on this dysfunctional team. He was recruited by Jimbo Fisher so don’t hold that over him. This is a player that has come a long way. Akers used to throw temper tantrums as a Freshman on the sidelines if he didn’t score on every play. That’s how good he was in High School.

Akers got off to a hot start to his season. He finished the game with 15 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown. If FSU would have given him the ball more, they probably win. Akers is just too good of an athlete to bring down. He’s a load to bring down and comes with smarts as a former quarterback.

Oh, yeah, he can do this too. Akers is too good of an athlete to fail. Don’t hold the mess at Florida State against him.

Boise State

What I didn’t expect to find was another running back start to emerge. Robert Mahone is a monster! 24 carries for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns. He made this defense look like a bunch of middle schoolers. Nobody could tackle this guy. Mahone doesn’t appear to be super shifty but he hits the hole hard and picks up more yards after contact than he should. Keep him on the radar. Boise has a track record of producing NFL backs. It’s a good step in the right direction. Let’s see if he can carry the momentum.

Defensively, this game was a mess. Players out of position, missed tackles, and big chunk plays over and over again. Couldn’t really take much on that side of the ball for either team.

Northwestern At Stanford

Northwestern:

This was a defensive battle from start to finish. Keep an eye on these Northwester linebackers. They really impressed me. Chris Bergin, Paddy Fisher, and Blake Gallagher did a fantastic job making stops and leading this defense. Stanford only averaged 3.4 yards per carry in this game and the linebackers had a lot to do with it. Paddy Fisher has the most upside of that group. Fisher was named to the All Big 10 preseason team. He’s a legit prospect. What I didn’t expect is the other two to play so well.

Stanford:

KJ Costello stinks. He just doesn’t have any juice. He’s exactly like Kevin Hogan and Keller Chryst. No juice. Somehow Costello went 16/20 in the game but only put up 7 points in the first half. He wasn’t moving the ball. That was before he got drilled and exited the game. I can’t take anyone seriously that thinks this is an NFL quarterback.

I’ll tell you this, Stanford had a corner that really blew me away. Paulson Adebo put on a show. A: Great name. B: Adebo made big plays on the ball and finished with two pass breakups.

This is special stuff right here. Never panics in coverage, the footwork is on point, and he attacks the ball. The season is still young but this is the best corner I’ve seen this season so far. Stock through the roof.

Auburn Vs. Oregon:

Auburn:

Auburn produces defensive linemen every single year. This year it’s Nick Coe and Derrick Brown as the headliners. I’ll tell you this, I thought for the most part, the Auburn defensive front played well. The problem was Brown and Coe didn’t make massive impacts. Oregon has a strong offensive line. One of the best in college football. The Ducks were able to run for 2.7 yards per carry. A lot of the attention went towards those two dudes. Players like Big Kat Bryant and KJ Britt were free to make plays. It’s all about this defensive front. It will be interesting to watch those two each week.

JaTarvious Whitlow also had a strong performance. It’s turning into a historic running back draft class. 24 carries for 110 yards on a very underrated Oregon defense. There’s so many backs this year it’s difficult to stack them all up yet. Boy, if you need a running back, it won’t be hard to find one this year.

Oregon:

I’ve been in on Justin Herbert. This was the perfect game to watch. Blow me away against a real SEC defense. Herbert played well in spots. On the surface, 28/37 is great. The issue was that Herbert didn’t have any juice. 6.5 yards per attempt and a QBR of 43.4 tells a more accurate story. Herbert rarely made any big plays down the field. Most of the damage came on stupid bubble screens. In my opinion, there’s a massive gap between Tua Tagovailoa and Herbert. For a guy that has all the tools, he never blew me away. By the way, WTF was this below? Game on the line and you can’t even find the end zone?

Herbert has all the tools. He’s not the most accurate guy in the world. Has a lot of Josh Allen to him. Here’s a little secret for you. When scouting quarterbacks, assume they all suck and make them prove otherwise. Don’t give them any benefit of the doubt. Herbert did not prove he doesn’t suck in this game. Stock down.

How about another running back? I talked about how the Ducks only averaged 2.7 yards per carry on the ground. Well, CJ Verdell averaged 5.4 yards per carry on 14 attempts. When he wasn’t on the field, the offense crumbled. That shows me that he’s a valuable player. When I talk about juice, Verdell showed it. He’s not a big back (5-foot-9, 210) but he’s bigger than the prototypical small back that comes from Oregon. I liked what I saw.

Defensively, two guys flashed. Both players have something in common. They saved the defense from mistakes. Troy Dye, the Ducks linebacker, notched 15 tackles and seemed like he was constantly around the ball. Oregon doesn’t have a lengthy track record of producing NFL linebackers. Dye, however, impressed me.

Then we have Jevon Holland. This guy was the anchor of the secondary and forced Bo Nix into a bunch of mistakes. Holland showed that he’s a complete safety. Holland can blitz, play the run, and come away with interceptions like this. For a safety to win a jump ball like this is impressive. I wasn’t familia with Holland before this game but I am now.

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