Sep 28, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger (8) sits on the sidelines in the final minutes of the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium. Georgia won 44-41. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
A number of players came away from week four of college football feeling mighty good or really bad about their prospects for the future. With the 2014 NFL draft a week closer, how do the stocks of the big names look?
Marqise Lee – WR – USC – Stock: Down
USC will look very different in week five of the college season. Head coach Lane Kiffin is out and so is star receiver Marqise Lee. After catching seven passes for 92 in trying to help his Trojans stay with ArizonaState, he injured his knee on a punt return. Considering he was carted to the locker it is not a good sign for him, his team or his 2014 NFL draft stock.
Zach Mettenberger – QB – LSU – Stock: Up
Losing rarely is a good thing for a player but in the case of Zach Mettenberger his loss to Georgia was further validation of his growth as a quarterback. Normally considered a defensive powerhouse, the Tigers had to lean on their quarterback who finished the day with 372 yards and three touchdowns in a tight 44-41 defeat to SEC rival Georgia. If he wasn’t considered first round material before, he could be after such a showing.
De’Anthony Thomas – RB – Oregon – Stock: Down
The hottest player on the hottest team in the nation went into week four leading the Ducks with 485 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns. Then he injured his ankle on the opening kickoff against Cal. While the blow did not prevent another Oregon rout, it could turn out to be a big setback to Thomas’ draft ambitions as he was challenging to become the first running back taken next May.
Tajh Boyd – QB – Clemson – Stock: Up
There are a number of quarterbacks in college football who can run and pass equally well but Clemson star Tajh Boyd has begun to perfect the art. Against outmatched WakeForest he went over 300 yards passing with three touchdown passes and add 69 rushing yards with another touchdown. That pushed over 100 TDs in his career, and further validated his place as one of the top quarterbacks in the coming draft.
Jadeveon Clowney – DE – South Carolina – Stock: Down
It’s becoming difficult to tell if the struggles of Jadeveon Clowney are tied to his injured foot or his lack of proper physical conditioning and effort. Perhaps it’s a bit of both. Through four games he has two sacks and came through a tight win over UCF with just two tackles. It has already led many experts to revise their first reports about him being a Heisman hopeful, let alone first pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
Anthony Barr – OLB – UCLA – Stock: Up
At the start of the season it was felt no other defensive player could touch Clowney. That has changed thanks to the play of UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr. After forcing four fumbles in a huge win over Nebraska, the senior finally got his first sack of the season against New MexicoState. The more he continues to make plays the more coaches in the pros can’t ignore him come draft day.
A.J. McCarron – QB – Alabama – Stock: Down
Alabama remains undefeated but it also remains by their typical formula. Aside from his outburst against Texas A&M, A.J. McCarron continues a rather underwhelming 2013 season. Against Ole Miss he had 180 passing yards, no touchdowns with an interception. For all the success his team has, McCarron continues to look like just another Crimson Tide game manager.
Mike Evans – WR – Texas A&M – Stock: Up
The large wide receiver for the Aggies once again teamed up with Johnny Manziel to dominate an SEC opponent. Despite frequent challenges from Arkansas, Evans proved too much as he hauled in six passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns. His size at 6’5″ is already an attractive quality to Manziel and is fast becoming so for offensive coordinators in the pros.