Week 7 on the NCAA college football schedule is a solid slate that includes traditional rivalries as well as conference match-ups, which could impact the national rankings. There will also be top NFL prospects facing off head-to-head all day. Pro Football Network will have you covered again from Noon until midnight ET with opinions, analysis, and breaking news.
Keep up with stories and analysis from the PFN Draft crew daily here at PFN, and be sure to check out the PFN Draft Insiders Podcast with Andy Herman and me, where we provide the latest inside information from around the NFL and preview today’s action. Click the play button below to hear the latest episode of PFN Draft Insiders.
And that’s a wrap on another week in the PFN College Football Live Game Day Blog! We hope you had a blast with us throughout the day. If you missed anything, keep scrolling and catch up on all of the latest analysis and inside information throughout the world of college football. AJ
While Clemson WR Tee Higgins gets all the hype, FSU WR Tamorrion Terry looks like another legit wide receiver from the ACC. FSU has been a complete garbage fire this season, but “Touchdown” Terry is an elite playmaker. I really like his H/W/S combination, but I’m unsure if he will declare for this 2020 draft.
Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk continues to make his case to be a top-10 player at his position in this class. I profiled him here last week and this week, he carved up Washington State to the tune of 7 catches, 196 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns.
The potential of this 2020 WR class is unparalleled. It’s been a long time since I have seen a group that is this deep and this talented. It rivals the 2016 DL and 2017 DB classes and could be game-changing for the NFL. AJ
Speaking of high upside quarterbacks in this draft, Hawaii QB Cole McDonald is the epitome of a developmental project. He has incredible arm talent and playmaking ability post-snap, but his mechanics are a complete mess.
When combined with his tendency for boneheaded mistakes, this makes for a messy combination (4 INTS against Arizona and 3 against Washington). He has all the talent in the world but is a project QB for the NFL. Were he to declare, I could see McDonald drafted on Day 3 since he possesses incredible upside. AJ
Washington QB Jacob Eason started off the season hot, displaying his incredible physical tools, but it’s clear he has a lot of growing to do still as a quarterback. His accuracy has come and gone in waves in games and his pocket presence is still a work in progress.
If he continues to play at this level, he might have to opt to return to Washington one more season. He faces a stiff test next week against Oregon’s defense, which has only allowed one touchdown since their opener against Auburn. It can be a statement game for Eason, for better or worse. AJ
Watching Washington-Arizona where TE Hunter Bryant already has a reception early. On paper, the 2020 tight end draft class has a lot of potential, but so far, there have been very little results. As it stands now, and when compared to the 2019 tight end class, the 2020 group looks disappointing.
Earlier in the day, Tony Pauline dropped his top-10 tight ends in the 2 PM update, but finding any consistency in this class is going to be difficult. Brycen Hopkins, Grant Calcaterra, Jared Pinkney, Hunter Bryant, and Colby Parkinson are the best overall playmakers in this group but all have underachieved so far this season relative to their expectations. Difficult class to project. AJ
LSU QB Joe Burrow has taken the nation by storm so far with his high level of play, but give credit to his group of wide receivers before. The only draft-eligible one of the group is Justin Jefferson and he is another top-tier playmaker in this wide receiver class.
He’s explosive and smooth after the catch which helps LSU create explosive play after explosive play. Predicting where he ends up getting drafted in this class is nearly impossible at this point, but the second or third round is not out of the question. AJ
Really impressed with LSU edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson. He has a tremendous ceiling at the next level due to his elite athleticism, but he is still learning the finer points of becoming a pass rusher.
He’s made several splash plays this season in almost every game LSU has played. A team is going to bank on his upside early in the upcoming NFL Draft. I can almost guarantee he is a first-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. AJ
Louisville-Wake Forest has been a shootout due to the efforts of each team’s top-flight receivers. UL WR Dez Fitzpatrick has 5 catches for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns and WF WR Sage Surratt has 9 catches for 132 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Surratt is only a redshirt sophomore so he will likely enter the 2021 NFL Draft, but I would give him a Day 2 grade were he to declare. Dez Fitzpatrick is a senior and he will be in the 2020 draft but barring an explosive Combine, he will likely be a late Day 3 or UDFA player. AJ
USC is making a game of it in South Bend and as I previously mentioned, left tackle Austin Jackson is holding his own.
Irish defensive linemen have just a single sack and tackle for loss this evening, and the Trojans have been able to give their quarterback time in the pocket and run the football.
Robert Windsor is having a tremendous game this evening and making people forget about Yetur Gross-Matos. He’s a lineman many dismiss, though they shouldn’t. Windsor offers nice size at 6-foot-4.5-inches and 290 pounds, plays with above-average athleticism and great intensity.
I gave him a 4th round grade over the summer and believe he’ll be a terrific rotational defensive tackle at the next level.
The contest in Baton Rouge between Florida and LSU is close, as the Gators keep hanging around and are presently leading the game at the start of the third quarter.
LSU usually has a ton of underclassmen enter the draft, some who end up as early selections while others are players that would be better off staying for another season on the college field.
Earlier this week when speaking with someone close to the program, the comment was passed to me, “at least a half dozen underclassmen from LSU will enter the draft.” Some are obvious while others are not. Here’s my present board of underclassmen prospects from LSU.
LSU Underclassmen Prospects
|3.83||2nd||Kary Vincent Jr.||CB||5||3Jr|
You can really see what Jonathan Greenard means to the Gators defense. The Week 6 Riser, who’s in the midst of a tremendous campaign, left the game early after injuring his ankle and there’s been a lot of big plays by LSU with little pass rush by the Gators.
That was a terrific play by A.J. Epenesa of Iowa to get the sack but it illustrates my opinion on the junior; he’s not a pure edge rusher, but rather more of a power guy. He’s more strength than speed and as such, I don’t feel he’s the top-20 pick many project Epenesa to be.
You continue to see why I’m down on Nate Stanley and why he was listed as a Week 6 slider. After hitting three passes for 72 yards to give the Hawkeyes a first and goal from the Penn State five-yard line, Stanley missed a wide-open receiver who had inside leverage for a sure touchdown. This is the norm for Stanley rather than the exception to the rule.
Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos reminds me of a poor man’s version of Ohio State’s Chase Young. He’s athletic like Young but to a lesser degree. He’s explosive like Young but to a lesser degree. He makes plays up the field and laterally but plays with less suddenness than Young.
Like Young, Gross-Matos is a bit rough around the edges, must get stronger and must complete his game.
It’s still early, but Austin Jackson of USC is holding up pretty well against Notre Dame’s mighty defensive ends. I like the way he bends, blocks with lean, and keeps his feet moving; but you can see he must improve his strength and learn to finish blocks. Still, it has been a good showing for Jackson through the first quarter.
One offensive tackle who did not make my top ten list, and likely never will, is Yasir Durant of Missouri. That doesn’t mean he’s not a good next-level prospect- quite the opposite.
Durant is a mammoth left tackle who measures 6-feet-6.5-inches and 335 pounds, displaying a lot of quickness and athleticism in his game. He’s a bit haphazard in his movement, must improve his balance, and will ultimately move to the right side on Sunday, but Durant has a large upside and is a terrific developmental prospect.
His battle against Qaadir Sheppard of Mississippi this evening is one to watch.
While there are some questions what the top offensive line prospects will do in 2020, two things are clear: 1) The board is heavy with underclassmen 2) There is a lot of offensive tackle talent. Here are the top offensive linemen on my board:
|1st||4.01||Prince Tega Wanogho||Auburn||T||5Sr|
|2nd||3.85||Jedrick Wills Jr.||Alabama||T||3Jr|
Tonight’s contest against Florida is the first of four consecutive games that will challenge LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Many have already stamped the Tigers signal-caller as a first-round prospect and though he’s been terrific this season he’s yet to be challenged, hence the reason I give him a third-round grade.
The Gators bring a terrific defensive line and pass rush to the field including fast rising NFL prospect Jonathan Greenard, as well as cornerback CJ Henderson, whom I expect will be battling receiver Justin Jefferson all night.
There are several major offensive line/defensive end match-ups between top prospects during the evening’s games.
With Ohio State not on the schedule for Iowa this season, tonight’s battle against Penn State and Yetur Gross-Matos is likely to be the toughest for Hawkeyes tackles Tristan Wirfs and Alaric Jackson.
Gross-Matos is the type of offensive tackle that could give Wirfs trouble, as he’s an athletic speed rusher off the edge.
USC Trojans left tackle Austin Jackson has been a bit disappointing this season and he better be on his game tonight. Facing Julian Okwara, Khalid Kareem and Daelin Hayes is a huge challenge and could end in triumph or disaster for Jackson.
The talk around Alabama and their next level players the past two years has focused on prospects from the offensive side of the ball but two defenders really stood out to me today; linebacker Terrell Lewis and cornerback Trevon Diggs.
I mentioned Lewis earlier in the afternoon and his play got stronger as the game progressed as he finished with 3 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 TFL’s. It will be interesting to see if Lewis enters the draft once the season is complete. His play on the field grades out as a top 45 prospect but the knee injury which kept him on the sidelines last year and continued to bother him earlier this season could be a red flag.
I’ve stated Diggs could be a top-20 pick in next April’s draft if he stays healthy and plays to his potential- he’s doing just that this season. Diggs finished today’s game with 4 tackles and 2 PBU’s. What makes him so exciting are his size/speed numbers coupled with the ability to make plays with his back to the ball. Diggs does not do a lot of face guarding , but rather gets his head back around to locate the pass in the air.
Kellen Mond has played a strong game today. Showcasing how efficient he can be as a rhythm passer, and he’s torched the ‘Bama defense with his legs. Mond has excellent tools, but still needs developing as a passer. I’d expect him to stay in school this year, and be a Senior Bowl candidate next year. MV
Terrell Lewis has been dominant today. One of the best EDGE defenders Alabama has produced in the past few seasons, Lewis should be a first-round selection this April. His physical traits are off the charts and he’s been excellent this season. MV
ASU RB Eno Benjamin hit another big run today. His physical make-up is impressive, but he lacks the nuances of an elite running back. He has excellent upside, but his career as a pro will likely depend on the situation he’s drafted into. MV
One issue I’ve had with Tua Tagovailoa is how often he can be baited by a safety. We saw it last year in the SEC Championship game against Georgia, and saw it on the last drive of the first half today. He can struggle identifying what coverage the deep safeties are playing, and gets intercepted trying to make a throw he doesn’t have the space or arm strength to make. MV
Earlier, Tony mentioned that he’s impressed by the development of Alabama tackle Alex Leatherwood. I completely agree. However, the Alabama right tackle is another name to watch in this tackle class. Jedrick Wills Jr. has elite play strength and excellent size. He’ll likely be moved to guard in the NFL. He reminds me of former Oklahoma RT Cody Ford, without the same level of elite foot speed. MV
You got a glimpse of what Terrell Lewis brings when healthy.
The Alabama linebacker is a perfect 3-4 fit who can rush the passer and also play in space. He’s athletic with nice size but has been bogged down by injury the past year. TP
I am impressed with the development of Alex Leatherwood‘s game. I graded the left tackle as a potential 5th round pick off his sophomore film but, his footwork, balance, and ability in pass protection are all moving in the right direction. TP
Kellen Mond has GOT to make that throw and hit the open receiver between the two Alabama defenders which would’ve been a touchdown. That’s why he’s still more athlete than quarterback, more thrower than passer. TP
Scouts usually don’t care when Rhode Island plays, but today’s contest against Virginia Tech is one they will be watching carefully. That’s because it’s the biggest test of the year for receiver Aaron Parker, a productive three-year starter graded as a priority free agent coming into the season.
Parker, who’s off to a hot start, is a solid possession receiver with dependable hands. He comes with decent size but marginal deep speed.
He’ll face off against the Hokies Caleb Farley, a week 6 riser who intercepted two passes last week against Miami. TP
A lot of people believe Jake Fromm is a first-round selection, but I never bought into the hype, and my criticism of the quarterback over the summer has not changed- too many times passes, including easy throws, get away from him.
All too often, I see wide open receivers stretching vertically or adjusting backwards to grab errant throws. That sort of inconsistency and poor pass placement is a killer at the next level. TP
Oklahoma defensive lineman Neville Gallimore was graded anywhere from a top 45 pick to a third-rounder by scouts entering the season. I was in agreement with the latter, but he has played exceedingly well today, getting a lot of pressure behind the line of scrimmage and forcing the action.
Gallimore could be used as a three-technique defensive tackle, and I also believe he has the athleticism to line up as a two-gap end. TP
In a stacked receiver class, I believe Lamb has the best skill-set for the next level. He’s done nothing but improve the confidence I have in this thought. CeeDee Lamb is the best receiver eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft.
His skill-set is well rounded and balanced. His biggest asset and the first thing that drew me to him was his incredible body control. DeAndre Hopkins-esque, Lamb can contort his body to ensure his body stays in bounds. He pairs that with dominant hand strength. These two traits then combine to make him an excellent jump ball receiver.
He’s also an excellent route runner, one of the best in the class. He’s an excellent athlete and provides yards after the catch at an elite level. Add in the fact that he’s a great run blocker, and Lamb is a near-flawless prospect. The cons to his game are minuscule, and his upside is seemingly limitless.
Lamb is my highest ranked receiver in all of college football, and his play on the field only continues to validate my opinion. – MV
Just to wax poetic about the Red River Rivalry, which is turning into a terrific game, it is a must experience for any and every college football game and something I recommend everyone attend at least once in their lives.
As I spoke about with Andy Herman in this week’s podcast, I attended this game in October of 2001, one month after the attacks of 9-11. Considering what was happening at the time, the shock, the fact they had not yet located my buddy, Joe Spor of the FDNY (who was eventually pronounced dead), the entire experience was a godsend.
The Texas state fair, the corndogs, the Cotton Bowl, and the entire atmosphere- it is fantastic! If you don’t enjoy the experience, let me know, and I’ll refund your trip!! Disclaimer to be posted on Twitter 😉 TP
It’s getting to be crunch time in the South Carolina – Georgia game. The Gamecock defense has played relatively well for three and a half quarters, coming up with several big plays. Here’s my board for the USC defense when it comes to draftable or potentially draftable prospects (TP):
South Carolina Defensive Prospects
“What a series by the OU D…” say the Fox broadcasters. In my opinion, the OU defense could thank the UT receivers on that drive, or the game could well be tied. TP
How does present-day Sooner receiver CeeDee Lamb compare to former OU wideout and first-round pick Marquise Brown? In my opinion, Lamb is a little more polished in his overall game, but Brown was a much greater vertical threat who could blow games wide open with huge plays.
While there’s no official word, people familiar with the Sooner program tell me they expect Lamb, a true junior, to enter the draft after this season. TP
The second half of the noon games getting underway. Let’s first take a look at my top ten board at the tight end position- a position that looks like it will be top-heavy next April if the top college football underclassmen enter the draft. TP
|5th||3.44||Charlie Taumoepeau||Portland State||4Sr|
|5th||3.43||Harrison Bryant||Florida Atlantic||4Sr|
Terrific college football game taking place in Athens, Georgia, as the Gamecocks have pulled ahead of the Bulldogs.
I’m so impressed with UGA junior Andrew Thomas, who presently grades as my #2 offensive tackle prospect. His athleticism, mobility, and agility stand out. Watch the way he can redirect or adjust on blitzes and/or stunts to stop defenders in their tracks. TP
I’m listening to the announcers gush over OU linebacker Kenneth Murray– but it comes as no surprise to me. Entering the season, I graded Murray as the top prospect in the Big 12 and stamped him as a second-round selection.
No one is invincible, as Jalen Hurts just displayed. The worst throw a quarterback can make; cross the body, cross the field, and late, resulting in a pick by the Longhorns.
That said, it was a nice play from safety Brandon Jones, a prospect I grade as a second-day prospect and someone featured in last week’s Draft Insiders podcast with Andy Herman. TP
Who are the top-rated wide receiver prospects on my board? The following are the top-10 next level wideouts as I grade them coming into Week 7 of the college football season. TP
|1st||4.05||Laviska Shenault Jr.||Colorado||3Jr|
|2nd||3.93||Gabe Davis||Central Florida||3Jr|
|3rd||3.74||Bryan Edwards||South Carolina||4Sr|
|3rd||3.64||KJ Hamler||Penn State||3So|
A quick note on Princeton quarterback Kevin Davidson, who was my Week 6 small school prospect to watch. He completed 13 of 20 passes last night against Lafayette for 170 yards. As Princeton dominated the game from the start and led the contest 28-0 before the third quarter ended, coaches pulled back and did not rely on Davidson’s passing as they had in previous weeks.
I mentioned on Twitter during the game there were a half dozen teams on hand to scout Davidson live. I’m told the New York Jets, New York Giants, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, and San Francisco 49ers have all been to Princeton the past week to watch Davidson. TP
South Carolina T.J. Brunson is often overlooked, but he’s an explosive pursuit linebacker who plays disciplined football. I graded Brunson as a sixth-round prospect, and I believe he’ll be a good nickel linebacker on Sundays that can also play special teams. TP
People talk about the Sooners’ offensive system exaggerating the skill of quarterbacks, a criticism I believe has merit. Regardless, when it comes to Jalen Hurts, you cannot help but be impressed by the way he’s in control of the offense, his patience as well as poise and decision making. Kyler Murray made plays with sheer athleticism while Hurts makes plays with his head. TP
The day starts at Noon with two big games on the college football schedule.
The traditional Red River Rivalry is the game most will have their eyes on as the sixth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners face off against the eleventh ranked Texas Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
Can the Longhorn defense stop or even slow down the explosive Sooners offense and the trio of Jalen Hurts, CeeDee Lamb, and Trey Sermon? Andy and I went in-depth on this game during this week’s edition of the PFN Draft Insiders podcast. Click the play button above or find us in your favorite podcast player for more.
South Carolina travels to Georgia, taking on the undefeated Bulldogs. Gamecock receiver Bryan Edwards has picked up the pace of his game after a slow start. In Georgia, he’ll face a pair of safeties who figure as middle-round picks.
Senior J.R. Reed is a tough, downhill defensive back best suited for strong safety at the next level. His teammate, junior Richard LeCounte, is smaller but a better athlete with a better range. I grade both as fourth-round picks, and the word is that LeCounte is expected to enter the draft at season’s end. TP