The top college prospects are off and running. The first week is almost in the books and the board for the 2014 NFL draft are already taking shape. Which players have stock going up and which ones see it going down?
Jadeveon Clowney – DE – South Carolina – Stock: Down
It wasn’t exactly the debut everybody envisioned. Jadeveon Clowney came into 2013 with so much momentum surrounding his run to become the 1st over pick in the NFL draft. So finishing the game againstNorth Carolina with just three tackles wasn’t what the fans or experts had it mind.
Teddy Bridgewater – QB – Louisville – Stock: Up
Yes, it was against Ohio but Teddy Bridgewater looked every bit as advertised, leading his Louisville Cardinals in a route that saw him toss for over 350 yards and five touchdown passes. He is playing quarterback better than anybody else right now and continues to push hard for top overall pick consideration.
Jake Matthews – OT – Texas A&M – Stock: Up
Though still up for debate, Jake Matthews is favored as the top offensive lineman for the 2014 class. His bloodlines run deep and his technique is nearly flawless. His first start at left tackle went largely according to plan save for a minor slip up late in the game when he failed to recognize a stunt. All in all though he looks the part of a line anchor.
Anthony Barr – DE – UCLA – Stock: Neutral
UCLA isn’t as practiced against running quarterbacks as other schools, so it’s easy to understand why Anthony Barr couldn’t get his hands on Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo. Still, the Bruins won the game handily and Barr finished with seven tackles. Opportunities will come soon enough to start collecting sacks.
Louis Nix III – DT – Notre Dame – Stock: Down
An inauspicious debut to say the least. Notre Dame won the game without much work over Temple but Louis Nix III, who rates are the best defensive tackle prospect failed to even register a tackle. This is hard to fathom, especially considering Temple ran the ball 29 times. Nix has a history of effort problems, so he better pick it up fast.
Tajh Boyd – QB – Clemson – Stock: Up
Perhaps no player had a more productive debut. Not only did Clemson knock off its second-straight SEC opponent in Georgia, but star quarterback Tajh Boyd was the reason why. His three touchdown passes and two touchdown runs were enough to push the Tigers over the Bulldogs 38-35, catapulting him into the Heisman picture.
Bradley Roby – CB – Ohio State – Stock: Down
A disorderly conduct charge for a bar fight got Bradley Roby suspended for the Ohio State opener. That is not the way to get noticed by scouts or help his team win. Roby is considered the best defensive back in the nation but that won’t last long if he continues to make dumb mistakes and miss games.
Johnny Manziel – QB – Texas A&M – Stock: Up
Love him or hate him, Johnny Manziel was his typical self. Suspended for the first half of the opener against Rice for NCAA violations, he stepped in during the second and swiftly turned the game into a route with three touchdown passes, taunting everybody in sight along the way. He’s such a good player, but potentially self destructive.
Marqise Lee – WR – USC – Stock: Up
USC took care of their business against Hawaii and there is no doubt a big reason was the play of wide receiver Marqise Lee. His 106 yards on six catches was 69 yards better than the next teammate on the list. He also added a 22-yard kick return for good measure. Lee should see plenty of passes this year and has little competition for being the first wide receiver to go next May.
A.J. McCarron – QB – Alabama – Stock: Down
Another quarterback with tons of momentum going into the season. A.J. McCarron is a consummate team player which is why he didn’t complain settling for 110 passing yards with a touchdown and interception while Alabama rolled over Virginia Tech 35-10 on the strength of defense and two return touchdowns. Still, stats will mean a lot for him if he wants proper recognition when the 2014 NFL draft rolls around.