Week 2 of the college football season did not leave us disappointed as the draft eligible players showcased themselves for the NFL Draft. In this edition of Stock Up, Stock Down & Names to Watch, I will dig into the games I watched and prospects who made an impact or lagged behind. These are only taken from the games I watched for Draft Countdown, but we will discuss even more prospects on our Podcast. If you want to see where I think players are in terms of their overall stock, head over to my Rankings, and if you want more specifics, sent me a tweet @ShanePHallam
Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee
Flashing absolute dominance down the field, Tillman gave Pitt’s secondary more than they could handle this week as the big WR hauled in 9 passes for 162 yards and 1 touchdown. Usually manned in coverage, Tillman showed his strength of positioning and leverage to make some nice catches along with breaking a few tackles to gain extra yardage after the catch. A potential Day Two WR, Tillman has the build and production of a future NFL starting WR.
Darrell Luter, Jr., CB, South Alabama
Luter may not be a huge name right now, but NFL teams are aware of the talent he possesses. Luter was locked in against Central Michigan and barely allowed any production to his side of the field. Luter also came down to help against Central Michigan RB Lew Nichols with good wrap-up ability. With a smooth back pedal and good awareness, Luter is moving up draft boards.
Carter Warren, OT, Pittsburgh
Though Pitt didn’t come away with a victory, their offensive line was a strength in both run and pass blocking. Warren stood out amongst the rest as the veteran LT going up against the SEC defense. Warren’s hand placement has improved from last year and he moves his feet so well in space. Defenders had to work to get around him and rush the passer, no matter which QB was in the game. In the run game, Warren showed good drive as well. The Top 100 is a possibility for Warren.
Tyler Lacy, DL, Oklahoma State
Lacy continues his dominance this season racking up his second sack of the season against Arizona State and an addition 1.5 TFL. The interior lineman has great frame and speed for his size with an electric first step that knocks linemen off balance. With excellent lower body strength to boot, he was a handful for Arizona State all game and lived in the backfield. The sky is the limit for Lacy and his talents.
Brennan Armstrong, QB, Virginia
A potential QB riser coming into the season, Armstrong has struggled out of the gate. Illinois doesn’t boast the best defense, and Armstrong has the weapons to do some damage. Unfortunately, bad decision making (along with some issues with his blocking) led to two interceptions and a struggle to hit his WRs. Armstrong has not looked comfortable this season and his long wind-up doesn’t help when blitzers are coming. His NFL future may be limited.
Lew Nichols, RB, Central Michigan
Coming into the season as a highly productive runner in the MAC, Nichols was in for a tough year as Central Michigan’s offense replaced some key linemen. This showed up against South Alabama where Nichols had little rushing room and doesn’t have the athletic ability to create on his own. He has continued to be productive in the receiving game and the space has allowed his talent to shine, but the potential Day Two draft capital seems unlikely at this point.
Names To Know
George Karlas, EDGE, Boise State
Standout safety JL Skinner didn’t play this week against New Mexico, but Karlas really impressed me as a pass rusher. He racked up 2 sacks this week and had a dominant rush outside rush that New Mexico struggled with. Karlas’ isn’t built like a high end athlete, but his strength and pass rush moves shined to get penetration outside and contain the New Mexico offense. An additional play in the backfield in the run game shows his versatility and puts him on the map.
Trevon Flowers, S, Tennessee
Flowers was not a name I came into the game focused on, but he was all over the field on defense for the Vols. With both a sack and interception against Pitt, Flowers seemed to be around the ball often. Playing close to the line often, he showed good burst and closing speed getting into coverage. The Pitt offense clearly had problems identifying what he was going to do and how to adjust. Flowers is on my radar and should be on yours as well!