STOCK UP/ STOCK DOWN
This was a crazy 4th week of college football, in which there were big upsets, and many exciting down-to-the-wire games. But amidst all this awesomeness, who helped themselves for the 2012 NFL Draft? Who hurt themselves?
This Week 4 edition of Stock Up/Stock Down features a Big Ten Wide Receiver who didn't have to make a name for himself, rather he had to live up to the name he was given. This edition also features a SEC Quarterback who spent too much time watching tape of Brett Favre, and 2 Running Backs, one who helped himself, and one who hurt himself.
Note that I'm not including necessarily players who had great performances. Trent Richardson was a beast, but that's why he's a projected Top 15 pick. Justin Blackmon has 110+ yards and a TD virtually every week.
Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
Vs. South Dakota. 7 catches, 155 yards, 2 TDs.
Before you tell me he played against South Dakota, hear me out. Toon looked very good last week vs Northern Illinois (one of the top Non-AQ programs), with 69 yards and 2 TDs. But his stock wasn't quite ready to move. A 7 catches, 155 yards, 2 TDs performance on Saturday really helped Toon. He showed that he can use his size to take advantage of small receivers, at 6'3" 220 lbs. He showed his speed with a 59-yard TD catch on a bubble screen. And NFL scouts will take notice partly because he's the son of former great Al Toon.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Vs. Rice. 29/33, 338 yards, 5 TDs. 6 rush, 51 yards, TD.
Griffin continues to rise. Everyone knows he's a great athlete with running ability. And I guess we all knew he could throw OK. Well now we know he doesn't just throw OK. He replicated his performance against TCU, but did it even more efficiently. Griffing completed 88% of his passes,, while averaging 10.2 yards per attempt. And it's not like Rice is a complete pushover FCS team...they beat Purdue last week.
Isaiah Pead RB Cincinnati
Vs. NC State. 27 rush, 167 yards, TD. 3 catches, 24 yards, TD.
Pead, a Senior, looked like a true workhorse Saturday against a legit ACC opponent. Pead took 27 carries, and made a 6.2 average out of them. He ran in for a score, and also contributed to the passing game with a TD reception on a screen pass. And something NFL scouts will really take notice of is how well he blocked. He picked up blitzes very well and made a key block on Zach Collaros' rush TD.
T.J. Graham WR NC State
Vs. Cincinnati. 7 catches, 176 yards, 2 TDs.
Graham displayed his burner speed on a 87-yard TD catch-and-run. Graham made a touch catch moving towards the sideline about 5 yards down the field, turned, made an inside move, and then accelerated towards daylight. Graham also hauled in a 49-yard TD in which he got behind the defense. He is left off most WR rankings lists, but with a few more nice performances, he could find himself on nearly every list (though near the bottom).
Stephen Garcia, QB, South Carolina.
Vs. Vanderbilt. 16/30, 228 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs
I thought Garcia, with a relatively strong Senior campaign, could make himself a candidate for a late round draft pick. He's got good size, at 6'2" 230 lbs. He has a nice arm, and accuracy is below average but he gets by. I just needed to see a change in his decision-making process. If there was any change, it was that it got worse. He threw 3 ugly Interceptions in the first half. All 3 were completely his fault, whether he foolishly chucked it towards triple coverage in the end zone, or threw it late to the sideline outside the pocket. He had a TD, but it was a dump-off to Marcus Lattimore in which Latt did everything. Garcia threw a 4th pick in the Red Zone in the 3rd Quarter, as he tried to make a Eli Manning/ Matt Massellbeck-ish flip pass while falling down. His decison making is now officially too bad.
Junior Hemingway WR Michigan
Vs. San Diego State. 1 catch, 9 yards.
Hemingway continues to be hurt by Denard Robinson's inability to throw the ball. Robinson rushed for 200 yards and 3 TDs, but again struggled to get the ball to his receivers, only completeing 8-of-17 passes for 92 yards and 2 INTs (No TDs). Hemingway could only snag one of those for a medium gain. He has a good mix of size and speed, but he won't get recongnition for it if Robinson can't get him the ball.
Cyrus Gray RB Texas A&M
Vs. Oklahoma State. 13 rush, 35 yards, 0 TDs. 3 catches, 9 yards.
Last week, Tulsa rushed for 365 yards on the Cowboys. That could have you thinking Cyrus Gray might have a big day. Not so much. He could only muster 35 yards on the ground, and was outrushed by both his QB Tannehill, and a fellow back Christine Michael. And despite Tannehill throwing for 309 yards, Gray only accounted for 9 of those. Not a good showing for a back who's trying to sneak into the 1st round.
G.J. Kinne QB Tulsa
Vs. Boise State. 14/24, 123 yards, TD, 4 INTs.
Kinne, a wildcard for a day 3 pick at QB, wasn't expected to lead the Hurricanes to victory against Boise State, but he also wasn't expected to lead a dysfunctional offense. Kinne played with a left knee injury he suffered last week, but he threw 2 INTs in the first half, and his offense only ran one play in Boise State territory in the 1st half. It wasn't until the 3rd Quarter when it was 27-0 and Boise State started rotating in backups and playing soft coverages that Kinne started doing OK. He completed some short passes, but threw 2 more INTs and failed to get anything downfield.
Thanks for reading. I obviously couldn't include everyone who helped their draft stock, but I tried to find some interesting players who's performances might really intrigue NFL scouts. Feel free to discuss other great weekly performances, including those of guys who aren't even eligible for the draft. Check in again for Week 5 edition of Stock Up/Stock Down, coming next Sunday.