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3-Point Stance

3-Point Stance Insta - Brandon Joseph

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="1424" img_size="large"][vc_column_text]National Columnist Mike Farrell is here with the top safeties landed in the portal, reasons why Boston College is the sleeper to watch in the ACC Atlantic, and his annual list of potential overrated round one NFL Draft projections.

— We keep rolling along with the top players from the transfer portal with the best five safeties so far.

1. Brandon Joseph (Notre Dame)

Joseph was an All-American in 2020 while leading the nation in interceptions. He's going to the perfect school and scheme for a guy as versatile as him. Expect a return to All-American form and a potential high draft pick.

2. Devonni Reed (South Carolina)

A back-to-back all-conference selection, Reed is an impact defender and can step up in big moments. He's got a knack for the ball and won't be afraid of SEC competition - he had a pick-6 against LSU just last year.

3. Latavious Brini (Arkansas)

A nice addition for an Arkansas team that lost one of the other guys on this list to a fellow in-conference rival, Brini is a reliable player on the back end. He's been buried behind Lewis Cine and Christopher Smith for the Bulldogs, but when he's played he's been a solid contributor for an elite defense.

4. Christian Gonzalez (Oregon)

Another in-conference transfer, Gonzalez paired with Isaiah Lewis last year to form a strong safety tandem that far too often had to cover up for mistakes in front of them. Gonzalez will look to play a role similar to Lewis Cine's from last season in Dan Lanning's system.

5. Joe Foucha (LSU)

Foucha was a key member of Arkansas' strong defensive unit last season, and he's heading to LSU to continue the long line of great defensive back play. There's plenty of spots up for grabs in Brian Kelly's first season, so don't be surprised when he's the opening day starter.

— And I continue to make a case for a dark horse in each Power Five division with the ACC Atlantic today. Here’s the case for Boston College.

1. Healthy Phil Jurkovec

The big-armed QB was playing very good football until he got injured early in the season. He came back earlier than expected from a wrist injury but was clearly not the same. He's a really talented kid, who is among the best decision-makers in college football and if he stays healthy a promising passing attack will compliment BC’s aggressive offense.

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2. Zay Flowers, back again

One of the best receivers in the ACC, Flowers is an underrated gem for the Eagles. He catches everything that comes near him and isn't afraid to go over the middle. He's the perfect target for Jurkovec.

3. Jeff Hafley

I've been saying for a while that Hafley is one of the best young coaches in the game, and I mean it. BC has been killed by the injury bug since he got there, but he's still been able to field really competitive teams. He's going to be a hot commodity for the blue bloods searching for a new head coach.

4. Backfield Depth

Patrick Garwo is the unquestioned leader in the room, having rushed for over 1,000 yards last season. I'm high on Xavier Coleman - he wasn't a super heavily recruited guy out of high school, but he's very versatile and should be able to contribute in a variety of ways. Alec Sinkfield has also been a reliable player for the past couple of seasons and provides excellent depth.

5. Strength on the defensive line

The Eagles return a lot of guys from last season upfront on the defense and have also added an intriguing piece in Regen Terry from Arizona. Shitta Sillah and Marcus Valdez are a really nice starting pair at defensive end with two young guys with a lot of upside behind them in Donovan Ezeiraku and Neto Okpala. Watch out for a big year from nose tackle Chibueze Onwuka as well - he's a guy who made a huge impact in 2020 before missing a lot of last season.

— And finally as usual I call out the overrated in the NFL Draft with some players I just don’t think will pan out despite first rounder projections.

DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

I, like many others, worry about his ability against the run and love for the game. Maybe he’s just a confident kid but since high school I’ve wondered if he was great at a sports he liked but didn’t love.

OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State

I don’t see enough consistent pass sets to make me think he can be an elite tackle in the NFL.

OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

Penalties worry me — a lot.

LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

He’s fast but small and needs the right scheme to be successful and that’s not an easy fit.

QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt

He’s not a first-round talent with his arm strength but that’s just me.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]