Jameis Winston, QB Florida State
The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner. Winner of 29 straight games. How can he be overrated? A year ago, Winston, and the Seminoles benefited from the play of wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and a much stronger running game. Minus those two features, Winston struggled. Sure, FSU still went unbeaten during the regular season, beat Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship game, and qualified for the College Football Playoff as the No. 3 seed. But, it was on the biggest stage in the national semifinal where Winston showed his true colors. He failed to get in the end zone on a fourth-and-goal from the one, threw a costly interception, and fumbled as he was flushed from the pocket only to watch an Oregon’s Tony Washington return the miscue for a 58-yard touchdown.
Bo Wallace, QB Ole Miss
Yes, the Rebels had a tremendous season, Yes, Wallace was a big part of it. But in the end, Wallace was one of the prime reasons why Ole Miss fell from its shot at a berth in the first-ever College Football Playoff to a 9-3 regular season. Nowhere was it more evident than in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl where threw two interceptions that resulted in TCU going up 14-0 on its way to a 42-3 victory. Wallace would go 10-for-23 for a measly 109 yards on the day to go with three INTs. Wallace did lead Ole Miss to victory over Alabama and to a 7-0 start, but he and the rest of the Rebels faltered down the stretch going just 2-4 in their final six games. The Wallace-led offense generated just seven points in a loss to LSU and were shut out by an unranked Arkansas squad.
Christian Hackenberg, QB Penn State
“If he were eligible, he would be the top prospect in the draft.” Statements like these have been made about Hackenberg since he became just the second true freshman in school history to start the season-opener. Yes, it’s true that the Nittany Lions had some injuries in their offensive line that made Hackenberg’s sophomore season a bit rough. The 6-4, 234-pound QB completed just 55 percent of his passes and threw only 12 touchdowns for the season. It wasn’t like his teammates were scoring either. Penn State had one of the worst (120th in the nation) rushing attacks in college football and averaged just 20.6 points per game. In a game where you are measured by wins and losses, Hackenberg and Penn State lost six of their last eight regular season games.
DeVante Parker, WR Louisville
When you think of Louisville football, you think of Bobby Petrino’s pass-happy offenses that usually generate a lot of points, some pretty good quarterbacks, and a wealth of capable receivers. One such receiver is Devontae Parker. Parker (6-3, 209) is long, lean, and a great athlete. He also happens to be the Cardinals best wide receiver. So, why is it that the best receiver in a pass happy offense, a returning All-ACC player nonetheless, catch just 43 balls for 855 yards? That’s barely over three receptions a game. Yes, the Cards had some quarterback issues, but they still threw for over 250 yards per game. Parker may excel at the next level, but he sure didn’t turn many heads during his senior season.
Kenny Hill, QB Texas A&M
Hill was the heir apparent to former Aggies Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. He beat out five-star freshman Kyle Allen to win the starting QB job last fall. He then proceeded to break Manziel’s single-game record when he threw for 554 yards in a season-opening win over South Carolina. Now, he’ll likely transfer. Hill had seven turnovers as Texas A&M lost three straight games in the middle of the season knocking them out of SEC and national championship contention. Hill was then suspended for two games for violating team rules and then eventually gave way to the Texas high school phenom Allen, who led the Aggies to a Liberty Bowl victory over West Virginia throwing for 294 yards and four touchdowns.