Week 9 of the college football saw most of the teams at the top of the rankings exert their dominance except for one – the Oklahoma Sooners, who were defeated at the hands of Kansas State. Meanwhile, Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, and Clemson all proved they will be in the conversation for the CFB playoffs with convincing wins. On the 2020 NFL Draft front, two players from the Big Ten lead the risers list and a quarterback from the same conference sits atop the list of sliders. Here are the Risers & Sliders for Week 9.
2020 NFL Draft Risers
J.K. Dobbins/RB/Ohio State: Wisconsin came into the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes boasting one of the best rush defenses in all the Big Ten, but Dobbins shredded them to pieces. His 20 carry, 163-yard, 2 TD performance pushed him over the century mark in rushing yards this season. Dobbins is a complete player at the running back position, in my opinion. He’s an explosive, multi-cut ball carrier with terrific playing speed and sprinkles in the ability to pick up yardage off initial contact. Dobbins is also a solid pass-catcher out of the backfield and effectively blocks when called upon. He has all the ingredients to slide into the late part of round one if he enters the 2020 NFL Draft.
Cesar Ruiz/C/Michigan: Several weeks ago I mentioned during the CFB game day blog Ruiz was building a buzz around him in the scouting community, and he showed why against Notre Dame on Saturday. His blocking was near flawless and he helped pave the way for 303 rushing yards by the Wolverines during their 45-14 victory over the Irish. Ruiz is athletic, strong and tough as nails. I presently grade him as a second-day selection.
Marvin Wilson/DT/Florida State: Entering the season I stamped defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, who was ignored by most, as a fifth-round prospect and I may have underrated him. His latest gem a 6 tackle, 3 TFL, 2 sack performance in the Seminoles’ victory over Syracuse. For the season, Wilson has totaled 41 tackles and 5 sacks. He’s a strong, wide-bodied lineman who occupies gaps or makes plays on the ball handler. I could see Wilson coming off the board at the start of the draft’s third day if he jumps into the event.
Tylan Wallace/WR/Oklahoma State: Wallace has been productive all season long and, more importantly, he’s shown improvement in his game over the past two years. His most recent standout performance featured 8 receptions for 131 yards and 1 touchdown during Oklahoma State’s 7-point win over Iowa State. In 8 games this season, Wallace has 53 receptions, 903 receiving yards, and 8 touchdowns. He’s a slender receiver with excellent quickness and sure hands who projects as a last day pick in the 2020 NFL Draft as slot receiver at the next level.
Josh Kelly/RB/UCLA: After a slow start to the season, Kelly and the entire Bruins team have finally kicked it into gear. Kelly followed a performance of 176 rushing yards and 1 TD against a porous Stanford defense a week ago with 164 yards on the ground and 4 TDs against a tougher Arizona State crew. His only other 100+ yard rushing performance came against Arizona in late September. Kelly shows a tremendous burst of speed in his game and has a knack for breaking off long runs from the line of scrimmage. I presently grade the senior as a fifth-round prospect.
Sleeper Prospect- Rodney Clemons/S/SMU: Clemons is someone I’ve graded as a draftable prospect since his sophomore season, albeit a late-round pick. He was a player previewed during last week’s edition of The Draft Insiders podcast and Clemons made us look good. During SMU’s close victory over inter-state rival Houston, which kept the Mustangs undefeated this season, his numbers included a team-leading 8 tackles, 2 PBU’s and 1 INT. Many of his plays came during the game’s critical moments which stalled Houston drives. Clemons is a smart, instinctive, and tough safety who could move into the middle rounds if he runs well during pre-draft workouts.
Small School Prospect- Jeremy Chinn/S/Southern Illinois: The well-built Chinn has been a hard-hitting force for Southern Illinois the past four years. His numbers this season include 34 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 2 pass breakups. Chin has recorded 50 or more tackles and 3 or more interceptions every year since his freshman season. He’s more of a zone type safety who I don’t believe will run real fast during pre-draft workouts, but he’s worth late-round consideration for a team needing a strong or zone safety that can double on special teams.
2020 NFL Draft Sliders
Brian Lewerke/QB/Michigan State: Lewerke was a quarterback I thought was always rated too high for the next level. My criticisms of his game run parallel to those of Nate Stanley from Iowa – erratic accuracy, poor pass placement, and missed opportunities. That was the case against Penn State when he completed less than 50% of his throws for 165 yards and an interception, albeit in miserable conditions. In my opinion, Lewerke does not possess the tools to be anything other than the late-round pick I graded him to be before the season began.
Josh Jones/OL/Houston: I’ve noticed Jones graded as a third-round tackle by many, but I’ve always disagreed. He’s a small area blocker who displays little balance and marginal agility. Against SMU he was constantly exploited off the edge and I feel he’s nothing more than a late-round guard.