Each week, college football fans and devy players worldwide react to big performances with hot takes. Each week, our writers tell you which of these takes are legitimate (Cold) and which ones are overreactions (Bold).
1. Kenny Pickett is on pace to be a Round 1 selection
My top five quarterbacks for the 2022 NFL draft:— Mel Kiper Jr. (@MelKiperESPN) October 27, 2021
1. Kenny Pickett, Pitt
2. Matt Corral, Ole Miss
3. Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
4. Malik Willis, Liberty
5. Sam Howell, North Carolinahttps://t.co/DiuWS5IdEY
Perhaps one of the most surprising performances of the year has been that of Pitt QB Kenny Pickett. He’s taken a massive step forward in his fifth year, with 24 total TDs and two turnovers through seven games. The Panthers are 6-1 and ranked 17th in the AP Poll, and some fans are starting to think Kenny could sneak into the first round if he keeps it up. Is this take Too Cold or Too Bold?
Tristan (@tristancook_) – Too Cold
Pickett is rapidly moving up draft boards. He currently sits at QB1 on Mel Kiper’s board and QB2 on Todd McShay’s board. He could fall out of the first round at this point, but usually, QBs move up in the draft rather than back. So, I believe he’ll end up being taken at some point in the first round unless something very unforeseen happens. The 2022 QB class doesn’t look particularly elite at this point. So, as long as he doesn’t look terrible the remainder of the season and through the pre-draft process, he should go night one.
Dan (@DanT_NFL) – Too Cold
This 2022 QB class will be one of the great football debates once the final whistle is blown in Super Bowl LVI. As of this writing, there is no clear consensus on who the QB1 is or even who falls within the top five. Even in Pittsburgh’s lone loss this season, Pickett left everything on the field trying to grab a win. He finished that game 23 for 31 with 382 yards, six TDs, and only one INT. He also added nine carries for 57 yards on the ground. Bowl season will weigh heavily for the draft stock of these quarterbacks, and if Pickett continues this pace, we may see him walk to the podium come April 28, 2022.
Justin (@FF_Hulsey) – Too Cold
And getting colder. The draft community is starting to buzz about Pickett possibly being the QB1 in this class, especially after Mel Kiper ranked him that way in his latest big board. He’s trending in a very positive direction, and I expect him to settle in at QB3 for me barring something unforeseen. Pickett is 3-0 and has thrown for 790 yards, six touchdowns, and zero interceptions in his three most difficult matchups this season against Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and Clemson. He has shown the ability to deliver an accurate ball with NFL velocity and the creativity to extend plays. Pickett is a first-round talent, and he is increasingly likely to go early in the round.
2. Jameson Williams is the better Alabama WR and a Day 2 prospect
JAMESON WILLIAMS IS FAST 💨💨💨 pic.twitter.com/ZewBVxuJQh— 247Sports (@247Sports) October 17, 2021
Coming into the season, most fans expected Alabama WR John Metchie to take a big step up and potentially be the next highly drafted Bama WR. However, Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams has come out of nowhere, showing off his explosiveness on the way. His 710 yards and six TDs both lead his team. He’s averaging 20.3 yards per catch and has taken eight kickoff returns for a 39.4 yard average as well. He may be playing himself into an early Day 2 selection ahead of his teammates John Metchie. Too Cold or Too Bold?
Tristan – Too Bold
But, barely. I think that both Jameson Williams and John Metchie III will be drafted by the end of the second day. I’ve seen Williams ranked higher than Metchie in some places, but I think if we are determining who is “better” by who gets drafted first, I still think it will be Metchie. But, I think it’s incredibly close. Williams profiles as the better #1 WR, so it’s possible a team will fall in love with him. I’m still on the Metchie side, but I don’t have an issue with people that prefer Jameson.
Dan – Too Bold
This may be a case of people putting too much emphasis on current year production and ignoring the bigger picture. We should not forget that Metchie was able to command a 16% target share running next to Heisman winner and eventual top 10 pick DeVonta Smith just one year ago. During that same timeframe, Williams wasn’t even able to get on the field playing behind Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave at Ohio State. That is the reason that he transferred. Both are great wide receivers and will go on day two. However, it is impossible to put Williams clearly ahead of Metchie for now.
Justin – Too Cold
I am all in on Jameson Williams being the better Alabama wide receiver prospect. I wrote about Williams in my devy article last weekend in which I explained how high I am on him. He is an extremely well-rounded receiver with elite top-end speed. He leads the SEC in yards after the catch and can score from anywhere on the field. Metchie still has a shot at second-day draft capital but I see Williams as the more complete and versatile receiver. At this point I am very confident that Williams will be selected before Metchie in April, assuming he declares. Throw his name near the top of a strong wide receiver class in 2022 if so. I encourage everyone to check out his tape in the Dynasty Nerds Prospect Film Room because he is a joy to study.
3. Braelon Allen is a top 5 2024 RB
He’s 17 years old, 6-foot-2, 238 pounds and just ran for 140 yards and 2 TDs against Purdue on 12 attempts.— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) October 25, 2021
So yeah … Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen (@BraelonAllen) is the @247Sports True Freshman of the Week.https://t.co/ULHlevVxrd
While Wisconsin’s backfield has been led by junior transfer Chez Mellusi so far, true freshman Braelon Allen has been the more impressive back. His 7.4 yards per run outshines Mellusi’s 5.0, and he has one more TD on 87 fewer touches. Allen measures in at 6’2” 235 lbs … as a 17-year-old. He’s shown off some serious power early in his college career and has outproduced many of the 5-star RBs in his class. This has fans ready to move him into the top five among the class. Too Cold or Too Bold?
Tristan – Too Bold
I think it’s far too early to declare him a top-five 2024 RB. Could he get there? Of course. Do I think he will? Potentially. But, I’m just not ready to declare him a top-five guy after a few good games. It’s certainly a good sign, but I need to see it for a longer period of time before I’m willing to move him up there. I love his size and physicality, especially running behind Wisconsin O-Lines, but I’m worried about his top-end speed and how NFL teams will view him. If he keeps this up, I am certainly willing to change my mind. Just not there yet.
Dan – Too Bold
I think his numbers are being heavily skewed by his performance this past Saturday against Purdue. A Purdue defense that is giving up 143 yards on the ground per game so far this season. The numbers are even further skewed by a 70 yard run in the second half. Without this run, Allen would only be averaging six yards per carry as opposed to the 11 we see on the final box score. Now don’t hear what I’m not saying, this young man has every chance to crack his way into the top-five for 2024. I just think it is too early to let such a small sample size sway us.
Justin – Too Bold
Let me preface this by saying that I am a Braelon Allen truther. He is one of “my guys” from this class, but I’m just not ready to put him in that top tier quite yet. There is undoubtedly a lot to like though. Due to reclassifying, he will likely enter the NFL at age 20. He is a former safety and an absolute unit on the field. Allen won’t turn heads with his 40-time right now but his game speed is far more impressive. He has rushed for over 100 yards in each of his past three games and averaged 8.24 yards per carry in that stretch. The 2024 class looks strong at running back with names such as TreVeyon Henderson, Will Shipley, Camar Wheaton, and Raheim Sanders. Allen is on the outside looking in at that group for now.
4. Jaquarii Roberson has Day 2 potential
Wake Forest WR Jaquarii Roberson, one of the more underrated WRs in this class, up to 8 catches for 157 yards and 3 TDs today vs. Army.— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) October 23, 2021
His third straight with 100+ receiving yards.
Wake Forest WR Jaquarii Roberson earned a little attention after tallying 926 yards and eight TDs in just 9 games in 2020. He got off to a slow start this year, but has taken off over the last three weeks. He’s averaging 142.3 yards and a TD per game over that span, as his chemistry with Sam Hartman has taken off. He’s displaying some serious big-play ability, averaging 17.2 yards per catch so far. Fans are starting to recognize that he’s the real deal and may hear his name called on Day 2 in April. Too Cold or Too Bold?
Tristan – Too Bold
I think that Roberson has looked nice, and has flashed some potential. But, he’s done it against the likes of Louisville, Syracuse, and Army. Those teams aren’t exactly defensive stalwarts that scare you. I think he could certainly be drafted on Day 3, but there are too many other WRs that I have over him to think that he’ll end up in the first three rounds. I’d say the sixth round to UDFA is the range I would put him in.
Dan – Too Cold
NFL teams are starting to realize that Day Two is the sweet spot for skill position players. I only put Too Cold because the word potential is in the question. He is by no means a lock for day two, but has definitely played his way into the conversation. He is having a strong Junior season and if you roll back to last year you can see that he put up four catches for 92 yards against then number one ranked Clemson. Bowl season will either help or hurt greatly and hopefully he can keep this pace rolling into the postseason.
Justin – Too Bold
The 2022 class is strong at wide receiver and it seems like we highlight another flashy prospect in this group every week. Leaving him out of the Day 2 range is more of a testament to the class than a slight at Roberson. He’s a savvy, high-floor prospect who gets open with ease and has good hands. His speed won’t blow you away and he lacks the pedigree others in the class have but Roberson is surely a player worth monitoring as the draft approaches. He’s more of a top 25 receiver than a top 15 receiver in this class.
5. Cole Turner is a Top 3 2022 TE
With Eric Ebron on an expiring contract, wonder if the Steelers would be interested in Nevada’s Cole Turner?— Derrick (@Steelers_DB) October 18, 2021
Silky smooth tight end who’s best work comes detached from the line of scrimmage. 6’6 with a nice frame. pic.twitter.com/euy6JBSv0U
In a wide-open and relatively weak TE class, any big performance from a TE can launch him into the conversation for the top three to five at the position for the 2022 class. Cole Turner, out of Nevada, has managed to turn in multiple such performances. He’s coming off consecutive 105+ yard games, and found the endzone in consecutive games before that. Let’s not forget that this isn’t the first we’re seeing of him, as he put together 605 yards and nine TDs in nine games last year. He’s starting to stake a claim on a Top-3 ranking in the 2022 TE class. Too Cold or Too Bold?
Tristan – Too Bold
I certainly get the appeal. He’s a massive human being and a matchup nightmare on the field. Turner looks like he has the athletic ability to compete at the next level, but I don’t think he’s a top-three guy. If his testing numbers are ridiculous, he could certainly crack the list, but I have Wydermyer, Kolar, Otton, McBride, Likely, and Billingsly over him right now.
Justin – Too Bold
But very close! Jalen Wydermyer is my favorite tight end in this class, by a fairly comfortable margin. Then we have the likes of Trey McBride, Charlie Kolar, Grant Calcaterra, and a prospect that is getting a lot of hype right now, Isaiah Likely. Turner is easily in the conversation, but several players in this tier have the athletic profile and production to keep Turner out of the top three. With that being said, the tight end position is a bit of a crapshoot this year and that uncertainty has left the window open for Turner if he tests well.
Sam – Too Bold
Turner could certainly sneak in there as a top-three option because of the wide open nature of the class. I wouldn’t blame anyone for putting him there currently. That said, there are too many guys in the same tier to confidently say he is a top 3 option right now. Wydermyer, McBride, Likely, Otton, Billingsely, Kolar, and possibly more can all be argued as being ahead of Turner. We’re still waiting on some of the TEs to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, and I’m not holding my breath.