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Devy

Devy Roundup: Week Seven

We pick out some of the best devy performers from the weekend and look ahead to upcoming matchups.

DeVonta Smith

I can’t remember a regular-season game where there was more excitement going into it than the Alabama versus Georgia game. With all we have been through this year, it felt like the stakes were higher and it would be a different type of game this time around. Georgia felt like the better team and it was time to knock the Tide off the throne. It was for a few quarters, then the wheels fell off for Stetson Bennett and the Bulldogs. Once again, Alabama reigns over the SEC.

It was a common theme for some players who started the season hot and are now coming down to earth – so much hope as some players were doing things and making names for themselves, causing us to double-check our rankings and shuffle people around. We had two top-five schools lose Saturday and next week – the Big Ten enters the fray. Things are going to get crazier as we get closer to all the conferences playing.

Check here for all the week seven scores.

Top Devy Performances

Mac Jones, QB ALABAMA

Despite the gaudy numbers, Jones is a player I have been indifferent to as a devy prospect up till this point. The Georgia pass defense had only allowed 585 passing yards through the first three full games. It looked like Jones would nearly match the yardage by himself until the Alabama offense let up toward the end of the game. He finished with 417 yards and four touchdowns while completing 75% of his passes.

Jones throws a good deep ball as shown in this clip above but I have been a little leary to raise him up my rankings. His numbers have been inflated by long gains made by the talented receiver corps. For instance, there was a 90-yard touchdown by Jaylen Waddle which travelled 30 yards in the air to a wide-open receiver. I wasn’t ready to move up the Heisman front runner until I saw more consistent deep throwing and against better defenses.

Watching previous games, Jones rarely threw over 20 yards and would miss open receivers as well as get bailed out by amazing adjustments on ones that did connect. I am not moving Jones up to QB3 yet – he’s still in the QB5 or QB6 range for the 2021 class – but he is on the way up. He has a strong command of the offense and makes a lot of intelligent throws. Jones trusts his receivers and often throws where only they can get it. He’s a riser for me.

Dillon Gabriel, QB UCF

Gabriel had a tremendous game in this week’s shootout with Memphis, throwing for 601 yards and five touchdowns in the loss. He’s a gunslinging quarterback in an offense which scores almost at will due to play calling and schemes. His numbers are inflated by this, basically playing in a video-game-style offense.

Beyond the numbers, he is a riser for me as an NFL prospect. Gabriel has an incredible arm and makes throws on the move as well as any prospect I have seen. He hits throws to every level and moves well in the pocket. The level of competition is always a question being they don’t play many elite programs. The offense is tailored to put up offensive numbers. I like Gabriel a lot and have high hopes for him going forward as a prospect.

Jerrion Ealy, RB OLE MISS

The Ole Miss offense struggled versus Arkansas in this game but sophomore Ealy had another phenomenal game. He carried the ball 23 times and gained 110 yards while scoring once. The game plan had to deviate away from the run as Arkansas pulled away in the second half. Snoop Conner also is being used in a timeshare and had 15 touches.

Ealy has moved up to be my RB1 in the 2022 draft class. I am a huge fan of Breece Hall and think he is going to be excellent in the NFL but Ealy has something special. He is able to bring a good wallop with power but also has explosion and breakaway speed. His footwork really stands out. He is quick, light, and has phenomenal change of direction. Ealy is close to a complete back and has shown pass-catching chops.

DeVonta Smith, WR ALABAMA

It seems like many other wide receivers have gotten more buzz than Smith ever since he’s been on campus for Alabama. Jaylen Waddle is getting buzz to be one of the first receivers drafted in 2021 due to his blistering speed. Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs overshadowed him last season. Now, even John Metchie III is gaining traction as the next great Tide receiver.

And honestly, Smith may be a better receiver than all of them. There isn’t one glaring elite trait or skill set. He doesn’t have monstrous games consistently or the high dominator rating some scouts love to see. His game is complete and he does so many things well. This week versus Georgia, he caught 11 balls for 167 yards and two scores.

What I do see when I watch him – Smith is a baller and it transcends all physical attributes or athletic profile. He has really good speed and is versatile. He lines up all over the field and can route a variety of routes well. His game has a lot of nuances and he creates separation in many ways. He has great hands and tracks the ball well in the air.

Smith isn’t the strongest receiver but he plays tough and aggressive. When the ball is thrown in his direction, he is going to do everything he can to catch it. The NFL will value this skill over all others in his game, in my opinion. He works incredibly hard to get position and leverage which leads to him catching many balls which a lot of receivers wouldn’t. Smith is a great receiver prospect and should fit in with any offensive scheme in the NFL.

Shi Smith, WR SOUTH CAROLINA

I noticed Smith earlier this season and wanted to keep a closer eye and see how the season progressed. He had huge games against Tennessee and Florida and has nearly matched his season totals from previous seasons in regards to catches and yards. This week, he caught eight passes for 76 yards and a score but had a few amazing catches.

Watching these two plays above, he plays much taller than 5’11”. There are many passes he’s caught where he high points and catches it over defenders who are his height or taller. Smith is dangerous after the catch as well. His footwork is precise and movements are sharp and calculated. He has strong hands and runs clean, smooth routes.

The South Carolina passing offense has been anemic his first three seasons and now has a quarterback willing to throw. I stink at comparisons, but I see a lot of Steve Smith in his game with the size and ability to be such a strong outside receiver. He’s having a great senior season and making his name known in a strong 2021 wide receiver class.

Dax Milne, WR BYU

The meteoric rise of junior quarterback Zach Wilson has been aided by his phenomenal junior receiver. Milne has been the recipient of 33% of Wilson’s passing yards and caught nine balls for 184 yards with three touchdowns this week versus Houston.

Milne tracks the ball incredibly well and wins at the catch point nearly every time. His hands are so good – they pluck the ball out of the air and have helped his star quarterback out many times. Wilson and Milne have a great connection as they trust each other and are on the same page. The quarterback throws where he knows his receiver can get it and Milne is a rising prospect. His size at 6’1” and 190 pounds is a little lean but he has no issue getting physical. I want to watch a lot more to get a better profile but I love what he is doing this season.

Jordan Addison, WR PITTSBURGH

Through six games, Addison has 444 yards on 38 receptions with three touchdowns. The Pitt defense gets most of the recognition for the team but their freshman wide receiver has been a bright spot. In the loss to Miami this week, he caught eight passes for 147 yards. His name isn’t going to stay little known for long.

As a four-star two-way player, Addison is much better as a receiver but was a good safety prospect as well. He understands route running techniques and is already a strong route runner. All of his technique as a freshman is exemplary – release, body control, tracking the ball – amazing for a freshman. On top of all of those he is fast – already 4.5-second 40-yard dash fast – and dangerous after the catch. He will need to add some muscle mass and strength. Addison is a quick riser in this 2020 season and I am eager to see what he can do going forward.

Poor Devy Performances

Matt Corral, QB OLE MISS

(Insert sad music… not really, DLF Editors.) I absolutely love Corral and he’s been one of my top risers this season. Against a pretty good Arkansas defense, he struggled on Saturday. Struggle is a nice way to say he just plain sucked. Only completed 52.6% of his passes, unless you count the ones he completed to defenders, with two touchdowns and SIX interceptions. I turned on the game hoping some were tipped passes or crazy picks but no such luck.

As much as I have loved watching him play this season, I thought he would need another season and this game showed why. The Ole Miss offense can make quarterbacks look good and Corral just had a terrible game. The interceptions were trying to force passes and looked like he was trying too hard. The Rebels stayed in the game despite the turnovers and Corral did make some really good passes.

Corral is an intriguing prospect whom I still love quite a bit. Hopefully this is just an anomaly and he bounces back. I am leaning on the side of holding him in devy leagues and this may open a buy-low window.

Bo Nix, QB AUBURN

Nix came to Auburn as the quarterback who was supposed to be the final piece and complete the team. Auburn was going to be an elite SEC program and compete with Alabama and Georgia. In a game they needed a win and for the quarterback to step up, Nix only completed 51.1% of his passes and threw three interceptions. His completion percentage is just over 54% on the season and he hasn’t been dangerous running either.

The excuses are over and if you can move Nix for anything, do it now. The inaccuracy hasn’t improved and he isn’t getting better. The team has talented pieces around him with Anthony Schwartz and Seth Williams catching passes and emerging star Tank Bigsby in the backfield. Nix is not going to be an NFL quarterback and isn’t even good for your college fantasy teams.

Marquee Week Eight Matchups

Full schedule HERE

#17 Iowa State at #6 Oklahoma State 10/24 @ 3:30 P.M. EST

This is a big game as far as Big 12 title implications, both teams are undefeated and in a spot they weren’t expected to be in. Iowa State needs better play from their quarterback Brock Purdy to score with the Cowboys and Breece Hall should run rampant. Charlie Kolar is an interesting tight end who could make an impact as well.

For Oklahoma State, they are playing well and in the driver’s seat in the Big 12 race. Freshman quarterback Shane Illingworth has looked good but faces his biggest test yet Saturday. Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace are NFL talents who will play at the next level next year. This could be a fun high-scoring game.

#18 Michigan at #21 Minnesota 10/24 @ 7:30 P.M. EST

The biggest game in the Big Ten this weekend features the Wolverines traveling up to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers. It’s a critical year for Jim Harbaugh and the team needs to make strides to keep his job. Talented sophomore running back Zach Charbonnet leads the offense but all eyes will be on new quarterback Joe Milton. A player I really like is freshman AJ Henning – he could bring some explosiveness to a conservative Wolverine attack.

Minnesota has NFL talent at wide receiver in Rashod Bateman and quarterback Tanner Morgan could hear his name called on day two in April with another solid season. I like junior running back Mohamed Ibrahim a bit still and would like to see him be “the man” in 2020 but if not, talented freshman Ky Thomas could enter the fray early. Minnesota is a tough first draw for Michigan and I like the Gophers to win this game.

#9 Cincinnati at #16 SMU 10/24 @ 9:00 P.M. EST

Do you like defense? Do you like low-scoring games? If you answered yes then do not turn on this game. This is going to be a shootout and a fun one. And it centers around both quarterbacks. Junior Desmond Ridder leads the Bearcats and hasn’t been as effective this year as he was in the past but it all flows through him. The team is averaging 35.7 points per game and has only allowed 37 points total in three games.

Senior Shane Buechele is lighting it up this season, throwing for over 1,700 yards with 12 touchdowns to only two interceptions. Redshirt freshman back Ulysses Bentley IV has over 500 yards rushing at a 6.8 yards-per-carry clip. Through five games the team is averaging 42.6 points per game, seventh-most in the nation.

The Wrap-Up

The return of the Big Ten makes it feel like football is truly finally here. Many of my Saturdays for as long as I can remember have revolved around my friends and I watching Michigan State or Michigan and hating Ohio State. The polls even look funny without the annoying Buckeyes in the top ten, just didn’t seem right.

Take in this weekend – it’s a quieter one as far as big games go. It feels like the season is really kicking into gear though. If you would like to see some cutups of all the prospects I talk about, I am adding several a week on my YouTube channel. Thank you and have a great week!

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Devy Roundup: Week Seven
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