We are roughly halfway through the college football draft season, which means we have a fairly good idea of how supplemental drafts are playing out. The top tier is well-established, as is the middle ground. But when I look at the results from many of these drafts, I find myself questioning many late selections. I know that the odds on these picks aren’t great in the first place, but there are certain areas that should be targeted.
A few principles that I try to follow as I’m choosing my “stashes” in supplemental drafts:
- Almost all of these players are going to mid-tier schools. You’ll see my reasoning for this in a second. That means I’m not necessarily stashing guys from Alabama, Georgia, or Ohio State later in drafts.
- All of these players are likely second on the depth chart, and the player in front of them is in their last year of eligibility. I don’t want to play the “will he or won’t he return” game with some of these kids. We’re dealing with a lot of uncertainty here, so let’s try to remove as much of it as possible.
- These players are all very high three stars or low four stars. This category of player is cheaper in drafts and it won’t sting as much if they don’t hit.
- I’m looking for beneficial systems here. Stashing a running back going to a system that rotates 3+ backs or an Air Raid offense is bad process.
- I’m trying to snag guys that are unlikely to be recruited over! This is the most important piece, and the one that requires the most guesswork but I think there are some cases where we can make intelligent and informed guesses.
Justyn Martin, QB – UCLA: My absolute favorite QB stash this year is Justyn Martin. Martin is the 20th ranked QB in the 247 Composite and is one of the most projectable CFF QBs in the class because he’s almost a carbon copy of current UCLA starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson. He has perfect size and is one of the better athletes in the class. Martin is extremely raw and there’s a 0% chance he sees the field in 2022, but the tools are there and the coaching staff recruited him heavily. Even if he doesn’t fully develop, we know a quarterback can put up a ton of points in this offense with limited development (*cough* DTR *cough*). Take Martin in the 10th plus round in supplemental drafts and hope he takes that job in 2023.
Brady Allen, QB – Purdue: Purdue Head Coach Jeff Brohm produces some of the most efficient QB play in the country. It doesn’t matter who his quarterback is, it’s just inevitable. Current starter Aiden O’Connell is in his final year of eligibility and there is no clear QB2 on the roster with Jack Plummer’s transfer to Cal. Allen has great recruiting pedigree and is the obvious replacement here. He’s not very mobile, but Brohm’s system does not require that from the position, so it shouldn’t matter.
One caveat: Purdue also has a commitment from 2023 4-star Rickie Collins, a player that probably possesses a bit more long-term upside than Brady does. Brady will get the first crack at the job since he’s on campus now, but if he flops he’ll have pressure behind him. Brady Allen will get the first shot at this job in 2023. If he’s as good as advertised, you have a high-end CFF producer for 2-3 years.
Other: There are some talented players who I like, but don’t necessarily want to select due to situational issues. This group includes players like Utah’s Nate Johnson (Cameron Rising has 2 years of eligibility left), Oklahoma’s Nick Evers (probably gets recruited over), and Tennessee’s Tayven Jackson (replaced by 2023 5-star Nico Iamaleava).
Cartevious Norton, RB – Iowa State: Norton is the most talented back on Iowa State’s roster at this time. I’m a full believer in the talent and he comps very favorably to former ISU back David Montgomery, a bigger back who is best as a one-cut, physical runner who can work between the tackles. Norton enrolled early and turned heads, so much so that Phil Steele predicted that he wins the starting job outright for 2022. I’m not quite that bullish, but I think he can do it by 2023. ISU’s system generally produces statistically in college and their backs have been drafted early as of late. Give Norton a year in this strength room and its wheels up. You might not even need to wait a year on Norton, but the marriage of system and talent make him a big target in the 6th – 8th round of supplemental drafts.
Jaylon Glover, RB – Utah: Utah tends to use a bell-cow back, and the guy currently occupying that position is in his final year of eligibility. That means this backfield is wide open in 2023. There are a few other contenders on the roster, but Glover, a 4-star back from this class, is the name getting the most play from the coaching staff and local beat writers. Glover is a bowling ball of a back at 5’7” and 211 pounds. He plays with a low center of gravity, is quick laterally, and is more physical than his height would suggest. I’m taking Glover in the same range I’m snagging Norton, and banking on a 2023 break out.
Jadyn Ott, RB – Cal: Ott is not a back that impressed me much during the recruiting process, but he’s apparently played well during Cal’s spring practices. Stylistically, Ott reminds me a bit of Michigan back Donovan Edwards, including their slender builds and their ability to get to open space. Incumbent starter Damien Moore was benched at times for fumbling issues, and he isn’t anything special anyway. Ott probably has a role right out of the gate, and if Moore slips up again Ott could take this backfield over himself. My only reservations on Ott are the productivity of the backfield for CFF purposes, and the lack of high-end Devy upside, but Ott wouldn’t be a value if either of those issues were clear at this point. Ott could be the most talented back to play for Cal in some time, so I’ll take the late gamble. After the 10th round, consider Ott if you’re needy at running back.
Other: Georgia Tech back Antonio Martin could be the guy there early and is definitely a name to watch and snag late. Stanford’s Arlen Harris enters a thin backfield with a lot of opportunity, but did not enroll early.
Wesley Grimes, WR – Wake Forest: Wake Forest has quietly been quite the receiver factory over the past few years. Not only have they typically possessed a talented receiver room, but the system also produces a ton of big plays in the passing game. The Demon Deacons lost Jaquarii Roberson this offseason, and probably lose AT Perry and Donavon Greene next year. Grimes is a springy boundary receiver who can win downfield consistently and has the athleticism to give ACC defenses fits. I think Grimes gets some playing time as a true freshman and then breaks out in a big way as a sophomore. Grimes has the potential to be a WR1 for CFF purposes and could be an NFL guy as well. Grimes should go in the middle rounds of supplemental drafts.
Curtis Deville, WR – Purdue: We spoke about the efficiency of the Purdue QB position earlier, so it stands to reason that the guys catching passes tend to benefit as well. Purdue’s WR1 has produced top numbers over the course of the past few years, and I doubt that changes as long as Brohm is the coach. Deville is a bit reminiscent of David Bell from a size perspective, but he’ll probably test better athletically. A true freshman breakout is a lot to ask, but Purdue has also lost Milton Wright and the aforementioned Bell, which frees up some snaps. Deville can form a deadly duo with Brady Allen for several years at Purdue and should be drafted in the same range as Grimes.
Germie Bernard, WR – Michigan State: I am all in on Bernard for 2023 and beyond. Michigan State’s offense has been productive since Mel Tucker arrived, and it does not seem that he’ll be leaving any time soon. Jayden Reed will be the go-to receiver this year, but he’ll head to the NFL this offseason. While the Spartans do have a few other intriguing options on the roster, Bernard profiles best as the replacement. He is a good athlete, can work deep, and brings a skill set similar to Reed and recent departure Jailen Nailor. With 2022 4-star Katin Houser arriving along with him, Bernard should also see high-level QB play during his time on campus. You can wait a while on Bernard because there hasn’t been much hype for him, but he has a chance to be an early pick by this time next offseason.
Other: Kentucky’s Dane Key will get early run this year, but questions about the productivity of his role in the offense leave him as more of a late flier. Tennessee’s Kaleb Webb is a big, athletic, alpha WR but TN’s bagmen have been active this offseason and I’m worried 2023 5-star Carnell Tate and others end up taking his spot in 2023
For more Supplemental Draft theory, check out the Supplemental & Freshman Draft Guide available now.