Week One NFL Draft Stock Watch

(Josh Auzenne | WAFB)

Week One NFL Draft Stock Watch

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Week One NFL Draft Stock Watch

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Stock Up:

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

The football world already knew that Anthony Richardson had freakish physical tools. Still, we had not seen if that would translate to elite quarterback play thanks to Dan Mullen’s questionable coaching in 2021. Richardson opened the Billy Napier era with a bang, upsetting the seventh ranked Utah Utes. The Cam Newton comparisons will only increase after his unbelievable performance rushing the football (11 rushes for 106 yards and three touchdowns). He has legitimate 4.4 speed and one of the strongest arms in the nation. If Richardson can continue to ball out and translate his insane athleticism onto the gridiron, the QB1 title could be his.

Stock Down:

Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU

Many had Kayshon Boutte ranked as their top wide receiver in college football during the preseason, but his performance against Florida State didn’t live up to that hype. Boutte couldn’t develop a connection with new quarterback Jayden Daniels, finishing the night with two catches for 20 yards off of six targets. Boutte was invisible most of the night and didn’t record his first catch until the fourth quarter. His frustration with himself was visible on the sidelines, and his decision to wipe all social media connections with the LSU football program is even more puzzling. The transfer window is closed, so his two options are to continue playing or start preparing for the NFL Draft. This performance would be a poor final impression if the latter becomes true.

Stock Up:

Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia

Darnell Washington caught the eyes of many scouts his freshman year due to his staggering size and athleticism but flew under the radar in 2021. This was largely due to the emergence of Brock Bowers in the same tight end room. In week one of 2022, Washington annihilated Oregon defenders as a blocker and torched them as a receiver. He went viral after hurdling a defender in the open field. Washington is 6’7 270-pounds and simply shouldn’t be able to dominate the way he does. He is a freak athlete at the tight end position and put the NFL back on notice with his performance. Washington should firmly be in the conversation for a day-two pick with the potential to rise even higher. 

Stock Down:

Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon

Expectations were high for preseason All-American Noah Sewell as Oregon faced off with the reigning national champion Georgia Bulldogs. New Ducks head coach Dan Lanning had tremendous success with his linebackers during his time as Georgia’s defensive coordinator, but Sewell struggled in the season opener. He was quiet all game and finished with just three tackles. For reference, Sewell had 114 tackles in 14 games as a sophomore. Georgia was able to completely neutralize the stud linebacker with their game plan. That shouldn’t happen with a player who has the potential to be taken in the first round of the draft.

Stock Up: 

Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State

Cornerback is already shaping up to be one of the best positions in the 2023 draft, and Joey Porter Jr made a case for himself as one of the best in the class on Thursday against Purdue. Aidan O’Connell tested Porter all night and Porter was up for the challenge. He was targeted 14 times and finished the game with three pass breakups along with eight tackles. He tied the Power Five record for forced incompletions with six. Porter Jr. ‘s athleticism and length have already made him an intriguing prospect. Those traits paired with his physicality in coverage and run defense make him a potentially special CB1 at the next level. If he continues to play like a shutdown corner, his stock will climb into the first round similar to Jaycee Horn’s rise in 2021.

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