18 Sep 2021 CFB IDP Players To Watch: Week 3
2021 CFB IDP Players To Watch: Week 3
Welcome back for my Week 3 college football IDP players to watch! Each week I’ll be diving into five players to keep an eye on in college football over the coming weekend!
Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Aidan Hutchinson, DL, Michigan vs Northern Illinois
After watching game film from multiple games on Hutchinson, I’ve become a huge fan of this guy. He’s already my early DL2 for this class. Simply put he’s an absolute animal. He’s a big, bad strong man. In nearly every single play he gets involved and makes an impact. I’m not sure if it’s the number 97 on his back or what, but he reminds me of a mix of Joey Bosa and J.J. Watt. I know those are high claims, and I’m not saying he’s that level of player. However, I will say I think he’s a sleeping giant in this class, and someone who’s stock will only rise as we get closer to the NFL Draft.
Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State vs Auburn
There’s a lot of hype swirling around Brandon Smith, especially comparing him to Micah Parsons. And he looks the part, specifically when it comes to his build. However, when it comes to his on-field production he leaves a lot to be desired. Parsons was regularly creating impact plays, sacks, tackles for loss, forced fumbles, etc. It’s still early in the season, and he can always improve throughout the season. When it comes to his film, I wasn’t all that impressed. Sure he’s athletic and quick, but I think there’s still quite a bit of development left to be done before he’s considered a 1st-round talent.
Owen Pappoe, LB, Auburn vs Penn State
I guess you could call this the “Game of the Week” since there are two IDP players to watch in it. When watching Pappoe’s film for the first time, I wasn’t overly impressed. And before anyone gets upset, I’ll add that I wasn’t concerned at all either. I was watching the Northwestern game from the 2020 Citrus Bowl and he was used in zone coverage more than anything. He was always quick to get to his spot and seemed able to recognize the play fairly well and make adjustments as needed. I noted that he’s a strong tackler, especially when going north and south. That is of course when he gets involved. Often times, he was dropped into coverage and just wasn’t arriving in time to contribute to tackling the ball carrier. If I had ANY concerns it’s just that sometimes he gets lost sifting through traffic and getting to the ball carrier. He had an extremely productive 2020 campaign, and if he can return to those heights I don’t see any reason why he can’t be a Day 2 pick come April.
George Karlaftis, DL, Purdue vs Notre Dame
Here’s another guy whose game film I really enjoyed. This guy is a mover of men. While checking out his 2020 game against Iowa, I was nothing short of impressed. He’s a freight train, and when he bull rushes you, you’re going to be moved. Period. I liked his super active hands. Some prospects just get hands on the offensive lineman and try to push them. While he does that well, he also excels at keeping the offensive lineman’s hands off him so he can win the edge freely. In order to stop him, he needs to be double-teamed as he rarely loses one on ones. He is constantly an issue for offensive linemen. There are very few plays where he isn’t putting lineman in the quarterback’s lap. If I have any concerns, it’s that his jump is not always consistent and he can take time to get into his rush. In college, this hasn’t come back to bite him, yet. But in the NFL, every millisecond counts. I think this comes from his form when he gets into his 3-point stance. Instead of having his back parallel to the ground or even angled downward, he seems to have this awkward arch in his back. But I think this can be refined at the next level. My truest concern is that I’m worried he’ll end up playing more of an interior pass rusher as opposed to an edge. IDP Heads know that IDLs tend to be less valuable than true edge rushers. Time will tell. I’m confident he ends up a 1st-round draft selection.
I may have found my favorite safety in this class. Kyle Hamilton is cool and all, but Catalon is a sneaky option in this class. Catalon is an instinctive playmaker and a heavy hitter. He’s looking to build on an extremely productive 2020, and raise his draft capital ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft process. If he can repeat his production from 2020, he’ll easily be a Day 2 pick. Likely, in the early second round.
A seasoned IDP Specialist, Bob brings his vast experience and knowledge of the NFL to Expand The Boxscore, where he will be examining the College game. Check out Bob’s weekly CFB IDP breakdowns for the jump on the next wave, or for those of you who play IDP for CFB as well.