Week nine of the college football is complete. By this point of the season, it is already pretty clear which players have NFL potential and which ones do not. Some prospects are pulling ahead of the pack and standing out. Other prospects are hurting their draft stock as well.
There weren’t a ton of great games this week but there were a few that were helpful in terms of evaluation prospects.
#2 Michigan at Michigan State
I’m sure a few Lions fans were paying attention to this game on Saturday. The last handful of years Michigan State has been able to get the best of their in-state rival. This year was coach Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines who were able to take care of the slumping Michigan State Spartans by a score of 32-23.
Both teams have some prospects who will hear their name called on the night of the 2017 draft. Let’s take a look at how they fared in this one.
- Safety Jabrill Peppers, Redshirt Sophomore, 6’1” 205: Peppers is an amazing athlete who can literally do just about everything on the football field whether it be on offense, defense, or special teams. Peppers didn’t necessarily dominate in any one area this game. On defense he had 7 tackles, 2 for a loss, and a sack. On offense he added 5 carries for 24 yards and a touchdown. He continues to prove that he is an elite athlete every week and will be chosen early on in the upcoming draft.
- Cornerback Jourdan Lewis, Senior, 5’11” 186: Lewis had a bit of an up and down performance in this one. He was too grabby on a lot of plays, he got away with it on multiple occasions but that’s something he has to work on if he wants to excel at the next level. He did record 6 tackles, 1 for loss, and an interception so it wasn’t all bad for him. He is considered a late 1st or 2nd round draft prospect.
- Wide Receiver Amara Darboh, Redshirt Senior, 6’2” 215 (Pictured Above): Darboh had a great performance against the Spartans. He caught 8 passes for 165 yards. He showed that he has big play ability. Coming into the game he was considered a 3rd round prospect. He may have caught the eye of some scouts in this one so it’s possible he could have improved his stock a bit.
- Defensive Tackle Malik McDowell, Junior, 6’6” 282: Because of his mix of size and athleticism McDowell is rated by many as a top 10 prospect for the 2017 draft. Because of multiple injuries that Michigan State has had at defensive end McDowell has been playing more end than tackle lately. His best position however is still defensive tackle. He wasn’t very productive in this game, logging 2 tackles, both of which were for a loss. McDowell is the type of prospect that NFL teams drool over, he will most likely be a top-10 selection on draft day.
- Inside Linebacker Riley Bullough, Redshirt Senior, 6’2” 227 (Pictured Above): Bullough was very productive in this contest. He racked up 14 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss. The senior linebacker is a great tackler and plays well against the run. His ceiling as a prospect is limited however because he isn’t as good of an athlete as NFL teams want their linebackers to be. He is a late round NFL draft prospect.
#3 Clemson at #12 Florida State
This was the most highly anticipated game in college football this weekend. The game lived up to the hype. Clemson took the lead with a Deshaun Watson touchdown pass with 2:06 remaining in the game. Florida State had a late game drive going into Clemson territory, but the drive stalled out and Clemson held for the 37-34 victory.
There were a handful of top prospects in this game that had some nice games, and also some late-round guys who may have helped their stock.
- Quarterback Deshaun Watson, Junior, 6’3” 215 (Pictured Above): Watson came into the year as the top quarterback prospect in the draft. He has been inconsistent for most of the season however. His stock has dropped a bit but he is still considered for the 1st round based on his physical attributes. He had a pretty strong performance against Florida State completing 27 of his 43 passing attempts for 378 yards, 2 touchdowns, and also 2 interceptions and added 52 yards on the ground as well. If Watson wants to regain the top quarterback spot for the 2017 draft he will have to limit his interceptions in the remaining games he plays.
- Wide Receiver Mike Williams, Senior, 6’3” 220: Lions fans might be weary on another wide receiver prospect named Mike Williams. But Clemson’s Mike Williams is the top wide receiver prospect in the 2017 draft. He wasn’t great in this game but he wasn’t bad either. He hauled in 7 receptions for 70 yards. He will be taken some where in the first round of the draft.
- Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley, Senior, 6’1” 200: Tankersley is one of many cornerback prospects who could end up hearing their name called in the first round of the upcoming draft. He had a decent game, recording 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and a pass deflection. This game won’t necessarily hurt or help his draft stock.
- Running Back Dalvin Cook, Junior, 5’11” 213 (Pictured Above): Cook turned in an outstanding performance in this game. He used his 19 carries to eat up 169 yards and 4 touchdowns. If it wasn’t for Cook this game wouldn’t have been close. The running back showed his explosiveness in this contest. He was already a 1st round prospect and his stock is going up after this game.
- Defensive End DeMarcus Walker, Senior, 6’4” 280: Walker turned in an interesting stat line for a defensive end. He had 10 tackles and 2 pass deflections. He didn’t have any sacks or tackles for loss but he found ways to still be productive. He is a 2nd or 3rd round prospect and that likely won’t change after this one.
- Defensive Tackle Derrick Nnadi, Junior, 6’1” 312: Nnadi is a late round prospect who may have increased his stock in this game. The defensive lineman had 8 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, a sack, and added a pass deflection as well. That is outstanding production for a defensive tackle.
Georgia at #14 Florida
Florida used an outstanding defensive performance in this game to beat Georgia 24-10. It wasn’t the most exciting game in the world, unless of course you are the defensive coordinator for the Florida Gators.
There were some draft prospects that stood out in this game, some in a good way, others in a not so good way.
- Running Back Nick Chubb, Junior, 5’10” 228 (Pictured Above): Chubb entered the day as a 2nd or 3rd round draft prospect. He did not perform well in this game. It wasn’t completely his fault considering that nobody on Georgia’s offense did much against Florida’s defense. The running back had 9 carries for 20 yards. Florida’s defense has a lot of NFL talent and completely overmatched Georgia’s offense. I don’t think this game will hurt Chubb’s stock too much but it if he doesn’t rebound from it going forward his stock will definitely decline.
- Outside Linebacker Davin Bellamy, Junior, 6’5” 340: Bellamy is a 3rd or 4th round prospect and he performed like a 3rd or 4th round prospect in this contest. He had 5 tackles, 1.5 of which were for loss.
- Cornerback Jalen “Teez” Tabor, Junior, 6’0” 199 (Pictured Above): Tabor is a very talented player who is one of the highest rated cornerback prospects in the 2017 draft class. He was good in this game. The corner recorded 2 tackles and a sack. He also played a major role in successfully shutting down the Georgia passing game. He will be selected somewhere in the 1st round of the draft.
- Cornerback Quincy Wilson, Junior, 6’1” 213: Tabor isn’t the only Gator cornerback who could end up being taken in the 1st round of the 2017 draft. Wilson isn’t quite as highly rated as Tabor but he is still projected to be taken somewhere in the 1st or maybe 2nd round. Wilson wasn’t productive on the stat sheet, only recording 1 tackle, but he also played a big part in stopping the Georgia passing game.
- Outside Linebacker Jarrad Davis, Senior, 6’2” 238: Davis is one of the top outside linebacker prospects in the draft class. His size and athleticism will transfer well into the NFL. He played well in this game racking up 7 tackles, 2.5 of those tackles were for loss. His status as a 1st or 2nd round prospect will remain unchanged heading into next week.