The first bunch of college football is in the books! The weekend offered much excitement and gave insight into what players and teams will look like this year. From the perspective of the NFL draft, many players did a great job and performed admirably to increase their draft stock or put themselves on the radars of scouts. On the other hand, some prospects may have done a bit to hurt themselves. While nothing is set in stone, this is who helped or hurt their draft stock this past weekend.
Andre Hal (CB, Vanderbilt): Over the Summer, Hal flew under the radar considering he is in the SEC, but he had a coming out party against the Ole Miss Rebels this weekend. Donte Moncrief is one of the best receiving prospects in the nation this year and he was all but made ineffective against Hal during the game. Hal created a blanket on the physical receiver and he was even able to come up with some impressive defended passes. The world is taking notice.
Keith Price (QB, Washington): During his debut season, Price shocked the world and made him an early Heisman favorite heading into his second year as a starter. Unfortunately, despite the talent around him, Price fell off big time as he was constantly breaking down in terms of his mechanics and decision-making. However, this past weekend, Price showed up big time against a usually impressive Boise State defense. Price was much better at going through his reads and standing tall in the pocket and making the strike downfield. If he is able to consistently flex his natural ability, he could be a major riser over the course of the year.
Luther Maddy (DT, Virginia Tech): Going into the game against Alabama, it looked like the Hokies were heading for a buzz saw, but that was not the case. While the offense was mediocre at best, the defense showed up big time against an efficient and strong Alabama offense. Maddy, who has gone unnoticed up to this game, dominated the interior of the Alabama line. If he wasn’t in the backfield, he was allowing his linebackers to flow to the ball carrier. He is certainly a prospect to keep an eye on.
Cyrus Kouandjio (OT, Alabama): Speaking of the Alabama line, the highly touted Kouandjio did himself and his quarterback no favors during the game. He was constantly abused in pass protection, failing to use proper footwork to work a pass rusher. While he was getting a good push in the run game, it was not coming consistently. For someone who is considered a top tier talent by some, Kouandjio needs to improve his overall game over the course of the season if this past week was any indicator
Bryn Renner (QB, UNC): Whether it was the play calling or not, there was no doubt Renner hurt his draft stock with this past week’s performance against South Carolina. Yes, he was facing the daunting Jadeveon Clowney, but he showed very little poise all night and looked incredibly uncomfortable in the pocket. It was obvious with the play calling that Renner was not being given the game as more screens were called than I could count and when Renner was asked to throw down field, it was often off target. Though he is not the best QB by any stretch, he had some fans in the draft community and he needs to settle down in his next game and see if he can get them back.
Zurlon Tipton (RB, CMU): Tipton was one of my favorite running backs during the offseason. His blend of size, speed and power had all the makings of a legitimate NFL running back and he looked poised for a big year. Unfortunately, aside from not making any running room for himself against Michigan, he also broke his ankle and is out for the year. No doubt he is talented, but he will need to comeback from an injury and his stock will inevitably drop.
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