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College Football Week 7 – Too Cold or Too Bold

Our writers tell you which takes from Week 7 of the college football season are overreactions, and which ones are legitimate.

The college football and devy world is littered with overreactions each week. Here, our writers tell you which takes from week seven are valid (Too Cold) and which ones are overreactions (Too Bold).

1. Caleb Williams is a Top-5 Devy Player

Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams has just one start to his name, and the devy world is already in love. Last week, the 5-star freshman showed electric stuff in a comeback against Texas after entering for the benched Spencer Rattler. In Week 7 against TCU, he improved on that, shredding the Horned Frogs defense. Fans are already proclaiming him a future first-round pick and a top-five devy asset. Too Cold or Too Bold?

Dwight (@FFPeeblesChamp) – Too Bold

Too bold for now, but not for long. Once this class flushes out, I think Williams will be a top-five asset. He is a tier one devy QB after the draft, with Bryce Young and Quinn Ewers. I would have him right up with Young and Bijan Robinson after the 2022 guys depart. Even with them, he is just outside the top five. Williams is proving he belongs, and he looks phenomenal, already answering questions I had about his throwing ability. He is legit and will be a top devy asset. 

PJ (@mastapj) – Too Cold

I am going to go against the grain and say Too Cold. Lincoln Riley has already had two quarterbacks go 1.01 in the NFL Draft under his tutelage, and Caleb is arguably the best of the bunch. I think the only players I’d put ahead of him at this point would be Bijan, TreVeyon, and Bryce Young, given that we’ve yet to see Quinn Ewers take a snap in college and don’t know if he’ll end up playing at Ohio State or transfer elsewhere. Caleb was pressed into action as a true freshman in a rivalry game against Texas and looked terrific, and I think he has the tools to be the third 1.01 QB out of Oklahoma in the last 6-7 years when he declares.

Justin (@FF_Hulsey) – Too Bold

Too bold at the moment. We will learn so much about Williams over the next several weeks, especially in the November 27th matchup against Oklahoma State in Stillwater. To this point, in just six quarters of football, we have seen a dynamic player capable of putting together an RGIII-esque true freshman season down the stretch. There are a couple of players who I’m high on in the 2022 class, and then 2023 is loaded. I have Williams outside of my top five devy prospects currently, but firmly in my top ten.

2. Jerome Ford has Day 2 Potential

Cincinnati has surprised the CFB world on its way to the #2 spot in the AP Poll. RB Jerome Ford has been a large part of that. His 12 TDs on the ground rank first in the P5, and his 6.9 YPC is fifth. He displays an NFL frame, good vision, and electric long speed for breakaway runs. Some are proclaiming him Day 2 ready. Too Cold or Too Bold?

Dwight – Too Bold

This is tough, and I think he has the potential, but I doubt he goes on the second day. I will say Too Bold, but I believe he could be a second-day pick. Ford has scored, but I have questions about him overall as a prospect. I like his burst, size, and he does have receiving ability – but I don’t like his vision and the fact that he has taken this long to be “The Man.” He’s intriguing, but I think he goes round four at the earliest. 

PJ – Too Cold

I’ve always been high on Jerome Ford and have a ton of shares of him across my C2C leagues. Ford is currently second in the NCAA with 12 rushing touchdowns. He also ranks ninth in missed tackles forced. At 5’11” and 215 pounds, he has prototypical NFL size. He supposedly ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at a Crimson Tide camp in 2017 he should test well at the combine. His only real weakness is a lack of receiving work, but they’ve only targeted him seven times on 102 routes run this year, so it’s more a lack of opportunity than a lack of ability. Given all of this, I think Ford is a near-lock to get Day Two draft capital, and I think he has a real chance at being, at minimum, a two-down thumper once he reaches the NFL.

Justin – Too Cold!

Former Alabama running back and current Cincinnati touchdown hog (20 in 16 games) has the potential to be selected on Day 2. He’s followed up last season’s production with more of the same this year and appears to have improved as a pass-catcher. Ford has the size, burst, and contact balance to be one of the first backs drafted in April.

3. Jake Haener lacks NFL upside

Fresno State QB Jake Haener has been a big riser this season on the back of his elite efficiency and production. However, over the last two games, his flaws have started to be exposed. He’s completed only 55.1% of his attempts over that span, with five TD and four INTs. He only managed 96 passing yards on 28 attempts against Wyoming this weekend. Fans are seeing a player who doesn’t have tremendous upside and is likely a backup in the NFL. Too Cold or Too Bold?

Dwight – Too Bold

But I don’t love it; Haener is a player I am rooting SO hard for. He’s a gamer and has intangibles you can’t teach. The arm talent is alright, nothing special, but he plays with such intensity and grit – and is smart as heck too. I could see Haener hanging around the league for a while, but I am not sold he is a starter at the next level. 

PJ – Too Bold

I am going to play Devil’s Advocate once again and say too bold. Haener has been one of the most surprising players this season, and the guts he showed in playing through injury in a comeback win on the road against UCLA is the stuff legends are made of. Like others have said, his arm strength is likely average by NFL standards, but I think his playmaking ability and game smarts should be enough to get him drafted either late day two or day three, and I think he has a real shot to stick on a roster. Once that happens, all it takes is one injury to give him a chance, and given what I’ve seen from him so far in his career, I wouldn’t bet against him doing something if given the opportunity. 

Justin – Too Cold

Much too cold. Jake Haener is a fun college quarterback who unfortunately lacks the arm talent, the size, and the pedigree to be an impact player at the next level. He’s tough as nails and impressed those in devy circles with his game-winning drive, while injured, against UCLA early in the season. Ultimately though, I see Haener as an undersized, low-upside NFL prospect. He’s a bit of a risk-taker who doesn’t have the zip to complete those 50/50 balls in the NFL.

4. Quentin Johnston is a top 5 2023 WR

TCU WR Quentin Johnston earned some fans in the devy community last year with his big play ability. In Week 7 against Oklahoma, he had his most explosive game yet with 185 yards and three TDs, reminding devy players what he is capable of. He’s had a couple of down games and missed a few to injury as well this year. However, his big performance has fans confident enough in his ability to call him a top-5 WR in his class. Cold, or Bold?

Dwight – Too Cold

Quentin has always been there, but TCU’s QB play holds him back. Johnston is tall and has some serious hops, tracks deep balls well, and can get downfield in a hurry. He needs to develop more, but there is already a lot to love about his game, and Johnston is still in the top five of 2023 WRs. 

PJ – Too Cold

Johnston had a statement game this past week against Oklahoma and showcased many of the abilities that will make him a first-round draft pick in 2023. The only WR I’d rank ahead of him at this point is Kayshon Boutte, although I could see a world where Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Josh Downs, and Rakim Jarrett pass him this year or next. I have always thought that Johnston is a much better devy pick than a C2C one. His inconsistency in the offense at TCU holds him back, but I think he’s someone who will crush the combine and be a first-round guy once he enters the league. 

Justin – Too Cold

I have Quentin Johnston comfortably inside my top five for 2023 wide receivers. I could make a case for him as high as WR2. Johnston is a physical presence at 6’4”, he has good long speed, impressive contested catch ability, and is one of the best at his position with jump balls. He has bulked up fast, going from 180 lbs to what looks like 200+ this season. Johnston is a prospect which I am very high on in the 2023 class.

5. Brock Bowers could be the devy TE1

The devy and CFB world has been enamored with Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer for a while now, considering him the clear TE1 in the nation. However, true freshman Brock Bowers has exploded onto the scene for Georgia this year and has been the more productive player. His 416 yards and 6 TDs pretty easily beat the 360 & 3 that Mayer has put up this year. Bowers might just be challenging Mayer for the TE1 spot as a true freshman. Cold or Bold?

Dwight – Too Bold

But I don’t hate anyone that says Too Cold. It’s not all about numbers, man! Notre Dame hates offense, and I can’t hold that against John Mayer’s little brother. Come on, people! I still like Mayer a little more, but Bowers is a beast and has quickly made people forget every other TE on that team. I think Mayer is more complete, and both are dangerous pass-catching TEs who will make an impact on the next level. 

PJ – Too Bold

He’s been a focal point of the offense so far this season, but Georgia has had a lot of wide receiver injuries. They’ve had to deal with that, and they have been an offense that has traditionally not relied on the position at all. So far this season, Bowers has played more snaps in the slot than inline at tight end. I fear that once these WRs get healthy and he’s moved more inline, he might not be featured as much in the offense. I think he’s a top 2-3 TE at this point, but given what we’ve seen from Mayer so far in his career, I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting Bowers ahead of him.

Justin – Too bold

But I get it. Brock Bowers is super legit and certainly part of this conversation. He has put together one of the most impressive true freshman seasons at any position this year. The production is noteworthy, but I try to remind myself that he is in a highly efficient offense when comparing the numbers to other top tight ends. The statistical output for a tight end doesn’t necessarily tell the full story. Michael Mayer would be my first counter-point, but Jalen Wydermyer and Theo Johnson are also very gifted.

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