2024 NFL Draft Stock Report: Week 1
Last week was just blue ball city. We’re back, back now. Welcome to the 2024 NFL Draft stock report notes for the first week of the college football season. You won’t find better notes on the internet – James Herrick says so.
We have a monster slate to review this week…
The games on tap this week include Kent State vs. UCF, Florida vs. Utah, Nebraska vs. Minnesota, Central Michigan vs. Michigan State, Virginia vs. Tennessee, Colorado vs. TCU, Ohio State vs. Indiana, Rice vs. Texas, West Virginia vs. Penn State, North Carolina vs. South Carolina, Oregon State vs. San Jose State, LSU vs. Florida State, and Clemson vs. Duke.
That’s right, 14 games for your viewing pleasure. Happy draft szn.
Kent State sucks. They lost literally a billion guys in the transfer portal and returned zero starters on the entire offense. They’re going to be really, really bad. Just thought I’d make a note of it for your betting purposes. There is a reason why they lost 56-6.
I’ll be totally honest: I came to watch former five-star recruit running back Demarkcus Bowman. He did basically nothing at Clemson but is now at a lesser program with a chance to shine. Turns out, he’s not even the starter, which is crazy and probably tells a lot of the story.
RJ Harvey went for 84 yards and a score on 10 carries. Also, took his only reception to the house for 50 yards.
Bowman finished the game with eight carries for 46 yards and a score. Had two receptions too that went nowhere. Just think it’s pretty concerning that he was third on the list of running backs in carries.
Small receiver Xavier Townsend looked pretty good too. Five for 81 and a score. It was a walk in the park for everyone.
I know some people are going to want me to talk about the quarterback John Rhys Plumlee. Fine, I’ll cave and do it. Plumlee, a former Ole Miss transfer, can best be described as this. Capable runner but undersized (6-foot-220) without any real arm talent. Can deliver the ball but is inaccurate and struggles to progress through reads. He either bails and looks to run or throws and isn’t on time or accurate. Not bad arm strength but it’s not something where he’s going to wow anyone with zip.
It depends on what your expectations are. Is he better than Tyson Bagent who somehow made the Bears roster? I have no doubt about that. Is he a real NFL quarterback that you should be paying attention to? You already know the answer to that question. The guy is a total rollercoaster but can definitely make plays with his legs. Finished the game 22/30 for 281 yards, three touchdowns, and two picks. Added 90 yards on the ground and scored but also had a terrible fumble.
The truth of the matter is, UCF won this game before it started. Still, a couple of guys on defense that look alright and might have something to them. Need to see more but flashed. Lee Hunter caused some problems upfront. Former four-star guy from Auburn who looks like a load at 320. Really both DTs looked good. Kent State rushed for 95 yards at a 2.6 YPC clip.
Billy Napier is a disaster. I don’t even know what to say. They look worse than they did a year ago. Yes, we know Anthony Richardson is way more talented than Graham Mertz. It wasn’t just that. I refuse to believe that Nick Saban would give away points because two number threes were on the field. It just wouldn’t happen. Florida had nine penalties and was 1-13 on third down. My takeaway from this game was he’s a lock to get fired at some point and won’t make it in the SEC. No player notes. I don’t know if I even want to watch them again this year.
Two quick things on Utah. We know they aren’t exactly an NFL factory but do usually send a few players each year. Well, they might be a TE factory. I just want you to keep your eye on this Thomas Yassmin. If you don’t think I yelled “Yas Queen” after writing this, you played yourself.
Okay, look, Brant Kuithe didn’t play and we know he’s going to get drafted. Utah sent Dalton Kincaid to the NFL this past year. Just keep an eye on Yas Queen, I mean Yassmin. A season ago he was basically a jump ball red area guy. Six of his 13 receptions went for scores a year ago. Looks way more refined coming into this year. Actually ran like real routes or tried to. Former Rugby player and has great size at 6-foot-5, 251 pounds. It wasn’t anything spectacular (3 for 15) but I wouldn’t rule out this guy developing into something more. Has tools. Just incredibly raw.
Would like to also spotlight pass rusher Jonah Elliss. Had two sacks in this one and only had three last year. Heading into junior season (6-foot-2, 246). Has NFL bloodlines with his father Luther playing in the NFL for ten years. His brother Kaden is on the Saints. More of a hair-on-fire guy rather than freak with twitch but there might be something here.
Yes, I’m going to talk about Jeff Sims and you’re going to deal with it. The performance was a disaster but I don’t think it’s as bad as people are going to make it out to be. You can tell the guy has matured and looks way better mechanically throwing the ball. Actually made some big throws.
At Georgia Tech, he was just a deer in the headlights guy. Now he’s actually attempting to make plays. I think someone just needs to tell him to stop doing a Brett Favre impersonation. The guy threw three picks and just kept putting the ball in harm’s way over and over like he had a goldfish brain.
Athletically he’s always belonged and probably would have won the game if he didn’t give it away. Rushed for 91 yards on 19 attempts. I think there is something to work with here and had him ranked on my list for a reason. He’s just miles and miles behind as a decision-maker throwing the ball. If the coaching staff actually reels the kid in, Nebraska could win a few games. They should have won this one.
Just going to quickly mention the tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford. Zone eating TE and is a house at 6-foot-7, 270. Had five receptions for 45 yards in this one. Can just tell he’s slow as dirt. You’re not going to want to see whatever that 40 time is. It’s going to be a huge time for him because he has a shot.
Central Michigan/Michigan State
This was a tough watch. The guy who bangs sharks probably gave the game away for Central Michigan. Michigan State won 31-7 and all I know is they couldn’t have looked worse. Not a box score game. Didn’t see an NFL player on the field. It happens. I’m not going to lie and make something up if I don’t see it. Won’t be the last time it happens.
The state of football in Virginia is borderline disgusting. That’s all I have to say.
I won’t lie, I spent most of my time during the noon EST window watching Coach Prime. However, I still wanted to see what Joe Milton was cooking now that he’s the guy with the Vols. It wasn’t always pretty. Had some bad misses but the dude has a total rocket launcher. That’s the type of guy when it’s on point he’s driving that ball threw the keyhole to the point where I’m concerned if the receiver has a hole in his chest.
I wasn’t really surprised by anything. Some ugly mistakes but his arm talent just stands out. He’s this year’s version of Anthony Richardson except older and further along while playing for Tennessee. I think he’s going in the first round and I stand by it. Just don’t think we learned a ton. We knew they would rip Virginia to shreds.
I tried to tell you. I’m not sure why you don’t listen to me. Shedeur Sanders can play. I hope you realize that now. Yes, there were so many easy throws mixed in there. But really you saw it all. Ball came out quick, was accurate, had juice on the deep ball, is mobile, and executed the offense. He’s an NFL quarterback. I don’t know what else to tell you.
I was impressed with his smarts. You never really knew that part of playing at Jackson State because of the competition. How many times did the ball go to the wrong spot? I don’t think there was a single questionable decision. He’s instinctive and that matters.
To add to that, I was blown away by his ability to just be a point guard. He got the ball to his guys and probably got shafted on a few dropped balls or his statline would have been better. I loved the guy coming into the game but I actually think even I was surprised at how accurate he was.
This is the way the NFL is trending. He’s mobile and not small either. Finished the day 38/47 for 510 yards and four touchdowns. The sad part is, he actually played better than that and the statline could have been even bigger than that.
Side note: Travis Hunter is a freak. Now that’s a wow. Not draft eligible, I’m very aware haters if you thought you caught me slipping.
Prior to the game, I wrote a piece on Trey Sanders‘ opportunity at TCU to rebuild his NFL Draft stock. It wasn’t a terrible day for Sanders but I also never went WOW. Overall let’s call it a solid day that can be built upon. Sanders finished the day with 15 carries for 31 yards and three scores. I have no doubt that he can outdo what Kendre Miller was for TCU. In reality, it was a great step in the right direction just being on the field. He didn’t really ever crack Alabama’s during his time there outside of a few sparse moments as a freshman. At the same time, I’m concerned he peaks as a short yardage back and that’s all. It’s a long season. The story hasn’t been totally written on either side yet.
Might have to keep an eye on this Jared Wiley. 6-foot-7, 260 pounds, moved well and was productive (six for 69 and a score).
The running back depth that Ohio State has is Looney Tunes. They legit might have five NFL backs. We only saw three of them.
I’m going to warn you about this again. Chip Trayanum is good. You’re not going to find him on any list but he can play. He led Ohio State in rushing (eight for 57). Trayanum was good as an underclassman at Arizona State. Started playing some defense and got lost in the shuffle. Not sure why we’re holding that against him. Looks really similar to what Rhamondre Stevenson was at Oklahoma. Not sure he’s as big of a freak in terms of speed for the size but he makes really nice cuts and can catch. Lined up as the fullback a bunch too and can really block. NFL player that will be overlooked but shouldn’t be.
Denzel Burke. Just remember that name. I need to see more here but just flashed some insane closing speed on routes. Got major playing time as an underclassman. Pops off the screen. Number ten is damn good. I think I said it out loud about ten times during the game.
I like Cade Stover. Guy is just a good football player. Can block. Can catch. Can even play defense if you need him to. I genuinely think he’s the best tight end they’ve had there in years. Not exactly a high bar but he’s one of the few Ohio State tight ends I can rally behind.
This Andre Carter flashed a bit. Transfer from Western Michigan. Rated pretty high in the portal. Made two holy hell plays for TFLs. Worth mentioning against Ohio State.
I think it’s probably officially time to give up on JT Daniels. God that was ugly. 14/26 for 149 yards, one touchdown, and two picks. Yes, he’s outmanned and outgunned but you have to at least show you belong. If you took the name off the back of his jersey without realizing that he was a former five-star guy at USC, you wouldn’t have known the difference. That’s the problem.
Don’t have much here. I saw bits and pieces with UFC and Ohio State on at the same time. It was, however, nice to see Quinn Ewers make a play with his legs.
The weapons Texas has are legit. I’ll wait to talk about them in games that aren’t against Rice. Loaded at WR and TE.
I sort of like the running back but he’s not draft eligible. Neal Brown is very much on the hot seat. That didn’t change after this game.
Kalen King tackles. Just thought you should know that. Joey Porter Jr. did last year too. I don’t think he’s better than Porter but he looks like a second-round pick that you feel confident turning into a capable starter. Garrett is still on crack if he thinks he’s better than the Kool-Aid man. Doesn’t have nearly that level of twitchy juice to be a dawg top end of round one guy.
The former Kent State guy Cephus stinks. Bad hands catcher. Don’t like guys that panic with the ball in the air. Not worth your time.
Doesn’t it feel like Penn State always just has a guy who looks like KeAndre Lambert-Smith? The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Penn State guy that looks the same for the last 10 years. There have been many iterations of this player over the years. He’s not as good as Jahan Dotson or KJ Hamler (pre-injury Hamler). But I do think he’s better than the guys Penn State had a year ago.
KLS was a dawg during the Rose Bowl. He carried that momentum into Week 1. KLS finished the day with four receptions for 123 yards and two scores.
I was very impressed with Drake Maye. What do you want me to say? If you swapped quarterbacks, South Carolina would have won by the opposite score. I still think the rest of the media is too high on him at the current moment, but to me, he’s just a B to B+ in everything. I think I got a little more appreciation for him in this one in the way that he was able to contort his body and make throws quarterbacks in 1985 wouldn’t have. This touchdown is just stupid but in a really good way.
South Carolina was a favorite in this game. Vegas doesn’t make mistakes. Maye was just that good. Some mistakes but he willed that team while having several things to overcome. Didn’t look out of place with the new coordinator. Lost two receivers to the NFL too.
Don’t think you need to worry about the UNC factor despite the fact that I wish he played elsewhere for entertainment purposes. It’s not like the guy was lightly recruited. He basically didn’t allow recruiting because it was always UNC. Family has past ties to the school. No Trubisky flashbacks here. Maye actually uses his back foot to drive the ball. Trubisky can’t do this and that’s just the start of why they’re different.
Threw a bad pick. Not sure he gets away with some of the stuff he did in this game at the next level. Definitely does move well. Not a power runner but can pick up the sticks with his legs which is all you need. It’s a touch better than I even described.
His weapons weren’t that great either. The second pick was a bit of an overthrown but who knows if it even happens if the NCAA doesn’t screw Carolina and lets Tez Walker rightfully play.
I still like tight-end Trey Knox. He’s not a blocker but this is someone that we spotlighted last year at Arkansas. Now he’s at South Carolina and is still a great mover for that big-bodied TE receiver option. Just two catches for 14 yards but I like him. Just looks like he fits with this new era of pass-catching tight ends that are really Big F receivers.
Debo Williams had 14 tackles in the game. Guy was kind of all over the place and finished his hits.
Xavier Lggette might have been the winner of the night for South Carolina. Made a ridiculous circus catch. Finished the night with nine receptions for 178 yards. Not sure I love the short area quickness but thick body and has something to him. Kinda looks like Jonathan Mingo except for better ball skills. Carried the team’s passing game so much that it looked like he was limping and still balling out.
Yes, we came for D.J. Uiagalelei. I still have hope damnit! Overall, (20/25 for 239 passing yards and five total touchdowns). Otherwise, there’s just one thing that really bothers me. Can someone teach the guy how to slide? It’s actually concerning given the fact that he got picked in the baseball draft.
The arm talent is there. The guy just has no problem throwing balls to the opposite sideline. This might sound weird but it’s honestly Kenley Jansen vibes. Big dude, man. When he can rip it at his terms, things look pretty good. He didn’t get sneezed on much in terms of dealing with pressure.
What’s the difference between him and Joe Milton? Both miss easy throws. Milton has more of a rocket launcher. DJ is more of a power runner while Milton has more sizzle and awareness. I’m just saying…
San Jose State
I don’t like Jayden Daniels. I understand the stat line (22/37 for 347 and one TD and INT). I know what my eyes see. He’s never going to be a good NFL dropback passer. There’s just no way. It’s not like he’s a machine to make up for it. Checks in at (6-foot-4, 210). He can run and move but it’s not a guy that scares you. Skinnier build.
Accuracy stinks. There are times when it blows your mind at how bad he misses guys. That’s just always a bad sign when you’re 80 feet away from the intended target. It’s all smoke and mirrors hoping and praying that Daniels mixes in a game-changing run. That’s the difference in the game. Daniels couldn’t get the ball to his playmakers. Still really hasn’t ever done so. I don’t think a single completion was an NFL-level throw in terms of making tight window contested completions. Like not one.
I still can’t believe that Nussmeier isn’t the quarterback. I think he’s the better player.
Malik Nabers looks alright. The quarterback doesn’t do him any favors. Doesn’t drop his nuts on defenders enough to be considered one of those LSU horses. Six for 67 in this one. Brian Thomas actually outgained him but most came on a 75-yard garbage time score.
Duce Chestnut had a pick. Syracuse transfer. Thought he played well considering this secondary is made up of basically all transfers. Not overly big though. Got beat over the top by Coleman.
Mekhi Wingo looked good. Had Maason Smith out for idiotic NCAA reasons. Missouri transfer. No sacks in the game but it felt like the LSU front is what kept them in the game for a half. Maybe a promising sign of things to come.
Big game for Johnny Wilson. Went seven and 104. Looks like a way better version of Drake London. Let’s not get crazy. This is not 8th pick in the draft good but I’m starting to buy in here. At least to the point where he can play and isn’t a JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Still doesn’t have elite hands. Going to have to live with a few drops. Two ugly drops in the game. Never becomes him mode with snatching the ball and making it his.
Keon Coleman looked great too. Not a big surprise. Had a write-up on him after transferring. I think he’s better than Wilson. Has the size but moves better. Catches better. Better leaper as a former hooper. Went for a hattrick in this one. Dude is good. I’m going to show all of them to you. It’s a sprinkle of everything.
Jordan Travis is not an NFL quarterback. Cute college quarterback, but not an NFL guy. Older guy (23) and probably played worse than the stat line (23/31 for 342, 4 TDs, 1 INT) indicated. Had a few stalled drives that were really on him in the first half. LSU was hounding him but an NFL guy puts on a better show than that. On the small side too. Definitely can move. Not a statue. Just feels like a mobile Case Keenum. Seems like a mature guy which is a positive, however.
The Jared Verse guy is fine. I don’t see top 5 pick. That’s rich for my taste. Clear that he can be a speed EDGE rusher but we gotta understand that this is not some freak show. Not a supped-up monster like even Nolan Smith.
Speaking of fine, Trey Benson is fine. He was there. I feel like I can already slot him in on my mind. More of a functional player than Travis Minor but no freak show in there like Warrick Dunn. Went for 12 and 47. Had a few runs with broken tackles but other runs where he went nowhere and could have. Late, late round guy who can be part of a rotation.
Curious to see what Jeremiah Trotter Jr. runs. He doesn’t look very fast. Dad wasn’t exactly a burner. Lined him up as a rusher a bunch. Might have some hidden value as a blitzer.
Beaux Collins might need to go on the Juwan Johnson plan. The problem is he’s smaller than Johnson. Just am starting to lose faith that he’s an NFL guy otherwise. Doesn’t look quick enough to be an NFL receiver.
Will Shipley just looks more like a poor man’s version of Christian McCaffrey. The problem is you can’t really run the offense through him. Never going to be a great in between the tackles runner. Can do it but would worry about him doing it at the NFL level. Not in there to pass protect. Better have a plan for him or he will fail. He can be a really nice gadget guy that goes in motion and does multiple things. Not totally worthless. Think he can run routes and play special teams. Not slow. Just have to get the ball in his hands and can catch. Went for 143 all purpose yards.
Kinda like Phil Mafah too but wish he ran with more power. Doesn’t feel like he breaks enough tackles but decent speed for his size. Had an ugly fumble near the goal line. Can’t cough up fumbles and not break tackles.
Tyler Davis has a lot of hype as a possible NFL guy. Rightfully so. The two freshmen TJ Parker and Peter Woods are better than him. Take that for whatever it’s worth.
It’s funny how Riley Leonard really might be the next coming of Daniel Jones. Not a big arm but makes good throws, feet tied to arm, and can move. Not as fast as Jones but a better passer at this stage. Still a really good runner and might have a tick more power. Basketball background. Can keep feet churning to get out of pressure. Can tell he’s athletic but actually has more upside than you think. Not 100% polished yet.
Smart and has the right make up. I love the segment that was on TV about how his mom tells him he sucks to keep his ego in check. A lot of this stuff becomes the determining factor from the head up. No question he played better than Cade Klubnik in the game regardless of the result.
I think it’s important to mention that the team around Leonard is much better than the team Jones had at Duke (link to those notes). Was still hounded all night. Would love to know the pressure stats in this one because he was dealing with chaos for most of the night. Played better than the stats indicate (17/33 for 175 yards). Did a lot of damage on the ground.
I’m sure nobody remembers this but I’ve been tracking Myles Jones for a while. Yes, this is his 7th year of CFB but I’m a really big fan. Have notes on him from Texas A&M days. Think he played well in the game too. Really long and plays the ball.
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