NEWS AND INFORMATION ON THE NFL DRAFT
WHO TO WATCH IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL THIS WEEKEND
by Pigskin Paul Guillemette, GBN Associate Editor and Chief Scout
*Note that prospects draft prospects at this time are denoted via a star rating system as follows:
4* = Round 1; 3* = Top 100; 2* = Draftable; 1* = URFA.
It's the final "full"
weekend of the college football season. And the action is highlighted
by Conference Championship games. Some of these are fascinating
match-ups, as well as featuring some of he top NFL Draft prospects in
the country. Here are the "must" games and players you should watch.
Welcome to the last
full weekend of College Football 2014 season style. There will still be
Conference Championships and way too many Bowl Games to watch in the
coming month plus, but this is the last full slate of regular season
games. So enjoy, and in fact savor, the final course of your 2014
(10-1) BY 4 @ MISSISSIPPI (8-3); SATURDAY; 3:30 PM ET; CBS
The general paucity of
games, especially key match-ups is our first legit indicator that the
college football season is winding down. But at least for a few more
weeks we have some solid competitive match-ups featuring NFL Draft
prospects so let's dive right into it.
Another weekend of exciting and meaningful college football action has already kicked off with week night games. But the real fireworks are yet to come. Here are 4 top games we're watching and which potential NFL Draft Picks should be drawing your attention.
MISSISSIPPI STATE (9-0) @ ALABAMA (8-1) by 4 3:30/ET/CBS
At this point there seems to be very little debate that these are the top two teams in the powerful SEC. But with multiple games left to play it cannot be assumed the winner here is a lock for the FInal Four. State is the cinderella team in D1 this season. And there is plenty of talent to back up their undefeated season this far. But I'm thinking the bubble gets burst with this trip to Tuscaloosa. I say that because clearly the strength of QB/DAK PRESCOTT's game is yardage up the middle of the field whether its by passing or his own running. But that is the strength of the Alabama Defense with big physical inside backers and FS LANDEN COLLINS. THis may time for back-up 'Bama RB/DERRICK HENRY to shine with YELDON banged up. If this is a close one and it comes down to the kicking game because of stout defenses then it could get fairly ugly. Neither team excels when it comes to piling up FG points. Both teams have multiple weapon offenses, but my money says defenses will dominate play. Let us hope this doesn't come down to a flurry of missed field goals at the end of the day.
MISSISSIPPI STATE ALABAMA
#15 DAK PRESCOTT/QB/6'2/230*** #4 TJ YELDON/RB/6'1/220****
#34 JOSH ROBINSON/RB/5'9/215*** #2 DeANDREW WHITE/WR/6'0/190**
#6 DAMION JOHNSON/TE/6'2/130** #9 AMARI COOPER/WR/6'1/205****
#63 DILLON DAY/OC/6'3/305** #77 ARIE KOUANDJIO/G/6'5/315***
#91 PRESTON SMITH/DE/6'6/267*** #26 LANDEN COLLINS/FS/6'0/215****
#50 BENARDRICK McKINNEY/LB/6'5/245**** #33 TREY DePRIEST/ILB/6'2/250***
#96 CHRIS JONES/DT/6'5/300/SO**** #19 REGGIE RAGLAND/ILB/6'2/255****
NEBRASKA (8-1) by 3 @ WISCONSIN (7-2) 3:30/ET/ABC
This game is a bit tough to call because of the questions about how healthy and how much RB/AMEER ABDULLAH will play for the Cornhuskers. But I just cannot get past the fact that the Badgers QB tandem of STAVE/McEVOY just doesn't bring enough to the table, whether individually or combined, to run a big time D1 football team. The lack of a sound passing attack is like a giant anchor dragging on the Badgers Offense. At least QB/TOMMY ARMSTRONG brings a little passing ability with him to go along with his good wheels. The NEBRASKA D should be good enough against a one-dimensional offense to keep a lid on MELVIN GORDON and the Badgers running attack.
#8 AMEER ABDULLAH/RB/5'9/195*** #25 MELVIN GORDON/RB/6'1/210****
#80 KENNY BELL/WR/6'1/185** #49 SAM ARNESON/TE/6'4/250**
#68 JAKE COTTON/OG/6'5/305* #54 KYLE COSTIGAN/OG/6'5/315*
#4 RANDY GREGORY/DE/6'6/240**** #78 ROB HAVENSTEIN/OT/6'7/325**
#6 COREY COOPER/SS/6'1/215** #59 MARCUS TROTTER/LB/6'0/230*
AUBURN (7-2) @ GEORGIA (7-2) by 3 7:15/ET/ESPN
The loser of this game is out of it relative to the SEC Championship... I think. Auburn has shown that they are incredibly deficient on the defensive side of the ball. But they sure can move it with NICK MARSHALL/QB at the helm and HC Gus Malzahn calling the plays. But when you talk about weak defenses you certainly cannot leave UHA out of the equation either. Expect to see both teams pounding the rock with strong running games. TODD GURLEY is schedules to be back from his unpaid vacation. Like many Auburn games this thing could well come down to whichever team possesses the ball last. I'll take UGA at home, but I admit that makes me a bit nervous because MARK RICHT has never impressed me as a big 'game day coach'. Watch the pro prospects frolic Saturday night.
#14 NICK MARSHALL/QB/6'1/210** #3 TODD GURLEY/RB/6'1/230****
#18 SAMMIE COATES/WR/6'2/205**** #26 MALCOLM MITCHELL/WR/RS/6'1/190***
#44 CAMERON ARTIS-PAYNE/RB/5'11/210** #82 MICHAEL BENNETT/WR/6'3/205**
#50 REESE DISMUKES/OC/6'3/295** #47 RAY DREW/DE/6'5/275**
#90 GABE WRIGHT/DT/6'3/290** #51 RAMIK WILSON/ILB/6'2/230**
#25 TROVON REED/CB/6'0/190* #58 JORDAN JENKINS/OLB/6'3/245***
#9 JERMAINE WHITEHEAD/FS/5'11/195** #5 DAMIAN SWANN/CB/5'11/180**
FLORIDA STATE (9-0) by 3 @ MIAMI (6-3)
To me the Hurricanes are the best 3-Loss team in the country. HC AL GOLDEN has the program on the up-tick with the end of NCAA investigations (for now) and a young team of primarily talented South Florida players. His true freshman QB/BRAD KAAYA is getting better with every game and his overall roster depth and talent is improving. But the phenom that is JAMEIS WINSTON/QB, just keeps working enough magic to overcome even his sudden penchant for the INT ball, and the Seminoles have never lost a game with him at the controls. It could be tight, but I expect the same result in this contest. FSU should pull out another squeaker.
FLORIDA STATE MIAMI
#5 JAMEIS WINSTON/QB/6'4/235**** #8 DUKE JOHNSON/RB/5'9/205***
#9 KARLOS WILLIAMS/RB/6'1/220** #4 PHILLIP DORSETT/WR/RS/5'10/185**
#80 RASHAD GREENE/WR/PR/6'0/180*** #46 CLIVE WALFORD/TE/6'4/260***
#35 NICK O'LEARY/TE/6'3/245** #62 SHANE McDERMOTT/OC/6'4/295*
#54 TRE JACKSON/G/6'3/335*** #71 ANTHONY CHICKILLO/DE/6'4/277**
#70 JOSUE MATIAS/G/6'6/330** # 91 OLSEN PIERRE/DT/6'5/305*
#75 CAMERON ERVING/T/6'6/300*** #52 DENZEL PERRYMAN/LB/6'0/240***
#90 EDDIE GOLDMAN/DT/6'4/315**** #34 THURSTON ARMBRISTER/OLB/6'2/235**
#15 MARIO EDWARDS/DE/6'3/295*** #37 LADARIUS GUNTER/CB/6'2/200**
BAYLOR @ OKLAHOMA by 3 Noon/ET/Fox Sports 1
Sometimes it seems that my loyalty to certain programs gets me in trouble when pick time rolls around. I still happen to think that the Sooners are a deep, talented team and the STOOPS boys are big time college coaches. This is their last chance to beat a Big 12 team that's ranked above them. They have failed in two previous tries (TCU & K-STATE) by 4 and 1 points respectively. If they win out starting now, they can still go to a major bowl, at 10-2, come January. BAYLOR is playing well, but hasn't had a very tough slate of opponents to defeat. BRYCE PETTY will need to have a huge game, because the Baylor Defense has been lacking in their ability to stop well balanced offensive teams. They gave up 58 to TCU & 41 to WVU. Bet the over in this one, but it could be very close. Final possession may determine the winner. Sure hope HUNNICUTT doesn't come up small for Oklahoma in this one if it comes down to his leg.
#14 BRYCE PETTY/QB/6'3/230*** #74 ADAM SHEAD/OG/6'4/320**
#5 ANTWAN GOODLEY/WR/5'11/220*** #79 DARYL WILLIAMS/OT/6'6/330**
#58 SPENCER DRANGO/OT/6'5/315/JR*** #71 TYRUS THOMPSON/OT/6'5/320**
#2 SHAWN OAKMAN/DE/6'9/275**** #18 MICHAEL HUNNICUTT/K/6'1/175**
#44 BRYCE HAGER/LB/6'2/235** #98 CHUKA NDULUE/DE/6'3/280**
#36 SPENCER ROTH/P/6'4/225* #85 GENEO GRISSOM/OLB/6'4/255***
#42 LEVI NORWOOD/WR/6'1/195* #2 JULIAN WILSON/CB/6'2/200***
ALABAMA by 1 @ LSU 8PM/ET/CBS
This is as good of a match-up as you will find in college football on any weekend. The Crimson Tide look to have remedied some of their early season flaws and LSU playing a ton of first/second year guys, is improving every week. It's a tough road, but 'Bama pretty much controls its destiny with games against MISS STATE & AUBURN still to play. But they have to get past this one first. LES MILES intrigues me as a coach and has the ship righted since that embarrassing loss to Auburn. He also had a BYE Week to get ready for this one, and ready they will be. I would expect the old Mad Hatter to have concocted a few surprises to spring on 'Bama as needed. This game starts the sorting out of that tough & talented SEC West. In a coin flip I will take 'Bama by the slimmest of margins. IMO, this game features 5 probable First Rounders for the 2015 NFL Draft assuming the stars come out early. See the 4* guys listed below.
#4 T.J. YELDON/RB/6'2/220**** #27 KENNY HILLIARD/RB/6'0/230**
#2 DeANDRE WHITE/WR/6'0/190** #14 TERRENCE MAGEE/RB/5'9/215**
#9 AMARI COOPER/WR/6'1/205**** #74 VIDAL ALEXANDER/OG/6'6/340***
#77 ARIE KOUANDJIO/G/6'5/315*** #70 LA'EL COLLINS/OT/6'5/315****
#99 BRANDON IVORY/DT/6'4/308** #59 JERMAURIA FASCO/DE/6'3/265**
#33 TREY DePRIEST/ILB/6'2/250*** #26 RONALD MARTIN/SS/6'1/218***
#26 LANDON COLLINS/FS/6'0/215**** #28 JALEN MILLS/DB/6'1/190****
OHIO STATE @ MICHIGAN STATE by 5 8PM/ET/ABC
The Ohio State/Michigan rivalry is not the big game in the BIG 10 any more. This rivalry has stepped it up a notch, or two, under HC DANTONIO & MEYER to now be the top contest annually in the Conference. I'll give the edge to the Spartans because it's a home game, and they have a decided advantage in experience. I just can't see JT BARRETT/QB being able to run the ball like he has against recent opponents. I think MSU will stack the box to stop the run and try to contain BARRETT in the pocket. He'll scramble for a few completions and some running gains, but that alone will make it tough to sustain drives for the Buckeyes. Watch early to see if the Spartans can establish firm control over field position and possession time in this one. Also keep your eyes peeled when the Buckeyes are on Defense to watch the best defensive player in college football today, IMO: JOEY BOSA/DE/#97. This true sophomore is JJ WATT, at a stage in his career when WATT was still playing TE. Lots of potential draftees on these rosters, though not any sure-fire first rounders, except BOSA who is not draft eligible.
OHIO STATE MICHIGAN STATE
#9 DEVIN SMITH/WR/6'0/197* #18 CONNOR COOK/QB/6'4/220***
#5 JEFF HUEURMAN/TE/6'4/250** #33 JEREMY LANGFORD/RB/6'0/205**
#76 DARRYL BALDWIN/OT/6'6/307* #14 TONY LIPPETT/WR/6'3/190**
#63 MICHAEL BENNETT/DT/6'2/290*** #54 CARLTON KRUSE/OG/6'4/315*
#8 NOAH SPENCE/E/LB/6'3/255** #44 MARCUS RUSH/DE/6'2/255*
#14 CURTIS GRANT/MLB/6'3/240** #89 SHILIQUE CALHOUN/DE/6'4/260***
#12 DION GRANT/CB/5'11/195*** #34 TAIWAN JONES/MLB/6'3/252***
#37 JOSHUA PERRY/OLB/6'4/250** #15 TRAE WAYNES/CB/6'1/185***
#27 KURTIS DRUMMOND/FS/6'1/200***
OREGON by 4 @ UTAH 10PM/ET/ESPN
UTAH has been a giant killer this season with wins over MICHIGAN, UCLA & USC. But they have also lost to Washington State, which really mars their record. They are a tough out at home. But Oregon is actually starting to get some key injured guys back, and as far as I am concerned MARCUS MARIOTA has been a one-man gang in leading the Ducks to their 8-1 record. This is their last big road test and their toughest opponent until the PAC-12 Championship game. I look for Oregon to score somewhere around 30 points and to hold Utah to 20 or so, especially without their top wideout DRES ANDERSON available to help junior QB TRAVIS WILSON. I am staying up for this one, baby. Well, at least for the first half.
#8 MARCUS MARIOTA/QB/6'4/215***** #7 TRAVIS WILSON/QB/6'7/240**
#55 HRONISS GRASU/OC/6'3/295*** #6 DRES ANDERSON/WR/6'2/190**
#75 JAKE FISHER/OT/6'5/295*** #8 NATE ORCHARD/DE/6'4/255***
#91 TONY WASHINGTON/OLB/6'3/245** #4 BRIAN BELCHEN/SS/6'2/215**
#22 DERRICK MALONE/OLB/6'2/220* #9 TEVIN CARTER/FS/6'1/215**
#14 IFO EHPRE-OLOMU/CB/5'10/195**** #80 WESTLEE TONGA/TE/6'4 250*
#9 ARIK ARMSTEAD/DT/6'7/298****
Time marches on and Week 10 is upon us in the 2014 College Football season. Here are some key match-ups and listings of draft eligible pro prospects for the 2015 NFL DRAFT to watch for this Saturday, the first weekend of November.
GEORGIA (6-1) by 12 @ FLORIDA (3-3) in Jacksonville; 3:30 PM ET; CBS ... It's listed as a neutral game site, but let's get real here. Students could bike to Jax from Gainesville for this one. As if the Bulldogs needed a handicap this year, they could beat up on Florida even in The Swamp. It looks as though the MUSCHAMP-era as GATORS Head Coach is in its final months and chances are you'll see why in this one. Even without TODD GURLEY, the Bulldogs will roll in this game. Florida has a truly pathetic Offense and true Freshman QB/TREON HARRIS is not going to fix that this season, if ever. Highly touted JEFF DRISKEL has turned into an absolute turnover machine with bad decisions and inaccurate throws. He just seems to melt down under pressure, which I expect UGA to bring down on his head in bunches. Despite their feeble work this season the Gators are not short of NFL caliber talent, especially on Defense, and as usual Georgia is loaded with talent. As a game it's not a must watch, but with a scouting eye for talent there is much to see here. Maybe the rivalry aspect of this match-up will tighten up the score... for a while.
#26 MALCOLM MITCHELL/WR/6'1/190*** #6 JEFF DRISKEL/QB/6'4/235**
#82 MICHAEL BENNETT/WR/6'3/205** #1 QUINTON DUNBAR/WR/6'1/195**
#61 DAVID ANDREWS/OC/6'2/295** #88 CLAY BURTON/TE/6'4/255**
#47 RAY DREW/DE/6'5/275*** #74 TRENTON BROWN/OG/6'7/345*
#59 JORDAN JENKINS/OLB/6'3/245*** #8 LEON ORR/DT/6'5/305**
#51 RAMIK WILSON/ILB/6'2/230*** #55 DARIOUS CUMMINGS/DT/6'1/305
#52 AMARLO HERRERA/OLB6'3/240*** #6 DANTE FOWLER/DE/6'3/265****
#5 DAMIAN SWANN/CB/5'11/180** #4 KYLE CHRISTY/P/6'3/200**
T.C.U. (6-1) by 3 @ WEST VIRGINIA (6-2); 3:30 PM ET; ABC ... Get out the calculators and bet the over. Unless there is a surprise blizzard in Morgantown there should be a dizzying display of offense in this game. TCU has been a scoring machine right from the get-go this season. Their overall team speed can match up with the elite schools in the country right now. And WVU isn't far behind. Just when I thought the DANA HOLGORSEN Head Coach experiment was about to be in its final stages QB/CLINT TRICKETT/#9 (ex-FSU) has figured it all out and is pulling the trigger like an ace marksman. Weapons everywhere, for both teams, so it figures logical to me that it will come down to one of these teams making a big play or two on defense to decide the winner. This should be fun to watch, unless you are a defensive purist. If you are, then watch another mid-afternoon game.
TEXAS CHRISTIAN WEST VIRGINIA
#2 TREVONE BOYKIN/QB/6'2/215** #11 KEVIN WHITE/WR/6'3/210***
#96 CHUCKY HUNTER/DT/6'1/300* #2 DREAMIUS SMITH/RB/5'11/225*
#47 PAUL DAWSON/LB/6'2/230* #64 MARK GLOWINSKI/OG6'5/305*
#17 SAM CARTER/SS/6'1/215*** #99 DONTRILL HYMAN/DE/6'4/295**
#25 KEVIN WHITE/CB/5'10/175** #2 BRANDON GOLSON/OLB/6'2/230**
#1 CHRIS HACKETT/S/6'2/195** #8 KARL JOSEPH/S/5'10/195***
AUBURN (6-1) by 3 @ OLE MISS (7-1); 7 PM ET; ESPN ... Sorry Ole Miss fans, but I think the team is about to suffer its second loss in two weeks and slide well down in the Top 25. The sputtering Offense that I saw against LSU is what worried me about the Rebels all year. HC FREEZE has got to recruit a 4-5 star, full sized RB to balance out this Offense. I doubt they will be able to run against Auburn, and as a result they will be challenged severely in the Red Zone. Meanwhile, I expect Auburn to be patient and use their running attack, including QB/NICK MARSHALL, to wear down the Rebels D and control the clock. If Auburn controls field position this game will be effectively over by halftime. Look for a repeat of the LSU/OLE MISS game last week with a slightly higher final score.
#14 NICK MARSHAL/QB/6'1/210*** #14 BO WALLACE/QB/6'4/205*
#44 CAMERON ARTIS-PAYNE/RB/5'11/210** #10 VINCE SANDERS/WR/6'1/185**
#18 SAMMIE COATES/WR/6'2/205*** #21 SENQUEZ GOLSON/CB/5'9/180**
#50 REESE DISMUKES/OC/6'3/295** #7 TRE ELSTON/S/6'0/190*
#90 GABE WRIGHT/DT/6'3/295*** #25 CODY PREWITT/SS/6'2/215***
#25 TROVON REED/CB/6'0/190**
#8 JERMAINE WHITEHEAD/FS/5'10/195/**
UTAH (6-1) @ ARIZONA STATE (6-1) by 3; 11 PM ET; FoxSports 1 ... This is a surprisingly important PAC 12 match-up, that very few predicted to be of import back in August. The UTES, have been impressive piling up a 6-1 record, which includes W's over UCLA, OREGON STATE & last weekend USC. They have done it with a balanced Offense and some timely defensive work. A big blow for them was the loss of pro prospect DRES ANDERSON/WR for the remainder of the season. The Sun Devils have survived despite the loss of their dual threat QB/BRANDON KELLY for the majority of the season. But TODD GRAHAM has built a team with good balance, despite returning only 6 starters from 2013. I rate these teams pretty even overall, and therefore will give the home team their 3 point advantage.
UTAH ARIZONA STATE
#7 TRAVIS WILSON/QB/6'7/240** #10 TAYLOR KELLY/QB/6'2/210**
#6 DRES ANDERSON/WR/6'2/190*** #21 JAELEN STRONG/WR/6'4/215***
#60 SIAOSI AIONO/OC/6'2/305*** #74 JAMIL DOUGLAS/OT/6'4/300***
#8 NATE ORCHARD/DE/6'4/255** #1 MARCUS HARDISON/DE/6'5/300**
#4 BRIAN BLECHEN/SS/6'2/215** #3 DAMARIOUS RANDALL/FS/6'0/190**
#9 TEVIN CARTER/FS/6'1/210***
Have a great weekend!!!