Week 6 of the college football season is in the books and my biggest takeaway is that it’s time to get prepared for a battle between Trevor Lawrence’s Clemson and Mac Jones’ Alabama for the National Championship. If they were to meet in 2020, it would be the fourth time since 2015 the two teams have gone head to head. Both teams showcased their high-powered offenses in Week 6 and were able to secure intra-conference victories. Ironically, it just so happens that the list of Week 6 College Football Top Performers is headlined by players from both programs.
When it comes to the 2021 NFL Draft, the skill position talent that Alabama and Clemson bring to the table is astonishing. With Clemson, quarterback Trevor Lawrence is more than likely the best overall prospect, and just might be the best quarterback prospect we’ve seen enter the NFL ranks since Peyton Manning in 1998. Also, Clemson has the dynamic Travis Etienne, who is the clear-cut “RB1” in this year’s draft class, resembling New Orleans Saints superstar Alvin Kamara.
Alabama is just as loaded on the offensive side of the ball. The bruising Najee Harris is just behind Etienne as the top running back in 2021, and the sensational pair of receivers, Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith, are two of the top players at their position.
Week 6 College Football Top Performers
While Alabama and Clemson headline the overall college football picture, they were not the only teams to have stand out performances from individuals this week. However, the Week 6 list of college football top performers is dominated by two conferences. Unsurprisingly, one of those is the SEC, but the ACC is enjoying the time in the spotlight with both the Big 10 and Pac 12 yet to take to the field in 2020.
Which ACC prospects were top performers in Week 6?
Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson (6’6″, 220 pounds, Junior)
Make no mistake about it: Clemson’s Lawrence is one of the most elite draft prospects of all time. In Clemson’s Week 6 42-17 dismantling of the seventh-ranked Miami Hurricanes, Lawrence showed the world why this is the case.
Trevor Lawrence was a menace to the Hurricanes’ defense throughout the Week 6 matchup, completing 29-of-41 passing attempts for 292 yards and three touchdowns. Additionally, Lawrence displayed his ability to make plays with his legs, rushing for 34 yards and a touchdown.
It doesn’t matter who secures the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Whether it’s the New York Jets, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, or anyone else, Trevor Lawrence will be the selection. He is the total package when it comes to quarterback prospects, possessing prototypical size, amazing athleticism, high football intelligence, and an extremely talented arm.
If you don’t believe me, let Tony Pauline fill you in: “Lawrence possesses all the skills to carry a team in the NFL — physical, mental, and intangible. He does an incredible job leading the offense, possesses the ability to make all the throws, and consistently makes proper choices. Lawrence is a big-bodied pocket passer, but he possesses the foot speed to pick up big yardage with his legs. Barring injury, Lawrence will be the first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft and has an exciting future ahead of him in the NFL.”
Michael Carter, Running Back, North Carolina (5’8″, 199 pounds, Senior)
In a high-scoring Week 6 affair, it was North Carolina Tar Heels’ tailback Michael Carter that was the best player on the field in the team’s 56-45 victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies. Carter was brilliant, racking up 214 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, averaging an impressive 12.6 yards per carry.
Carter is an intriguing mid-round NFL Draft prospect, who runs with good vision and patience. His best trait is his elusiveness in the open field, as he demonstrates the ability to make defenders miss on a consistent basis. He might not have the makings of a bell-cow runner at the next level, but he should find a home as a productive complementary running back.
Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pittsburgh (6’5″, 260 pounds, Redshirt Senior)
Week 6 is the second time that Pittsburgh defensive end Patrick Jones II has found himself on the list of weekly college football top performers. In Pitt’s heartbreaking 31-30 loss to Boston College, Jones showcased why so many in the draft community are considering him the best edge prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The talented Boston College offensive line couldn’t contain Jones on Saturday, as he notched four tackles and three sacks. Jones currently has seven sacks in the 2020 season, which leads the nation. As it stands today, Jones is solidifying himself as a first-round prospect on a weekly basis.
Andrew DeCecco is a big fan of Jones, stating: “Patrick Jones II has the dominant physical traits that suggest he could feasibly vault his draft stock into the first round if his play strength and technique catch up to his athleticism in the coming months. After a fairly pedestrian first two seasons, Jones burst onto the scene as a redshirt junior in 2019, collecting 41 tackles (11.5 for loss), 8.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles. Jones’ signature performances came in a narrow loss to the Miami Hurricanes (2.0 sacks, one forced fumble), and a high-scoring affair with Duke (2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles).”
If Jones can continue to play at his current pace, he could work himself into being a top-15 selection in 2021.
LSU and Alabama prospects headlined the SEC prospects this week
Terrace Marshall Jr., Wide Receiver, LSU (6’3″, 201 pounds, Junior)
LSU’s talented wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase opted out of the 2020 college football season and this has provided his teammate, Terrace Marshall Jr., with the platform to showcase himself as a legitimate first-round prospect.
In a back-breaking loss for the LSU Tigers, there was one bright spot. Terrace Marshall Jr. was brilliant in Week 6, torching the Missouri secondary to the tune of 11 catches for 235 yards and three touchdowns. Marshall Jr. currently ranks sixth in receiving yards and second in receiving touchdowns on the season.
If Marshall Jr. can continue to build off his hot start to the 2020 season, he might solidify himself as a top-40 selection in the 2021 draft.
Alabama Skill Players
Despite losing Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs III to the NFL, the Alabama offense looks as good as ever. On Saturday evening, Alabama overwhelmed the Mississippi defense, winning the SEC showdown by a score of 63-48.
In such a dominant offensive performance, it was hard to pick just one player, as they were all sensational, so I called out a group of skill players as top performers in Week 6 of college football.
Mac Jones, Quarterback (6’2″, 205 pounds, Junior)
Mac Jones is establishing himself as one of the candidates to be the “QB4” of the 2021 draft class. This Saturday, he was accurate and efficient, carving the Ole Miss defense for 417 passing yards and two touchdowns. However, what might be even more impressive is that Jones completed 88% of his passes.
Najee Harris, Running Back (6’2″, 230 pounds, Senior)
Najee Harris is a powerful, bruising runner. He embarrassed the Ole Miss defense, running for 206 yards and a staggering five touchdowns. It’s time we start talking about Round 1 and Harris in the same sentence.
Devonta Smith, Wide Receiver (6’1″, 175 pounds, Senior)
Despite being one of the most productive wide receivers in college football, Devonta Smith finds a way to stay under the radar. The Mississippi secondary had no answer for Smith on Saturday, as he hauled in 13 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown, as well as adding another touchdown on the ground. I don’t see a scenario where Smith isn’t a top-20 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft with teams such as the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, and New England Patriots being ideal landing spots.