Week 6 of the college football season is in the books. Let’s take a look and see how some NFL Draft prospects made out.
There were big college football games played throughout the Saturday slate. Some big names stepped up in rivalry games and put up monster performances. With the games behind us, it is time to take a look and see how NFL draft-eligible prospects helped or hurt themselves this week.
5. Wisconsin Offensive Line – Stock Up
Entering the season, there was no better overall unit in the country than the Wisconsin Badgers offensive line. There was a real chance that at every position was not only an NFL caliber player but a draftable player. That may not seem like a big deal, but that is a massive achievement for a five-man unit. David Edwards at tackle and Beau Benzschawel and Tyler Biadiaz on the interior lead the way for the unit. Both players should have their names called before Round 3 in April. They get the nod this week after paving the way for a dominating performance from sophomore running back Johnathan Taylor in which he carried the ball 22 times for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Wisconsin rolled winless Nebraska. They will need continued dominant performances as their Big Ten schedules get underway.
4. Quarterback Play – Stock down
A theme throughout college football for NFL draft fans has been the quarterback debate. Oregon’s Justin Herbert seems to be running away with the top spot. The rest of the class is up in the air. Common names with Herbert have been Will Grier, Jarrett Stidham and Drew Lock. This was not a great week for those three.
While West Virginia won, Grier did not look comfortable with the Kansas defense attacking him constantly. He will need to show the ability to handle pressure better if he is going to be a round one talent. Three interceptions in the red zone are not what first round quarterbacks do.
Like Grier, Drew Lock has struggled when his pocket has not been kept clean. Lock failed to find the end zone and threw two picks against South Caroline in a loss. Meanwhile, Stidham’s hype may fully be extinguished after going 19-for-38 for 214 yards in a blow out loss at Mississippi State. Herbert may have benefited simply by not playing this weekend after his peers put up some duds on Saturday.
3. Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame – Stock up
There is little debate atop the cornerback class come April. LSU’s Greedy Williams is the country’s top corner and nothing looks like it will change. Williams has been stellar in the start of the season with little going to occur to slow him down.
Behind him is where the debate will rage. One name that is adding himself to that list is Notre Dame’s, Julian Love. The 5-foot-11 junior offers NFL ready size and is adding the production to boot. Love had a great game in the Irish’s win over Virginia Tech Saturday night. He finished with seven tackles, an interception, a pass break-up and a defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery. Love is a name to keep an eye on as the season progresses, possibly as a Top 50 corner.
2. 2019 Wide receiver class – Stock up
We have not reached peak draft season yet but expect the 2019 wide receiver class to get touted alongside the epic 2014 class. In 2014 the following receivers were selected; Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin, Marqise Lee, Paul Richardson, Davante Adams, Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry, and Quincy Enunwa. That is elite NFL talent well into the fifth and sixth receiver taken. That can be the case with this 2019 class.
The duo in South Carolina, Bryan Edwards and Deebo Samuel finally found a competent quarterback and it showed. North Carolina State’s Kelvin Harmon is a big man doing big man things. Stanford’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside continues to LeBron James people all over the red zone. That did not even mention the speedy trio for Ohio State or the elite trio in Ole Miss. This class has a chance to be special and deep and add talent to an already loaded position in the NFL.
Miami wide receiver Ahmmon Richards, a prospect many saw as a top 50 prospect has been told his football career is over. The junior burst on the scene his freshman year and many expected his junior year to top that after an injury-plagued sophomore season. The NFL would have loved a receiver like Richards who had WR1 traits and played bigger than his size.
1. Edge play in the state of Florida – Stock up
What a day to be an edge player for one of Florida’s three biggest schools. The best of the bunch on Saturday was UF’s Jachai Polite. The junior has burst on the draft scene in recent weeks. His play against LSU was eye-opening. He added another two sacks and lived in the Tiger’s backfield. Polite can still work on his rush plan a bit but that bend and athleticism are elite.
Speaking of elite bend and athleticism, Florida State’s Brian Burns was a wrecking ball in Saturday’s loss to the Miami Hurricanes. Burns tacked on two sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass break-up. He looked unstoppable at times as he frequently beat Miami’s tackles around the edge with excellent bend and power.
Finally across the field, Miami’s Joe Jackson continued his strong 2018 campaign. A week after scoring a defensive touchdown, the junior got to the quarterback twice and added another pass break-up. Both Jackson and Burns were closer to bigger days on many occasion. All three are going to see a role in the NFL and continue to grow throughout the season.