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2024 NFL Draft Stock Report: Conference Championship Week

2024 NFL Draft

Credit: SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

2024 NFL Draft
The 2024 NFL Draft Stock Report notes from Conference Championship Week are hot off the press. Who stood out for better or worse? Credit: SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

2024 NFL Draft Stock Report: Conference Championship Week

It’s Conference Championship Week! The best of the best square off, which is always a great indicator of future NFL success. It’s a very important week in more ways than one. The 2024 NFL Draft Stock Report series will focus on the bigger games for this week.

The slate this week includes Oregon vs. Washington, Oklahoma State vs. Texas, Georgia vs. Alabama, and Louisville vs. Florida State. This is going to be a really fun slate to review. Before we get to the notes, please check out the FanDuel player props odds!

Oregon

The progression of Bo Nix has been a wild ride but I actually think there are reasons to be optimistic here. Shout out to the recruiting industry because Nix was rated as a five-star and sure as hell didn’t show that during his time at Auburn. Players are allowed to get better and you can see the light bulb continues to click, which is a good thing because he does have athletic traits that allow him to succeed.

I was watching the game last night and all I could think about is Will Levis. Levis is a natural wildcat QB. He wants to run and take shots down the field. Nix is kinda the same way but his eye level is better. Can contort his body off platform and has enough juice to get the ball to his intended target when the platform isn’t ideal. Nix is faster than Nix too but not as physically imposing. Nix still has a good build to him and tall enough at 6-foot-2.

I think the pure arm strength is better than anyone wants to give him credit for. Finished the game 21/34 for 239 yards, three touchdowns, and one pick. The one pick I don’t think Nix even saw the guy who was standing out of bounds and came in bounds for the pick. A weird play. Also, added 69 yards on the ground. I think he’ll be able to pick up yards with his legs at the NFL level.

Not the greatest game here for Bucky Irving. A guy we’ve been bragging up almost every week. Backup running back Jordan James had a better game. Irving went for nine carries and 20 yards. He also caught five balls but they also went for basically no yardage. Had a bad drop in the game too.

Troy Franklin was held in check too. Just 34 yards receiving in this one. Still a fan. Not much has changed.

Think we have to recognize the game flow of this one more than anything. Washington was way more prepared. Punched Oregon in the mouth at the start and the Ducks never fully recovered. Oregon is the better team but played catch up once they got into a rhythm of the game. That’s not always on the players.

Khyree Jackson came away with a pick in this one. A player we talked about in the past. Really nice to see the ball skills come into play. 6-foot-3 too and doesn’t look funky moving around. I’m interested.

Washington

I just don’t see it with Michael Penix. I’ve really tried to stay open-minded but everything he does is a constant red flag in my mind that repeats itself. Over and over again Penix does things that I’ve learned to bet against.

Out of all of the premier quarterbacks in the upcoming draft class, I’d bet against Penix the most. His touch accuracy is terrible. His arm actions are never consistent. His footwork is all over the place and way too stiff. His arm strength is mediocre. You people think Tua stinks. No shot he’s anyway close to what Tua was in college as a lefty. Not even in the same ballpark.

It’s very reminiscent of the problems I had with Jordan Love. The only problem is Penix doesn’t nearly have the pure arm that Love does. I want to screenshot a couple of still images of Penix landing platform when he throws the ball. It’s just not good. Red flag city. Things he won’t get away with at the NFL level.

Watch the feet.
Michael Penix
.
Michael Penix
.

Those two pictures are taken right at the release point. Look at how narrow the base is on the second one. Look at how much weight is on the front leg in the first one. You can clip every single throw in that game and he has a different platform on every throw. If you’re this inconsistent in the lower half, it’s a red flag. It’s probably why his touch accuracy isn’t good. You can clip throws where his base is totally wide and it’s all arm angle. I don’t know how he gets away with it at the NFL level playing against men when he’s not the oldest guy on the field.

There are three types of quarterbacks. The good ones can throw it through the keyhole. It’s a rare breed. Then you have guys who can throw it through the door. Then others that can hit the door knob. Penix doesn’t fit any of those categories and that’s a problem.

I don’t see it. I just don’t and I’ve been trying all season. You see but do you observe? Let’s talk about the coach who has a 103-11 coaching record. This Washington team is undefeated. The 2008 Washington team was 0-12. That’s not that long ago and has everything to do with coaching. Is it an accident that Penix was productive with DeBoer as his play caller with Indiana and stunk without him?

Rome Odunze continues to drop his nuts every single week. Eight catches for 102 and it felt like a Saturday walk in the park. Receivers that make hard things look easy is a great sign.

I thought the real story was Jalen McMillian who didn’t play most of the year. Not sure he’s even 100% but he came up big in this one and they needed it. Nine receptions for 131 yards. With Rome taking up so much attention, McMillian took advantage. This team has some really capable weapons. The third guy Polk can play too.

Oklahoma State

Really only want to talk about two guys here. We’re talking about quarterback Alan Bowman and running back Ollie Gordon.

Bowman went 22/38 for 250 yards, three touchdowns, and one pick. Good size on him at 6-foot-4. Bowman started out at Texas Tech and he just feels like a classic Big 12 quarterback. Plug that guy into the air raid and let him chuck balls up. Was the backup at Michigan prior to joining Oklahoma State. I actually don’t think he’s terrible. Not a world beater but worth a camp invite to see what you have.

Gordon couldn’t get anything going. 13 carries for 34 yards. Don’t think you can even hold it aginst him. This Texas front is just so damn good. Alabama couldn’t run the ball on them either. I think this is one of those games we reserve judgment and lean on other sample sizes. Just hard as a running back to do anything when the defensive front dominates the matchup.

Texas

I know Quinn Ewers is going back to school but if I’m a team picking late in the draft I want him to declare. The progression is real and it all makes sense. He was getting away with pure talent last year. Now he’s dialed in mechanically and it’s starting to come together. Still got a lot of yards from being a screen merchant but still finished the game 35/46 for 452 yards, four touchdowns, and one pick.

A lot of those throws were extensions of the run game, but still. This got out of hand quickly and the touchdown throws all came in the first half. They took their foot off the gas after that. His arm talent is stupid in a good way. The pick he threw was on a cross where he never saw the linebacker. That stuff happens.

Will remind everyone again that he’s 20. What’s going to happen when he’s the same age as Nix and Penix? Don’t think he’s close to done getting better and I just don’t see how he fails with the arm talent he has.

I have no problem turning the card in for AD Mitchell. Curious to see what he runs. Had a catch in the game that I think he could have taken it to the house but got run down. 6-foot-4 and attacks the ball really well when it’s in the air. Just don’t freak out if he runs a 4.55. That’s all. Still a fan but definitely intrigued on the pure speed element. What’s that time coming in at?

Xavier Worthy hurt his ankle in this one but still looked great otherwise. Has been up and down on the season but he’s going to be a YAC problem for defenses. In terms of the Marquise Brown comp we’ve been using, I think Worthy is a touch better. Touch might be light. Not ready to say he’s better than Zay Flowers but he might be. Still need to be careful about overdrafting players at this size.

Ja’Tavion Sanders looks really good too. I don’t know if he’s a complete tight end but I definitely think he can be a factor in the passing game. More of a compact target but athletic and nimble. Good size on him at 243 and runs well. Eight for 105 and a score in this one.

This front is so ridiculous. You can’t be that good at stopping the run and have no players. A lot of good players but I just love T’Vondre Sweat. Shades of DJ Reader but has freakish athletic traits. Guys who are 360 shouldn’t be able to move like this. Caught a touchdown in this one and just eats the entire middle of the front. I need a nose, I’m taking him.

Georgia

Let’s start with this. This team has won back-to-back National Titles and had a 29-game winning streak. Georgia had two freshman linebackers playing their tail off with Ladd McConkey and Brock Bowers playing on fumes. It is what it is. Holding anything against this team because they lost by 3 to Alabama when their kicker doinked what would have been the tie score is ridiculous. Let’s make that clear. This team has better players than everybody else in the country and it’s not arguable.

Carson Beck is damn good. Don’t care what the result of the game was. Don’t care that he didn’t throw a touchdown. Maybe he will go back to school. If he declares, he absolutely needs to be part of the conversation for the top quarterbacks in the class.

Everything you want from a skillset standpoint is there. Big, mobile, and throws a good ball. Was bothered by some of the Alabama pass rushers but battled his balls off. Wish he had more starts under his belt. If that’s the only complaint, what are we talking about?

Brock Bowers is a tank. The fact that he led the team in receptions and yardage while clearly hampered after the tightrope surgery is incredible.

I understand the Renfrow comps for Ladd McConkey. I just think Ladd is way faster. Look faster while being compromised. Don’t be shocked if he runs well at the combine.

Few quick hitters from the defensive side of the ball. Warren Brinson had a sack in this one. Might be one of those late round fliers that plays a big role for 3-4 teams on the edge. 305 and a wiggler. Has gotten more impactful as the year as gone along. Smael Mondon is a heart emoji all day long. They just don’t make linebackers with that type of range, speed, and pure talent. I want him on my team. Kamari Lassiter wasn’t even involved in the game. They don’t throw the ball to his side of the field. Isn’t that the biggest compliment of all?

Alabama

Interesting that Roydell Williams started the game at running back. No Jase McClellan in this one. Jam Miller got some run but Williams was the leader of the backfield.

Not going to spend a ton of time on Jalen Milroe. Has miles to go as a passer but has the requisite arm and can really run. Not small either at 6-foot-2, 220. Good news is he’s young at 20.

Jermaine Burton had a touchdown in this one but I think we saw the vital flaw that holds him back from being taken seriously as a top end guy. Can move and has speed but the ball skills are just limited. Asking that guy to go into MFer is mine mode. Just not going to happen.

Actually wanted to get a closer look at Chris Braswell. He’s been hanging stride for stride in the sack department with Dallas Turner. It was Turner that felt like the bigger impact. Found a way to get a sack in this one. I think any team that drafts Turner should feel good that at minimum he will thrive attacking the quarterback.

Kool-Aid man made an incredible play in this one in zone coverage. His makeup speed is just hard to overlook. I don’t know how he fails because of it.

Terrion Arnold is a junkyard dog. Got hit with a flag but not afraid to be physical. Guy was all over guys and battled his face off. How much of it is coaching and how much of it is talent? Nick Saban is a secondary guy at heart. Want to see him move around in space before making a definitive call.

Sign me up for Deontae Lawson. Typical Bama linebacker. Have to feel confident that he’s going to work.

Louisville

That game was painful to watch. The same team that got beat by Kentucky was very much in the game that everybody wants to throw a pity party for. Jamari Thrash might be a late round receiver to keep an eye on. Outside of that, this game was tough to watch.

Florida State

The freshman Brock Glenn is clearly not ready to play. Totally overwhelmed. Can’t even judge the wide receivers in this one. Somehow we will feel bad for a team that didn’t get into the playoff because the starting quarterback threw for 55 yards against Louisville. It’s a joke but whatever.

Keon Coleman looked like he was dealing with a rib issue in this one. He’s hampered by a bunch of different things. I think we’ve seen enough earlier in the season to know that we’re in here.

Talked about how Trey Benson was possessed last week. This week he looked mediocre again and got his lunch stolen by Toafili. Consistency has been all over the map for Benson.

Jared Verse had two sacks in this one. Nice to see him coming alive. Still lower on him than the consensus but we’ll talk more about that when the time comes.

This FSU defense is underrated. I like this Akeem Dent. He’s a wiry DB that looks like he has promise. Tatum Bethune is someone I really think you should keep an eye on. Hybrid linebacker that can cover. Had this pick and broke up another pass that would have went for a touchdown. Hard to ignore linebackers who can do this stuff.

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