Week 6 Big 10 Stock Up/Stock Down
What an interesting week 6 it was in the Big 10 conference this past week, right? Some very interesting and fun games (see Minnesota vs Illinois, Ohio State vs Michigan State) and an absolute snore fest in Ann Arbor. So what does this all mean in terms of draft stock, you ask? Let’s find out together.
Stock Up: Brian Lewerke, QB, Michigan St.
Yes, the Spartans lost this game to the Buckeyes but Lewerke looked more composed than I’ve seen him all year. He made his usual head scratchers, but he also made several tight window throws than I’ve not seen from him. The week from Lewerke was so good in fact that the B1G Shots Podcast (now available on iTunes and Spotify) called me out on twitter for it. I’ll admit, I’ve maybe been a tad harsh, but if he keeps this up Lewerke could sneak in to the earlier half of Day 3 come April.
Stock Down: Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa
Sheesh- the only thing uglier than the game as a whole was the individual performance by Iowa left tackle Alaric Jackson. Jackson who has been inactive since week 1 with a knee or ankle injury (depending on who reported it) got shoved back far too often in pass protection and was beaten multiple times for sacks. His footwork was always a work in process, as Jackson relies heavily on his power. However, as he recovers from his injury, his base for his power was compromised leaving him a sitting duck against a suddenly inspired Michigan team. Jackson is looking like he’s far from a complete process and looks more like a 3rd rounder than he did over the summer when I had him in round 2.
Stock Down: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Yeah, I could have listed Wirfs above with Jackson, but the struggles were very different for the stalwarts of the Hawkeyes’ offensive line. Wirfs struggled due to just having an off day. Wirfs who is also a powerhouse was completely neutralized in pass pro and it never allowed the offense to get going. The Hawkeye tackle need to bounce back in a major way to be considered in the upper echelon of the tackle rankings come draft time.
Stock Up: Rodney Smith, RB, Minnesota
Smith had not been impressive this season. That is until he decided to go off this past weekend. Smith exploded for 211 yards on 24 carries and 2 touchdowns. Smith may not be on a lot of draft radars due to his status as a rotational back at Minnesota and being a senior RB, but Smith exploding like he did this past week can only mean good things for the Gopher offense as they’ve now become a balanced approach.
Stock Down: Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa
Last Hawkeye, I promise. Woof. What a bad game from Stanley. Opinions were split on Stanley going back to the summer. Some like myself, liked his upside as a high-end backup, some saw a guy that would struggle once the competition increased. Apparently, I’m going to have to hold this L, because my goodness, this was tough to watch. As Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt raved about how Nate Stanley is a QB who never turns the ball over, he almost immediately threw a pick- his first of the season. It’s ok though, because Stanley was truly in it to kill his own narrative, throwing 2 more picks. This was a bad QB performance by a below average QB in a tremendously terrible game.
Stock Up: Raequan Williams, DL and LB Joe Bachie Jr., Michigan State
I’m lumping these two together because they were absolute monsters against the Buckeyes. Joe Bachie had 6 tackles and 2 sacks in the first quarter alone. He finished with 11 tackles to go with his 2 sacks and was once again flying all around the field.
As for Williams, he’s been a solid gap stopper so far to this season but Saturday night he stepped up when the lights were brightest. Entering the game with 11 tackles on the season, Williams exploded for 8 tackles against Ohio St. Add in the fact that Williams also has the quietest 3.5 sacks and a force fumble on the year and we may be talking about Williams as a top 50 prospect come the end of the season.
Stock Up: JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio St.
Our own Justin Rochat is a diehard Buckeye fan and has (appropriately) roasted me on a daily basis as Dobbins has made me eat my own words on a weekly basis. Dobbins looks much better than he did in his sophomore campaign when he split carries with Mike Weber. Last year Dobbins looked slow and un-explosive. This year he looks to be in better shape and fully healthy. If Dobbins keeps this up, he could break into the top 3 backs in the draft and the first round to boot.