2024 NFL Draft Stock Report: Week 7
It’s that time of the year. The leaves are falling, hockey is back, and Halloween is around the corner. As always, it’s never too early to talk draft. We have a pretty good slate for everyone this week. It’s a busy time of year so the slate isn’t overwhelming. It does, however, include – Stanford vs. Colorado, Arkansas vs. Alabama, Oregon vs. Washington, Texas A&M vs. Tennessee, USC vs. Notre Dame, Miami vs. North Carolina, and UCLA vs. Oregon State. Let’s do this thing!
Major stock down for EJ Smith. He’s someone we’ve tracked in the past and I thought he actually had some promise. Yes, this is Emmitt Smith’s son. Plus, Stanford has created NFL running backs in the past.
Smith finished the day with six carries for 16 yards and three catches for four yards. He may have been more noticeable in witness protection. Didn’t look fast either. Had a play near the sideline where he should have gotten the first down but made a move and didn’t make it. Couldn’t be more disappointed.
I’m not even going to lie. I went to bed at half-time. If Deion Sanders is out on lake kicks in the Pac 12, then so am I. Colorado was up 29-0 and did everything that they were supposed to do. Don’t forget that Vegas had this Colorado team at 3.5 wins and they’re already over that mark. I’m still currently on the East Coast and didn’t feel like watching the rest of the blowout.
I woke up to find out that Colorado somehow botched it. I tried to go back and watch some of the Colorado possessions to figure out what the hell happened. Weird game but I’ll do my best to talk about the draft observations I noticed.
Call me a broken record all you want. I love everything I saw from Shedeur Sanders. In weeks past I was questioning just how mobile he was. There is no question Sanders was the superior athlete in running situations against this defense. That’s a great sign.
I think the pure zip is a plus. A few errant throws but for the most part really accurate. There are times he holds onto the ball too long but this offensive line is total trash. Total trash doesn’t do it justice. He still finished the game with 400 passing yards, five touchdowns, and one interception that came on a desperation throw in overtime.
Bit disappointed with this Alton McCaskill. Transfer from Houston that got hurt last year but he still hasn’t made an impact. The freshman Dylan Edwards is way better. Finished the game with six carries for 28 yards. I’m waiting for him to pop and it still hasn’t happened yet.
I think we really need to start buying into Xavier Weaver. Had a rushing touchdown on his only attempt. Then capped off his day with seven receptions for 124 yards and two scores. Guy is just a weapon. Can definitely run and create yards after the catch. Kinda looks like Shenault did at Colorado but I think Weaver looks better. Thin but not small.
Hey, how about this kicker Cam Little? This dude is nails and just kept banging in 50+ yarders like it was his job. Technically it is his job but you get the point. I normally don’t talk kicker on this series but that was very impressive. Finished the day -. That alone should tell you a lot. I don’t scout kickers but maybe keep an eye on this one.
You have to give KJ Jefferson some credit. The 2021 version of Jefferson would have never been able to make this game close. This version was able to. Arkansas lost 24-21 which should be deemed very respectable. These aren’t flashy numbers (14/24 for 150 yards and two scores) but he’s totally outmanned. Bama’s defense is damn good. We have to acknowledge he’s made serious strides in terms of being a passer.
Landon Jackson was a standout on defense. LSU transfer so that’s something to keep in mind. It’s not like they snatched this guy out of nowhere. Led the team in tackles with 11 and then notched 3.5 sacks + 3.5 TFLs. Definitely the most eye popping guy on that side of the ball.
Number 32 rocks. I really like this Deontae Lawson. Kinda looks like CJ Mosley but not as big but faster. Bama had no reservations about lining him up as a blitzer. Looks good in coverage and can get to the sideline. Looks damn good coming downhill.
What’s the deal with Ja’Corey Brooks? This was someone I was high on and has good size () but he’s a non-factor. Had a terrible drop early in the game and did just about nothing after (one catch for 25 yards). I haven’t even talked about the guy all year. At some point, you gotta show up and produce. Maybe nothing is here. Physically, he looks like a good player. Production wise, it’s been nothing.
Jam Miller got going today. That was good to see. A bunch of running backs were involved in this game and it wasn’t just Jase McClellan. Roydell Williams was productive in his attempts too. I’m curious to see if this is going to be more of a rotation going forward instead of McClellan just being the guy.
Jalen Milroe is starting to figure things out. You should have killed Alabama when you had the chance. The game was still closer than it needed to be and I’m still not taking Milroe seriously from an NFL perspective. With that said, you can see Tommy Rees has figured out that Milroe can run and has positive arm strength. Take the shots down the field, run the ball, and it will be good enough to win.
Dallas Turner had 0.5 sack in this one. Still think he’s the Edge 1 without question.
Defensive tackle Justin Eboige continues to flash. Looked good last week. Did again this week. He’s a guy that’s struggled staying on the field and is coming back from a bad neck injury.
Side note: I watched a few snapshots of the Georgia game against Vandy when Bama was on commercial. Tykee Smith was all over the place.
Daijun Edwards, AKA Taz, went nuts again. Kendall Milton rebounded a bit too but I just love Edwards.
Bo Nix historically has been terrible on the road. In this one, he played well. If you discount all of the failed 4th down attempts that cost them the game, then he played well. If we’re being honest, he does look a lot like Zach Wilson. Not super tall, can move, and I like Wilson has a better pure arm.
The numbers are there – 33/44 for 337 yards and two touchdowns. He’s definitely better than he was at Auburn but I have a hard time believing he ever turns into a guy. More athletic and rhythmic from a throwing standpoint than Trubisky.
I’m in on Bucky Irving. I just think he has a different gear from certain Oregon backs of the past while actually looking like a real running back. It’s like they’ve figured out a way to combine the small gadget guys and big power backs of the past in a factory to create Bucky. He caught the ball really well and was really hard to tackle. Went for 127 on the ground including a touchdown and added six receptions.
The same kinda thing I said about Irving, I’m in on Troy Franklin too. You can see he’s not just a gadget guy. Certainly has speed but you can see already he can have a Will Fuller type of impact on the game. Stretch the field and go win down the field. He can do it and isn’t small either. Looks like if Usain Bolt could actually play receiver. Not as fast obviously but has that lean tall look to him.
I think this is the first time I’ve ever said this. I’m pretty sure, at least. I actually like a wide receiver at Washington. Rome Odunze is built way differently than John Ross or Dante Pettis. This is a real receiver. A lot of things to like here. Good size (6-foot-3, 217) with quick feet. Has that this ball is mine quality. Won two nice 50-50 in the end zone. I always value receivers that have the “this ball is mine” quality. He has that.
Mel Kiper has him as his 7th overall player in the class. That might be a bit too rich for my taste but it’s pretty obvious by now that he has talent. The Las Vegas native notched eight receptions for 128 yards and two scores. I haven’t figured out my comp for him yet but I’ll let you know when I do.
The thing is, I think I like this Ja’Lynn Polk too. He’s been around for a while but it’s hard to not give him credit for this performance. 19.7 yards per catch is damn impressive.
I already know what you’re going to say about this. I get what you’re seeing but are you observing? We’re positive Michael Penix Jr. is just going to be this Gold Jacket guy? That doesn’t mean we didn’t learn things in this game. I’ll give him this. He does have this quality that Hendon Hooker did last year for Tennessee. Has a weird ability to be on the money with some of these deep balls. He can get the ball in a specific spot down the field and that’s a great sign. I don’t trust his inconsistent arm angles but his footwork is a lot better than how it looked at Indiana.
This is what I saw. I saw about seven throws that weren’t remotely close to the target. What does that tell you? What it tells me is that if the plan is there and he has time to execute the play, he can do it. I’m not sure he’s ever carrying you to hero ball plays like Mahomes does taking something out of nothing. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night turning the card in on Penix. He was terrible at Indiana except for when he played for Kalen DeBoer. He’s been terrible when DeBoer isn’t his coach. How can you just trust you’re getting a guy here?
Overall, I think it was a nice day. Missed some throws but 22/37 for 302 for four touchdowns and one pick. The last drive to go win the game was impressive. Nice to have that quality.
Washington might have some dudes on this defense. I wouldn’t call it a great defense but there are some individual standouts that we might want to start tracking. The cornerback Jabbar Muhammad is one to watch. He got hit for an ugly PI and I’m not sure he has any idea how to read the ball when it’s in the air. He was definitely the hardest guy to complete a ball against and that counts for something. Gave up a big play to Franklin that basically sealed the win for Oregon. Can’t turn his head around at all but physical and battles. Also, the linebacker Alphonzo Tuputala was everywhere. You’re going to be noticed if you’re around the ball that much.
Washington lost running back Cameron Davis before the start of the season. He would have been their starter. The backup (now starter Dillon Johnson) did a damn good job. Let’s not go crazy over what he did but I just want to point out that Washington has produced NFL backs in the past. Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed are two examples. Maybe Johnson has a chance to follow that path.
I’m just going to say it. I like Max Johnson. I’m not counting him out to make it as a backup in the league. He’s tough and just a total gamer. Tall at 6-foot-6 but not broken in the lower half like Carson Strong. Had a nice rushing touchdown in this one. He can actually shift in the pocket to open throws for himself. Not a world beat. Not a great arm. I do like the fact that he has NFL bloodlines and his dad Brad could be a good model to what he can become. Except he’s taller.
Just a red flag that I’m not sure will ever go away. The touch accuracy for Joe Milton just isn’t great. It’s holding the team back. What I mean by that is even the completions, the ball placement isn’t ideal. At some point, you have to be a point guard and execute drives. Until that happens, he’s only going to be so good. The rushing is a tad underrated though. The interception was embarrassingly terrible. He’s tough to watch, man. The only thing that he has going for him right now is his freakish arm strength.
Caleb Williams didn’t have his best game. That’s probably an understatement. I do not care. He’s the first pick. Deal with it.
I just don’t see it with Sam Hartman. The more I watch, the more I see a ceiling. If Andy Dalton tickles your fancy, knock yourself out. It’s just not good enough. 21 points came off turnovers and a lot of guys would have won that game for Notre Dame. The guy is 24 and will be 25 before his first NFL game. I need Heisman Hartman. This isn’t Heisman caliber performance.
Say whatever you want. Maybe blame the team. The weapons aren’t great and it seems like Notre Dame is okay if he’s a good version of whatever Wisconsin has. It’s just not good enough NFL wise. 126 passing yards against this defense? Is that good enough for you?
Xavier Watts had a hell of a game. The converted wide receiver now turned safety balled out in this one. Tell you what. Has a nice pair of hands on him. Had two picks in this one. Intercepting Caleb Williams isn’t exactly easy, right? Well… he did it twice. Watts also had a touchdown and forced a fumble.
I don’t have much here. TBH I don’t even want to talk about this team after Mario botched it last week. That guy is such a meathead. Tyler Van Dyke was already but threw two bad picks. The running back Henry Parrish had an inexcusable fumble at the goal line. Jacolby George put up some stats. The offensive and defensive lines have some talent. That’s all I got.
I only want to talk about Tez Walker. That was awesome to see. F the NCAA. I think we can all agree on that.
He really sparked the offense and you could see the difference he made compared to the games without him. Six catches for 132 yards and three scores say a lot.
By the end of the night my focus was all over the place. UFC was on. VGK hockey was on. Those two other night CFB games were on. This is what I can tell you and it’s not relevant for this year but let’s keep an eye on it. So far Dante Moore stinks.
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