September is coming to an end, which means stock watch is about to enter its second month. We already have four weeks (five if you count Week 0) to start to formulate the draft assessment for players all over college football. There have been quite a few surprises, some pleasant, others much more unfortunate, when it comes to the expectations we had entering the year versus the performances we’ve seen so far. Players like Drew Sanders and Devon Achane have unquestionably made themselves some money, while guys like Tyler Van Dyke and Kayshon Boutte have raised more questions than answers with their play to this point.
I find myself a bit behind on film from this past weekend, which is unfortunate, because it was another thrilling slate of games. Here is my watch list so far from the weekend:
Virginia at Syracuse
Maryland at Michigan
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
Clemson at Wake Forest
Middle Tennessee State at Miami
Wisconsin at Ohio State
I still have several more that I want to watch, including Florida-Tennessee, Baylor-Iowa State, Texas-Texas Tech and Oregon-Washington State.
Each week, I am going to write this column to highlight which players I think boosted their draft stocks and which players are trending in the wrong direction. Not every player that I liked is going to get a shoutout and not every player that I was underwhelmed by will be mentioned. I am also limiting this to draft-eligible players for 2023. So while Brock Bowers continues to look like a Heisman candidate, he won’t be on this list.
Without further ado, here is my stock up and stock down after Week 4. If you missed last week’s entry, you can find it here.
Davis Allen, TE, Clemson
Week 4 stat line: 4 receptions, 36 yards, 2 TDs
A name to learn, Allen had a big game against Wake Forest. His stats won’t jump off the page, but he is a well-rounded player and a clear threat in the red zone. He reeled in the game-winning touchdown in double overtime by essentially boxing out the safety on a well-thrown ball from DJ Uiagalelei. He has great size at 6’6″ and 250 pounds and moves well for that build. I definitely want to watch him a bit more before I start making any predictions about where I think he might be drafted, but he impressed me in a high-pressure situation.
Cade Stover, TE, Ohio State
Week 4 stat line: 4 receptions, 51 yards, 2 TDs
After years of lackluster tight ends classes, it seems like we could be in store for a pretty decent one. Stover is going to be a big part of that. He has seen his role in the Buckeyes’ offense increase significantly this year with Jeremy Ruckert now in the NFL. His stats might not blow anyone away, but he is fluid a runner in open space and a polished route runner. However, his biggest impact unquestionably came as a run blocker. He opened a ton of holes for Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson. Stover bullied Nate Herbig for much of the night when Ohio State put it on the ground. This was the first time he really got on my radar. I’m excited to watch more of him.
Blake Corum, RB, Michigan
Week 4 stat line: 30 carries, 243 yards, 2 TDs
These are Derrick Henry type numbers! Unfortunately, Corum is about five inches shorter and 40 pounds lighter than the Titans running back. That being said, it sure looks like Corum has the chops to be a contributor at the next level. He does a great job keeping his legs moving after first contact and his agility makes him tough to corral. I would love to see him get more involved in the passing game as a receiver. He only has two receptions for 11 yards this season. He could certainly be a change-of-pace or a short-yardage back in the pros, but his value will be significantly undercut without better production in the passing game.
Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami
Week 3 stat line: 16/32, 138 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs,
I promise this will be the last time I put Van Dyke here. It was impossible to leave him out though after getting benched in a wildly disappointing loss to Middle Tennessee State. There is no question that he is struggling to acclimate to this new coaching staff and new offensive system. However, his struggles culminated with him being benched in the second half of the game. It is hard to find much silver lining in that. Van Dyke has looked inaccurate and unsure all season long. Two early interceptions all but doomed this performance before it ever really got started. Mario Cristobal has not committed to Van Dyke as the team’s starting quarterback for this week. Might be time to start thinking about some potential landing spots for when Van Dyke inevitably enters the portal.
Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland
Week 4 stat line: Not great
I’ve been hearing some hype about Duncan in recent weeks. This was easily his biggest test, going up against a stout Michigan defense. As a run blocker, he more than held his own, opening up some really nice holes. Unfortunately, he had a disastrous day in pass protection. Duncan got called for an early hold and had a few other plays that could have been penalized. He struggles with speed and power rushers, giving up a few sacks and at least five pressures by my count. His hand placement and footwork were sporadic. It led to a lot of running around from Taulia Tagovailoa. I still believe Duncan has a lot of upside, given his build and clear athleticism, but he looked a lot more like a Day 2 project than a first-round caliber tackle on Saturday.
Brennan Armstrong, QB, Virginia
Week 4 stat line: 19/38, 138 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 11 carries, 29 yards, lost fumble
I will admit, I was not a huge fan of Armstrong’s game heading into the 2022 season. I don’t love his throwing motion and he posted double digit interceptions for the second year in a row in 2021. Friday night once again highlighted why I do not believe Armstrong has an NFL future. He did not go through his progressions on a number of occasions, deciding where he was going to go with the ball pre snap. He missed open receivers and turned the ball over twice. I know he is learning a new offense, but there are some issues that seem to be independent of the scheme. I was hoping he would be able to flash enough potential to entice me, but as of now, I have a UDFA grade on Armstrong.
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