Week 5 on the college schedule saw the nation’s premier teams, Alabama and Clemson, assert their dominance over conference foes. We also saw several previously unbeaten teams go down to defeat. From a scouting perspective, several front-seven players impressed with outstanding performances and earned a place in our NFL Draft stock report for Week 5. Here are this week’s risers and sliders.
NFL Draft Stock Report: CFB Week 5 Risers
Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
Monty Rice entered the season assigned a second-day grade by scouts and ranked as a top-five linebacker. We got a glimpse why Saturday, as he led a Georgia defense that shut down the Auburn offense, holding the Tigers to just six points and 39 yards rushing.
Related | Miller’s 2-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft
Rice was all over the field making plays and showed great range and speed in pursuit. He finished with a team-leading seven tackles, but the stats told a fraction of the story. Besides the physical skills, Rice plays with great intensity and football intellect. He offers scheme versatility as well as starting potential at the next level.
Tarron Jackson, DE, Coastal Carolina
Don’t look now, but the Chanticleers are undefeated after a 52-23 thrashing of conference opponent Arkansas State. Coastal thoroughly pounded ASU in all facets of the game, and Tarron Jackson helped lead the way on defense.
Finishing with four tackles, two tackles for loss and two sacks, Jackson helped stop the ASU offense from ever getting a rhythm in the game. He’s a nice-sized defensive end with growth potential, and he’s already graded as a late-round pick by a number of scouts.
Darius Stills, DL, West Virginia
Darius, the older of two Stills brothers on the West Virginia defensive line, was a nuisance during the Mountaineers’ overtime victory over Baylor. He finished with four tackles (3.5 for loss) and 2.5 sacks, and if he wasn’t making plays, Stills was drawing double-team blocks to free up teammates. He’s an explosive one-gap defender who plays hard on every snap.
The issue for Stills is his poor size and limited growth potential, as he measures barely six feet tall and isn’t even 280 pounds. His style and ability to get the most from his skills will garner late-round consideration, but one way or another, whether it be for defense or special teams, I expect Stills to make a next-level roster.
Reggie Roberson, WR, SMU
This is a good news/bad news scenario. I mentioned over the summer that Reggie Roberson displayed himself as a legitimate big-play threat and NFL receiver even though he missed half the 2019 season with a foot injury. I then made the bold prediction he could be a top-45 pick in 2021. His game against Memphis included five receptions for a gaudy 243 yards with two TDs. Roberson has terrific size at 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, plays faster than his 4.4 40-yard dash time and is a legitimate vertical receiver for the next level.
Now the bad news; Roberson crumpled to the field late in the third quarter with a non-contact knee injury, and there’s been no definitive word on the situation as of yet. Roberson has second-day physical skills, but over the past year, he’s shown undrafted free agent durability.
Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
Even in a losing effort, Hunter Long stood out and is slowly moving up draft boards. He finished the game with nine receptions for 96 yards and brought his three-game total to 25 receptions. Most of his production came after a devastating hit early in the game that almost sawed Long in half, but he still played while injured.
He’s a terrific pass catcher who also does a solid job with blocking assignments. Long is not a true downfield pass-catching threat, but he will be a very good mid-round choice, if not earlier.
NFL Draft CFB Week 5 Sleeper Prospect
Emeka Emezie, WR, North Carolina State
Emezie has been a bit of a tease, as scouts have been waiting three years for this very talented receiver to break out. Their wishes may have come true Saturday, as Emezie posted seven receptions for 101 yards and two TDs against a very talented Pittsburgh Panthers secondary.
Emezie is a large (6-foot-2, 210-pound) receiver with consistent hands. He has the potential to be a No. 3 wideout on Sundays, but he must consistently play at a high level every weekend.
Small School Riser
Trae Barry, TE, Jacksonville State
I could’ve taken this in a number of directions this week and even gone with Barry’s teammate, quarterback Zerrick Cooper. I chose Trae Barry, as he received a draftable grade from scouts, he’s someone I think highly of, and he’s returning from an injury that limited him to five games a year ago. Barry finished with four receptions for 52 yards against Florida State in a game JSU dominated during the first half.
Barry is a long, athletic tight end with outstanding hands. He gives effort blocking, but he must fill out his skinny frame and get stronger. Barry should be given mid-round consideration in April’s NFL Draft, as he’s a small-school prospect who could line up as a No. 2 tight end early in his NFL career and eventually develop into a starter.
NFL Draft Stock Report: CFB Week 5 Slider
Andrew Parchment, WR, Kansas
Andrew Parchment was graded as a fifth-round prospect by scouts coming into the season, an opinion I disagreed with; he ranks as a UDFA on my board. In three games this season, Parchment has caught just 11 passes, five of those receptions coming against Baylor and Oklahoma State. He has also totaled just 75 receiving yards this season.
Parchment has solid size and speed, and he’s coming off a productive junior season, but he still looks like a flash in the pan rather than a legitimate NFL prospect.