Oct 19, 2013; Stanford, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) drops back for a pass during the fourth quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Stanford won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
There was a very interesting thing happening yesterday among some of the best 2014 NFL Draft prospects. The prospects themselves were playing pretty great, but their teams kept on losing.
Upsets were theme of college football on Saturday, especially among top 10 teams in the country. Florida State (5) upset Clemson (3), and LSU (6), Texas A&M (7), Louisville (8, Friday), and UCLA (9) all lost games this weekend, and all have some seriously big name prospects. Just looking over my positional top five, here are some of the big name players that lost on Saturday, and I’ll even throw in Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina (11th in the country) which lost to Tennessee.
Big Name Prospects on Losing Teams
– Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
– Anthony Barr and Brett Hundley, UCLA
– Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, and Vic Beasley, Clemson
– Zach Mettenberger, LSU
– Johnny Manziel, Jake Matthews, and Mike Evans, Texas A&M
– Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
I fully expect a number of these guys to be top 10 selections, and that’s not to say that their college teams couldn’t possibly lose, but it’s interesting that it all came in the same weekend.
The great thing for NFL Draft fans is this–in weeks where top 10 teams lose, it allows other teams and players to step up and get their names in the spotlight a little bit more. One player who held his own against a dominant performer was Tennessee offensive tackle Antonio Richardson going up against Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney had his share of big plays, but in the second half, Richardson engaged him in an epic battle that had draft fans absolutely giddy.
It was the matchup basically all draft nerds like myself were waiting to see, and it did not disappoint. Richardson is a massive individual and is shockingly nimble on his feet. He looks more and more like a top 15 selection and depending how the rest of the year shakes out he could end up in the top 10.
Anyway, none of this is ground-breaking news by any means but it’s certainly interesting to note.