Dynasty Watch: Week 2 Prospect Review

·8 min read

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Week 2 of the college football season featured a wild slate of games.

We saw No. 1 Alabama nearly upset by Texas. Marshall downed the lowly Irish in South Bend, pushing Notre Dame to an 0-2 record to start the season. And Appalachian State went on the road to defeat No. 6 Texas A&M, likely ruining the Aggies' hopes for consideration in the college football playoffs later this year.

Several noteworthy players who are expected to go in next year's NFL Draft were on display this weekend, putting up monster performances while leading their teams to (or near) victory.

Let's take a look at the week that was, and highlight some top performances from tomorrow's future stars.

Note: All stats and information courtesy of PFF.com, CollegeFootballData.com and Sports-Reference.com.

Bryce Young, QB (Alabama)

Passing: 27-for-39 passing, 213 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs
Rushing: 7 Carries, 38 yards, 0 TDs

Bryce Young and the Tide faced an early test in last week's 20-19 win over Texas. On the road against the Longhorns, Alabama needed every last second to pull out the victory, as Young helped orchestrate a drive to help set up a 33-yard game-winning field goal by Will Reichard.

Young was limited throughout most of the day, with his lone touchdown coming on a seven-yard pass to running back Jahmyr Gibbs midway through the fourth quarter.

Perhaps the most defining moment of the game, however, came on Alabama's final drive.

On that drive, Young completed 5-of-7 passes for 41 yards and evaded a blitzing cornerback to pull off a 20-yard run down in Texas territory.

Young didn't blow away the Longhorns in this one, but his overall play was solid, as he completed 69.2% of his passes with an adjusted completion percentage of 82.9%. His late-game composure felt like a highlight in its own right and is sure to have caught the attention of NFL scouts.

Most draft analysts have either Young or Ohio State's C.J. Stroud as the QB1 of next year's draft.

Hendon Hooker, QB (Tennessee)

Passing: 27-of-42, 325 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Rushing: 15 carries, 27 yards, 0 TDs

One of the emerging talents from last year's 2021 season, Hendon Hooker and the Vols are off to a 2-0 start following their 34-27 road win over Pitt.

In a game that needed to be sorted out in overtime, Hooker rose to the occasion in the extra frame when he found wide receiver Cedric Tillman on a 28-yard touchdown that would wind up being the final score of the game.

Hooker stepped up into the pocket to avoid pressure before finding Tillman in single coverage for the score. The play came just after a 10-yard holding penalty had set the Vols back to 2nd and 13, but much like Young, Hooker was undeterred in coming out with the win.

Hooker's longest play on the day also went to Tillman, after Hooker found his receiver down the right sideline on a wide-open deep ball. It was a beautifully thrown ball by Hooker, who attempted 10 deep passes on the day per PFF, as he completed three for 121 yards and two scores.

An aggressive passer of the football, Hooker ranked fourth in the nation last season in yards per attempt (9.7) and is sitting on an 8.1 YPA through two games this year – despite an ADOT of 11.4.

He's yet to break off any significant runs this season, but Hooker has also managed 55 yards on the ground to go with two scores. Hooker has a chance to emerge as one of the top quarterbacks of next year's class, although he's unlikely to unseat Young or Stroud.

Bijan Robinson, RB (Texas)

Rushing: 21 carries, 57 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: 3 receptions, 73 yards, 0 TDs

On the Longhorns' side of last week's upset attempt, Bijan Robinson – the potential No. 1 running back of the 2023 draft class – compiled 130 yards from scrimmage and a score against a stout Alabama defense.

As one might imagine, Robinson was held mostly in check but found a way to churn out some much-needed big plays.

His lone score on the day came on a one-yard touchdown plunge in the second quarter, but his longest play came on a 42-yard reception from a pass he hauled in from roughly 20-yards downfield.

Through two games, Robinson has a rushing line of 31-128-2 to go with six receptions for 113 yards and another score. He's yet to crack 100 rushing yards in a game, but it's easy to see why fantasy drafters are eager to roster him next season – and beyond.

Per PFF, Robinson has already forced 15 missed tackles on his rushing attempts alone and is averaging a solid 3.35 YCO/ATT. His yards per route run currently sit at 2.69 – well above his career mark of 1.59

For those looking to see him in action, Robinson faces UTSA next weekend in what could be his best performance of the young season.

Deuce Vaughn, RB (Kansas State)

Rushing: 24 carries, 145 yards, 2 TDs
Receiving: 1 reception, 4 yards, 0 TDs

Currently ranked as the ninth-best running back of the 2023 class by Mock Draft Database, Kansas State's Deuce Vaughn enjoyed a big day against Missouri.

An undersized back at 5-foot-6, 176-pounds, Vaughn's durability at the NFL level will come into question, but there's no denying his contributions on the field.

Vaughn's first score of the day came on a one-yard run, but he added another score on a 24-yard rush early in the fourth quarter to give the Wildcats a 33-6 lead.

During his 2021 campaign, Vaughn caught 49 passes for 468 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 1.94 yards per route run. This season, his pass-catching has gotten off to a slow start. He has just two receptions for six yards on the season on just five targets. Although it's worth noting Kansas State has faced two easy teams out of the gate – outscoring their opponents 74-12 on the year. There's a good chance Vaughn sees more passing work as the games become more competitive later in the season.

Having already logged 42 carries for 271 yards and three touchdowns, Vaughn's 2022 has gotten off to a nice start. I expect the passes to come in due time, as his receiving upside may be his most valuable asset at the next level.

Cedric Tillman, WR (Tennessee)

Receiving: 9 receptions, 162 yards, 1 TD

As previously mentioned, Cedric Tillman secured the 28-yard game-winning touchdown last weekend against Pittsburgh and caught another 61-yard pass earlier in the day.

But on the whole, Tillman had a truly elite day through the air, finishing with the seventh-most yards of any player on the weekend while also posting a 16.8 ADOT. Tillman was targeted six times on passes that traveled 20+ yards downfield, with his two deep receptions being the ones we have already touched on.

Ranked as the seventh-best receiver of the 2023 class on Mock Draft Database, Tillman's name is one we'll hear a lot of throughout the season. The speedy deep threat broke out for 64-1081-12 last season with the Vols and has averaged 16.5 yards per reception for his career. Fellow wide receiver Velus Jones is now with the Chicago Bears, which should only offer more opportunities for Tillman this season.

Tillman already has 25 targets through the first two games of this season after seeing 86 all of last season. It will be interesting to see how he and the Vols perform once SEC play gets underway.

A.T. Perry, WR (Wake Forest)

Receiving: 5 receptions, 142 yards, 1 TD

If you're unfamiliar with Wake Forest wide receiver A.T. Perry now, you won't be by next offseason. A 6-foot-5, 205-pound force, Perry and the high-flying Demon Deacon offense topped Vanderbilt by a score of 45-25 last weekend, thanks in part to the return of quarterback Sam Hartman.

Last season, Perry emerged for 71-1296-15, averaging 18.3 YPR and 4.5 YAC/REC. After a quiet Week 1 against Virginia Military Institute, Perry needed just five receptions to top 140 yards last weekend against Vanderbilt.

Perry and Hartman wasted little time re-familiarizing themselves with one another after Hartman found Perry for a 68-yard touchdown to close out the first quarter.

The day could've been much bigger for Perry, who drew 10 targets on the afternoon, but this won't be the last time we hear about big games from the 14th-ranked receiver in the Mock Draft Database.

Perry will draw the attention of scouts with his strong production and elite size. Perry could generate serious draft buzz if he turns in a strong 40-time at next year's NFL Scouting Combine.