The summer of 2019 -- big winners of the last few months include shameless movie sequels/remakes (I'm looking at you, Toy Story 87 and The Lion King), Lil Nas X and every single NFL Draft prospect -- plus every single NFL franchise. Oh, you haven't heard? Everyone is going 12-4 and there's approximately 120 players lined up to be 1st-round picks in Las Vegas next April when the 2020 NFL Draft gets underway.
Here's the reality of the situation. There's still only 32 1st-round picks (unless the Patriots get popped for deflating footballs again) and there's a zero percent chance every team in the NFL is going 12-4. I'm sorry. It's mathematically impossible. And so comes my favorite part of the week, where I get to rain on someone's parade courtesy of my weekly column, Studs & Duds. But it isn't all black clouds and rain, as some of the summer hype trains are very much legit. We'll separate which is which today.
Stud - The Jordan Love (QB, Utah State) Hype Train
My, my. The Utah State passer has his fair share of fans this summer and it is super easy to see why when you flip on his tape. Athleticism, a live arm and plenty of composure when he's forced to work off of script. Needless to say, there's a foundation to work with here as it relates to Jordan Love that doesn't grow on trees. Love needs to progress with his work within structure and making full field reads in a timely manner -- but that's what summer love is for:
Falling for the players who could -- or could not -- make the next step.
Dud - The Michigan Wolverines Hype Train
The Wolverines enter the 2019 college football season rated as the 6th best team in college football. Erm. Excuse me? Last I checked, the Wolverines did lose LB Devin Bush, DL Rashan Gary, DE Chase Winovich, CB David Long, RB Karan Higdon and TE Zach Gentry last year, right? The Wolverines still have QB Shea Patterson running the offense correct?
And Michigan will have tough outs littered across the schedule in Wisconsin, Penn State, Notre Dame, Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State. Sooooooooo excuse me for being a skeptic that Jim Harbaugh's squad is going to win their bowl game (for the first time since 2015) -- let alone live up to a top-6 ranking in college football.
Stud - The Florida Gators Hype Train
Gator Nation! Welcome back to relevancy and 21st century football! Coach McElwain's 2017 squad went over about as well as a dead shark. The Gators' response in 2018 under coach Dan Mullen? A 10-3 campaign and some life in the passing game for the first time since when Urban Meyer was in town.
The polls have responded accordingly, slotting the Gators as a top-10 overall team entering 2019. And with the Gators bringing back a bunch of contributors from 2018 and only one true tough road game (vs. LSU on October 12th), the Gators will be players in the SEC. Sure, they have to play Miami (in Orlando), Auburn (in Gainesville) and Georgia (in Jacksonville), too. But the neutral site games are all pretty favorable lies for Florida and even if they have a misstep along the way, the Bulldogs will have to play at Auburn and host Texas A&M in late November The Gators will have a chance in the SEC East this year.
Dud - The Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn) Is Bad Hype Train
I'm talking to you, Benjamin Solak and Trevor Sikkema. These two goofballs insist that Derrick Brown isn't one of the best players in the SEC, nevermind the whole country. You're wrong and you need to feel bad about the lies you're telling our readers.
Derrick Brown has impressive quick twitch ability and his get-off at the line of scrimmage can wreck a game -- when the Tigers let him fire off the ball and look to find the mesh point. This is a guy with a hot running motor who shows the needed explosiveness, mobility and range against both the pass and the run to be considered a high end prospect.
Get off this train at the next stop, football fans.
Stud - The Cleveland Browns Hype Train
Listen -- I have to be honest. I don't know how the 2019 Browns experience is going to go. Cleveland has the talent needed to win 12 games this year. But what does the team chemistry look like? Can they play together? Will the egos get in the way? I have no clue.
But what I do know is this team is going to be fun to watch either way, damn it. Whether things align as Cleveland hopes or if things get off the rails, I'm going to have my popcorn ready to watch the fireworks.
Stud - The Quinnen Williams Hype Train
You know Williams is *it* when he's got everyone actively pulling for him as a member of the New York Jets. The peak of Williams' offseason came just the other day when he stated his ranking on Madden's "My Ultimate" team mode was an 80 and that he wanted to go home and play with himself on the new video game.
As you can imagine, the assertion that he was fixing to go home and play with himself elicited some chuckles from those in attendance -- including Williams.
"...that came out weird."
Never change, Quinnen. Never change. We love you, even if you do play for the Jets.