Week 6 on the college schedule saw the Ohio State Buckeyes reaffirm their dominance while the Florida Gators made a statement that they will not be a pushover in the SEC. The Mustangs of SMU won in spectacular fashion to assure they will stay ranked in the top 25 another week. It was also a week where one Gator pass rusher continued to impress scouts and climb the NFL Draft board while a Big Ten signal-caller proved he’s overrated. With all that in mind, here are the Risers & Sliders for Week 6.
NFL Draft – Week 6 Risers
Jonathan Greenard/Edge/Florida: Greenard started the season hot and there’s been no let-up since the first game. He was omnipresent against the Auburn Tigers and a disruptive force that was impossible to stop. He finished the game with 6 tackles and 3 quarterback hits, which might as well have been recorded as sacks.
Greenard beat blockers off the snap while showing terrific quickness and explosion in his game. He’s fast up the field, shows great balance rushing the edge, and easily changes direction to make plays in backside pursuit. There was some concern about how Greenard would return off the wrist injury which prematurely ended his season in 2018, but he looks stronger and more disruptive than ever.
Caleb Farley/CB/Virginia Tech: The talent on the Hokies depth chart has taken a major hit since Frank Beamer retired. But Farley, whom I graded as a third-round NFL Draft prospect before the season, is one of the few exceptions. He’s a nice sized cornerback with athleticism and developing ball skills. During the victory over conference foe Miami, Farley intercepted two passes and broke up another throw. He still needs work on his game, yet I love his upside and feel he could eventually develop into a top 45 choice.
Sam Cosmi/T/Texas: I covered Cosmi in glory over the summer and the athletic sophomore has continued to improve his game since moving to left tackle. He’s fluid, displays terrific footwork in pass protection, and is super effective blocking in motion. Cosmi easily redirects, adjusts to pick up the blitz, or hits moving targets on the second level. Cosmi comes with tremendous upside but he must improve his run blocking strength.
Cesar Ruiz/C/Michigan: Several weeks ago, I wrote about Tyler Biadasz, my number one rated center and someone I project as a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. And according to scouts, Ruiz (whom I graded as a fourth-round prospect before the season) is not far behind the Badger center.
He blocks with terrific fundamentals, explosion, and shows ability on the second level. Ruiz, considered a potential second-day pick by area scouts, is not as complete as Biadasz. However, he’s another center prospect with starting potential at the next level.
Matt Hennessy/C/Temple: The only blemish on Temple’s record this season was a poor loss to Buffalo, but the Owls offense has been running on all cylinders in 2019. The offensive line, led by Hennessy, is a large part of the reason why. Hennessy is tough, fundamentally sound and blocks with great intelligence. He needs to physically mature and get a little stronger, but the junior has starting potential at the next level.
Sleeper Prospect – Isaiah Hodgins/WR/Oregon State: I gave Hodgins a grade of 3.00 entering the season, which is the equivalent “wait and see.” During the first month of the season, the junior has performed brilliantly and now looks like a middle-round prospect.
During the victory over UCLA this weekend, his numbers included 10 receptions, 123 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns. The prior week, he posted 10/62/1, winning the match-up against highly rated cornerback Paulson Adebo of Stanford.
Hodgins is a tall possession receiver with a nose for the end zone – he’s already accounted for nine touchdowns in four games this season. I have my concerns about his quickness and ability to separate from defensive backs, but no one can deny Hodgins is making scouts take notice of his game.
Small School Prospect – Kevin Davidson/QB/Princeton: Not many were familiar with Davidson’s game coming into the season as he was the backup quarterback for Princeton in 2018. However, the signal-caller is now building a buzz for himself in the scouting community.
In three games this year, he’s completed more than 74% of his passes for 993 passing yards with 10 touchdowns. He’s a strong-armed pocket passer with a large degree of upside. If Davidson continues to play at this level, I would expect he’ll receive late-round consideration in next year’s draft.
Week 6 Sliders
Nate Stanley/QB/Iowa: Entering the season, I stamped Stanley as a sixth-round prospect, three full rounds later than scouts graded the signal-caller. Stanley looks the part but is streaky and inconsistent in his overall game. He completed barely 50% of his throws and tossed three interceptions during the loss to Michigan.
Worse yet was the way he underthrew wide-open targets and often did not give receivers a chance to make the catch, which resulted in a loss of opportunity time after time. Unfortunately, that’s been the norm for Stanley.
Will Hastings/WR/Auburn: Hastings was graded as a potential late-round NFL draft pick entering the 2018 season but was sidelined with a serious knee injury that required surgery. Stamped as a UDFA this time around, he’s caught just 10 passes for 162 yards in the teams six games and has had no impact returning punts or kicks.
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