— There are so many bad quarterbacks in college football at the moment it’s hard to work out how Maryland managed to land Tua Tagovailoa’s brother via transfer. Taulia has been absolutely superb the last two weeks and looks the part of a pro prospect for the future. He’s mobile, accurate, throws well on the run, doesn’t take unnecessary chances and can make plays at every level. He’s also elevating Maryland way beyond expectations. In a 35-19 win against Penn State he threw three touchdowns and 282 yards was on point.
— No quarterback has elevated his stock more than BYU’s Zach Wilson so far, however. Some players just have a X-factor. They look in control, skilful, the clear best player on the field. That’s Wilson week after week this season. The 51-17 win against Boise State was another masterclass. He has a lot of what teams look for — creativity and improv skills, the ability to throw from difficult angles on the run, enough speed to make gains on the ground and he’s highly accurate. He’s not a big, physical player and that gives some pause. He might have a lot of similar traits to Justin Herbert but he doesn’t have the arm or the size. That does matter and he’ll need to get stronger. He doesn’t have that ‘flick of the wrist’ fastball that Kyler Murray had on a more diminutive frame. Even so, he has looked fantastic this year.
— Sometimes you can boost your stock when you have to leave a game through injury. Kyle Pitts was hammered on an illegal hit that led to concussion symptoms against Georgia. Without him, the Florida offense just didn’t look the same (even though they won comfortably). He had two catches for 59 yards and a touchdown but you have to know where he is at all times. He’s not going to come into the NFL and be a George Kittle style complete tight end. He’s more of a moveable chess piece. Yet a team with a young quarterback who needs an ideal #2 to pair with a dynamic outside receiver should target Pitts early in the first round.
— Going back to Penn State, one of the biggest disappointments so far is not being able to see running back Journey Brown. The team released a statement saying he’s out with an undisclosed illness. He posted a video suggesting he might be back at some point this season but it’s unclear. Based on his 2019 film he was a player I was desperate to see more of. He’s reportedly up to 216lbs which is in Seattle’s range. He jumped a 40-inch vertical at SPARQ so he’s incredibly explosive. He’s been timed at a 4.29 in the forty and you do see that speed on the field. He is lightning fast and his acceleration is incredible. He has superb change of direction skills and delivers sudden, ankle-breaking cuts to avoid tacklers. He also fights through contact and is a surprisingly good goal-line runner. He looked like a potential second round pick based on what he showed last year. Look out for updates on his status moving forward. Penn State badly miss him and others (Micah Parsons etc).
— Pittsburgh pass rusher Patrick Jones is a leader, he’s incredibly quick off the edge, he has versatility and range, he has a repertoire and it’s hard to take any mock draft seriously that doesn’t have him listed as a high pick. He was superb again in a big win against Florida State. He was firing up his team mates in pre-game. He’s pretty much the exact type of player the Seahawks need.
— I’m watching the first quarter of Clemson vs Notre Dame tonight then the rest in the morning. The player I’m most interested in is left guard Aaron Banks. Every time I’ve watched Notre Dame so far he’s been the player who stands out. If you’re a fan of the Damien Lewis pick (who isn’t) then Banks could deliver a guard pairing with major long term potential. With Ethan Pocic still only 25-years-old, the idea of a blossoming young interior O-line is enticing. Notre Dame scored on a 65-yard touchdown run to start the game. Banks opened the initial gap before delivering a nice second-level effort. He’s a big, mean, athletic blocker with the size Seattle loves at left guard. He also switches out to play left tackle for some snaps.
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