Stock watch: QB studs and duds
This was labeled the "Year of the Quarterback," thanks to a bevy of talent that includes Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen and more. With half of the season in the books, how have the top signal-callers fared?
Earlier this week, colleague Adam Rittenberg compiled his midseason ESPN.com All-America team. So David Hale and I decided to do the same in the ACC. Here is a look at standout players in the conference from the first half of the season.
QB: Lamar Jackson, Louisville. Though the Cards have already lost twice, Jackson still ranks No. 2 in the nation in total offense (416.7 yards per game)
RB: KirVonte Benson, Georgia Tech. Benson has stepped into the starting job without a problem and leads all ACC running backs with an average of 119 yards per game.
RB: Nyheim Hines, NC State. Hines has done virtually everything for the Wolfpack and has 1,000 all-purpose yards already.
WR: Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech. Phillips has been dominant, averaging over 100 yards per game.
WR: Steve Ishmael, Syracuse. Ishmael leads the nation in receptions (56) and receiving yards (729).
TE: Jaylen Samuels, NC State. The versatile Samuels has not disappointed, with 554 total yards and eight total touchdowns.
OT: Mitch Hyatt, Clemson. Hyatt is having another another solid year.
OT: Will Richardson, NC State. Since returning from a two-game suspension, Richardson has played in nearly every offensive snap and has not given up a sack.
OG: Parker Braun, Georgia Tech. The Jackets are rolling with their ground game thanks in large part to the play of Braun.
OG: Tony Adams, NC State. Adams has teamed with Richardson on the right side of the line to form the best offensive-line duo in the league.
C: Tyler Gauthier, Miami. Gauthier stepped into the starting center job this season and has been solid.
DE: Bradley Chubb, NC State. Chubb has been on another level, ranking second in the nation with 14 tackles for loss.
DE: Austin Bryant, Clemson. Bryant has five sacks and 11 tackles for loss on the best defensive line in the country.
DT: Christian Wilkins, Clemson. Wilkins has been just as dominant playing on the interior of the defensive line and is a big reason why the Tigers are allowing less than 100 yards per game rushing.
DT: Tim Settle, Virginia Tech. Settle has come into his own for the Hokies' defense, and that has been welcome news for coordinator Bud Foster.
LB: Micah Kiser, Virginia. Kiser once again is a tackling machine, leading the league with 11 tackles per game.
LB: Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech. Edmunds has 50 tackles and two forced fumbles this season.
LB: Dorian O'Daniel, Clemson. O'Daniel has been outstanding for the Tigers, with 41 tackles, two interceptions and 2.5 sacks.
S: Quin Blanding, Virginia. Blanding is right behind Kiser in tackles, and is in the middle of his best season to date.
S: Lukas Denis, Boston College. Denis is tied for the national lead with five interceptions, and he's also got 46 tackles and nine passes defended.
CB: Greg Stroman, Virginia Tech. Stroman has stood out, with nine passes defended and an interception.
CB: M.J. Stewart, North Carolina. Though the Tar Heels' defense has struggled, Stewart has been a bright spot.
AP: Greg Dortch, Wake Forest. Dortch ranks second in the ACC in all-purpose yards (136 per game), and has become a go-to receiver in the Demon Deacons' offense.
K: Ricky Aguayo, Florida State. Aguayo is 10-of-12 on field-goal attempts, including a crucial 51-yarder against Wake Forest.
P: Will Spiers, Clemson. Spiers is averaging 44 yards per punt and has landed 12 inside the 20. Plus, he executed a fake perfectly with a pass completion last week against Wake Forest.