Whether you enjoy college football or just want to gauge the talent pool for next year, we’ve got you covered. The purpose of this article is to provide information that can help you better assess the trade value of your first or second rounders as the season progresses. This way when you make a trade that involves rookie draft picks, you have a better idea of what those picks are worth.
Here are my notes from the prospects’ games I had the opportunity to watch.
* denotes player NOT eligible for 2013 draft.
Arizona at Stanford
Player spotlighted: Stepfan Taylor, RB Stanford
After a subpar week five, Stepfan Taylor returned to form against the Wildcats. Taylor continues to impress me with how fast he’s able to read the line of scrimmage and attacks it. This trait will serve him well at the next level. Another thing that’s been impressive this season is his stamina. He attacked the defense with the same intensity from first carry all the way to his 31st carry of the game. He’s a true workhorse and versatile running back. Stanford doesn’t deploy the Wisconsin rushing offense, either. This is a traditional pro-style offense and Taylor shows he can handle a full workload. Right now he’s still a third round pick in the NFL draft, but should be a first rounder in your rookie drafts.
Taylor’s game line: 31 carries for 142 yards and 2 TDs
LSU at Florida
Player spotlighted: Mike Gillislee, RB Florida
I haven’t spent a whole lot of time on Gillislee, but I’ve certainly seen him play quite a few games over the last couple of years. He’s made enough noise recently with his production that I decided to take a closer look. He’s a solid player and a tough inside runner. He possesses good hands out of the backfield and a good pass blocker. Facing a tough LSU defense, he made his strongest case for the NFL scouts. In a very low scoring affair, Florida relied on him heavily to carry the load and control the clock and he came through. I kept trying to think what NFL player he reminded me of and it came to me. When you inject more speed and quickness to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, you get Mike Gillislee.
Taylor’s game line: 34 carries for 146 yards and 2 TDs
Georgia at South Carolina
Players spotlighted: Marcus Lattimore, RB South Carolina; Todd Gurley* RB Georgia
Rather going into detail about what Lattimore did in this matchup, I want to address a couple of general things about him. I’ve seen many people give negative opinions on his ability (mainly on Twitter) because of his lack of breakaway speed. I also see things like “he’s no Trent Richardson.” Those have been the common criticisms of him and I think that’s gaining enough traction where it will cause Lattimore to drop in the first round where he’ll get selected somewhere in the 20’s.
Given today’s evolution of NFL offenses, I can’t really blame the teams for downgrading the position. There are fewer and fewer three down running backs in the league and that’s also making it very hard for fantasy owners to fill their rosters with dependable players. Even though he isn’t the prospect that Trent Richardson is, Lattimore is still a very productive three down running back. Just because he may slip down in the first round doesn’t mean he’ll be any less valuable on your fantasy roster. He may not be a home run hitter, but he has some elite traits (vision and cutting ability) that will translate well to the pro level. If you have a chance to draft him, do so with confidence because he will eventually be a productive fantasy producer at a position that is becoming harder and harder to fill by the year.
Lattimore’s game line: 24 carries for 109 yards and 1 TD, 2 receptions for 24 yards
Todd Gurley* faced the toughest run defense of his young career when he faced the ninth ranked Gamecock run defense. If you look at the stats they show he was held in check, but he got very few opportunities because the game got out of hand very quickly. After one quarter of play, South Carolina went up 21-0 and it quickly ballooned to 35-0. Georgia had no choice but to abandon the running game and with that, a lot of people jumped off the Gurley bandwagon.
I, however, still liked what he did in the game with his limited opportunities. He still attacked the defense aggressively and never backed down. I think when it’s all said and done, Gurley will be freshman of the year and a star NFL prospect within two years.
Gurley’s game line: 13 carries for 39 yards
What an amazing game for North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard. The redshirt Sophomore made his case for an early departure for the draft with 23 carries for 262 yards in a great performance. I’ll see him in person this week as I’ll be attending the UNC at Miami, FL game.
Marqise Lee* continues to outshine his teammate Robert Woods on a game-to-game basis. Woods isn’t having a bad season, it’s just that Lee is having an incredible one.
Writer’s Note: There won’t be a stock watch article next week (week seven) as I will be out of town and won’t be able to catch any of the games. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up.
I’ve digested enough tape where I now feel comfortable releasing my top 30 overall prospects. Keep in mind this is a fluid process and as I learn more about the prospects the list will be updated each week. Here are my very early top 30 dynasty prospects as of 10/7/2012:
1. Geno Smith, QB West Virginia
2. Sammy Watkins*, WR Clemson
3. Marcus Lattimore, RB South Carolina
4. Justin Hunter, WR Tennessee
5. Keenan Allen, WR California
6. Marqise Lee*, WR USC
7. Todd Gurley*, RB Georgia
8. Robert Woods, WR USC
9. Stepfan Taylor, RB Stanford
10. Andre Ellington, RB Clemson
11. Knile Davis, RB Arkansas
12. Giovani Bernard, RB North Carolina
13. Eddie Lacy, RB Alabama
14. Marquess Wilson, WR Washington State
15. Cardarrell Patterson, WR Tennessee
16. DeAndre Hopkins, WR Clemson
17. Ameer, Abdulla*, RB Nebraska
18. Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia
19. Terrence Williams, WR Baylor
20. Tyler Wilson, QB Arkansas
21. Matt Barkley, QB USC
22. Da’Rick Rogers, WR Tennessee Tech
23. Logan Thomas, QB Virginia Tech
24. T.J Yeldon*, RB Alabama
25. Duke Johnson*, RB Miami, FL
26. Jonathan Franklin, RB UCLA
27. Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame
28. Christine Michael, RB Texas A&M
29. Dennis Johnson, RB Arkansas
30. Le’Veon Bell, RB Michigan State
Paymon Shokoohi is an NCAA/NFL skill position analyst, Senior Writer for DLF and can be found on Twitter @setmyroster and in the forums as dlf_paymons.