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3-Point Stance

3-Point Stance

3-Point Stance

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="large"][vc_column_text]National Columnist Mike Farrell is here with who will replace the big stars in the Big Ten, a stock report on the SEC and five early sleepers for the NFL Draft next season.

— Replacing key players is always hard. But what about elite stars? Even harder. Here are the names to watch in the Big Ten.

Being Replaced: DE's Aidan Hutchinson & David Ojabo, Michigan

Replacements: Michael Morris & Taylor Upshaw

Starting you off with a two-for-one, let's look at Michigan who has to replace two of the best edge players in the country last season in Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo. Michael Morris and Taylor Upshaw are both upperclassmen who seem to have the upper hand in securing those two starting spots coming out of spring ball. They're not going to replicate the production that the Wolverines got out of Hutchinson and Ojabo, but they should definitely be above-average.

Being Replaced: WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Replacement: Parker Washington

Washington was the starter opposite of Dotson last year, but he now steps in the role of the true number one receiver for the Nittany Lions. Washington has shown good hands and big-play ability, but he'll have to improve working off of press coverage if he's going to have the same impact that Dotson did.

Being Replaced: LB Leo Chenal, Wisconsin

Replacement: Jordan Turner

The Badgers' All-American linebacker got drafted in the 3rd round by the Chiefs after declaring early, and the guy who's slated to replace him is almost a polar opposite when it comes to skill sets. Turner is a fantastic coverage linebacker, registering two interceptions in very limited snaps in 2021, and showing great range, which were Chenal's two biggest weaknesses. Turner won't have the pure power and ability to get in the backfield that Chenal has, but he will help shore up the middle of the field in pass coverage.

Being Replaced: WRs Chris Olave & Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

Replacements: Marvin Harrison Jr. & Emeka Egbuka

Despite losing two first-round picks to the NFL, the Buckeyes still have an embarrassment of riches at receiver. Jaxon Smith-Njigba will continue to be the top receiver on this team, but Harrison Jr. and Egbuka will move into the outside receiver positions that were typically manned by Olave and Wilson while JSN worked out of the slot. Both Harrison and Egbuka were top-50 talents coming out of high school, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if CJ Stroud made all three of these guys 1,000-yard receivers this year.

Being Replaced: WR David Bell, Purdue

Replacement: Broc Thompson

For the second year in a row, the Boilermakers have to replace an All-conference receiver. Thompson though has shown that he might be ready for the spotlight after winning MVP honors at the Music City Bowl this year. Purdue fans are hoping that his seven catches for 217 yards and two scores in that game are a preview of things to come.

— The stock market is a nightmare these days and impossible to predict. College football is a little easier so here’s a report on the SEC. I'm looking at how these teams have been trending since the end of the season.

Alabama: Up

Saban has absolutely killed it in the transfer portal, targeting a few key players and landing them. They've plugged their holes and should be considered the favorite heading into the season.

Arkansas: Holding Steady

A couple of guys in and out, but as long as they've got KJ Jefferson and that offensive mindset, they'll be on the right track.

Auburn: Down

It's a dumpster fire down on the Plains right now. They've landed a couple of transfers in the past few weeks, but it's nothing compared to what they lost.

Florida: Up

Billy Napier has already done a great job coming in and cleaning up a lot of issues in Gainesville. They landed some really solid transfers (albeit many coming over from Louisiana with Napier) and should be much better in 2022.

Georgia: Down

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There's nowhere to go but down from the top, and it didn't help that they haven't landed anyone in the portal as of yet while losing a couple of contributors. That being said, they're still the reigning national champs and will be in the mix to repeat this year.

Kentucky: Up

Will Levis is seemingly everyone's favorite quarterback in the 2023 draft outside of CJ Stroud and Bryce Young. Now he has to lead Kentucky over Georgia in the east without do-it-all WR Wan'Dale Robinson.

LSU: Down

The Brian Kelly fit still feels.... off. Jayden Daniels is an intriguing pickup in the portal, but it feels like this team is going to be a middle-of-the-road squad in the West this year.

Mississippi State: Holding Steady

Not a ton to report from Starkville - the Bulldogs are going to continue to sling the ball around the yard 50+ times per game and hope their defense can hold up.

Missouri: Down

Mizzou has lost a lot of guys from a middling team last season and it's going to be tough sledding for Eli Drinkwitz. I don't have a great feeling about this squad moving forward unless something drastically changes.

Ole Miss: Up

Lane Kiffin is the self-proclaimed king of the transfer portal, and it's easy to see why he would say that. They brought in as much talent as anyone and you can make a decent argument they're the second strongest team in the West right now.

South Carolina: Up

Shane Beamer has a clear connection with the players that is paying dividends in Columbia. They landed Spencer Rattler, one of the most coveted names in the portal, as well as his teammate Austin Stogner and will be a tough out for everyone.

Tennessee: Up

There's a lot of positive momentum right now for Josh Heupel and co. Hendon Hooker is getting darkhorse Heisman buzz already and the offense should be great this year.

Texas A&M: Up

The Aggies brought in the best recruiting class in program history and seem to have a lot of momentum rolling in the right direction with the addition of Max Johnson to steady the quarterback position.

Vanderbilt: Down

Can't go down very far when you're already at the bottom, yet the Commodores have somehow managed to do that. They still haven't figured out what they're doing behind center with two very different quarterbacks in Ken Seals and Mike Wright battling it out for the third straight season. They lost the best player on their team (Tyler Steen) to Alabama in the portal as well.

— And finally, I’m going to give you five names of players who could be first-rounders next April that you probably haven’t heard of yet.

OL Christian Mahogony, Boston College — Nasty offensive linemen from Boston College are usually coveted and he could be the nastiest in a long time.

DE Habakkuk Baldonado, Pitt — Haven’t heard of him? He had nine sacks and 12 tackles for a loss last season in a breakout year.

LB Jestin Jacobs, Iowa — He could be the best linebacker in the draft. Just watch. He’s a great athlete.

QB Clayton Tune, Houston — You’ll hear about all the Power Five quarterbacks but if a Group of Five is to emerge it could be Tune.

CB Garrett Williams, Syracuse — This kid has a knack for playing the ball in the air and gets overshadowed by the Kelee Ringo and Elias Ricks of the world.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]More links:

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