I spent some time this dynasty month talking about players I love and why they make sense to draft in 2024. But what about players to avoid and guys that don’t make much sense to draft? To be clear, the talent of these players is there, but external factors come into play as to why they just shouldn’t be taken where I’ve seen them be drafted.

Who knows, though? The transfer portal taketh, the transfer portal giveth. It’s the ultimate equalizer. Let’s look at four guys who are top-five round picks who are no’s from me.

Julian Sayin, Ohio State, QB

Sayin might be the spiciest of selections here, but I feel pretty good about avoiding him in 2024 supplemental drafts. The Ohio State room is just too deep, and the potential for a transfer coming in is high, especially if the Buckeyes don’t hit expectations due to QB play. Sayin is obviously very talented. He has a lot going for him, minus the fact that he’s likely not to provide much value in his college career via the ground.

Right now, Will Howard is the likely QB1, but if that doesn’t work, Devin Brown has a shot at being the guy and has three sea
sons of eligibility left. There is also highly touted Air Noland on campus, and they will bring in the next four-star quarterback in 2025 and 2026.

ADP is hard to know in these types of drafts, but you must spend a top-10 pick on him if you want him on your roster. He’s being taken ahead of the top non-freshman in the draft along with the top running backs (Quinton Martin and David Eziomume, to name two), as well as guys that have a clear path to CFF stardom in 2025 (Cedrick Bailey and Walker White). I would take all of the above over Sayin, at this point in the offseason. 

Perry Thompson, Auburn, WR

Thompson has a nice recruiting pedigree but was not in Auburn for spring camp. This is an automatic ding for Thompson as he tries to avoid the Year 1 Zero theory. The Tigers also brought in a ton of competition via the portal and from the high school ranks. Cam Coleman is the clear WR1 from the freshmen group coming in. Robert Lewis and KeAndre Lambert-Smith both have plenty of college experience, making early reps tough for Thompson.

Courtesy of Auburn Athletics

Let’s assume that Thompson sees the field and goes into the 2025 season as the team’s WR2. Is that really that valued of a position in CFF? As much as we like Walker White, we like him for his legs, not because he’s a talented passer like Sayin. The Hugh Freeze offense doesn’t produce star wideouts past WR1, and even then, that can be a stretch. The Liberty WR2 in 2023 put up a stat line of 23/467/4. The year before that, the stat line was 25/444/1. As you can see, with the competition around him, Thompson has a tough task to land in that WR1 role, and he needs to be CFF-relevant.

He’s being taken around the fourth round alongside guys like Omari Kelly (MTSU), Jaden Baugh (Florida), Kamdyn Benjamin (Tulsa), Tyler Cherry (Indiana), Jason Patterson (Kentucky), and Trecgh Kekahuna (Wisconsin). These are all guys taken around Thompson that I’d prefer. 

Caden Durham, LSU, RB

If Kaleb Jackson is who people think he is, when exactly does Durham return third-round supplemental draft value? This is the tough part about these drafts in 2024. If you love the talent but hate the landing spot, do you draft and hope he’s wise in the portal the next off-season? I fell into this dilemma with Hauss Hejny, where the talent and upside are big time, but the path to playing is tough. Durham appears to be a very talented back, and normally, a Brian Kelly back is great to draft, but if we’re all in on Jackson, then we can’t also be in on Durham at LSU, can we?

The best-case scenario for Durham is RBBC in 2025, and I’m not quite sure that’s what I want to draft in the third round of a supplemental. Instead, give me guys like James Peoples (Ohio State), Luke Ransom (Rice), Kedren Young (Notre Dame), and Josh Meredith (Washington State) over him. 

Johann Cardenas, Vanderbilt, RB

Cardenas feels like a cool player on your team until you realize he’s on Vanderbilt. No shade to Vandy, but this isn’t the type of school that produces stars at the running back position. Last year, Sedrick Alexander was the shiny toy, and he led this team in rushing yards with 370. He has three years of eligibility and is the starter going into the 2024 season. And if it’s not Alexander, then Jamoni Jones (two years eligibility) will be the running back. He transfers in alongside every other New Mexico State player and coach who wanted out of Las Cruces. Getting early reps for Cardenas will be extremely tough.

Courtesy of Vandymania

I’ve seen him go around the fifth round in drafts so far. This is a place in the draft where I’d rather go for veterans, who I can potentially plug into my lineup weekly, or freshmen in promising situations. I’m talking about guys like Elijah Brown (Stanford), Harry Stewart (Kansas), Dylan Carson (Air Force), and Beau Sparks (Texas State). If those guys aren’t playing this year, they have a path to playing time in 2025. For Cardenas, his only path to value in CFF is transferring out of Vandy. 

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