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College Football Stock Report: Risers and Fallers from Week 6

Who's stock is rising and who's is falling? Zach Dietz has your answers in his Week 6 College Football Stock Report.
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Down goes Alabama!

Another team in the College Football Playoff race suffered an upset loss this past week, as the Texas A&M Aggies defeated the vaunted Crimson Tide 41-38. Alabama’s season isn’t over by any stretch, but this loss just shows how wide-open the landscape of the sport is this year.

It also displays how many of our preconceived notions before the season started have already been proven wrong, and that is the theme of this week’s stock report article - looking at the guys who have failed to live up to expectations going into the year. Don’t worry, though; we’ll highlight the rising stars as well!

STOCK UP: RB Tyler Badie, Missouri

We’ve gone over in the past that this running back group for the 2022 NFL Draft isn’t top-heavy, but there is a lot of talent that can be had on day two. Senior Tyler Badie out of Missouri is a player who has thrown his name into the mix thanks to his outstanding play.

Badie, a native of Memphis, has been a Swiss-Army knife for the Tigers offense in 2021 and has truly expanded his game to become one of the biggest sleepers at the halfback position.

Always known for his receiving prowess in the Mizzou offense, he’s taken a huge step forward as a runner this year. His yards-per-carry average has jettisoned from 5.0 last season to a whopping 6.5 this year.

Badie will never be considered a bell cow in an NFL offense, but we’ve seen players such as Austin Ekeler and Nyheim Hines show that you don’t have to be the biggest man to rush well between the tackles and catch the ball when needed.

STOCK DOWN: Edge Tyreke Smith, Ohio State

The Ohio State defense has played second fiddle to their elite offenses over the past several years, but they always come equipped with top-notch talent regardless. Heading into the season, one of the team’s biggest areas of strength was their pass-rush duo of Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith. While Harrison has played well, Smith’s poor 2020 season seems to have carried over.

Watching his 2019 tape, it’s easy to see the upside that Tyreke Smith possesses. He was coming off a year in which he had three sacks in limited action, but since then, Smith has totaled two sacks over the last two seasons. Not ideal.

He encapsulates great size for the position, has shown the ability to be scheme-versatile, and the traits do pop off at times. It just simply may be time to give up on those factors and realize Tyreke Smith’s ceiling for what it is - an early Day 3 EDGE who can provide some juice as a backup for NFL teams.

STOCK UP: DL David Ojabo, Michigan

Staying with the theme of pass-rushers from the Big Ten, we head over to Ann Arbor to discuss a player who has taken the next step in his development and has the makings of a very, very high future draft choice. No, not Aidan Hutchinson - it’s the Scotlander, David Ojabo!

The junior defensive lineman only played 26 total snaps during the 2020 season but has erupted thus far in 2021. Through six games, Ojabo has 4.5 sacks with two forced fumbles as well. Although he’s only played meaningful snaps for half of a season, you wouldn’t know it flicking the Michigan defense tape on.

Ojabo is incredibly sound, not only as a pass rusher but as a run defender as well. He plays with textbook technique, and his instincts are fantastic. His first step is extremely explosive, and he’s one of those players who simply has a nose for the backfield.

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It’s silly to say David Ojabo is a first-round pick given the limited sample size, but if he maintains this level of play for the currently undefeated Wolverines, we may see teams fall in love with him.

STOCK DOWN: S Jordan Battle, Alabama

As mentioned in the introduction of today’s stock report, the Alabama Crimson Tide suffered its first loss against Texas A&M this past weekend. A significant reason for the defeat was the issues in Alabama’s secondary. The unit did not perform to its usual level, and a lot of that falls on safety Jordan Battle.

Coming out of the summer, Battle was one of my favorite players simply because of his reliability. An all-around safety with good athleticism, instincts, and range gave off plenty of Malcolm Jenkins vibes.

Battle certainly hasn’t been poor this year, but his growth has stagnated. He’s missing more tackles in the run game, and his coverage ability has dipped a bit as well. No one was ever confusing him with a Kyle Hamilton-type, but his more traditional playing style looks a hair more shaky this season.

Battle will need to step up his game, along with the other players on Alabama’s defense. He still has plenty of time to get back into the first-round conversation that he was in this summer if he does so.

Nicholas Petit-Frere (78) has grown from 265 pounds as a freshman to 315 as a junior and this season has moved from right tackle to left tackle.

Nicholas Petit-Frere (78) has grown from 265 pounds as a freshman to 315 as a junior and this season has moved from right tackle to left tackle.

STOCK UP: OL Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State

Going back to Columbus to the Ohio State Buckeyes, let’s go to the opposite side of the ball and check in on an intriguing offensive lineman who has played a new position this year and has been pretty much dominant doing so.

Nicholas Petit-Frere spent his first two seasons at Ohio State as a right tackle but moved to the left tackle position in 2021. A player whose freakish athleticism was always apparent, he dealt with massive timing and technique issues in his pass sets in the previous two campaigns.

This year, NPF is in a new position and is truly playing shutout football. Averaging less than one pressure allowed per game and zero sacks given up, he’s been able to clean up the mental hindrances in his play immensely, and it’s done wonders for the Ohio State offense. He’s well on his way to first-round status.

STOCK DOWN: CB Avery Young, Rutgers

We cap today’s stock report off with a secondary prospect who, similarly to Jordan Battle, has seen his play take a step back in 2021.

Avery Young came into the year as one of the biggest sleeper cornerback prospects in the Big Ten and college football overall. Specializing in Cover 3, Young’s 2020 tape showed a defensive back who could align all over the field who was fantastic in the run game, and showcased some serious potential in man.

This year, he hasn’t been nearly as comfortable in coverage, and a part of that may be his move to free safety for the Scarlet Knights. Never quite known for his ball skills (only one interception across nearly four collegiate years), Young may be better equipped in the slot.


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