Week 8 of the college football season is in the books. Which prospects boosted their draft stock? And which saw it take a tumble? Here are five prospects who saw their stock shift after this weekend.
Stock UP: JJ McCarthy - QB, Michigan
Much of the attention on this quarterback class has focused on who will end up as QB3 behind Caleb Williams and Drake Maye. There aren’t many players who have made a better case for that title this season than Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy, who put in another phenomenal performance in Week 8. McCarthy completed 76.9% of his passes and averaged 10.8 yards per attempt as the Wolverines got the better of Michigan State.
There were a number of truly exceptional throws from McCarthy in that game and per PFF he finished with a whopping six big-time throws. For context, that is tied for the highest single game total by a Power Five quarterback this season. If he continues to perform at this level against ranked opponents he is going to fly up draft boards.
Stock UP: Jalen Green - EDGE, James Madison
James Madison have been one of the best stories of the 2023 college football. Their win over Marshall in Week 8 moved them to 7-0, making them one of just nine unbeaten teams. They had their defense to thank for their win over the Thundering Herd and nobody was more impactful than Jalen Green.
Green racked up an immense 10 pressures on just 33 pass rushing snaps. He converted five of those pressures into sacks. This game marked his second double-digit pressure performance of the season, making him just one of two players to achieve this milestone this season. James Madison haven’t had a player drafted since 2020. It feels safe to say Green will break that drought.
Stock UP: Javon Baker - WR, UCF
Baker was a high-profile recruit coming out of high school in 2020, earning offers from the likes of Alabama, Michigan, and Ohio State. He committed to the Crimson Tide, but a lack of playing time saw him head to UCF ahead of the 2022 season. He has been a big part of the Knights’ offense since and his talent was once again on full display in Week 8.
Baker had an excellent game against Oklahoma as the Knights threatened to pull off a big upset. He showed why he is regarded as one of the best deep threats in college football, racking up five catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns. A game like that against top competition will undoubtedly have caught the attention of NFL scouts everywhere.
Stock DOWN: KJ Jefferson - QB, Arkansas
Entering the season there was a lot of intrigue around how KJ Jefferson and the Arkansas offense would look in 2023. With offensive coordinator Kendal Briles gone, the team hired Dan Enos and in doing so moved from an Air Raid offense to a more traditional pro-style system. With the Razorbacks sat at 2-6 after scoring just three points in Week 8, it is safe to say things haven’t worked out.
Jefferson has struggled but looked particularly poor this weekend against Mississippi State. He completed just 61.3% of his passes for a paltry 97 yards and an interception. In doing so he averaged just 3.1 yards per attempt. This game marked the third time this season that Jefferson has failed to exceed 150 passing yards in a game.
Stock DOWN: Woodi Washington - CB, Oklahoma
Washington is an experienced member of Oklahoma’s defense, with over 2,000 career snaps to his name. He has been largely solid for much of the 2023 season, but he had a particularly poor game in Week 8. Whilst he only gave up three receptions against UCF, these catches went for a massive 112 yards.
He struggled particularly when matched up with Javon Baker. Baker took one of his receptions against Washington for a touchdown as Washington finished the game with a passer rating allowed of 143.8. He will be keen to get things back on track next week against Kansas.