2023 Big Board Risers and Sliders: TCU QB Max Duggan Dominates Oklahoma, Sees Stock Rise

Continuing to look ahead to the 2023 NFL Draft, Tony Pauline shares his 2023 Big Board Risers and Sliders for Week 5 of the college season.

There were some close calls during Week 5 of the college football season. A number of teams at the top of the rankings came away with victories late in the game or held on for dear life. It was also a week where we saw a coming of age for several prospects — upperclassmen finally meeting expectations as well as underclassmen who put their names on the scouting radar. Here are the Risers and Sliders from Week 5.

2023 Big Board Risers

Max Duggan, QB, TCU

As a freshman, Duggan showed a lot of promise after throwing for more than 2,000 yards and 15 TDs in what was traditionally a rushing offense at TCU. Inconsistency in his play and turnover in the coaching staff held Duggan back the next two years, but the senior is finally living up to expectations. During the first month of the 2022 season, Duggan has completed over 75% of his throws and has tossed 11 TDs with no interceptions.

He thrashed Oklahoma in a bit of an upset, completing just under 70% of his throws for 302 yards and three TDs. Duggan has the physical ability and arm strength to play on Sundays. This year, he’s done a terrific job with his defensive reads and ball security. He’s developing into a complete passer. Initially graded as a late-round pick, Duggan will be just the latest senior signal-caller to make a big rise up draft boards.

Mike Morris, DE, Michigan

Last year, the talk focused on David Ojabo and Aidan Hutchinson. This year, the baton has been passed to Mike Morris, a prospect coming of age after being on my watch list this summer. Morris harassed Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras all day Saturday, posting two sacks, two TFLs, and two quarterback hurries.

MORE: Top 25 College Football Rankings After Week 5

Morris had a driving-killing sack and a hurry on back-to-back plays as Iowa was attempting to get back in the game. In five games this season, Morris has totals of four sacks, six TFLs, and three hurries. He’s a long, athletic pass rusher with incredible upside who’s just hitting his stride.

Jaquelin Roy, DT, LSU

If I say the name Jaquelin, most immediately think of the “Substitute Teacher” video and poor A-A-Ron. But this Jaquelin is making a huge name for himself in scouting circles. Roy has elevated his game this season and has gone from a wait-and-see type of player to a second-day prospect.

The contest against Auburn was probably his best of the season, as he collected six tackles — a huge number for a nose tackle. Roy is a powerful, wide-bodied defender in the middle of the line who displays solid athleticism. He’s not much of a pass rusher, but the ability to stuff the run and occupy gaps makes him an attractive next-level prospect.

Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane

There’s a party brewing in New Orleans. But it’s not Mardi Gras. It’s the 4-1 Tulane Green Wave and their terrific defense. Tulane traveled to Houston and upset the Cougars in overtime, keeping the UH offense in check, thanks in large part to Williams. The senior finished with 11 tackles while also collecting a sack and quarterback hurry.

Williams has been productive for three years running, and he’s a terrific athlete who shows a lot of speed moving in every direction. Scouts I spoke with before the season tell me he’s a free agent, which I completely disagree with, as Williams grades as a sixth-round prospect on my board.

Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland

It’s been three years running that I’ve graded Duncan as a middle-round prospect, and he continues to impress. Duncan is one of the premier pass blockers in the nation, as witnessed the past two weeks against Michigan and Michigan State. He’s an outstanding combination of footwork, agility, and mechanics, and Duncan shut down Spartans defenders during Maryland’s hard-fought win Saturday, helping the Terps move to 4-1.

Duncan needs to improve his playing strength and learn to finish his run blocks. I believe he has the tools to develop into a starting left tackle in the NFL or, at the very least, receive consideration as a zone-blocking guard.

De’Corian Clark, WR, UTSA

UTSA has a trio of receivers who are getting looks by NFL scouts. Clark is not the most polished of the three — that would be Zakhari Franklin — but he is the best athlete and has the most upside. In a career characterized by flashes, Clark’s game may finally be turning the corner.

Clark recorded eight receptions for 139 yards against Middle Tennessee, the same defense that sent Tyler Van Dyke of Miami to the bench last week. Clark has posted five or more receptions in every game this season and has six touchdowns to his credit. He’s shown terrific progress in his game, and if Clark continues to play at this level, he will be in the conversation as a Day 3 pick.

Sleeper Prospect: Zay Cullens, LB, Memphis

It’s fascinating to me that Cullens is not mentioned inside scouting circles despite his play the past three seasons. He posted 70 tackles last season and 69 as a sophomore. In five games this season, Cullens has recorded 35 tackles, two INTs, and three PBUs. Included in that total was a game-leading nine tackles during the Tigers’ victory over Temple, a contest where Cullens also recorded two TFLs.

He probably won’t measure 6-foot for scouts, yet Cullens is athletic and instinctive and has enough ability to make a next-level roster that keeps eight linebackers.

Small-school Prospect: Kemari Averett, TE, Bethune-Cookman

Averett first caught my eye when he played for Louisville in 2018. Nonetheless, a host of off-the-field issues — some of which were false — forced the big tight end to leave the program. After not playing football for two years, he’s been a dominant force at Bethune-Cookman. He’s presently second on the team after four games with 11 receptions, 149 receiving yards, and one TD.

His performance against Alabama A&M enhanced those numbers when he caught four passes for 83 yards. Averett is a terrific pass catcher with the size (6-foot-5, 270 pounds), speed (under 4.8 seconds in the 40), and skill to be a late-round choice and No. 2 tight end on a Sunday roster.

2023 Big Board Sliders

Myles Slusher, S, Arkansas

Right around Week 1, I reported that Slusher was sending out signals that he was seriously considering entering the 2023 NFL Draft. Based on his play against Alabama, he best reconsider any thought of moving to the next level.

Slusher was beaten not once but twice for long passes early in Saturday’s game, including a 47-yard touchdown strike courtesy of Bryce Young. He finished the game with a single tackle, which gives him 10 tackles this season. Slusher has decent upside, yet he needs a lot of work on his game before he’ll be considered a serious NFL prospect.

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