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Highest-graded players at every position through Week 2 of the 2021 college football season

Sep 11, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Dontario Drummond (11) runs the ball against Austin Peay Governors defensive back Kory Chapman (6) during the first quarter at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

In what was expected to be a rather uneventful Week 2 of the 2021 college football season, we saw upsets galore. The Florida State Seminoles, USC Trojans, Texas Longhorns and Ohio State Buckeyes, among other big schools, fell at the hands of underdogs.

These are the top-graded players from both the Power Five and the Group of Five conferences through Week 2. There are a lot of changes from last week, as we are still early in the campaign. These ebbs and flows should smooth out in the coming weeks.


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Quarterback 

Power Five: Brennan Armstrong, Virginia Cavaliers | 94.9 PFF Grade

Some may want to avert their eyes, but a lefty has taken over the top spot of the quarterback rankings. Armstrong was a sneaky pick to have a breakout season last year, and he’s been excellent so far in leading the Cavaliers to two big wins. He has a minuscule 3.9% negatively graded play rate with a 28.2% positively graded play rate. He ranks second in the Power Five with seven big-time throws, and his seven touchdowns are tied for first.

Group of Five: Layne Hatcher, Arkansas State Red Wolves | 93.2 PFF Grade

Hatcher has been putting up big numbers for the Red Wolves for three seasons now. He posted passing grades of 90.0 and 82.6 the past two seasons, respectively, while splitting time at the position. So far this year — and he’s not splitting time anymore —  his passing grade is 92.7 through two outings. He’s yet to make a turnover-worthy play, and his adjusted completion percentage —  taking into account drops, throwaways and spikes —  leads the Group of Five (84.8%). 

Running Back

Power Five: Zach Charbonnet, UCLA Bruins | 90.8 PFF Grade

Charbonnet and UCLA were off this week after the team's big win against LSU, but that didn’t stop the running back from taking over the top spot in the rankings. Twelve of his 17 carries have gone for a first down or a touchdown. And none of his runs have resulted in a loss or no gain. His forced missed tackle rate of 0.82 ranks second among Power Five running backs, and so does his whopping 13.1 yards per carry.

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