Welcome back to When The Devy Breaks, your weekly rundown of the college football landscape and how it affects your devy league rosters. Here are a few quick storylines from last weekend’s slate of action:
- Oklahoma saw their playoff hopes likely dashed after a 48-41 loss to Kansas State which saw the Sooners trailing by 25 points early in the fourth quarter.
- Oregon narrowly avoided a disastrous loss to Washington State on the back of CJ Verdell’s 257-yard, three-TD performance.
- UCLA RB Joshua Kelley rushed for 164 yards and four TDs against a tough Arizona State defense, his third game with 125 or more yards rushing in his last four outings.
Looking ahead to Week 10, the card isn’t terribly exciting. But SMU/Memphis, Utah/Washington, and Georgia/Florida all offer interesting angles and viewing opportunities. Drilling down into the devy world, let’s see who’s up and who’s down.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
A fourth-year senior for the Trojans, Pittman is starting to distance himself from his talented WR running mates Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns. Through seven games in 2019, the 6-foot-4-inch, 220-pound senior ya accounted for 35% of USC’s receiving production after posting a 35% Dominator Rating in 2018:
Pittman has four or more receptions in every game this season and is on pace to smash his current career highs in every receiving category. He’s set to play his rookie NFL season at age 23, which puts him at a disadvantage compared to his younger peers. But strong final-season production paired with his impressive frame make him an interesting buy before we get to the draft process.
Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville
Hawkins has been on an absolute tear currently ranking 13th in the country in yards rushing (887) through eight games. The 5-foot-9-inch, 182-pound redshirt freshman lacks the prototypical frame of an NFL RB. But with at least one more college season left it’s possible he adds some size to his frame, alleviating concerns about his durability. He’s also the most athletic RB in the 2018 recruiting class according to ESPN.
Hawkins’ SPARQ score (130.26) places him near current elite RB prospects like J.K. Dobbins and Cam Akers. I’d like to see his receiving role expand before I’m comfortable going all in. But Hawkins is a rising prospect in the 2021 class.
Harrison Bryant, TE, FAU
We rarely discuss TEs in devy because they typically take several seasons to emerge in the NFL and are usually not featured in college offenses. But Bryant might be an exception. The 6-foot-5-inch, 240-pound senior leads the Owls’ in receptions (38) and yards receiving (577) and has an impressive career production profile:
Bryant bypassed the Draft following his junior season wanting to finish his education. We’ve seen this backfire for some prospects.1 But he’s still just 21 years old and has 50 yards receiving or more in all but one game this season. A stellar showing at the combine could push Bryant into the top-tier of TEs in the 2020 class.
Patrick Taylor Jr., RB, Memphis
Taylor was terrific in 2018 playing second fiddle to Darrell Henderson and was assumed to be the new lead back for the Tigers’ in 2019. But injuries have kept him sidelined and allows Kenneth Gainwell to emerge as one of the most productive RBs in the country. Even if/when Taylor does get healthy, there’s no guarantee he immediately supplants Gainwell or even takes away significant carries. This by no means dashes Taylor’s NFL hopes. But a final college season defined by a significant injury isn’t great.
Trade Target Of The Week
Stevie Scott III, RB, Indiana
Scott is quietly positioning himself as a top-five RB in the 2021 class. The 6-foot-2-inch, 231-pound sophomore possesses a unique blend of size and pass-catching ability averaging 1.9 receptions per game over his career. He was a sub-par athlete coming out of high school, but I’m willing to wait until we have official workout times to see whether he’s progressed. Scott’s rushing production this season has declined on a per-game basis compared to his breakout freshman campaign. But as the centerpiece of a team that looks to be ascending, Scott is an appealing but candidate in advance of what could be his last college season in 2020.
Image Credit: Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Stevie Scott.
- see Bryce Love (back)