Week 4 on the college schedule welcomed the return of the SEC to the season and provided a much-needed injection of talent and excitement. We saw several brilliant performances from that conference, as more than half of the risers in Week 4’s NFL Draft stock report are from the SEC. Here are this week’s risers and sliders.
NFL Draft Stock Report: CFB Week 4 Risers
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Granted Pat Freiermuth and the Big 10 are yet to start their season, but Kyle Pitts laid down the gauntlet as to who should be graded as the top tight end prospect in the nation. In a high-scoring affair where the teams combined for more than 1,100 yards of offense, Pitts was a star. He finished the game with eight receptions for 170 yards (21.3 average) and four TDs.
Pitts was unstoppable and created mismatch nightmares for Ole Miss right from the get-go. He looks like a big power forward on the field, but he plays the tight end position like a receiver. To his credit, Pitts also looked better as a blocker. He possesses terrific upside, and if he continues to play productive football, Pitts will end up as a top-42 selection.
Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
If Pitts was the star in victory, Moore showed potential brilliance in defeat. I graded the junior as a late-round pick off his 2019 film in my SEC preseason summer scouting, and he looked improved by leaps and bounds during the first game of the year.
Moore finished with 10 receptions for 227 yards, an average of 22.7 yards per catch. Moore displayed game-breaking speed, incredible quickness and the ability to score from any point on the field. He still needs a bit of polish, and the fact that he’s under 5-foot-9 means Moore is not a prospect for everyone, but we’re witnessing the rise of a game-breaking receiver and return specialist for the next level.
Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
Yet another junior pass catcher in the SEC who stood out, Williams was just as dominant as the previous two with slightly lesser stats. He finished the game with six receptions, 112 yards and two TDs — both of which were highlight-reel material.
Williams is a big, strong receiver with solid quickness. He consistently wins out for the contested grab and is fast enough not to be branded solely as a possession receiver. Scouts already stamped Williams with a third-round grade, a full round higher than I gave him this summer, and he looked to be all that Saturday.
Patrick Jones, DE, Pittsburgh
Last week, it was Pittsburgh defensive end Rashad Weaver on my risers list. This time around, it’s teammate Patrick Jones. Weaver played well during Pittsburgh’s victory over Louisville, but Jones was better.
Graded by some scouts as a potential top-45 pick, Jones finished the game with six tackles (three for loss), three sacks and one hurry. He was omnipresent for a Panthers defense that harassed Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham all day, holding him to just 107 yards on 9-of-21 passing.
Jordan Smith, OLB, UAB
I raved about Smith during my Conference USA summer preview, and I’ve already graded him as a potential second-day pick. His production has slowly improved this season, and the contest against South Alabama was his best to date.
His totals included four tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. But more than stats were the athleticism, speed and incredible range Smith showed on the field. Smith is adept making plays out to the sidelines, in space and up the field. Smith has tremendous upside, and he’s considering entering the 2021 draft.
NFL Draft CFB Week 4 Sleeper Prospect
Justus Reed, Edge, Virginia Tech
Reed is a well-traveled prospect whose college career started at Florida in 2014. After multiple injuries and a brief stint at Youngstown State, Reed began his final year on the college gridiron with a bang Saturday night. During a conference victory over North Carolina State, Reed totaled five tackles, two tackles for loss and two sacks.
Scouts have actually given Reed a draftable grade each of the past three years in anticipation of his move to the NFL and with good reason; he’s a terrific edge rusher with excellent size, speed and strength. I envision Reed receiving an invitation to a postseason all-star game such as the Shrine Bowl, getting a combine invitation and ending up in the late part of next April’s draft.
NFL Draft Stock Report: Small School Riser
Bailey Zappe, QB, Houston Baptiste
Granted, Houston Baptist was overmatched by Louisiana Tech and lost Saturday’s game by 28 points. But scouts will take notice any time a quarterback throws for 406 yards and five TDs, and that’s exactly what Zappe did.
He’s a smaller pocket passer, but he’s a terrific game manager who accurately delivers his throws to targets. Zappe won’t be drafted, but he’s talented enough to bring into a camp and consider placing on a practice squad in 2021.
NFL Draft Stock Report: CFB Week 4 Slider
Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
I mentioned Wilson and his lack of impact against a young Hurricanes offensive line during Saturday’s gameday blog. The poor play must’ve weighed on Wilson, as he was ejected for targeting in the third quarter and left the game with three tackles to his credit.
Wilson’s play has been spotty throughout his career — he’s an occasional playmaker who occasionally occupies the gaps, but he hasn’t pulled the pieces together or really elevated his game at any point in his college career.