As devy owners, the season can be taxing and take us on a roller coaster of emotions. We see our devy squad players sitting there as our glimmer of hope and anticipation the moment they arrive to our NFL squad. It’s fun to see them destroying college football and getting the buzz from Mel Kiper when they climb up draft boards.
But when they are performing poorly, it’s EXCRUCIATING. We second guess ourselves and think of players we should have taken. And it could lead to panic selling. I’m here to tell you to pause momentarily; don’t overreact. Or do if it truly is time to panic.
Here are some of the top devy assets that could be causing panic and how alarmed I am on a scale of 1-10. And also where they are ranked in our Devy Rankings. From 1-3, I’m not worried. I am cautiously optimistic from 4-6, and over six, I am looking to trade this player.
Drake Maye, North Carolina QB2
The Tar Heels are 4-0, averaging 35.8 points a game. The team is doing well, and the offense is moving. But for a player mentioned just behind Caleb Williams, Maye has had a pedestrian season statistically.
We expected some of it with the lack of receiving weapons. They lost Josh Downs and addressed it by bringing in transfer Tez Walker, and then the NCAA puzzled most by not allowing him to play this season. Some regression is expected.
Maye is completing 72.7% of his passes and has thrown for 1,187 yards, but he’s only got five TDs through four games. And also four interceptions. He’s maintained a solid rushing clip, running for 119 yards and three more scores. Statistically, it’s not bad.
His worst statistical game was against Appalachian State, and the Heels needed Maye to step up in the close game. Maye’s a smart quarterback, but I want to see him elevate his offense more and see that killer instinct. Williams definitely has it. Heck, he invites it.
Maye is good enough to win games and will likely be a top-ten selection in the 2024 Draft. And he will be a strong NFL quarterback. I can’t see him being a transcendent talent, and that’s what we always hope for.
Panic Meter: 2.9
Cade Klubnik, Clemson QB8
Once again, statistically, Klubnik has been solid – better than Maye even – but the tape shows mixed results. The Tigers are 2-2 after a close loss to Florida State, in which Klubnik played strong. He certainly looked better than in the season-opening loss to Duke.
Klubnik has thrown for 976 yards with nine touchdowns to only two interceptions and has rushed for 73 yards and a pair of scores. He was efficient in Clemson’s wins and pushed the offense easily, but it was against Charleston Southern and Florida Atlantic.
The tape shows throws that could have ended in turnovers and poor decisions. Despite a good game, statistically, versus Florida State, in which he did look better, I have serious questions about his ability to succeed at the next level. Klubnik had the opportunity to push the Clemson offense past Florida State. But there is also some hesitation to entirely write Klubnik off, as Garrett Riley may need more time with the young passer.
Panic Meter: 5.8
Raheim Sanders, Arkansas RB3
Entering 2023, I was nearly ready to make Sanders by RB1 overall, and he’s got a phenomenal blend of power and speed. But we’ve now only seen him for a part of one game, in which he had 15 carries for 42 yards before leaving with a knee injury.
I’m not going to knock someone down because they are injured. He’s 6’2” and was already a big back and gained over ten pounds in the offseason. It’s not alarming, but it did make me want to see how the added weight would affect his speed and agility. Then Sanders comes out in his first game and looks a bit sluggish, but was it because of the knee?
So, there are questions, and I’m not in a hurry to bump him up from RB3. I will likely move him down just a bit until I see how his athleticism translates with the added weight. Is he going to be more Derrick Henry than Ron Dayne?
Panic Meter: 4.3
Trey Benson, Florida State RB6
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone higher on Benson going into the season than I was. I had him tabbed as a huge breakout and thought he could be a late first or second-round pick in the 2024 Draft. Florida State would be lethal, and the passing game would open up because of Benson’s rushing ability.
Over four games, Benson has 40 carries for 189 yards, a 4.7 YPC, and has scored four times. He’s got six receptions and only had 13 last year, so that number is trending in the right direction. The numbers aren’t abysmal on the surface, but they are skewed by his nine carries for 79 yards in week two against Southern Mississippi. Take that out, and he’s got 31 carries for 110 yards in three games. However, two games were difficult matchups versus strong fronts in LSU and Clemson.
Considering that and the fact that Florida State’s offense line does him no favors, I’m not overly worried about Benson. He’s a top-five back in the class. I don’t see him as a threat to TreVeyon, but he’s back in the tier with Sanders and Braelon Allen.
Panic Meter: 3.3
Donovan Edwards, Michigan RB8
Here’s where it gets interesting, and the panic meter gets a little work. The return of Blake Corum may push Edwards to stay another season, and it may help him. I would love to see Michigan give Edwards the top billing and give him more of a workload.
He’s an established pass-catching back and will be one of the best in whatever class he comes out with. Edwards has 11 catches for 100 yards through four games, and that’s with Michigan’s anemic offense. He’s only received 33 carries, turning them into only 109 yards for a 3.3 YPC. And he’s yet to reach the end zone.
For someone we have ranked in the top ten for a position, I would like to see so much more from a player in their junior season. He’s hampered some by the offense, and the presence of Corum limits his touches. The lack of efficiency as a rusher is a bit troubling and an area in which I want to see my RB8 in devy have much better numbers. If Edwards gets fewer touches, I want them to at least be maximized and answer questions I have.
Panic Meter: 6.7
Barion Brown, Kentucky WR9
The arrival of Devin Leary, a quarterback that can actually throw (sorry, Will Levis stans), would help elevate Brown to the next level. I was excited, hopeful, and giddy that Kentucky had a veteran who didn’t mind pushing the ball downfield.
Over four games, Brown has 15 catches for 214 yards and a touchdown. Honestly, I was projecting nearly twice that. Instead, Tayvion Robinson is the leading receiver, but Leary is spreading the ball around, not feeding one dominant WR1.
The Wildcats are 4-0, and the schedule is getting tougher. Four ranked matchups are coming up, and then Alabama after a short break from tough matchups. Kentucky will need to push the ball more, and I hope Brown steps up to be the man. Especially when nearly every other receiver in the top ten is. I’m not worried, but I REALLY want to see him push the envelope.
Panic Meter: 4.0
Antonio Williams, Clemson WR10
With nearly identical stats, Williams is the next up on my check-in for where we are. His goes hand-in-hand with Klubnik, but Williams has proved he could succeed with less-than-stellar QB play.
Only 15 catches through three games with 145 yards and a pair of TDs just isn’t what we expected. After 56 catches with 604 yards as a freshman, with DJ Uiagalelei slinging the rock, we were hoping for much more production. He’s on pace to nearly duplicate it. Williams is dealing with an injury, too, but he should be back soon.
As the devy WR10, we need to see more, and I hope Riley can kick this Clemson offense up a few notches and in a hurry. As a sophomore, we have a season plus to see it, but Williams can keep his WR10 spot by emerging and grabbing a higher market share.
Panic Meter: 5.0
Dorian Singer, USC WR18
After posting 66 catches for 1,105 at Arizona, Singer transferred to the golden hills of Southern California. Now, he was paired with Caleb Williams. He would take the next step, and his devy rankings skyrocketed.
Williams didn’t get the memo and has spread the ball all over, only connecting nine times to Singer for 133 yards and a pair of scores. The Trojan receiver room has many mouths to feed, but Singer seemed like the type who could break the mold. He’s got great ball skills and is a bully in contested catch situations.
Regarding devy and the future, I’m a bit worried that Singer just made the best of opportunities and is not well-rounded enough to take the next step. I wanted to see more and see him be “the man.” So far, that’s not happening.
Panic Meter: 5.5
Antwane Wells, South Carolina WR29
I’m not going to sling mud at an injured receiver, but as someone gaining massive buzz through the off-season, I am worried that Wells will get lost and never get a great shot. I thought WR29 was low and projected Wells for 80 catches with 1,170 yards and ten TDs this season. Instead, he’s only played in three games and has three receptions.
Wells is already an older prospect, and if he has to return, I can’t imagine his draft stock will rise. There’s a shot he comes back healthy and goes all scorched earth in the last games of the season. So, I am not worried much, but if we don’t see big production this season, it may be too late for Wells.
Panic Meter: 4.5
Brock Bowers, Georgia TE1
In the immortal words of Andre from The League, “Child, Please.” Grabbing nine passes for 121 yards against UAB helped stave off the haters, but I have heard some rumblings of doubt about 2024’s TE1. Hush your mouth.
Panic Meter: 0.0
Jaheim Bell, Florida State TE5
I won’t spend much time on TEs; I don’t typically roster many in devy leagues. The position is volatile, as the TE5 Bell can demonstrate. His ranking was based on athletic potential, and he’s not cashing in.
Over four games, Bell has ten catches for 151 yards and two scores. Those project to be his best season if they continue. But he benefits from having Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman on his team. Those two players have similar skill sets to Bell and are better, faster, plus more athletic. It allows Bell to get targets in the middle and stretch the middle. But I don’t see any skills that will translate to NFL success.
Panic Meter: 6.5
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