Every week of college football is filled with big performances and disappointments alike. Here, our writers react to some takes around the CFB world to help distinguish between recency bias and take lock.
1. Jermaine Burton is Not a Top 10 WR in the 2023 Class
Jermaine Burton transferred bc Ladd McConkey is better— Austin Carter 🥋 (@_fackies) September 10, 2022
Jermaine Burton had a solid first two years in Georgia. When he transferred to Alabama, and people dove into his tape in the offseason, he started to get a lot of hype as a potential top-five WR in the 2023 class. That train has fallen off the rails. He’s produced a measly seven catches for 45 yards through the first two games, albeit with two TDs. We know the top of the class is strong, but performances from other WRs, such as Marvin Mims, Rakim Jarrett, Cedric Tillman, and more, have people questioning whether Burton is even a top 10 WR in this deep class. Too Cold or Too Bold?
Dwight (@FFPeeblesChamp) – Too Bold – If he doesn’t do anything the rest of the year and totally craps the bed statistically, I think Burton is still a Top Ten talent in the class. But he isn’t going to fade off into obscurity the rest of the season. Too many of us, myself included, expected him to be the unquestioned man at ‘Bama, the next Devonta/Jameson. Burton is a dang good prospect but not quite the same skillset. I think he finishes strong and has a great season – but maybe not what many of us hoped for or predicted.
Justin (@FF_Hulsey) – Too Bold. Sure, Burton has been underwhelming to start the season. He is still securely in my top ten at the position. Against Texas, we saw an Alabama offense that is going through some growing pains. They are endlessly talented, but with so many new faces, so it might be best to wait a few weeks to evaluate this situation. Burton has shown plenty to sell me on his NFL Draft stock. He is a smooth, fluid, explosive prospect and currently my WR6 in the 2023 class.
Tyler (@FF_TJHernandez) – Too Bold – Even with his slow start, Burton is still easily a top ten talent in the 2023 class. Multiple top receivers in the 2023 class have had slow starts, and it seems Bryce Young is still getting acclimated with his new offensive weapons. It is currently hard to hold Burton anywhere in the top five of this class, but he is easily cemented in the top 10. Jermaine Burton has the athletic ability and talent to remain this high, and I believe his season gets on track sooner rather than later.
The Verdict: Too Bold (3/3)
2. Tyler Buchner is No Longer a Relevant Devy Asset
TYLER BUCHNER THROWS A PICK SIX pic.twitter.com/hKfq0G2ye0— Brian Y (@byysports) September 10, 2022
Tyler Buchner has received a lot of hype since as far back as high school. The start to his college career has been lackluster, to say the least, though. He has sometimes flashed his athleticism and big arm but has been inaccurate, indecisive, and simply ineffective. He just threw two picks in a loss to Marshall before getting hurt in the fourth quarter. His poor performance, coupled with an injury that will hold him out for a few months, has fans ready to give up on Buchner’s NFL prospects. Too Cold, or Too Bold?
Dwight – Too Cold/Bold – Man, I LOVED Buchner coming up, but I just moved him down to my QB19 in Devy. I still have hopes, but it hasn’t looked pretty. I am not totally out on him, but his value has dropped a TON. I thought he looked okay in Week 1 versus Ohio State, but it wasn’t pretty last week. Could it be the lack of receiving options for the Golden Domers? Outside of Lorenzo Styles and Michael Mayer, it’s ugly. I have trouble being totally out, but like my initial answer – I have one foot in and one foot out for Buchner as a prospect.
Justin – Too Cold. I suppose it depends on the depth of your league, but for all intents and purposes, he is no longer a relevant devy asset. I had warmed up to Buchner as a prospect leading up to the 2022 season. After two lackluster performances and one sprained AC joint, he is now my devy QB26. Buchner has a long way to go before I can buy into him as a prospect again. The biggest red flag is his total inability to process a play quickly. He does not appear to be ready for this stage, and I fear that he may never take that leap. To provide a reference point, I would rather have someone like Jalen Milroe in the 2024 QB class.
Tyler – Too Cold – With so many young QB assets coming to fruition already in 2023, it’s looking like Buchner is starting to fall from devy relevance. With his most recent injury, it’s hard to justify Buchner holding much value in devy formats. Far from what many thought his potential would be when he stepped on campus at Notre Dame, he has sadly failed to show devy owners many reasons to keep him rostered. While this could always change, it might be time to start shopping the Golden Irish quarterback.
The Verdict: Too Cold (2.5/3)
3. Marvin Mims is a Top 5 WR in the 2023 Class
Marvin Mims wins our player of the game poll by 1%!— The Main Line Podcast (@TheMainLinePod) September 11, 2022
🎯 7 receptions
🏠📞 2 Touchdownspic.twitter.com/VjP5FStwIh
Oklahoma WR Marvin Mims has had a bit of a rollercoaster college career. As a true freshman in 2020, he broke out as his team’s leading receiver. He repeated that feat in 2021 but was still seen as having a disappointing season along with the whole Oklahoma offense. He sometimes made big plays but was inconsistent and didn’t take the big step some expected. Now Mims is off to a hot start in a reshaped offense, with 244 yards and two TDs through just two games. Fans are back on the Mims train and ready to call him a top-five WR in his class. Too Cold, or Too Bold?
Dwight – Too Cold – He is one of the top five dudes in the upcoming class, but right at WR4/5 for me. Mims is showing what he can do when he’s the featured guy. He’s not the sharpest route runner, but from the slot, he shows an uncanny knack of working himself open, and when he’s got a crease – he gone. Mims is dangerous after the catch and has great hands. He is not a burner but he is tough to catch; he uses angle and space to make people miss. Mims is a top-five WR in 2023. Bar none.
Justin – Too Bold. In a normal rookie class, Mims would unquestionably be in the top five. Not in this class. I see no reason why he should be ranked over Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Kayshon Boutte, Quentin Johnston, Josh Downs, or Jordan Addison. After that top group, he has as good of a case as anyone. Mims has top-tier ball skills and speed for days. He is also putting together a very compelling analytical profile. His receiving yards per team pass attempt (RYPTPA) is elite at 4.78 through two games. Despite that, I would rather roster the receivers mentioned above. Josh Downs is the one I might get a little pushback on. I think Downs will be one of the best slot receivers in the league in no time. His hands and footwork are truly next level.
Tyler – Too Bold – Mims has held fairly consistent numbers during his time at Oklahoma, posting 37 and 32 receptions for 610 and 705 yards in his two years as a Sooner. Mims has been a constant threat downfield but hasn’t shown enough for him to end up in my top five of this receiving class. With some guys ranked above him having slow starts to the season, Mims may have the ability to break into the top five before the season is over, but there are just too many talented receivers that can be put above him right now. Mims falls as WR7 in my 2023 receiver rankings, yet he has showcased the talent to end up in the top five come March possibly.
The Verdict: Too Bold (2/3)
4. Jahmyr Gibbs Will Not be a Workhorse at the Next Level
#Bama RB Jahmyr Gibbs (5’11”, 200) vs Texas:— Steve Frederick (@SteveFrederick_) September 11, 2022
*9 Carries, 22 Yards
*9 Receptions, 74 Yards, 1 TD
Was really impressed with Gibbs as a receiver! Props to Bama in their deployment of him too. The Alvin Kamara comps are going to stick. pic.twitter.com/PNaPyZ7rZe
Now Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs has been regarded as one of the best RB prospects in his class for some time now, largely because of his receiving prowess. He has continued to show that receiving prowess this year, especially against Texas in Week 2, but concerns are beginning to be raised about his ability in between the tackles. He struggled on the ground against the Longhorns to the tune of 2.4 YPC, while backfield mate Jase McLellan averaged 16.2 YPC on only a couple fewer carries. That fact, coupled with his slightly smaller frame – Gibbs is listed at 200 on Alabama’s website – has some fans projecting him as more of a committee back at the next level. Too Cold, or Too Bold?
Dwight – Too Cold – Gibbs is likely not a workhorse. But he can still be incredibly productive, a la Alvin Kamara. Gibbs isn’t going to be able to handle 20 rushes a game. But 10-12 with 7-10 targets? Absolutely. And what he can do with those targets is scary, he’s an incredibly dangerous runner in space. This take is what I was saying all offseason, though, Gibbs doesn’t have the build to handle the “workhorse” load. But he can still be incredibly productive on Sundays.
Justin – Too Cold, and that is okay. Gibbs does not profile as a workhorse power back at the next level. He will be a highly-efficient modern-day running back who reels in 80 receptions every season. In dynasty PPR leagues, you can start planning how to spend your winnings. Gibbs will likely be a top 15 dynasty running back as a rookie, and he profiles as someone who can stay productive through his age 27-28 season. He will be a remarkably valuable asset.
Tyler – Too Cold – No, Gibbs won’t be a workhorse. But who wants a workhorse when you get more points for a reception than most RBs average per carry (looking at you, .5 PPR leagues)? A high-quality receiving back with the ability to handle a decent workload on the ground is a coveted piece in the NFL, and I believe Gibbs falls right into that category. Guys like Alvin Kamara and D’Andre Swift are the perfect picture of this. The idea we have of a “workhorse” running back is quickly fading, and having a young top-tier receiving back is the player you want in an NFL backfield nowadays.
The Verdict: Too Cold (3/3)
5. Raheim Sanders is a Clear Top Three RB in the 2024 Class
Raheim Sanders is a baller!! pic.twitter.com/ELatuGlQYF— Full-Time Dame 💰 (@DP_NFL) September 10, 2022
2024 will follow up the distinguished 2023 RB class with a formidable one of its own. After a consensus top pair of TreVeyon Henderson and Braelon Allen, prospects such as Will Shipley, Donovan Edwards, and Raheim Sanders have enticing traits themselves. But Raheim appears to be separating himself from those two, trending towards being the clear RB3 in his class, despite being behind Shipley and Edwards for many rankers going into the season. Too Cold, or Too Bold?
Dwight – At this juncture, this is Too Cold – Sanders is the RB3 in the 2024 class. Someone with his size (6’2” and 225 lbs.) with a nickname of “Rocket” – what were we expecting? Players at that size shouldn’t be as quick as Sanders is. He can catch passes and can handle a workhorse load on those massive shoulders. Sanders runs with purpose and is fast enough to make people miss because they are tentative to square him up. One could make a case for Sanders at RB2, but Allen has it for the time being for me.
Justin – Too Cold. I am thrilled to talk about one of “my guys” heading into the 2022 college football season. Rocket Sanders is one of the biggest risers at the position and my 2024 RB3. He is a powerful runner, advanced receiver, surprisingly versatile, and extremely athletic. The former wide receiver will be a major problem for the SEC this season. Arkansas traditionally uses a running back by committee approach but not this season. Sanders is the focal point of the offense. At 6’2”, 225 lbs, he is tough to bring down and leverages himself in and out of lanes so well. Very few prospects have been as impressive as Sanders through two weeks. He has RB2 upside in the 2024 class.
Tyler – Too Cold – Raheim “Rocket” Sanders is definitely the RB3 in the 2024 class at this moment, with the potential to move up. Sanders is as close to a “complete” back as you can find. Size, speed, agility, receiving ability, physicality, this kid has it all. Currently averaging 6.2 YPC on 44 carries through two games this season, Sanders is making the most of his opportunities and putting the world on notice. Bigger than most backs at 6’2” and 225 lbs, he is extremely fluid and has a great ability to run through you, around you, or by you. I don’t expect him to fall out of this RB3 ranking, but Sanders has the possibility of becoming the RB2 if he continues to dominate defenses.
The Verdict: Too Cold (3/3)
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