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2018 NFL Draft: QB watch and week two performances

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Each Monday, ROTB Lead Writer Justin Higdon takes a look at the respective NFL Draft stocks of some of the top quarterbacks in college football

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Stock Up

Josh Rosen UCLA

9/9/17 vs Hawaii: 22/25 329 YDS 5 TD 0 INT

Season: 57/84 (67.9%) 820 YDS 9.8 YPA 9 TD 0 INT

Rosen carried momentum from an epic Week One comeback and took care of business in a blowout win over Hawaii, finishing the game with only three incompletions. Thanks to a couple of gifts from the Texas A&M secondary two Sundays ago, Rosen has yet to throw a pick through two games. He’s also showing up well in the situational stats, standing 7/10 with six first downs passing on third-and-long (seven or more yards), and 9/14 with five TDs in the red zone.

Lamar Jackson Louisville

9/9/17 vs North Carolina: 25/39 393 YDS 3 TD 0 INT, 19 ATT 132 YDS 3 TD rushing

Season: 55/85 (64.7%) 771 YDS 9.1 YPA 5 TD 0 INT, 239 YDS 6.0 AVG 3 TD rushing

The knock on Jackson coming into the season was his low completion percentage, and through two games he is in the process of erasing those doubts. In fact, the focus may already be shifting to his slim frame:

Louisville lists Jackson at 6’3” 211, which is probably about an inch taller than his true height. I don’t know how much he weighs right now but he looks to have filled out since last season. In recent years we’ve seen Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Jared Goff and Deshaun Watson all criticized for a thin build, and all became first round draft picks. So file this away as “not a big deal.”

Baker Mayfield Oklahoma

9/9/17 vs Ohio State: 27/35 386 YDS 3 TD 0 INT

Season: 46/55 (83.6%) 715 YDS 13.0 YPA 6 TD 0 INT

Mayfield struggled last season in a 21-point home loss to the Buckeyes, but marched into Columbus Saturday night and picked up one of the biggest wins of his seemingly endless college career. The Sooners’ senior passer was lights out against a vaunted Ohio State defense, and added insult to injury by planting the Oklahoma school flag at the home team’s 50-yard line.

Stock Down

Clayton Thorson Northwestern

9/9/17 vs Duke: 11/29 120 YDS 0 TD 2 INT

Season: 39/67 (58.2%) 472 YDS 7.0 YPA 2 TD 3 INT 2 TD rushing

After having perhaps the best game of his career against Nevada in Week One, I wrote about Thorson as a riser last Friday. But he and his Wildcat teammates were completely overwhelmed by the Duke defense, in particular the defensive line. Thorson was sacked four times and pressured often, and as a result, his accuracy suffered. Thorson didn’t get much help from his supporting cast. The pass protection was poor, and Northwestern receivers logged a couple of deflating, third down drops. Still, Thorson had several opportunities to get his team back in the game and he couldn’t get the job done. He converted four first downs on 10 third down pass attempts against Nevada, but this week it he converted only one of seven tries. He’s going to need to drastically improve in those situations.

Max Browne Pittsburgh

9/9/17 vs Penn State: 19/32 138 YDS 0 TD 2 INT

Season: 36/56 (64.3%) 278 YDS 5.0 YPA 1 TD 2 INT

Browne’s numbers suffered from a couple of critical dropped passes, but his first two starts for Pitt have been uninspiring. The USC transfer was briefly knocked from Saturday’s game after a red zone hit, opening the door for backup Ben DiNucci to score the Panthers’ only touchdown. DiNucci apparently played well enough (or Browne played poorly enough) to invite reporters to ask coach Pat Narduzzi if Browne was still his starting QB. “Yes,” said the coach. For now.