Week 9 of the college football season got off to a thunderous start as SMU defeated interstate rival Houston in a close game to remain undefeated. Today, there will be no shortage of intriguing matchups throughout the day. Our PFN college football live game day blog will have you covered all day and into the evening with analysis, opinion and breaking news regarding the 2020 NFL Draft.

Keep up with stories and analysis from the PFN Draft crew daily here at PFN, and be sure to check out the latest edition of 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.

Updates throughout the day are followed by initials. TP is me (Tony Pauline), AJ is AJ Schulte, and NF is Nick Farabaugh

11:50 PM

It’s easy to see Justin Herbert has all the physical tools in the world but I feel like he isn’t being developed in Oregon. The inconsistencies are still there and the offense just doesn’t flow or take advantage of his skill set. I still firmly believe he’s a top-10 selection, but there have been enough concerns that have not improved, which gives me pause. I love his fit with the Cincinnati Bengals offense, but with them currently owning the #1 pick, would they pass on him for Tua? Doubtful. AJ

11:43 PM

Building off of Nick Farabaugh’s post down below, Devin Duvernay is showing out this season. I ranked him as the 16th-best Big 12 prospect over the summer and with the way he’s playing, he will likely end up higher on my postseason list. His speed, route-running, and hands have bailed out Texas in numerous situations. He looks like another player in the mold of Curtis & Deebo Samuel. AJ

Another Big 12 wide receiver I’ve fallen for is Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace. I ranked him as the 13th best prospect entering the season, but there’s no doubt in my mind he’s top 10 now. He’s a great athlete who attacks the football so well and is downright dominant at the catch point. AJ

11:22 PM

I’ve talked enough about quarterbacks, so how about some offensive linemen? Blake Brandel of Oregon State isn’t being talked about enough at left tackle. He’s started 43 consecutive games for the Beavers and he’s got quick feet in his sets. I don’t believe he is a top-100 pick, but a fundamentally-sound and experienced offensive tackle is a valuable Day 3 selection. AJ

11:10 PM

As the resident OU fan at PFN, I get asked a lot about Jalen Hurts. We’re far enough into the season where a full grasp of players can start to be reached, so I’m gonna take a stab at it. For me, I don’t believe Jalen Hurts is a first-round quarterback prospect. His ability in the pocket just isn’t developed enough and his accuracy isn’t precise at the level of, say, Tua or Joe Burrow. He’s not close to as developed as Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray, but they also had more time at OU to develop.

I think he’s a good quarterback and can be better, but as of right now, firmly a Day 2 player for me. If he had another season under Riley, it could be a different story. I can see him being as high as the 4th or 5th quarterback taken, but Hurts is not in the same caliber as Tua Tagovailoa, Joe Burrow, or Justin Herbert.  AJ

10:58 PM

The Cal Golden Bears started off hot this season, but the injury to QB Chase Garbers has caused the wheels to fall off. They come into this Utah game on a three-game losing streak and are already down 7-0. I love the potential of their defense with star linebacker Evan Weaver and star defensive backs Ashtyn Davis and Camryn Bynum, but the offense hasn’t done them enough favors for them to shine. I grade all 3 of those defenders in the top-100 picks.AJ

10:50 PM

While Washington State QB Anthony Gordon gets a lot of attention because he’s a Mike Leach QB and puts up gaudy numbers, there’s not an NFL-level QB in his game. He possesses a nice arm but his mechanics are lazy and his decision-making and play under pressure leave a lot to be desired.  

Can say the same thing about Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson. Despite his hype as a 5-star recruit, he has never delivered on that promise with his play. Limits the talented playmakers Michigan has, especially at wide receiver. AJ

10:42 PM

Tuning into Washington State-Oregon, where Wazzu comes in on a four-game win streak against the Ducks. This Duck team has a stout defense, led by linebacker Troy Dye and defensive tackle Jordon Scott. Washington State QB Anthony Gordon is tops in the country in both passing yards and passing touchdowns. A matchup between an unstoppable force and an immovable wall.

Oregon QB Justin Herbert (my present QB3) is looking to have a rebound performance tonight against Washington State. His season has left a lot of questions unanswered and he has a chance to answer them tonight. AJ

9:55 PM 

The Colorado State – Fresno State contest has been a back and forth affair.  After being down by 14 pts, Fresno stormed back to tie the game but are presently down 24-21.

Linebacker Mykal Walker, featured in yesterday’s prospect piece, is having a solid game.  His numbers read 5 tackles, 2 TFL’s and 1 sack as the third quarter is reaching the final minutes.  Walker was taken off the field at the start of the second half with what seemed to be a calf cramp, but has returned. TP

9:50 PM

While people will look at the scoreboard and point the finger at the Temple defense, Owls quarterback Anthony Russo has not been good tonight- and I’m being complimentary.

He’s made a lot of poor decisions throwing the ball, he cannot move the chains and he seems confused by the UCF defense.  This is surprising because just one year ago, Russo sliced up the UCF defense for 444 yards passing. TP

9:40 PM

How explosive and fast is the Central Florida Golden Knights offense?

Earlier this summer I interviewed Temple linebacker Shaun Bradley at length.  Bradley was a high school sprinter who arrived at Temple as a running back before moving to linebacker.  He was also a hell of a nice guy whose love for football was infectious.

Anyways, Bradley told me the Central Florida offense was impossible to keep up with.  He’d never experienced anything like the tempo the Knights bring.

Bradley himself has been playing good football and exceeding the expectations of scouts this season except for tonight, which has been a disaster on both sides of the ball for Temple.  I graded him as a fourth round prospect coming into the draft and that’s where NFL teams see him as of now. TP

9:30 PM

Richie Grant, listed below as my fourth ranked safety, is having a terrific game against Temple.  The Central Florida junior lacks classic size but he’s explosive, instinctive and makes plays in every direction of the field. I’m told it’s very much up in the air as to whether or not Grant enters the draft at this point. TP

9:10 PM

Finishing off the secondary, as well as the top ten boards, here are my rankings at the safety position. TP

Top Ten Safety Board

Grade Rnd Full Name School Yr
4.15 1st Grant Delpit LSU 3Jr
3.89 2-3 Xavier McKinney Alabama 3Jr
3.78 2-3 Brad Stewart Florida 3Jr
3.72 3rd Richie Grant Central Florida 4Jr
3.68 4th Antoine Brooks Jr. Maryland 4Sr
3.66 3rd Khaleke Hudson Michigan 4Sr
3.65 3rd Brandon Jones Texas 4Sr
3.63 3rd Myles Dorn North Carolina 4Sr
3.55 4th Alohi Gilman Notre Dame 4Sr
3.55 4th J.R. Reed Georgia 5Sr

 

8:25 PM

Several weeks ago, I mentioned Michigan center Cesar Ruiz is receiving a lot of love in the scouting community and it’s easy to see why during the first half against Notre Dame.

Ruiz is quick, very explosive and incredibly effective on his feet and blocking in motion.  He doesn’t show great power but has growth potential and a lot of upside. TP

8:20 PM

Here’s a peek at how the top ten cornerbacks stack up on my board.  Overall there is a nice amount of talent at the top and solid depth at the position. TP

Top Ten Cornerback Board

Grade Rnd Full Name Yr School
4.10 1st Jeffery Okudah 3Jr Ohio State
4.07 1st Trevon Diggs 4Sr Alabama
4.01 1st C.J. Henderson 3Jr Florida
3.95 1-2 Damon Arnette 5Sr Ohio State
3.94 1-2 Kristian Fulton 4Sr LSU
3.93 1-2 Troy Pride Jr. 4Sr Notre Dame
3.85 2nd Cameron Dantzler 4Jr Mississippi State
3.83 2nd Kary Vincent Jr. 3Jr LSU
3.78 2-3 A.J. Green 4Sr Oklahoma State
3.78 3rd A.J. Terrell 3Jr Clemson

 

8:10 PM

Receiver Isaiah Weston of Northern Iowa, my small school prospect from earlier this week, had another huge game, finishing with 5 receptions, 157 yards (31.4-yard average) and 2 TD’s. TP

8 PM

Penn State and Georgia have the most to gain from the Oklahoma loss today, as well as the loser of the November 9th Alabama – LSU contest.

The Sooners’ loss at the hands of Kansas State opens the door for two SEC teams to make the final four and/or possibly two teams from the Big Ten. 

Ohio State has a bye week then plays Maryland and Rutgers, two exhibition games, before finishing the season against Penn State and Michigan.  I see no way for Oklahoma to get back into the playoff picture.  While Kansas State is not a bad team, it was a bad loss for the Sooners. TP

7:55 PM

It was a battle of the small school quarterback prospects as Towson played James Madison today.  In the end, neither Tom Flacco or Ben DiNucci overwhelmed.

Towson’s Flacco, the younger brother of Joe Flacco, finished with 210 yards on 18 of 32 passing with 1 TD and 1 INT. Ben DiNucci of James Madison, my Week 7 small school prospect, posted 201 yards on 14 of 25 passing with 2 TD’s and 1 INT. 

JMU remained undefeated in the conference and should win out the rest of the way. TP

7:45 PM

Marshall linebacker Omari Cobb, who I mentioned during last week’s CFB blog, had another strong game today during the victory over Western Kentucky.  His numbers included 13 tackles, 2 QBH’s and 1 TFL.  Cobb has definitely taken his game to another level and significantly improved his draft stock. TP

7:35 PM

I failed to mention one of the best match-ups of the weekend, which starts in moments during the Notre Dame-Michigan contest.

Keep an eye on Irish cornerback Troy Pride Jr., who I grade as a potential late first/early second-round choice, versus the stable of receivers who’ll line up for Michigan.  Nico Collins is my highest rated Wolverine wideout followed by Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Pride gives away a few inches to the due but his cover skills are polished. TP

7:30 PM

All eyes will be on this Alabama offense as they go face Arkansas without Tua Tagovailoa today. Jerry Jeudy has already made a one-handed catch look as routine as anything else a receiver does, and Najee Harris has ground out some tough yardage. But I, for one, am watching Arkansas RB Rakeem Boyd as well.

Boyd is a former Last Chance U star, but his contact balance and vision are two traits that every NFL scouting department will love. The intensity he plays with and the fire he brings on the field are also extremely welcome on any NFL field. Tonight will be a big test for him, but he’s off to a good start with 32 rushing yards already in the first quarter. NF

7:25 PM

Top safety prospect and highly touted prospect Grant Delpit limped off the field under his own power today against Auburn. 

Delpit is hopefully okay, and it would be a massive blow to an LSU defense that has not looked like, well, an LSU defense. Delpit’s instincts and ball skills are two of his best traits, but his football IQ is probably his best trait by far. He creates havoc on the back end, so hopefully, this injury is minor so we get to witness the havoc that Delpit can create. NF

7:20 PM

Wake Forest WR Sage Surratt is getting all the hype, but his brother, North Carolina ILB Chazz Surratt, deserves his fair shake of the hype as well within the family. 

Surratt is North Carolina’s leading tackler on the season with 63 tackles coming into the Duke game, and he just made a massive interception to give North Carolina a big win over Duke. He is a converted quarterback, and now at linebacker, Surratt is still finding his way to reading through his keys, but he looks quick, fast, and has the natural ability to flip his hips and make plays in coverage. He could be a riser as the process moves along. NF

7:15 PM

Indiana just picked up a nice 38-31 win over Nebraska and it was helped heavily by a rising wide receiver prospect out of the Big Ten in Whop Philyor. Philyor had 14 receptions for 178 receiving yards today and he was the heart and soul of this offense.

Philyor is your classic possession receiver. He’s just a true technician who can go up and win above the rim whenever you want him to do so. He’s excellent at leveraging his body to put himself in a great position to make tough catches. His footwork and ability to snap off routes as smoothly as he does are great. He can separate due to his ability to win at the line with good releases. Philyor needs to be on people’s radar as he continues to put out some really solid tape. NF

7:05 PM

Coming up at 7:30 is Boston College and Clemson squaring off, and it is a huge game for Boston College RB A.J. Dillion. Dillion’s athleticism has been the primary concern with him, but he has made the effort to lose some weight to try and add some burst to his frame. Playing against the uber-fast Clemson defense is going to be a fantastic test for Dillion to see where he has progressed to at this point.

There is no doubt that he has great footwork and contact balance, but those shortcomings in the athleticism department could hold him back from being anything special in the NFL, so I hope to see that progression as we watch him tonight. NF

7:00 PM

Want a super sleeper? The AAC has one in Tulane WR Darnell Mooney. Mooney is 5’11” and has great versatility and route-running skills. His slot abilities are exceptional. You won’t see Mooney ever be an easy out in the open field with his yards after catch skills. 

Mooney is now over 100 yards receiving and a TD on the day against Navy today, and I have my eye on him. Don’t discount the importance of route running, releases, and great footwork, because Mooney has all of them, and it makes him a great sleeper. NF

6:40 PM

This TE class is pitifully weak, and the expected emergence of some surprise prospects has not really followed suit so far this season. Sure, Cole Kmet has been an excellent riser and now looks like a potential Day 2 draft pick in this class, but there just has not been the surrounding group to reinforce this group.

However, Iowa State TE Charlie Kolar is a guy who I am intrigued by honestly. He is only a redshirt sophomore, but Kolar has proven to be a physical, big body who can stretch the field over the middle with ease. He has 80 receiving yards and a TD today against Oklahoma State. I’m curious at to what we will see the rest of the season, but Kolar has a lot of traits that I like. NF

6:35 PM

I am a huge fan of the way LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire plays football. He isn’t what Derrius Guice was, but he has that same gritty, tough it out mentality that Guice ran within every carry he got in Baton Rouge. Add that in with some great contact balance and really good burst and Edwards-Helaire is a really intriguing running back prospect. 

His 17 rushes for 92 yards and a TD have set the tone for an offense that already has so much toughness on it with its leader in Joe Burrow, but Edwards-Helaire could not fit more perfectly with this offense. He is going to get a lot of fans in the NFL, and he’s exactly the type of guy you pound the table for on draft day. Because even though you know just how good he is on the field, Edwards-Helaire is going to be a tone-setter for your team throughout the week and on Sundays. NF

6:15 PM

There’s a big play by a guy who I was a huge fan of this summer in Jalen Reagor. He turned on the jets and won with a really sharp route right there. 

It’s been a surprisingly quiet season for TCU speedster Jalen Reagor, but that speed and dynamic ability have not gone anywhere, at all. Teams have been focusing on Reagor, and TCU has not been able to find that outlet to help free up Reagor. Reagor is what I like to call a ‘coverage alterer’ because of what he can literally do the coverage a defense puts out there. The defense has to account for him at all times or get burnt, and the play call changes all because of the threat Reagor brings to the field.

So, sure it’s been a down season for Reagor, but he’s still a very good player. The second-round grade I gave him this summer has dropped to a third-round grade only because he is a bit rawer in the route running department than I initially thought, but I have no question that Reagor is going to be a really good NFL wide receiver. NF 

6:05 PM

We have some Oklahoma State offensive players showing out today in Tylan Wallace and Chuba Hubbard, both of whom have received Day 2 hype up to this point in the draft process.

Wallace has 88 yards receiving and a touchdown after he trucked two defenders on his way to the end zone, where he also showed off excellent contact balance after the catch. Wallace’s athleticism is solid, and with his ability to win after the catch due to excellent lower body mechanics and open field vision, Wallace is a big play waiting to happen. Those skills should translate to the next level. As long as Wallace can improve the sharpness of his routes and add to his release set, he should be a Second-Round pick at the latest. 

Chuba Hubbard, on the other hand, is the nation’s leader in rushing yards and it has not even been close. Hubbard is up over the century mark already today and with a touchdown to boot. His track star speed and versatility, with the ability to even be motioned out of the backfield, is going to be extremely attractive to some NFL team. Hubbard is climbing my board and bodes a second-round grade. NF

5:55 PM

Auburn DT Derrick Brown is a special player. Brown has been everywhere thus far against LSU. He pushed an LSU offensive lineman back into Joe Burrow earlier today, and it was a great example of how to convert speed-to-power, both of which Brown has in spades. 

Brown’s explosive first step, heavy hands, and good pad level all give him a fantastic bull rush to already a couple with a club-rip, chop-rip, and spin move in his arsenal of pass-rushing moves. With a hot motor to boot, Brown is cementing himself as one of the best players in this draft. 

Brown is currently my top interior defensive lineman in the draft and a top 10 player on my board due to his special traits and domination week in and week out. NF

5:45 PM

Florida State RB Cam Akers is having a special day so far, and he is adding to his already impressive season. Akers had 4 rushing touchdowns and 95 rushing yards in the first half against Syracuse, and all of it was due to his excellent skill set.

Akers’ tough style of running is blended with excellent lateral agility, contact balance, short-area burst, and long speed to allow him to break runs out of almost nothing. We have seen that multiple times this season and already today he has shown that dynamic ability to create yards for himself behind a putrid offensive line. 

Akers’ stock coming into the season was most certainly down, but as he continues to show NFL running back traits, including a surprising adeptness in the receiving game, Akers is climbing up my board and firmly has a second-round grade from me right now. NF

5:40 PM

Later tonight at 8:00 PM Louisiana Tech will take UTEP, and that should give fans an excellent opportunity to see a sleeper defensive back in Amik Robertson tonight. Robertson currently has 11 pass breakups with 5 interceptions the season.

He’s only 5’9″, but his aggressiveness, ball skills, athleticism, and instincts make him an excellent nickel prospect. Look for Robertson to make plenty of plays, because he has made plays all season long. There’s a good chance if the ball is thrown his way, it will get batted down. 

Robertson’s mentality and playmaking ability, as well as special team’s ability will make an NFL team fall in love. Keep an eye out for Robertson tonight and for the rest of the season. NF

5:30 PM

I highlighted Devin Duvernay earlier today in my back to the future film piece, and he has lived up to every expectation I could have had today. 

We are only at halftime, and Duvernay’s speed and big-play ability have already struck today. He had an electric, but easy touchdown due to a great release off the line. He has the ability to have a huge impact early on in his NFL career as long as he keeps progressing with his release set and route-running ability. 

Already he has 105 yards receiving, and I expect him to only pile it on more. He has been the go-to guy in the Texas offense for a reason, and he can be an excellent playmaker at the next level with his skillset. NF

5:20 PM

One of my favorite sleepers is Western Michigan RB Levante Bellamy. He eclipsed the century mark once again today as rushed for 178 rushing yards and 4 TDs en route to a 49-10 victory over Bowling Green. Bellamy has rushed for 887 rushing yards on the season with 13 TDs to boot on that.

It’s Bellamy’s home run ability and speed that are going to set him apart from other small-school running backs. He’s a dynamic playmaker with great speed and lateral agility, and with that comes the ability to create yards for yourself. It’s just not every day you can find someone with the elusiveness and athletic traits that Bellamy has in his arsenal.

The receiving side of things needs improvement, but only because Bellamy is so unproven. Western Michigan does not use him enough there for me to truly gauge his potential there, but he shows natural hands when involved.

I have Bellamy circled a Day 3 sleeper that should be heavily watched on as the process carries on. NF

5:10 PM

It’s another week and another K.J. Hamler touchdown as already happened for the Nittany Lions. Hamler continues to prove that his route running has only gotten better as the season has gone on. Now combine that with his deadly speed and Hamler has the traits to be a game-changer deep threat in the NFL.

The more I have thought about it, the more I believe that Hamler reminds me of Kansas City Chiefs rookie WR Mecole Hardman. Hamler has that same easy speed, and with the growth he’s shown on the technical side of things, Hamler’s stock is only going to rise from here, even in a stacked wide receiver class. NF

5 PM

Temple football always comes through with a super sleeper on defense- a lowly graded or often ignored player at the start of the season who ends up as a draft pick or impacting the draft.  Entering the 2018 season Rock Ya Sin was graded as a street free agent yet ended up as a top 35 pick nine months later.  The year prior it is was Julian Taylor, ignored by scouts coming into the season but a 6th round pick of the Niners in 2018 who’s been on the active roster the past two season.  Then, of course, there was Haason Reddick, not graded by scouts entering his senior season only to become the 13th pick of the 2017 draft.

This year the name to key on his cornerback Harrison Hand, a Baylor transfer who’s playing lights out. 

Entering tonight’s contest Hand totals include 39 tackles, 3 INT’s and 3 PBU’s.  He possesses next-level size and next-level ball skills.  Both of those will be tested against Central Florida tonight, a 7 PM kick-off on ESPN2.  Of course, UCF lines up star receiver Gabe Davis, a player I project as a 2nd round pick and someone I’m told will enter next April’s draft.

Word is Hand, a true junior is also leaning towards entering the draft, which gives some immediacy to scouting his game. TP

4:45 PM

I’ve never been impressed by the next level potential of Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke and grade him almost a round lower than I have Nate Stanley of Iowa (5th/6th round prospect).  He’s an average armed passer with average accuracy and someone who comes across to me as a career number third signal-caller on Sunday.

I have many of the same criticisms of Lewerke which I have on Stanley- poor pass placement on a consistent basis which forces open receivers to adjust or stop/slow down in stride to make the catch. TP

4:40 PM

I’m starting to warm to quarterback Joe Burrow of LSU.  And what I mean is, while everyone was anointing him a top 10 pick over the past month, I wanted to be patient before making such a bold proclamation.  And though I’m not there yet his playmaking ability, quarterback intellect and toughness are impressive.

You can’t help but admire the way Burrow has his finger on the pulse of that LSU offense and the way he’s so in tune with his receivers.  His decision making and pass choices are top-notch. TP

4:30 PM

I gave Will Fries of Penn State a 7th round grade entering the season and I still feel pretty confident about that.  The fourth-year junior is not a great athlete but a smart, tough lineman who blocks with solid fundamentals.

I like his patience, the way he uses angles and body positioning as well as the way Fried gets the most from his ability.  He’s more of a practice squad/8th offensive lineman at the next level. TP

4:25 PM

Princeton quarterback Kevin Davidson, my Week 6 small school sleeper to watch, had another impressive performance today helping mount a furious comeback to help the Tigers remain undefeated.  After a slow start in which Harvard was hammering Davidson, he led Princeton to 20 unanswered points which resulted in a 30-24 victory.

Despite being sacked 4 times, Davidson finished with 312 passing yards and 4 TD’s, completing 57% of his throws.  I believe a Shrine Game invitation could be on its’ way for Davidson. TP

4:05 PM

Looking for a sleeper on the defensive line?  Take a trip to Staten Island, NY and take and seek out Chris Williams of Wagner.  The big-bodied lineman goes about 6-feet-2.5-inches and 310 pounds and is in the midst of a breakout season.

Graded by NFL scouts as a camp body coming into the season, his total from a year ago included 25 tackles as well as 6.5 TFL.  Seven games into the 2019 campaign he’s already posted 33 tackles, 5.5 TFL, and 2 sacks.  Against Dusquene today, Williams added 7 more tackles and an additional tackle for loss.

Williams is a strong, explosive defensive tackle hitting his stride and someone who could jump into the late rounds of the draft if he works out well next spring. TP

3:45 PM

Like father, like son.  Antoine Winfield Jr played just four games in each of the past two seasons before being sidelined with an injury.  Thus far this season in 6 games and a few minutes into game number 7, he’s picked off 5 passes and has 40 tackles to his credit.

He definitely inherited his father’s ball skills.  Let’s hope he has the same intensity as Antoine Winfield Sr., was one of the most competitive defenders I’ve ever scouted. TP

3:35 PM

Some great games kicking off at 3:30, contests which have national title implications as well as NFL draft consequences.

Andy Herman and I talked about the Penn State-Michigan State game during our podcast on Thursday.  This is another major Big Ten contest today and it will be a big test for MSU cornerback Josiah Scott, who’ll be charged with covering Penn State speedy receiver KJ Hamler.

As I reported during the podcast, the word I’m hearing is Hamler will likely declare for the draft after the season.

In similar fashion, Auburn-LSU has conference and playoff implications.

While the Auburn secondary is not as talented as the one which will be fielded by LSU’s next opponent, the Crimson Tide, their defensive line is much more explosive and is likely the toughest one Joe Burrow will face during the regular season.  TP

3:20 PM

Gearing up for Auburn-LSU and this is a huge test for Joe Burrow’s pro stock. The Auburn defense, led by Derrick Brown, is going to be his biggest test of the season. How he plays today is going to be a huge indicator of his draft stock.

The matchup to watch for me is Auburn DT Derrick Brown against LSU C Lloyd Cushenberry III. This is going to be a back and forth battle with Brown looking to cement himself as a first-round selection. I know Burrow and the high-flying offense will draw some eyes, but the war in the trenches is going to decide the game. AJ. 

2:45 PM

It’s been a relatively effective game for Justin Madubuike, the defensive tackle from Texas A&M, whom I presently grade as a fourth-round pick. The stats are pedestrian with just two tackles and one QBH as the fourth quarter starts. His quickness off the snap, ability to play with leverage and the way he regularly occupies blockers allows defensive teammates a free shot at the ball carrier more times than not. TP

2:25 PM

Illinois hopes to keep the momentum going off last week’s upset victory over Wisconsin and they’ve been dominating Purdue today, leading the contest 24-0 as the third quarter is coming to a close.

Keep an eye on Fighting Illini left tackle Vederian Lowe, someone I graded as a middle-round pick entering the season. The junior is a strong and relatively agile blocker who has done a solid job all day today. Ultimately I could see Lowe moving into guard in the NFL. TP

2:15 PM

I still don’t understand how so many people don’t put Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins in the first-round conversation. In my opinion, he’s a complete back that’s a terrific ball carrier, catches the ball well out and effectively blocks when necessary. I love his ability to create yards, as he just displayed on that touchdown run to put the Buckeyes up 27-7, as he multi-cut his way to the end zone, displaying balance and body control in what are pretty miserable conditions.

As important a game this is in the Big Ten, it was equally a terrific running back match-up.  Thus far Dobbins is performing at a much higher level than Jonathan Taylor. TP

1:55 PM

The Ohio State defense has done a terrific job containing Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor. As the second half begins Taylor has just 29 yards rushing on 14 carries. While the weather has not been offensive friendly, you would think this type of weather would benefit Taylor. You have to be impressed with the play of Chase Young today as the pass rusher extraordinaire leads the Buckeyes with four tackles including three TFL’s. TP

1:25 PM

Antonio Gandy-Golden, the Liberty receiver featured in today’s introduction, has three receptions, 42 yards, and one TD as the first half is about to close out against Rutgers, with the score reading 21-21. Included was a magnificent one-handed reception by Gandy-Golden which he took into the end zone.

This is another good showing in the early going from Gandy-Golden against a team in a Power 5 conference. He started the season totaling six receptions for 119 yards against Syracuse. TP

1:10 PM

There are a lot of people who like Miami linebacker Shaquille Quarterman but I am concerned about his speed and athleticism, both of which were a liability on that last play.  Pitt running back Todd Sibly burst through the hole and ran away from Quarterman who could not make the tackle. Sibly ended up with a 33-yard carry. 

Quarterman has athletic limitations which will hurt him at the next level and reduces the types of schemes he can play in, as well as the responsibilities he can handle. This is in comparison to his teammate Michael Pinckney who is slightly smaller but much quicker, faster and able to cover more ground on the field. TP

12:40 PM

Wisconsin offensive lineman David Moorman was not graded by scouts entering the season, and the grade I gave him was equivalent of being a street free agent prospect. He’s definitely shown enough to get looks in camp next summer.

His toughness, football intelligence and most important, position versatility, could help him catch on as an inexpensive utility blocker at the next level. TP

12:30 PM

With all the talk of quarterback Justin Fields, the skills players and the defense, the Ohio State offensive line often gets lost in the shuffle. I have been impressed with the development of left tackle Thayer Munford. The big left tackle is a strong, explosive blocker who does a reasonable job of blocking in motion, and I like his blocking instincts as well as intensity. 

Munford is a college left tackle who projects to the right side and is similar to former OSU lineman Isaiah Prince, a sixth-round pick in last year’s draft by the Miami Dolphins who has started two games this season. TP

12:15 PM

All eyes will be on the Big Ten match-up between Wisconsin and Ohio State in the early going, but Iowa-Northwestern is another interesting conference contest.

Wildcat defensive end Joe Gaziano just came up with a big sack of Nate Stanley, which pushed the Hawkeyes back out of the red zone and they proceeded to miss a field goal.  Gaziano is graded as a PFA and someone I don’t expect will be selected in the draft but he will compete for a roster spot on Sunday. 

He lacks great measurables but is a tough, intelligent defensive end who makes a lot of splash plays when no one expects it. I could see Gaziano making a roster as an eighth defensive lineman that is used in specialty situations on defense and also lines up on special teams. TP

11:30 AM – Who may be entering the 2020 NFL Draft?

College Football Week 9 starts off with several important contests, none more so than the 13th ranked Wisconsin Badgers traveling to the Horseshoe to take on the 3rd ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Then at 3:30 PM, we’ll see the QB Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers. We also have two great matchups at 7:30 PM ET – one between the Boston College Eagles and the Clemson Tigers and the other between the 8th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the 19th ranked Michigan Wolverines.
 
But let’s get back to the Ohio State vs. Wisconsin game. The Buckeyes have rolled over everybody this year and hope to keep the momentum going through January. Wisconsin lost a bad game to Illinois last week and need a win in order to keep their faint playoff hopes alive.
 
Since his return, wide receiver Quintez Cephus has shown flashes of brilliance and will need to do so today against the very talented Buckeye secondary. Junior corner Jeffery Okudah grades as a mid-first round choice. Despite an inconsistent season I still believe senior Damon Arnette could slide into the late part of round one while sophomore Shaun Wade is developing into a top 45 prospect.
 
Keep a close eye on the OSU linebackers as they try and contain Badger running back Jonathan Taylor. Malik Harrison, the only senior in the bunch, has top-45 potential, Tuf Borland is a third-round choice while Baron Browning and Pete Werner are solid middle-round candidates.
 
Mississippi State travels to College Station in desperate need of a victory as they meet the Aggies of Texas A&M. The prospect news surrounds a pair of MSU Bulldogs whom I’m told are expected to enter the draft.
 
Multiple sources tell me running back Kylin Hill, stamped as a third-round prospect before the season by the scouts who graded a handful of juniors, is very likely to enter the draft.  Hill is having a solid campaign in 2019, totaling 643 yards and crossing the goal line five times. He has just eight receptions this season.
 
The potent Aggie passing attack is sure to test cornerback Cameron Dantzler, the other MSU junior likely headed to the NFL after the season. One source close to the situation told me it’s about 99% Dantzler enters the 2020 draft. Graded as a potential first-round pick by scouts coming into the season, Dantzler has two INT’s, six PBU’s to go along with 23 tackles this season.
 
Speaking of prospects who are entering the NFL Draft – I reported on the PFN Draft Insiders podcast earlier this week that Penn State WR KJ Hamler, who PFN Draft Writer Matt Valdovinos wrote a nice piece on, is heavily leaning towards entering the 2020 NFL Draft. You can listen to more of what I have to say about him starting at the 27:15 mark.
 
Rutgers has been unwatchable this season and despite possessing several next-level prospects in the secondary, their pass defense is one of the worst in the Big Ten. They will be up against it this week as Antonio Gandy-Golden and Liberty come visiting.
 
Gandy-Golden has been mentioned on this site several times since the start of the season.  His play has solidified him as a nothing worse than a last-day pick and I would expect to see Gandy-Golden in the Senior Bowl then the combine. Rutgers is another opportunity for the wideout to showcase his skills against a team from a power five conference.
 
Check back often as I expect more breaking stories throughout the day. TP