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College football players to watch for: Week 13

Related: #PostPulpit Mailbag: It’s time to let Cam Newton air it out

Florida vs Georgia Photo by Hannah White/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The college football season is winding down, that means we’re about to get weird with the way games are scheduled. Every year, around the week of thanksgiving, games are spread out all across the week. Often leaving us with just a 28-game slate like we have today. Luckily when we head into next week (a crucial one for playoff seeding and conference championship matchups) we will have 50 games to study and obsess over, you all do that too right?

Since the schedule is so wimpy this week, I decided we’d do something special. Something that you guys have been clamoring for. We’re gonna talk about quarterbacks!

Now if you haven’t realized by now, I’m very much looking forward to Cam Newton being the New England Patriots’ quarterback in 2021. Despite my feelings, I realize that some of you could not feel more uncomfortable with that idea. So in the interest of fairness, let’s take a look at some college football quarterbacks to watch for in Week 13.

Before we look at this week’s players, let us check up on the guys we profiled last week.

Jonathan Adams Jr. (#9), WR, Arkansas State

  • Adams Jr. continued to show his dominance over small school competition this week with 10 catches for 141 yards and two ridiculous touchdowns in Arkansas State’s 45-47 loss to Texas State. If you’re looking for a WR with the tools, this is your guy.

Charlie Kolar (#88), TE, Iowa State

  • Kolar played well against Kansas State catching two balls for 22 yards and a touchdown as Iowa State blew out the Wildcats 45-0. Kolar rode the bench along with most of the other starters for about two and a half quarters.

Tylan Wallace (#2), WR, Oklahoma State

  • Tylan Wallace was a victim of the entire Oklahoma defense having a career game on the same night. The Pokes star receiver only turned in four receptions for 68 yards in Oklahoma State’s 41-13 loss to Oklahoma.

Nick Bolton (#32), LB, Mizzou

  • Talk about an ugly football game. Mizzou came away with the 17-10 victory over South Carolina. Bolton had eight tackles and 2.0 tackles for loss in the win. I’d be lying to you if I said this game wasn’t the most boring thing i’ve ever watched.

Kyle Trask (#11), QB, Florida

  • As a precursor of what’s to come this week, I gave you a taste at the QB life with Kyle Trask last Saturday. He delivered and gained on his lead for the Heisman with a 383 yard, 3 touchdown performance against Vandy without his best weapon in Kyle Pitts. The Gators won 38-17.

*Weekly Disclaimer* I am not predicting that the Patriots will draft any of these players, I am just connecting the dots on who could fit in or have ties to New England.

Let’s talk QB’s baby.

Trevor Lawrence (#16), QB, Clemson

  • Gametime: 3:30pm
  • Matchup: Pittsburgh
  • Network: ABC

HERE ME OUT! Trevor Lawrence is going to be the number one overall pick, the New York Jets are quite possible going 0-16. Patriots fans need to watch Lawrence because they’ll be seeing him twice a year for at least the next five years.

Lawrence is the best prospect we’ve seen since Andrew Luck. He can make every throw, he limits mistakes, he can run better than some receivers and most importantly, he wins.

In all likelihood Lawrence will be a Jet come next fall. This might be the last time Patriot fans get to watch him and actually root for him. Take advantage of the opportunity, he’s truly special to watch.

Kenny Pickett (#8), QB, Pittsburgh

  • Gametime: 3:30pm
  • Matchup: Clemson
  • Network: ABC

Now let’s get into possible Patriot targets. The next three men I mention fall under the umbrella of a Jarrett Stidham type prospect. High upside with little to no risk.

Though others have seen their draft stock rise more dramatically (Zach Wilson, Mac Jones) no quarterback has shown more growth in 2020 than Kenny Pickett. The 6’2”, 225 lb signal caller has improved his completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception ratio, and QB rating in his three years at a starter. Most importantly, his teams records and rankings have improved as well. Pickett moves well and can create plays, his arm talent doesn’t jump off the page but he has made some incredible throws. He’s consistently lead Pitt to come from behind victory’s and shows the talent to improve on the field.

I’ll talk about it with our next two profiles but taking a mid round quarterback, and looking to develop him into something more in the future is a new age NFL things, and it works. Guys like Jarrett Stidham, Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason, James Morgan, Will Grier, and Ryan Finley have all been drafted in Rounds 3-to-5 in the past two years. None of them will start by design and few even have capability to be starters, but they were taken as either expensive insurance policies, or potential high reward picks. The Patriots have a lot of decisions to make at QB this offseason, bringing in another can't make things worse.

Pickett will be the forgotten man in his matchup with Clemson, he will however be much more important to his teams success than Lawrence. Watching him command a team against a much superior opponent will be a good sign of where he is as a prospect at this point.

Mac Jones (#10), QB, Alabama

  • Gametime: 3:30pm
  • Matchup: Auburn
  • Network: CBS

Mac Jones spent three seasons backing up Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, with both heading to the NFL in 2020, he got his opportunity this year and he ran with it. He’s taken full advantage of his gaggle of weapons (three future first-round picks) throwing 18 touchdowns and only three interceptions with a 77.1% completion percentage. He’s a fundamentally sound QB who takes what he’s given, and is tough as hell.

This year’s QB class is fairly top heavy but it’s deep. There could be anywhere from 10-20 quarterbacks drafted this season and Jones might be in the top 6. I see a perfect opportunity to take a Stidham like approach with Jones. A mid-round selection with the talent to morph into a future starter. If the Patriots saw that in Stidham, I don’t know how they wouldn’t see it in Jones.

Jones and his Alabama teammates will play in the Iron Bowl this weekend, one of the best games to watch each and every college football season. This could be Mac Jones’ moment to show what he’s got.

Kellen Mond (#11), QB, Texas A&M

  • Gametime: 7:00pm
  • Matchup: LSU
  • Network: ESPN

Kellen Mond is an interesting prospect. He doesn’t wow anyone with his arm talent or athleticism but he’s the definition of a gamer. He’s so poised, almost never looking rattled, and shows his toughness each and every week as that Texas A&M offensive line consistently puts him through hell. He’s grown significantly under Jimbo Fisher and improved his stats and the Aggies rank every year as a starter. Sitting at No. 5 in the CFB playoff poll, A&M is in their best spot in years, all behind their Senior QB.

I really like Mond’s fit as a developmental prospect. The Patriots will almost certainly take a look at a QB in the draft and Mond is a real possibility. Using the same argument as Jones, Mond is a guy who could grow into a potential starter that you could get in the mid to later rounds. Why not take a flyer? It’s worked out before.

Texas A&M vs. LSU is always a fun matchup. A couple of seasons back A&M pulled out a 74-72 victory over the Tigers in a seven-overtime contest. LSU isn’t the same team they were last year but they’re still as talented as they come on defense. Mond has a tremendous opportunity to show out this week.

Kyle Trask (#11), QB, Florida

  • Gametime: 12:00pm
  • Matchup: Kentucky
  • Network: ESPN

You were sitting fastball, I gave you the 12-6 curve. You never saw it coming.

For the second straight week we’re talking about Kyle Trask. Why? Because he’s the best option for New England. Last week you read about how he fit in New England when I said this:

Trask is a proven commodity in a very similar system (to New England’s). He has some similar tools to Cam Newton (size, athleticism, arm strength) with better mechanics. He’s certainly not Cam but since he has similar tools the Patriots would be a great system for him to grow in, perhaps better than anywhere else. A guy that could possibly slip into the 2nd round could be a nice reward in the future.

In addition to that, drafting Kyle Trask in the second round would allow you to maximize your assets. You still have that uber valuable top-20 pick (let’s face it, it will be top-20) to do with what you’d like, and you can still draft a top five quarterback to develop in your system.

I do not think there is a better fit for a team/player combo than Trask and the Patriots. It could very well happen.