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2018 NFL Draft: Week five quarterback breakdown and updates

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Each week, 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: Nevada at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Stock Up

Luke Falk Washington State
9/23/17 vs Nevada: 36/47 478 YDS 5 TD 0 INT
Season: 130/169 (76.9%) 1378 YDS 8.2 YPA 14 TD 1 INT

In two games since being temporarily benched against Boise State, Falk has responded by going 73/96 passing (76%) for 874 yards, 11 touchdowns and zero picks. One of the key production standards for a senior quarterback is to show improvement each year, and while I worried about Falk after Week Two, he’s now on pace to establish career highs in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passing touchdowns. The Cougs sit 4-0 through four weeks, but have a tough stretch of conference games on the horizon. With other top quarterbacks stumbling in recent weeks, Falk has a chance to wedge his way into the top 50 conversation staring Fridaynight at home against Sam Darnold and USC.

J.T. Barrett Ohio State
9/23/17 vs UNLV: 12/17 209 YDS 5 TD 0 INT
Season: 76/120 (63.3%) 966 YDS 8.1 YPA 10 TD 1 INT 43 ATT 174 YDS 4.1 AVG 2 TD rushing

A week after breaking Drew Brees’ Big Ten record for touchdowns accounted for, Barrett tossed five more TD passes in less than a half of play against an undermanned UNLV team. Barrett’s record now stands at 112 total touchdowns (79 passing, 33 rushing) and counting, and while he has feasted on cupcakes the last two weeks, he appears to be gaining comfort with his new offensive coordinator (the third of his career) and confidence in his young receiving corps. Juxtaposed with his backup Dwayne Haskins last weekend, Barrett showed that he still has a firm hold on Ohio State’s starting job, and while the fifth-year senior does not have the stature or arm strength NFL scouts covet, he is an accomplished leader who will get a chance to catch on as a backup.

Stock Down

Josh Allen Wyoming
9/23/17 vs Hawaii: 9/19 92 YDS 1 TD 0 INT 6 ATT 17 YDS rushing
Season: 63/115 (54.8%) 658 YDS 5.7 YPA 3 TD 3 INT 22 ATT 32 YDS 1.5 AVG 1 TD rushing

Somehow Allen is still getting the benefit of the doubt from some talent evaluators who insist that his failings this season are all the result of a weak “supporting cast.” And while it’s true that Wyoming is stocked with players (including Allen) who would have had to walk-on at most Power Five programs, it’s simply impossible to continue to rationalize giving Allen an early round draft grade by passing the buck onto his teammates while drooling over his “tools.” In three games against FBS opponents this season, Allen is 41/83 (49.3%) for 330 yards (4.0 yards per attempt) with one passing touchdown and three picks. For the second week in a row, Allen did not compete even 10 passes, and he had 67 passing yards in regulation against a team that Josh Rosen lit up up a few weeks ago. Remember, Allen and Rosen are supposedly competing for draft status! Credit where credit is due, Allen’s overtime, game-winning touchdown throw was a beauty, but the rest of the game was agonizing to watch.

Nick Fitzgerald Mississippi State
9/23/17 vs Georgia: 14/29 83 YDS 0 TD 2 INT 10 ATT 47 YDS rushing
Season: 57/99 (57.6%) 626 YDS 6.3 YPA 7 TD 3 INT 287 YDS 7.0 AVG 5 TD rushing

Fitzgerald followed a tantalizing performance in a win over LSU with a thud against Georgia. The redshirt junior looked every bit like a raw passer just a few years removed from playing in a triple option high school offense. I still think this guy is more athlete than passer right now, and while I’d advise any draft-eligible player to weigh his options, Fitzgerald is a player who could definitely use more college seasoning. We’ll see how he rest of the season goes.