Six things to note from the college football weekend and the significance to the pro game, as seen in this week’s MMQB column.
1. We featured Auburn’s Derrick Brown in last week’s Game Plan. And maybe it’s the all-white uniform with a single digit on a big dude, but he looked like a man among boys on his strip sack of Florida QB Kyle Trask.
And he looked pretty freakish on his fumble recovery/return too.
I followed up with an evaluator I spoke to last week about Brown. The response: “I f---ing told you!”
2. The California Fair Pay to Play act, signed by Governor Gavin Newsome last week, highlights the mess the NCAA is in. The governing body of intercollegiate athletics has had every chance to institute reform, and this particular common-sense measure—allowing athletes to benefit financially off their likeness—has been floated in the past. They only have themselves to blame here.
3. Rutgers fired Chris Ash as its head coach a little over a week ago, and Greg Schiano has emerged as a top candidate to replace him. Looking back on what’s happened at Rutgers in the last eight seasons since Schiano left Rutgers for the Buccaneers only emphasizes how Schiano turned the program around in the 2000s. In many ways, this would be just like Kansas State bringing Bill Snyder back for a second tour.
4. When I made my quarterback watch list for the 2020 NFL draft this summer, evaluators didn’t think Michigan QB Shea Patterson had any special traits, and saw him as a good-not-great college player—so I left him off that list. Since then he seems to have regressed, and at this point he’ll likely have to fight to be drafted.
5. Per a couple of scouts, it sure looks like LSU’s Joe Burrow has played his way into the second or third round over the first half of this season. And the Tigers’ next four games could give him a chance to take it a step further: vs. Florida, at Mississippi State, vs. Auburn, at Alabama. He’ll have plenty of NFL eyeballs on him. One exec I hit up Sunday summarized: “Gamer. Tough. Competitive. Underrated passer. Top two rounds.” Conversely, another personnel director said Burrow’s ceiling, in his mind, would be the second round.
6. I’m not saying Oregon’s Justin Herbert is slipping. But Saturday night’s game against Cal wasn’t his best, and while he’s a really good athlete, there are concerns about how natural he is moving around in the pocket.
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