Five NFL Draft Stock Risers: Week Four

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Southern California wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (6) runs for a touchdown after a reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

This week in college football saw clear risers (and losers) in the exciting action across the nation. Fromm incredible quarterback play (get it?) to Burrowing deep into defenses, we saw some pretty incredible moments this week. The NFL Draft is always a thought as we watch some of America’s biggest stars perform, and this week was no exception. In this article, I wish to highlight some of those stars and point out their impressive performances that no doubt left evaluators drooling.

Without further ado, here are the top five NFL Draft stock risers from week four of college football.

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NFL Draft Stock Riser 5. S JR Reed, Georgia

Coming into the week, some people had concerns with Reed over his production numbers. JR Reed has always stood out on tape as a special player. He’s smart, and will usually be found in the correct position to destroy the play. However, in his first 32 games at Georgia, he only had 4 interceptions, 7 passes defended and 2 fumble recoveries.

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Against 7th ranked Notre Dame, who’s offense was very impressive against the Bulldogs, Reed had his best game so far this season. Reed collected a season-high 7 tackles, defended 3 passes and intercepted an Ian Book throw at a crucial point of the game, one of the most athletic plays we have seen from a defender in college football in a very long time.

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Reed is special, smart and heady player with great athleticism and a willingness to tackle. He will transition over well to the next level because he possesses the traits that NFL teams want in back end players. We got to see that at a top tier level Saturday night.

Stock Riser 4. DT Derrick Brown, Auburn

Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown was in my week four column about watching these potential players who could boost their NFL Draft stock. Brown did so against the 17th ranked Texas A&M Aggies, and impressed heavily.

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There isn’t too much teams are worried about from Brown, as it appears there isn’t much this man cannot do. The senior defensive tackle pretty much destroyed the Aggies offensive line, registering 4 tackles, 2 sacks and an additional tackle for loss. He also deflected 2 passes, preventing completions.

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Brown’s athleticism at his given size (6’5″ 318 lbs) is unfair. He moves so quickly, penetrates so easily and destroys what he touches. His NFL Draft stock is steadily on the rise as he is moving from a top 20 caliber player into top 10 consideration.

Stock Riser 3. QB Jake Fromm, Georgia

The second Georgia player on this list, Jake Fromm is currently considered a borderline first round draft pick. He has the intangibles that NFL teams want to see in a quarterback, a locker room leader, a charismatic motivator. However, the Georgia scheme is a power run scheme that doesn’t ask much from their quarterback except to be a game manager. When the offense needs Jake Fromm to throw the football, he looks very impressive.

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Fromm took over the game midway through the third quarter and made crucial, NFL caliber throws to help solidify the Georgia win. He not only showed the NFL he can sling the football, he showed poise, accuracy and great touch to give his team the win.

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Fromm reminds me much of former Utah and first overall pick Alex Smith. His leadership and poise is much better, but Fromm is sneaky athletic and can move around too.

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Stock Riser 2. QB Joe Burrow, LSU

None in this NFL Draft Class may be rising more than Joe Burrow has so far this year. The former Ohio State quarterback transferred to LSU last season to get an opportunity to start. Last season, the power run offense that LSU ran limited Burrow’s effectiveness as a quarterback, but the switch this season to the spread has made him a Heisman candidate. Burrow and the LSU offense have been unstoppable so far this season, not held under 40 points in a game yet.

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This week against Vanderbilt, Burrow threw a school-record 6 touchdowns, and now leads the SEC with 17 strikes through the first 4 games of the season. Burrow is showing good decision-making as well, and ability to read coverages. He has 1520 yards so far, and has posted a 225.6 efficiency rating, which leads the nation.

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I spent a day looking at all of the Joe Burrow tape I could find from last season in August, and I posted a warning to y’all that he is a dangerous quarterback.

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NFL Draft Stock Riser 1. WR Michael Pittman Jr, USC

Michael Pittman Jr was known about across NFL Draft boards, but coming into this season no one was too sure about him.

That is changing every week.

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Pittman has had an outstanding season thus far, despite having three different USC quarterbacks throw to him. He just destroyed Utah on Friday night with 10 receptions for 231 yards and a touchdown. USC upset the 10th ranked team in the country that night. Right now, Pittman is on pace to have not only the best season of his career, but the best season a USC receiver has had in a very, very long time. Pittman leads the team with 31 receptions and 437 receiving yards.

Follow John Vogel on Twitter @johndavogel and get into the NFL Draft conversation! 

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