2023 NFL Draft Stock Report Week 5
Things are getting interesting now and I feel as though people who have been following these posts are pretty caught up with what’s really going on. Week 5 is a GREAT slate and I can’t wait to share it with you. The journey to the 2023 NFL Draft rolls on. This week we have Michigan vs. Iowa, Kentucky vs. Ole Miss, Alabama vs. Arkansas, Georgia vs. Missouri, and NC State vs. Clemson. Let’s get after it!
Another big day from Blake Corum. 29 carries for 133 yards and a score. I feel stronger about what I said the week before. Donovan Edwards (not draft eligible) is just way better. Year younger but has way more juice and is just a much bigger factor in the passing game. I don’t think Corum has the juice Edwards does.
I move further and further out on this Michigan wide receiver core. Iowa has a real defense but it’s still not one filled with NFL superstars. Need better from Ronnie Bell and Roman Wilson. I view both as worse than Nico Collins and Collins is a bubble player at the NFL level. Sure, JJ McCarthy missed a few throws but that’s not why Bell and Wilson were held to a combined 44 yards. They’re just not that good.
Two guys stood out in a big way on this defense. First, I want to talk about Eyabi Okie, the Alabama transfer. Hey, man… I know this guy did nothing at Bama but Michigan has been using Okie as a third down pass rusher. He’s a bat out of hell. We gotta see more here but that first step sure is something. Telling me no team can use this in the modern NFL?
Big fan of this Mike Morris too. Two sacks in this one. Definitely a 3-4 defensive end. Good size (6-foot-6, 292). Beat the piss out of the Iowa right tackle, especially on that final drive to seal the game.
I think we all saw today that the ferocious Iowa defense was overrated. We can wrap this up with what epitomized the day. Michigan rolled — There was a player Jack Campbell was coming on a blitz and JJ McCarthy just looked at him, laughed, rolled out the corner for a touchdown throw. I gotta have linebackers that can run and I’m not sure Campbell can.
This is the real problem I have. It’s not like Campbell is a defensive end like Anthony Nelson being asked to rush the passer. Manti Teo didn’t make it cause he couldn’t run. Ditto Brandon Spikes. This 40 time right here won’t be a pretty one. I can’t see how it will be.
I’ll be honest; I’m just skeptical on this Chris Rodriguez. This game was a big deal for Rodriguez because he was making his season debut and Kentucky flat out could not run the ball without him.
Here’s my thing. Being a factor in the passing game matters. It just does. When you take one of those running backs in the middle rounds, it’s the difference between finding Kareem Hunt and Ke’Shawn Vaughn. We’ve learned this now. I gotta have a guy that catch.
I’m not saying it was all bad but what are we looking at? 5-foot-11, 224. Has some power but does it last? I can’t buy this is another Marion Barber. Finished the day with 19 carries for 72 yards and a score long with three catches in the passing game. I just don’t see how I can’t find this guy or one similar in the undrafted pool?
Last thing on Kentucky before I get to the real juicy stuff. Kentucky loses this game by at least double digits if they don’t have Barion Brown. I’ve seen some things where people have Tayvion Robinson high on their board. Those people are eating the cheese pretty hard on another Lynn Bowden / Wan’Dale Robinson. Those types of guys just never work and if you’re going to take one, wait for this Brown because the plays he was making in the return game as a freshman maybe indicates he’s the one that can turn into more.
Let’s have a chat about Will Levis because this one is really starting to bother me. In fact, it bothers me so much that I’m going to do something different in this section.
First, we’re going to dissect how idiotic this Todd McShay segment is on Russillo’s show. Then we’re going to go over his performance. By the way, Russillo, if you have draft questions for me, I’d text you back. Just saying. Plus you will get better information from me anyway soooo.
The Levis part starts at mark 10:50.
A: Being a workout warrior is not a bad thing. If anything, it makes me like Levis more. He does look kinda jacked and there is no such thing as being too pumped up. Only an uneducated moron would say that. Going to the gym is a good thing.
This just tells me that McShay still has no clue what he’s talking about. He’s like one of those MLB journalists in the 90’s when the thought process was you don’t want to be too jacked or it will mess up your swing. There is no such thing. Moron.
Levis has come a long way and it’s important to note that. At Penn State, he was a nothing. The workout and leadership stuff is a positive. Tebow didn’t make it because he couldn’t play. Same with Brady Quinn. It didn’t make a difference that they worked out. Clueless stuff out of the gates from McShay.
B: Yes, Levis’ short area accuracy is far from perfect. But it has nothing to do with whatever McShay is talking about. I want you to watch his back foot. It’s the same problem I had with Jordan Love. He can throw seeds but he’s never going to hit that same spot the next time he throws it. The short area accuracy is not where it needs to be but again… THIS WAS A WILDCAT QB at Penn State. If Levis was a real quarterback and could function in the short passing game, Sean Clifford wouldn’t be starting right now.
C: McShay then finishes his point by blowing Levis because scouts will tell you he’s a great guy. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s not. I’m not in the interview room so I’m not going to dive into this. The only thing I’ll say is, they said EJ Manuel was a really great guy too. A lot of these draft narratives are BS for a reason. Did you notice in the last portion of the video, Russillo goes “there we go” because he knows McShay has wasted his time and took five minutes too long to get to stuff that matters.
D: Look, we can sit here and make up all the narratives we want. I’m told this Kentucky offense is a pro style offense, yet all I see is Levis take snaps out of the shotgun. It’s stare down at the first read and hope it’s there. If the first read isn’t there, he either takes off and runs or usually something bad happens by holding onto the ball for an hour. What even qualifies as a pro style offense anymore? Do we see what the Eagles are running?
We’re forgetting this is a wildcat quarterback at Penn State. Don’t blame James Franklin for bailing here. When Levis entered the portal, nobody even wanted him. You can look it up. There’s natural arm talent here and his deep ball can look pretty. The natural touch isn’t there. The lower half in terms of power and high level knee juice is not.
There are warts here. Lots of them. This performance should be deemed as a bad one. QBR of 47.7 feels right. Overall, we’re at 18/24 for 220 yards and two scores. He may have more arm strength than Jaxson Dart but I’m not sure he’s better. A lot of the yardage came after the catch. Never made long sustained drive that felt real. Took two awful fumbles and a safety that cost his team that game. Holds onto the ball way too long. Has no idea how to progress through reads.
We still got a long way to go. Levis can and will improve. Right now, I’m not sure he’s better than Paxton Lynch.
Does it bother me that Quinshon Judkins is basically the defacto starter over Zach Evans? Yes. Will I let it affect my opinion on Evans? No. That’s what happens in the SEC. Your team recruits good players behind you. That’s all I got. Still in on Evans. Nine carries for 24 yards and a score. If you came to watch Evans, you didn’t get much to see. You still have to be in on the talent. Of course, the interviews here are going to be the most important part here.
I hate to do this but I feel like I have to. Bryce Young left the game early after falling on his shoulder. You have to bring it up just because Young is so small. He’s definitely under 6-foot. We’ll see what he comes in at the combine. Also, had a bad pick in the end zone.
Positive is the Bama passing attack looked dreadful for a good chunk of the game without him. There is magic here. I just really hope he’s okay because my heart can’t handle another QB injury fresh off Tua.
Jahmyr Gibbs. Now this is the guy we have been waiting to see. Thought the performance against Texas was underwhelming. Was he just a third down back only? If James Cook isn’t killing it right away with the Bills, how can we justify a high pick on Gibbs?
I don’t have any questions about what Gibbs can do it the passing game. That alone is going to give him some value. My question was as a pure running back. If he’s not a pure running back, why am I wasting my time when I can have Kenny McIntosh any time I want later in the draft?
Well, this was good. OR at least a step in the right direction. His one cut and go stuff is thumbs up all day. 18 carries for 206 yards and two scores. The speed looks at least 4.45 ish. Can certain move. Wouldn’t say the broken tackle stuff is a grade A but he can at least bounce off guys and create extra yardage. Really good day against a respectable Arkansas defense even if Bama’s offensive line did WORK in this one. If Gibbs can put his foot in the ground and make that one cut, good things happen most of the time.
The entire Arkansas offense is KJ Jefferson putting his head down and hoping for the best. It’s garbage. I’m glad Trey Knox had one big grab but this offense was stale most of the afternoon. Also, the more I see Jadon Haselwood, the more I just don’t think he’s good enough. Not a chain reaction mover. Agile mover but he has no grease lightning. There’s no Waddle in those knees. None.
I think it’s time you move Drew Sanders ahead of Bumper Pool in the linebacker rankings. Pool has a larger body of work but I think we know who the stud is here. I want to root for Bumper but that wasn’t great. He got pushed around in the run game real bad. Was responsible for giving up the two big ones to Gibbs and Jalen Milroe.
Sanders just gets after you. Tripped up Young when he got hurt. Led the team in tackles with two more than Pool. The difference is just the athletic traits with Sanders give you a much higher ceiling.
I won’t lie, I was planning on watching Texas A&M – Mississippi State. However, this couch here has surround sound in it. I simply was not listening to cowboys for three straight hours in my ear. Just couldn’t do it.
Instead, I saw bits and pieces of Maryland again. I just like Rakim Jarrett. Feels like he’s being totally slept on. 6-foot but plays much bigger. Looks like he has great hands to him. Some wiggle here. Not sure how many down the field plays you’re getting with the younger Tagovailoa but I really do think the guy can play. Jarrett, that is.
I bet Georgia -28 so you can imagine I was pretty pissed watching this game. It’s a big reason I had Clemson on for a majority of the 730 window.
This is what I get. I give Stetson Bennett some credit and he turns back into a pumpkin. A small pumpkin. I don’t have much here. Ugly four point win. Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton looked really good. Milton had a bad fumble but looked great otherwise running the ball. Daijun Edwards got some run but never had that one that took your breath away.
Nolan Smith looks like a cat coming off the edge in a good way. Darnell Washington also tried to hurdle another guy and somehow looks good doing it at 270. Outside of that, I got nothing else.
I really just want to talk about Thayer Thomas and I think that’s fair here. I honestly think he might be the only guy that can really play here. Gets open. I think he’s going to make it for someone in the slot. Not sure how fast he is but can run routes. Really good hands. Super reliable. Nine catches for 84 yards in this one. Carried this one dimensional offense by himself.
Clemson has a damn clear path to the playoff. With wins over Wake Forest and NC State, Clemson is going to roll to the playoff. They won’t lose to Miami or Notre Dame.
Another good game for DJ Uiagalelei. It wasn’t perfect but we’re really making strides. His deep ball is gorgeous. Way more precise this week (21-30 for 209 yards and a touchdown). Added two more touchdowns with his legs. Not saying he’s Cam Newton running the ball but his big body is such a factor.
He’s going to be able to fall forward and pick up chunk yardage. Really live arm. Some of the placement on those deep balls were just gorgeous. Sometimes you still see him being a step slow with stuff but the light bulb is clicking. DJ never buried NC State like he could have but this was a high emotion game and he made the throws needed to go win it. That matters.
Quickly to wrap this up. KJ Henry and Tyler Davis won today. Each of their counterparts were missing. No Bryan Bresee. No Xavier Thomas. Both Henry and Davis did their part to win the line of scrimmage. The Clemson secondary is still a mess but those two did their jobs and helped win this game.
That was the best game all year for Henry. First step is lightning. Both of them are just uber athletic. I couldn’t believe the way Tyler Davis was running sideline to sideline. It wasn’t Jordan Davis freaky but that guy is good. Clogs the middle. Can move. I think I like both. Way more than Clelin Ferrell.