CFB Player Stocks 12/03
As the season draws to a close, all eyes now turn to the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft.
From Senior standouts to Heisman Trophy candidates and frontrunners, players throughout College Football have either turned heads or fell short of meeting expectations.
We take a look at four players whose NFL Draft stock has risen and fallen throughout the NCAA season.
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Senior quarterback Joe Burrow entered the 2019 season as a potential third or fourth-round draft pick but has taken college football by storm and found himself making one of the biggest stock jumps for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Burrow has left a legacy in Baton Rouge by leading the Tigers to one of the top two spots in the College Football Playoff and is the frontrunner to claim the Heisman Trophy.
Burrow’s statistics jump off the page as he’s completed over 75 percent of his passes for 4,366 yards (2nd in the nation), 44 touchdowns (2nd in the nation) and six interceptions, while adding three rushing touchdowns on 85 carries for 248 yards.
As long as the Cincinnati Bengals remain with the top pick, all projections have Burrow as the number one overall selection.
Jonathon Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Junior running back Jonathon Taylor has not only been the best running back in the nation this year, but there’s a case to be made that he’s been the country’s top back over the last three seasons.
Last season, Taylor lead the FBS with 2,194 yards and finished third in the nation as a freshman with 1,977 yards.
This season, Taylor has picked up right where he left off, totaling 25 total touchdowns which leads the FBS. He’s rushed for 1,761 yards (2nd in the nation) and 20 rushing touchdowns (4th in the nation), adding 22 receptions for 201 yards and five receiving scores.
Projections have Taylor going late in the first round but not as the top running back overall (De’Andre Swift, Georgia).
However, Taylor’s numbers speak for themselves and his stock will only continue to climb as the Draft process moves forward.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
To begin the season, ‘Tank for Tua’ was a slogan heard across the country when referring to tanking NFL teams looking for a future franchise quarterback to hand the keys of the kingdom too.
However, junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has come crashing back down to earth.
His talent is unquestioned but after struggling with injuries over the last two seasons and suffering a season-ending hip injury in November, Tagovailoa is now dropping in projections.
This year, the 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up completed 70 percent of his passes for 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns and three interceptions, adding two rushing touchdowns as well.
My expectation is that Tagovailoa will show off his skills healthy during the NFL Combine and raise his stock back to normal amongst the Top 5.
However, until then, he will remain questioned with injury concerns.
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Last season, Justin Herbert was seen to be the top potential quarterback taken in the NFL Draft and at the least amongst the Top 10 picks.
Instead, Herbert decided to forego the draft and stay at Oregon for his senior season.
As a result, the Oregon native has led the Ducks to a PAC-12 North title, completing 68 percent of his passes for 3,140 yards for 31 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Although his play hasn’t necessarily been the reason for the drop in stock, there are far more viable quarterback options in this year’s draft compared to last year.
Herbert would most likely fall to the Top 20 or 30 picks if the Draft started today as the third quarterback taken.