On The Radar: CFB Week 1 Headliners, Stock Watch Begins

Photo: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY

What a weekend. It's time to take a step back, a breather and dive into all the action as NFL draft stock season is officially underway.

Who jumped out? Who disappointed? Also, this year's Heisman race might be a little different than the last few.

In the NFL, a gigantic trade shook up the short and long term futures of each conference. I'll give you all the details on that, as well as what the scouts on the road are already buzzing about.

Stock Radar

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State ↑↑↑

If you're a frequent reader of the On The Radar series, you might remember Haskins making an appearance in the first edition as a One Year Wonder candidate.

For those not familiar, I essentially felt the Buckeyes first year starter at quarterback could play lights out this year and make the jump to the NFL. After just one game, he's off to a great start.

Haskins checks all of the boxes from a skill set perspective: great build, awareness in the pocket, good mechanics and a strong, accurate arm. He just needs starting experience at the position, which he's finally getting for the Buckeyes.

Jake Browning, QB, Washington ↓↓↓

While Browning has been more than capable to manage the game for the Huskies the last few seasons, one has to wonder if he is holding them back from winning the big games.

Auburn's front seven (more on that soon) is no easy foe, but Browning's struggles are often related to physical limitations. His draft process could be very similar to the Luke Falk cycle of last year where he'll be praised for his IQ, playing experience and short area accuracy, but he's nothing more than a day three prospect.

Nick Coe, DE, Auburn ↑↑↑

The redshirt sophomore made his presence felt right away to kick off the 2018 season. Coe is explosive and powerful, which were both on display in the failed option he blew up for a turnover against Washington.

At 6'5", 282 pounds he's a powerhouse with great length. The former championship wrestler has an intriguing ceiling on the football field and has quickly become a must watch prospect to keep an eye on.

Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan ↓↓↓

It's not that Gary has been 'bad' for the Wolverines, but the more fair description would be 'underwhelming.' This was a player that was supposed to be in the class of Nick Bosa and Ed Oliver, but he hasn't come close to that yet.

The raw ability with the former highly touted recruit is always evident, the he lacks consistency and refinement as a disruptor off the edge. There are many that believe he would be more effective from the interior, which makes his NFL projection an interesting one.

Either way, if he plans to declare early for the draft with hopes to be selected in the top five or ten picks, he has a lot left to prove.

It’s Time For A Defender To Take The Heisman

It’s been over 20 years since a defender won the Heisman Trophy as the hardware went to Charles Woodson in 1997.

Here’s the issue: this is not an indictment on the defensive talent in recent years, but more importantly what the voters look for. Gigantic stats at quarterback and running back have completely dominated the credentials for grabbing the award.

This isn’t to take away from players like Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield. They were more than deserving of the trophy, but this pattern has almost taken defenders completely out of contention.

That should change this year thanks to Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver and Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa. Both are special players that single handedly change the units they play on.

Oliver had 13 tackles in Houston's opener against Rice. I don't care who you're playing, that's absurd production for an interior defensive lineman.

As for Bosa, he looked unblockable against Oregon State.

I'll get this out of the way now: he's a better edge prospect than Bradley Chubb was. More on him later in What's The Buzz?

Bound To Bounce Back: Bryce Love

Even in a Stanford 31-10 win over San Diego State, it was a brutal start for running back Bryce Love as he only managed 29 rushing yards on 18 carries.

Have no fear though, the Senior running back should bounce back big against USC this week at home. Now why would that happen against a tougher opponent?

Last year Love, in two games against the Trojans, ran for a total of 285 yards on just 39 carries. He also punched in two scores. He's performed in huge games for Stanford and with his talent, he should get right back into the Heisman mix after starting slow out of the gate.

What's The Buzz?

-It's a rare year where there is no clear-cut, early pulse on the 2019 QB class trickling out from the NFL scouting community. There's been rumblings around Auburn's Jarrett Stidham and his round one ability, but from who I've polled the arm talent of Oregon's Justin Herbert stands out amongst the pack. Teams do more work on character and mental makeup for quarterbacks than any other position, but that will come later. Right now just know one thing: Herbert is firmly on the round one radar.

-Washington left tackle Trey Adams underwent back surgery, which is disastrous news for his NFL stock. He went down last October to a torn ACL, making injuries the main concern for NFL clubs. Adams had round 1 potential, but he might be best served to look for a fifth year of eligibility. Keep an eye on his teammate right tackle Kaleb McGary in the meantime, who scouts are intrigued by.

-The dust has settled on the Khalil Mack trade, but there are still some lingering questions. This week on Stick to Football we explained that other teams felt their offers were comparable or better than the Bears, but the Raiders wanted Mack out of the AFC to a team they felt could finish with a top 10 pick. Now what do the Raiders do? Depending how poorly they finish, they should be all over getting Nick Bosa or Ed Oliver. You already have a franchise quarterback in place and plenty of ammo to maneuver the draft, go make a splash for a new star defender.