With Week 1 of the college football season come and gone, devy players and college football fans are trying to make sense of all that’s happened. Hot takes are flying around after just one game. Our writers are here to tell you whether some of the reactions to Week 1’s action are Too Bold (overreactions) or Too Cold (legitimate).
1. Bryce Young is Better than D.J. Uiagelelei
And with the 1st pick of the 2023 draft the ______ select Bryce Young, Quarterback, Alabama.— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) September 4, 2021
Coming into Week 1, Clemson QB D.J. Uiagelelei was considered the QB1 of the 2023 class, and according to some, in all of CFB. After he struggled against Georgia while Bryce Young tore up Miami, the narrative is seeming to flip. Is this take too cold or too bold?
Erik (@ekballer) – Too bold! But, also….
We really don’t know who is the better QB yet. We have a handful of games of DJU and one game of Young; all we know is that both are, at their best, capable of elite-level play. We know they both have all the tools. We have seen DJU succeed, and we’ve seen him falter, but that doesn’t somehow make Young a fail-proof option.
That said, I preferred Young as a prospect. I never really thought there was a great argument for DJU > Young, though DJU had clearly gained more value last year because we’d seen it from him and not from Young.
Usually, I try to take the more valuable asset given a choice. At this point, I think DJU still holds a bit more value. Or, if I think two options are equal in the long-term, I’ll take the less expensive one (which is why I have a lot more Bryce).
Heads up, I still like Young better. I liked his rushing ability better in his HS tape. But both are elite prospects, and I’m psyched to have shares of either.
Sam (@DevyCramps) – Too bold
That Georgia defense is just ridiculous and was pressuring DJU the entire night. Now, DJ could’ve done more even in the situations he was put in – but I don’t want to move him down the ranks after one weak game. Let’s not forget this guy totaled 808 yards, six TDs, and zero INTs in just two starts last year. And one of those games was against a top-5 team in Notre Dame. He’ll bounce back.
That said, Young backed up his high recruit rating, tearing it up in his first collegiate start – and that Miami defense is no slouch, either. They’re closer than people thought before the season, but in a vacuum, I’m still taking DJU for now.
PJ (@mastapj) – Cold
I think the perceived value now is that Bryce is worth more, especially given that he took the lead in Heisman betting following the weekend. However, I am still a big believer in DJ, and I think this is likely the worst game he will ever have in college. Both are going to be amazing quarterbacks when they make it to the NFL. In C2C or Devy leagues, I’d send out some offers for DJ, hoping that owners were panicking. As far as which one is better; I think it’s comparing apples to apples as I think both are likely Heisman finalists at some point in their careers. However, I think Bryce is slightly higher for me right now, given the complement of receivers he has at his disposal.
2. The 2022 QB1 Spot is up for Grabs
Some disappointing Week 1 performances from QBs Sam Howell and Spencer Rattler have the community down on the QB class. Some are saying that Rattler and Howell are not locked into the #1 and #2 spots. Cold, or Bold?
Erik – Cold
The truth is that both Howell and Rattler are flawed prospects, more so than guys like Kyler, Burrows, or Lawrence. Both have some nice traits but also some deficits.
It’s fair to say that the door is open for someone to steal the QB1 throne. Not because of this past weekend, but because neither has shown the consistency and next-level play we’re looking for at the 1.01.
Sam – Cold
They’re still my one and two for now, but the door is wide open. In fact, their Week 1 performances don’t affect that – it always was the case for me. They each have notable flaws, and there’s a slew of talented QBs in the class with the upside to take the throne. Matt Corral might be my favorite pick to do so.
PJ – Cold
I think Rattler and Howell looked fine and will obviously still be in the running to be the top QBs off the board, but I really think a guy like Corral is going to put up big numbers this season and has a lot of the tools the NFL is looking for these days. In addition to him, teams have seemed to covet a player with the Konami Code skillset of Malik Willis in the past few drafts. Last year it was a lock that Trevor Lawrence would be the first quarterback off the board as he was one of the top prospects to enter the league since Andrew Luck. This year the options aren’t as polished, so there’s a lot of room for movement before the draft. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone jumped Rattler and Howell to be the first name off the board.
3. Zach Charbonnet is a Day 2 Prospect
After a letdown of a run at Michigan, Charbonnet transferred to UCLA and has been on fire through two games. People in the community are starting to consider him for the RB3 spot in the 2022 class and claiming he could be a Day 2 prospect. Cold, or Bold?
Erik – Cold
The talent was always tantalizing with Charbonnet, but we just hadn’t seen it in more than flashes.
I was in on him after the Hawaii game. After LSU, I’m sold.
I don’t think either of those defenses is good, and I don’t expect 117 yards and a TD from him every week this season. But the traits are undeniable: power, elusiveness, vision, speed. But RB3? It’s early, and that may change, but no one else has staked as strong a claim to that ranking right now as has Charbonnet. Day 2 should be a lock so long as he stays healthy and avoids any off-field blunders.
Sam – Bold
But only a little. I mainly just need Charbonnet to prove that he can catch passes and handle a full workload.
His tape from the first two games is second-day stuff, so I won’t pretend he doesn’t have that upside. But, if the draft were today, I think there would still be far too many remaining questions. Can he maintain this efficiency with a bigger workload? Does he have a reliable passing-down skillset? Is his performance so far a fluke due to poor competition? That offensive line was opening up holes wider than he’ll ever see in the NFL in both games. I don’t want to call him Day 2 yet, but he could certainly get there.
PJ – Bold
Charbonnet has looked good this season for the Bruins, but UCLA has been mauling defenses in the trenches. The two teams they have faced, Hawaii and LSU, were in the bottom half of the NCAA in rushing yards allowed per game last season. In addition to that, he will have to split touches with Brittain Brown on the wrong side of a committee (Brown has 30 carries so far this season to Charbonnet’s 17). I think getting away from Michigan has definitely helped him revitalize his career, but I think it’s premature to say that he’s going to be the third running back taken in next year’s draft at this stage.
4. Bijan Robinson is the Devy 1.01 and a Top-10 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft
Robinson smashed as a freshman and was already considered by many to be the devy 1.01 – even in SuperFlex formats. After starting the season by logging his third consecutive 175+ yard, 2+ TD game, many are calling him a generational prospect, the clear 1.01, and a future top-10 pick despite still being two years out. Cold, or Bold?
Erik – Cold
Bijan has everything I want in a running back prospect and more. Size, speed, hands, and a truly uncanny ability to find the right lanes or create on his own.
I’m not certain about the top-10 in the NFL draft, but I think the first round is a lock.
Sam – Cold
Bijan is that dude. When I briefly watched his freshman tape for fun, he graded out higher than any RB coming out over the last two years has graded for me – from their junior/senior tape. His Week 1 performance only backed that up. The guy is probably the best player in college football. Not to mention, he still has a year to learn and grow before he hits the draft. He is easily the 1.01 for me, and I could definitely see his name being called in the top 10 in the NFL Draft in 2023.
PJ – Cold
I’ve always thought Bijan was the 1.01 in Devy and C2C drafts this offseason, and his first game of the season certainly didn’t disappoint. Teams have shied away from using high picks on running backs in the last 2-3 drafts. However, I think given that as a prospect, he is on par or better than Saquon Barkley when he came out in 2018 that we might see him get taken in the top 10. In any event, he’s a lock to be the first running back taken in the 2023 draft and should have an immediate impact once he enters the league.
5. Ohio State has the Two Best WRs in the 2022 class
Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson going back and forth all season for the WR1 status in the 2022 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/EoGOa2cGMb— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) September 3, 2021
Ohio State’s top two WRs, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, opened the season with 197 yards and three TDs between them. Meanwhile, Treylon Burks struggled with just 42 yards and a couple of drops. Some say that the two Buckeyes are #1 and #2, leaving guys such as Burks, David Bell, and others behind. Cold, or Bold?
Erik – Cold
A few weeks ago I would have disagreed with the Olave part of this, but he’s the real deal. I’ve started studying his film and gone and reserved a spot at the front of the hype train.
I love Burks, but I think he’s still behind the Ohio State guys; I could have made an argument for Pickens, but he’ll take a ding for missing the season.
It is early though, and there’s time for someone else to interject themselves into this conversation (Dotson maybe?). But at this point, it’s tough to argue against the body of work that these two have laid down over the past few seasons.
Sam – Bold
Wilson is the #1 for me in the class. He’s a stud and his separation and YAC skills are the two assets NFL teams are coveting the most in WRs nowadays.
Olave made a very questionable decision to return to CFB, and I think it’s going to continue to hinder him. Early declares have a much higher hit rate than late declares. Even if Olave wasn’t given bad draft reviews but just preferred to continue playing CFB, the decision still hurts his chances to succeed in the NFL.
In my view, he is not quite on the level of Treylon Burks or even David Bell. Olave is an excellent college player and should be a good NFL player with a high floor, but the athletic upside goes to Burks and Bell in my opinion and holds Olave back from being a top-two WR in this class. I would need to see more explosiveness and YAC ability from him to consider him the #2.
PJ – Bold
Ohio State definitely has an embarrassment of riches in their wide receiver room, and the game against Minnesota showed that Wilson and Olave are still the top two options in the receiving game for CJ Stroud. While I think both are going to be top 40-50 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, I don’t think they’re going to be the first two WRs off the board. I think the size and speed combination of Treylon Burks or the Alabama WR pedigree of John Metchie will lead to one of them getting taken over one of them, most likely Olave. Olave is a player that I could see having a Devonta Smith type rise this season though, so I wouldn’t say it’s out of the question that both go 1-2, but I just don’t think it’s likely at this point.
And there you have it. There are many overreactions out there after just one full week of College Football action, and there will continue to be overreactions throughout the season. But, there are some important takeaways each week as well. Come back next week so we can keep those reactions in check after the narratives take another turn on Saturday.
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