We've reached the halfway mark of the college football season. Every year at this time, I like to look at my player notes from the summer to see which players are performing at a higher level than I expected. That's one of the great things about scouting players at the collegiate level -- you get to see some of them make major strides from one year to the next. However, you will also see a few players regress and take a step back from their previous performance.
With that in mind, I reached out to five NFL executives to get their opinion on which player's performance has surprised them the most this fall. Here are their answers.
Executive 1: Memphis WR Anthony Miller
"He's a highly productive, competitive receiver who plays faster than he will test. He runs very good routes and has a large catching radius. All he does is make plays."
Executive 2: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield
"I was stunned when I went to Oklahoma. I thought Baker Mayfield was going to be a (weak)-armed, run-around guy but I was wrong. He's got plenty of arm strength and he definitely has the 'it' factor. He put on a show when I watched him at practice. He'll be a starting quarterback in the NFL."
Executive 3: Stanford RB Bryce Love
"He was outstanding the whole first half. Never saw 1,300 (yards) and 11 touchdowns coming. Very impressive vision, run after contact, quickness, inside run production, and finishing long runs."
Executive 4: Clemson QB Kelly Bryant
"He took over after (Deshaun) Watson left and leads a young team. He has been a critical player for them."
Executive 5: Bryce Love
"There have been a couple guys that really impressed me during my West Coast swing. The running back at San Diego State (Rashaad Penny) is the real deal. Also, the quarterback at Arizona (Khalil Tate) has been a big playmaker for them. But, the biggest surprise for me has been Bryce Love up at Stanford. I had no idea he was this good."
Summary: That's two votes for Love and one apiece for Bryant, Mayfield and Miller.
Conclusion: This is an interesting mix of players, and I agree with the choices of Mayfield and Love. I was familiar with both guys from my summer studies and they've exceeded my expectation this fall. Their stock continues to soar. I wasn't familiar with the Miller and Bryant prior to the season, but their play has been exceptional. I look forward to digging into their tape down the road.