After I declared Georgia and Alabama to be in a class of their own, Texas A&M pulled off an upset of Alabama few saw coming. Georgia is ranked first and faces a test of their own this weekend against a Kentucky team that, like Georgia, wins by playing great defense. Cincinnati has earned a spot in the top four, a first for a Group of Five school in the College Football Playoff era. The Big Ten has five teams in the top ten with many of them still to play each other. It has been a wild first half of the season and should only get better down the stretch.
I want to focus on a few players from the past week who stood out to me, especially those who should be draft eligible at the end of the season.
Carson Strong, QB – Nevada
If you like a prototypical pocket passers, Carson Strong might be your favorite quarterback prospect. The junior is appropriately named as he might have the strongest arm in college football. He uses it to make throws all over the field, but I’d like to see him improve his touch passes and make more throws into tight windows. It’s unlikely he’ll make many plays with his legs, but with an arm like his, he may not need to. He had a career outing against New Mexico State, throwing for six touchdowns and 377 yards while completing 25 of 32 pass attempts.
Jalen Nailor, WR – Michigan State
I didn’t know who to chose from Michigan State’s offense this week. Quarterback Payton Thorne threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns. NCAA-leading rusher Kenneth Walker III ran for 233 yards and a touchdown. But, Jalen Nailor put on a show. He caught five passes for a whopping 221 yards and three touchdowns against a Rutgers defense that had proven to be stingy until Saturday. Those three touchdowns came on passes of 63, 63, and 65 yards. With these numbers, it is clear Nailor has deep speed. My question is how good is he at running other routes? It’s clear he didn’t need them in this game.
Most receiving yards on deep pass attempts this season ✈️— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 11, 2021
1. Jalen Nailor, Michigan State (Week 6): 191
2. Jayden Reed, Michigan State (Week 2): 160
3. Jacob Copeland, Florida (Week 2): 152pic.twitter.com/qcF515cGBZ
Nick Broeker, OT – Ole Miss
After a whirlwind of a game between Arkansas and Ole Miss, Nick Broeker was named Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week in the SEC. The junior left tackle played an integral role in Ole Miss putting up over 600 yards of offense against the Razorbacks. He has a good anchor against power rushers, but needs to improve his footwork and technique against speed.
DeMarvion Overshown, LB – Texas
Overshown is a rangy linebacker, standing at 6’4” and weighing only 223 lb. But he is the leading tackler for Texas with 52 total tackles through six games. He does this by quickly diagnosing plays and using his quickness to beat blockers on his way to the ballcarrier. In a loss to Oklahoma, Overshown had eight tackles, two for a loss, a sack, a blocked punt, and fumble recovery.
Sack and a blocked punt on back-to-back plays, where do you have Texas LB DeMarvion Overshown on your draft board?pic.twitter.com/cpwDJIlXXS— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 9, 2021
Jermaine Waller, CB – Virginia Tech
One of the leaders in interceptions in the country, Washington, DC, native Jermaine Waller could be a highly-coveted draft prospect. The junior was a big reason why Virginia Tech almost handed Notre Dame their second loss in a row. He had four tackles and a pick six in the loss. As a 6’1” cornerback, Waller has the size Rivera likes at the position. He uses his length and physicality to stick with receivers and has the ability to locate the ball and take it away.
Jermaine Waller : 5 tackles & a 26-yard pick 6 pic.twitter.com/Lr5deIwmqH— Lee Harvey (@AyeThatsLee) October 10, 2021
Jaquan Brisker, S – Penn State
The marquee matchup leading up to Saturday was Penn State vs. Iowa. If you like defense, this game did not disappoint. Jaquan Brisker was one of many defensive standouts in this game. He appeared to be all over the field on his way to nine tackles and an interception. Brisker is quick to diagnose plays and has the ability to play in the box and cover. After Kyle Hamilton of Notre Dame, Brisker could be the second safety prospect.
Tory Taylor, P, Iowa
In the words of Rich Eisen, “punters are people, too!” While I think we have one of the best in the NFL on the roster in Tress Way, I wanted to give Tory Taylor some love. One reason why Iowa beat Penn State was because they controlled field position. Taylor punted eight times with five being downed inside the fifteen and three being downed inside the five. It was a special teams clinic.