which players are either helping or hurting their draft stock. This list will be updated weekly, so check back often. Disclaimer: A good or bad week or two doesn’t significantly alter a prospects’ draft stock, but if you put it all together you can look for trends.
Kenny Britt, WR/Rutgers (Jr) – Britt blew up against NC State setting the Big East all time receiving mark with his 6 catch for 119 yard and 1 TD performance. Britt has a nice combination of speed and height, this guy is definitely moving up according to some pro scouts. On the season Britt has amassed 1371 yds receiving and 7 TD’s, this guy can play. Britt and Shonn Greene (below) have already declared for the 2009 NFL Draft.
Shonn Greene, RB/Iowa (Jr) – Greene has pretty much been a picture of consistency all year, he eclipsed the 100 yd rushing mark in all 13 of Iowa’s games… that alone is impressive. Greene put on another brilliant show against S. Car and with word of him entering the draft look for this guy to be a late first/early second round steal. His bowl game stats were an amazing 29 carries for 121 yards and 3 TD’s. On the year he had 1,729 yds rushing with 17 TD’s and no fumbles.
Ndamukong Suh, DT/Nebraska (Jr) – Suh had a monster bowl game, he led NU with eight tackles, including 3½ behind the line of scrimmage. He added two sacks to his team-high total, now 7½. He also blocked a field goal. Suh (6′ 4 304 lbs) is now considering entering the 2009 NFL Draft and could even sneak into the 1st round.
Jeremy Macklin, WR/Missouri (So) – What can I say Macklin is explosion in a bottle. He didn’t have the best receiving game (Missouri didn’t have a good offensive game period, I know Mizzou alumni who stopped watching the game at the half). Mr. do it all for the Tigers had 187 total yards and 2TD’s. We see how big of an impact Macklin can make and NFL teams are going to love this guy. Macklin finished the season with 1,260 receiving yards and 13 TD’s (and that’s just receiving).
Kaluka Maiava, LB/SS/USC (Sr) – Maiava was simply amazing against Penn St and all year basically. He has been victim to the overshadowing names of Brian Cusing and Rey Maualuga. Maiava not only flew all over the field amassing double digit tackles, but he added a couple pass break ups and a near INT, earning him the Rose bowl defensive player of the game award. Maiava (6′ 0″ 228 lbs) is kind of tweener, which might cause him to slip in the draft.
Knowshown Moreno, RB/Georgia (So) – Moreno had a decent game but didn’t take it over like a 1st round pick ending his collegiate career should. Moreno was average in the game and while he did score a touchdown he was frequently bottled up. If Moreno does come out we could see him fall to the early second round because of his late season performance.
Derrick Williams, WR/Pen St (Sr) – For an athlete as explosive as Williams he showed little to scouts in that Williams could make huge plays when big games are being played. Williams had a meager 4 catches for 34 yards in the loss to USC and while we all know how good the USC defense is Butler managed to shine so Williams has no excuse. I look to see Williams in the early third round as of right now.
CJ Spiller, RB/Clemson (Jr) – Spiller would be wise some back for his senior season, sure he has exciting speed but that alone will not get him much. Spiller has seen his number decline year by year and with the anemic performance against Nebraska Spiller will definitely fall in the draft. His decline is not all his fault but good players manage to shine in any situation.
TE Chase Coffman, Missouri (6′ 6″ 250 lbs): Still a supreme talent, but he broke his foot on MU’s final play of overtime in the Tigers’ 30-23 Alamo Bowl victory over Northwestern. He had a pin inserted into his foot and should be ready for the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine, but will likely defer and conduct his only post season workout at Missouri’s Pro Day in March.
(JR) Hakeem Nicks, WR/UNC ( 6′ 1″ 210 lbs): With the performance he put on against West Virginia, Nicks could easy become an early second round picks with this outing. In the game Nicks caught three touchdowns while amassing 217 yards, the 20th player to cross the 200 yard plateau in NCAA history.
Pat White, QB/West Virginia (6′ 0″ 190 lbs): White showed he can improve his passing with time and his athleticism makes him an interesting pick come April. Maybe a receiver in the NFL, but his showing in the Meineke Car Care Bowl where he threw for a career-high 332 yards and 3 TDs might have changed some minds.
Greg Carr, WR/Florida St. ( 6′ 6″ 214 lbs): This rangey receiver showed that he can make plays against a decent Wisconsin defense, Carr’s stock rose when he won the jump ball battle for an early touchdown.
(JR) Jerry Hughes, DE/TCU (6′ 2″ 248 lb): Hughes showed enough heart and relentlessness during the game to prove he will not be discouraged during a game. He has a lightening quick first step and could be a rush linebacker in the NFL. Hughes led the nation this year with 15 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss.
Zack Follett, OLB/California (6′ 2″ 235 lbs): Follett is a good tackler and a fiery competitor. After watching him track down athletes faster than him his stock definitely rose during the Emerald bowl. Follett (10.5 sacks) was one of only two linebackers to record over 10 sacks for the season, Virginia’s Clint Sintim (11 sacks) was the other. Follett also recorded an amazing 23 tackles for loss for the season which was #1 for linebackers and #3 overall.
(JR) Syd’Quan Thomson, CB, California (5′ 9″ 185 lbs): Thompson, already a three year starter has great speed and ball skills and is very strong against the run for a small guy, but what makes him special is his ability to turn and play the ball in the air.
Ian Johnson, RB/Boise St (Sr) – Yeah he broke Marshall Faulk’s record but he didn’t produce much after that, with lower production he looks to have slipped into the late rounds. Johnson doesn’t have great speed and won’t be special at the next level.
Larry English, DE|OLB/N. Illinois (Sr) – Being the 2 time DPOY for the MAC, English did not dominate the way he should have in the Independence Bowl. Before the game, he was climbing scouts’ charts into the late 1st/early 2nd round, but unless he really shines at the combine/workouts/post season bowls, he might slip a little. English recorded 8 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss for the season, but saw constant double teams
Rey Maualuga – MLB/USC (Sr) (6′ 3″ 260 lbs): Rey was dominant late in the season for the Men of Troy. His draft stock is continuously rising because of his relentless play and nasty hitting. Many think the USC defense is over-rated because of a weak PAC-10, I’m sure Maualuga and the USC defense are ready to unload in their best matchup of the season.
(JR) Shonn Greene – RB/Iowa (5′ 11″ 235 lbs): Greene might go back for his senior season and would be wise to do so but after watching his late season production I hope everyone can see how amazing this guy is. He has good vision and good feet but his productivity comes on yards after initial contact, this guy is a load and if he comes out he’s probably a day one guy.
Lawrence Sidbury – DE/Richmond (Sr) (6′ 4″ 265 lbs): Sidbury is a small school DE who can take over a game, his play in the FCS playoffs to track down Armanti Edwards and especially his play in the FCS Championship game has given this guys draft stock a huge lift. Others say this guy is a 6th/7th round pick but after his productivity during the games that counted he is on the move up, if he does well at the combine he could easily go in the 4th round.
Kory Sperry – TE/Colorado St. (Sr) (6′ 6″ 255 lbs): Sperry had a nasty ACL last year and has worked his way back into not only playing well but showing glimpses of what he could do. TE’s are getting very athletic, this under the radar TE saw his stock rise in the bowl game when he was double covered and won the battle to catch a much needed TD.
Tyrone McKenzie – LB/South Florida (Sr) 6′ 2″ 236 lbs: McKenzie was all over the field during the bowl game against Memphis. He quickly helped his stock with his ability to constantly be around the ball, will he test well enough to move into round 4 or higher is the question.
(JR) Mark Herzlich – OLB/Boston College (6′ 3″ 240 lbs): Watching this guy late in the season I understood why so many NFL scouts and execs love this guy. He is fearless, intense and just flat out makes plays. I would not be surprised to see this guy Round 1 to the Giants when its all said and done (right now he’s a 2nd round prospect). This guy just has that Vrabel feel to him.
(JR) Nate Davis QB/Ball St. (6′ 2″ 217 lbs): Davis had a great season and helped himself potentially make a lot of money but his melt down against Buffalo has shown that he still has a long way to go. Because of the way he performed scouts are really going to take shots at his size and weight which could drop him a round or two when it’s all said and done. He will need to light Tulsa up to stop the slide.
Willie Tuitama – QB/Arizona (Sr) (6′ 3″ 223 lbs): Even though Tuitama and Arizona won the game Tuitama was way too inconsistent in his throws. I have spoken to a few NFL scouts who say they love the size and arm strength, but his decision making and accuracy problems make them really nervous.
(JR) DJ Moore – CB/Vanderbilt (5′ 10″ 184 lbs): Moore had a solid season but the inevitable meltdown all were expecting from Vandy happened coupled with a few plays he was unable to make has this CB sliding. Moore will be a solid day 2 pick but if he wants to move back into the late day 1 scenario he will have to play lights out against BC.
(JR) DE/OLB Brandon Williams, Texas Tech (6′ 5″ 248 lbs): Williams was fantastic against Texas and abused highly regarded left tackle Adam Ulatoski. He has now recorded 6 sacks in his last 4 games and for the season is ranked #3 in the nation with 10 sacks and 11 Tackles for loss.
(JR) LB Joe Pawelek, Baylor (6′ 3″ 245 lbs): A tackling machine, able to avoid blocks and get to the ball carrier. He leads the nation in tackles with 105 and has also recorded 5.5 tackles for loss (TFL), 4 pass break ups, 3 interceptions and 5 QB hurries.
(Soph) Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas (6′ 3″ 208 lbs): I don’t normally include sophomores on this list, but Briscoe is worth mentioning. Against Oklahoma he hauled in an amazing 12 catches for 269 yards and 2 TDs and for the year he has recorded 795 yards and 10 TDs.
(JR) WR Austin Collie, BYU (6′ 2″ 206 lbs): The top receiver (statistically) in the nation averaging 117.6 yards per game. He recorded 9 catches for 156 yards and 3 TDs against Colorado State and for the year he has recorded 1,058 receiving yards and 11 TDs.
CB Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest (5′ 9″ 190 lbs): A little short but if you throw the ball in his direction look out, he is an interception machine. He intercepted 2 passes in their overtime victory against Duke and for the year has recorded 5 INTs and 13 pass break ups.
Here are a few offensive lineman that are having excellent seasons so far:
Brandon Carter, Texas Tech (6′ 7″ 374 lbs)
Alex Mack, California (6′ 4″ 316 lbs)
Max Unger, Oregon (6′ 5″ 308 lbs)
Russell Okung, Oklahoma State (6′ 5″ 302 lbs)
Rylan Reed, Texas Tech (6′ 7″ 307 lbs)
DE George Selvie, South Florida (6′ 4″ 255 lbs): He’s back. Last weekend Louisville made the mistake of trying to cover him with just a single offensive tackle. Louisville won in a 20-24 upset, but Selvie recorded 2 sacks and 4 tackles for loss in the game.
WR Darius Passmore, Marshall (6′ 3″ 190 lbs): This is the second time Passmore has landed on my Risers list. Passmore is a major sleeper, smooth as butter and he has a bright future in the NFL in my opinion. Against UAB last week he recorded 6 catches for 165 yards and a TD.
(JR) DE/OLB Everette Brown, Florida State (6′ 4″ 249 lbs): I have been very high on him all year and he really turned it on last week against, in FSU’s 30-20 victory over Virginia Tech, Brown recorded 3 sacks and 4 tackles for loss (TFL). For the year he has amassed 6 sacks and 11 TFLs.
(JR) WR Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina (6′ 1″ 210 lbs): A big play receiver that few have heard of. He is the top receiver in the ACC and currently ranks #13 in the nation with 782 receiving yards and 7 TDs. Against Boston College last week he caught 8 passes for 139 yards and 3 TDs.
RB Cedric Peerman, Virginia (5′ 11″ 212 lbs): Lou Holts loves this guy and now I see why. He runs so hard and gets a lot of yards after contact. On October 25th against East Carolina he rushed 16 times for 173 yards and 2 TDs, that’s a 10.81 yards per carry rushing average. On October 11th against Georgia Tech he had 25 carries for 118 yards and 1 TD. For the year he has racked up 541 yards and 7 TDs.
(JR) WR Kenny Britt, Rutgers (6′ 4″ 205 lbs): Rutgers pulled off a stunning upset of Pitt on 10-25-2008 and Britt was a big reason why. The young junior recorded 5 pass receptions for 143 yards and 3 touchdowns.
FS Lendy Holmes, Oklahoma (6’ 1” 205 lbs): The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after the Sooners win against Kansas (10-18-2008), Holmes was all over the field recording 8 tackles and intercepting two passes against Jayhawk QB Todd Reesing, who had been picked off just three times coming into the game. Holmes is one of only two senior starters on the Sooners’ young defense; the Dallas native leads OU with three interceptions and is #3 in tackles with 42. The versatile Holmes has also started at CB, played a full season at WR and returned kicks during his career.
TE Travis Beckum, Wisconsin (6′ 3″ 233 lbs): He fractured his left fibula against Illinois on Saturday and will miss the rest of the season. The small tight end/large receiver wasn’t having a great season anyway. He had caught only 23 passes for 264 yards and zero touchdowns for the season before the injury.
(Soph) RB LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh (5′ 11″ 210 lbs): McCoy might be the running back that isn’t getting much publicity, but he is as talented as any running back in the nation. His 27 yard TD run in the 4th quarter against Iowa a few weeks ago was impressive and over his last 2 games he has accumulated 291 rushing yards and 2 TDs.
(JR) LB Sergio Kindle, Texas (6′ 4″ 240 lbs): Kindle is finally starting to come on strong, he was impressive last week against Oklahoma. With his hand down rushing the passer he looks like a future NFL star. He finished the game with 4 tackles, 1 sack and 1 tackle for loss.
DE Willie VanDeSteeg, Minnesota (6′ 4: 256 lbs): What a good looking pass rushing prospect, the Steeg has 11 tackles for loss for the season and last week in their upset win against Illinois he had a spectacular game. He finished the game with 5 tackles, 3 sacks and 3 tackles for a loss.
WR Jarett Dillard, Rice (5′ 11″ 180 lbs): Dillard has regained his spot as the #1 receiver in the nation. He leads the nation with an average 112 yards per game and also leads the nation with 11 touchdowns, in his last two games he has accumulated 256 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns.
LB Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh (6′ 1″ 240 lbs): Scotty is a very talented inside linebacker, last week against South Florida he finished with an impressive 12 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 2 sacks.
LB Clint Sintim, Virginia (6′ 3″ 256 lbs): A nice looking senior linebacker that would be an ideal fit for the 3-4 defense. Last week against East Carolina Sintim has an excellent game, he finished with 7 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 tackles for loss. He is flying up the draft boards.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland (6′ 3″ 205 lbs): Yes he has blazing speed, but he has had pitiful production this year. He has caught only 12 passes for 267 yards and 3 TDs so far this season. He hasn’t had any receptions in his last 2 games.
WR Aaron Kelly, Clemson (6′ 4″ 188 lbs): Kelly as well as the entire Clemson football team has under produced. After 6 games Kelly hasn’t scored any touchdowns and has only caught 28 passes for 262 yards.
OT Phil Loadholt, Oklahoma (6′ 7″ 360 lbs): Loadholt looks a little heavy in the legs and was totally outclassed against Texas DE Brian Orakpo in the Red River Shoot-out.
(JR) DE Austin English, Oklahoma (6’ 3” 257 lbs): English didn’t show up last week against Texas. The entire Oklahoma defense collapsed and English was a non factor in the game.
CB Victor (Macho) Harris, Virginia Tech (5′ 11″ 195 lbs): Macho started out the season slowly missing the first game with an injury, but in his last three games (combined) he has recorded 3 interceptions, 10 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss.
DE Orion Martin, Virginia Tech (6′ 2″ 250 lbs): Martin is a relative unknown NFL Draft prospect, but he won’t be able to fly under the radar much longer. He is currently ranked #4 in the nation with 9.5 tackles for loss and in his last three games he has recorded an impressive 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss (TFL). Martin is relentless and very quick.
DE Brian Orakpo, Texas (6′ 4″ 260 lbs): This guy is a complete stud and already looks like a NFL Player. He is now matching his production with his physique, he is ranked #5 in the nation with 5.5 sacks and an additional 7 tackles for loss (TFL).
DT B. J. Raji, Boston College (6′ 1″ 325 lbs): Defensive tackles his size just normally don’t get a lot of sacks, but Raji has played with a vengeance this year and has recorded 4 sacks.
WR Austin Collie, BYU (6′ 2″ 205 lbs): The junior Collie has been on tear lately. He has been an explosive, big play receiver this season and currently ranks 8th in the NCAA averaging 103.6 receiving yards per game. In his last three games (combined) he has recorded an amazing 364 receiving yards and 6 TDs.
RB Shonn Greene, Iowa (5′ 11″ 200 lbs): The junior Greene is a powerful runner that breaks a lot of tackles. He is currently ranked #5 in the nation rushing for 137 yards per game (average). He has recorded (to date) 822 yards and 5 TDs and over his last three games he has averaged 154 rushing yards per game.
LB Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh (6′ 2″ 240 lbs): McKillop was named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for games of the weekend of Oct. 4. McKillop recorded a team-high 12 tackles (all unassisted) and had two sacks and three total tackles for loss. He also stopped a run on a fake field goal attempt in Pittsburgh’s 26-21 upset victory at South Florida.
OT Jason Smith, Baylor, (6′ 5″ 308 lbs): This former tight end is having an excellent senior season and is almost a certain first round NFL Draft Pick at this point. He just logged in his 30th consecutive start at left tackle for the Bears. Great feet, strong and he plays with a mean streak. We will know a lot more after next week, he will face a tough test against DE Austin English of Oklahoma.
WR Jarett Dillard, Rice (5′ 11″ 170 lbs): He’s back. After leading the nation with 21 touchdowns as a sophomore, he struggled a little last year as a junior. Well his senior year he is tearing it up again. In his last two games he has recorded 272 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. For the year he has 377 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
WR Derrick Williams, Penn State (6′ 0″ 198 lbs): What an explosive offensive weapon, not a polished receiver, but he will probably be a better Pro than a college player due to his speed and versatility. Last week he was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after he led Penn State to a 38-24 victory over then No. 22 Illinois. His 241 all-purpose yards (33 rushing, 75 receiving and 133 on kick returns) yards were the most by a Nittany Lion since 2002 when Larry Johnson gained 289 yards against Michigan State.
DE Clinton McDonald Memphis (6′ 2″ 270 lbs): An under-rated, every down defensive end. Mac is ranked #4 in the nation with 5 sacks. Last week he almost singlehandedly destroyed Arkansas State recording 4 sacks, 4 tackles for loss and 9 tackles in the game.
DE Nick Reed, Oregon (6′ 2″ 256 lbs): Reed is one of those prospects that isn’t rated real high by NFL Scouts, but his production on the field can’t be ignored. Reed is having another fantastic season so far recording 8.5 Tackles for loss (TFLs) and 5 sacks. They (NFL Scouts) said similar things about Denver Broncos’ Elvis Dumervil coming out of college.
DE/OLB Cody Brown, Connecticut (6′ 3″ 246 lbs): Will be converted to outside linebacker in the NFL, but he is a playmaker, so far this season he has recorded 4 sacks and and 5 TFLs.
RB Tyrell Fenroy, Louisiana-Lafayette (5′ 10″ 188 lbs): This speedy little running back ran all over Kansas State rushing for 183 yards and 3 TDs. In his last two games combined he has run for 377 yards and 6 TDs and he ranks #2 in the nation averaging 113 yards per game.
WR Ramses Barden, Cal Poly (6′ 6″ 228 lbs): The top small school talent in the country has not disappointed. He currently ranks #1 in Division 1AA averaging 156 receiving yards per game.
CB Darren Banks, West Liberty (5′ 11″ 181 lbs): Banks is a another rising, small school talent. He currently leads Division II with 4 interceptions and with continued stellar play could be a late round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft.
LB Rey Maualuga, USC (6′ 2″ 260 lbs): Did not play well at all in USC’s stunning loss to Oregon State. Rey looked tentative, but he hurt is leg and knee in the game and is listed as doubtful for this weeks’ game against Oregon.
WR Dante Love, Ball State: What bad luck, I just highlighted him last week in our “risers” section and then the very next week he sustained a devastating spine injury and is out of football. NFL Draft Dog wishes him the best during his recovery.
QB Tyler Lorenzen, Connecticut (6′ 4″ 219 lbs): Out until around mid November with a broken right foot.
LB Quentin Cotton, East Carolina (6′ 2″ 226 lbs): The senior Cotton was having a nice season, but he blew out his knee and is out for the rest of the season.
LB DeAndre Levy, Wisconsin (6’ 3”, 232 lbs): Levy had an excellent game against Fresno State. He recorded nine tackles (four tackles for loss), a pass breakup and an interception in the Badgers’ 13-10 victory. Levy also intercepted a tipped pass in the first quarter, setting up Wisconsin’s’ only touchdown and, with the game still on the line, Levy came up with a key third-down sack on Fresno State’s final possession. Levy has been added to the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List.
RB Javon Ringer, Michigan State (5’ 9” 200 lbs): Ringer has been the workhorse for the Spartans this year. He is currently ranked 3rd in the nation averaging 166 yards per game. Ringer has carried the ball a whopping 104 times in just 3 games and also recorded 178 kick-off return yards and 9 touchdowns.
(JR) TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma (6’ 6” 254 lbs): Gresham looks like the best tight end in the country at this point. The big, fast, Gresham really knows how to find the end zone; he has recorded 13 receptions for 218 yards and 4 touchdowns after three games.
WR Dante Love, Ball State (5’ 10” 182 lbs): First team All-MAC last year and he is off to a fast start this year. After 3 games Love is ranked #1 in the nation in “average yards per game” with 144. Ball has also recorded 3 touchdowns and 229 kick return yards.
LB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri (6’ 1” 235 lbs): One of the top linebackers for the 2009 NFL Draft, The Spoon is off to an excellent start. Look at these numbers after just three games: 28 total tackles, ranked #3 in the nation with 3 interceptions and 2 touchdowns along with 5 passes defended and 5 tackles for a loss (TFL).
(JR) DE Antonio Coleman, Auburn (6’ 2” 250 lbs): An almost certain first round draft pick when he does enter the NFL Draft. Coleman is continuing to dominate after an excellent sophomore campaign last season where he recorded 38 tackles, 8. 5 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss (TFL). This season after three games the junior Coleman has already recorded 3 sacks and 4 TFLs.
(JR) DE Austin English, Oklahoma (6’ 3” 257 lbs): English led the Big 12 with 9.5 sacks last season and this year he is off to another excellent start. He has already recorded 5.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks. With massive, talented defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and DeMarcus Granger on the inside, English will likely throw up huge sack numbers this season.
QB Max Hall, BYU (6’ 1” 204 lbs): The unsung Hall is throwing up (literally) huge numbers this season. After only three games Hall is ranked #3 in the nation with a 77.8 completion percentage. He has done this while throwing for 1,095 passing yards and 12 touchdowns. Hall has a 14-2 record as a starter and is surrounded with talented players this season. Hall tied a school record with seven TD passes against UCLA last week.
OG Jeremy Perry, Oregon State (6’ 2” 330 lbs): Perry is falling like a rock due to injury concerns. He missed most of last season (2007) and is now listed as doubtful for the September 25th game against USC.
TE Anthony Hill, NC State (6’ 6” 256 lbs): A once promising NFL Draft Prospects now appears to be in store for a career change. After missing all of 2007 with a major knee injury, he will now miss the 2008 season (out indefinitely) with a strained muscle in his chest.
LB Darry Beckwith, LSU (6’ 1” 232 lbs): Hobbled with a bum left knee he hasn’t been dominating thus far.
RB Javarris James, Miami (FL)(6’ 0” 214 lbs): James has played in two games and recorded 78 yards and 1 TD, but he now has a high ankle sprain and will be out for a few games.
OT Andre Smith, (JR), 6′ 4″ 330 lbs, Alabama : Smith had a fantastic game against Clemson in the first week of the college football season. Alabama rushed for 239 yards against Clemson and Smith opened up gaping holes and provided excellent pass protection. He did sprain his right knee in the 3rd quarter and leave the game, but the sprain is not considered serious. Smith looks like the best offensive lineman in the country to me.
NT Terrance Cody (JR), 6′ 5″ 360 lbs, Alabama: Sticking with the Alabama theme, Cody is a JC transfer and even though he weighs around 360 pounds, has already lost over 40 pounds since coming to Alabama. He still has a ways to go, but he just emerged as a possible 2010 NFL Draft prospect with an excellent game against Clemson. Cody and his fellow defensive teammates held the Clemson’s’ vaunted “Thunder and Lightning” backfield of James Davis and C.J. Spiller to 20 yards combined!
WR Sammie Stroughter, 5′ 11′ 186 lbs, Oregon State: Sammie missed all of last season due to “personal reasons”; he had to deal with the death of two of his relatives. He’s back, and he looks good. In the first game of the 2008 season against Stanford, he caught 12 passes for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns.
WR Michael Jones, 6′ 3″ 207 lbs, Arizona State: One of the top receivers in the nation and an almost certain day one pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Jones caught 6 passes for 162 yards in week 1 of the college football season against Northern Arizona.
WR Darius Passmore, 6′ 3″ 190 lbs, Marshall: Passmore caught 4 passes for 111 yards and 2 TDs against Illinois State. Passmore is a legitimate NFL prospect and reportedly ran a 4.39 forty in the spring.
RB Damion Fletcher, 5′ 10″ 180 lbs, Southern Miss: Fletcher is off to a good start this year after rushing for 1,586 yards last season. Against Louisiana-Lafayette, he rushed 21 times for 222 yards and 2 TDs.
RB P.J. Hill, (JR), 5′ 11″ 228 lbs, Wisconsin: Hill has battled injuries in the past, but looks healthy now and had an excellent game against Akron rushing for 210 yards and 2 TDs.
RB Charles Scott, (JR), 5′ 10″ 220 lbs, LSU: Without a proven quarterback the Tigers gave the ball to Scott and he didn’t disappoint. Against Appalachian State he rushed 16 times for 160 yards and 2 TDs.
RB James Starks, (JR), 6′ 2″ 207, Buffalo: A big work horse of a running back. Last season, the former quarterback became the first Buffalo player to rush for over 1,000 yards since since Buffalo came to Division 1. Starks is one of the hottest running backs in the country, in his last four games last year he rushed for a combined 699 yards and in the first game of the 2008 college football season against UTEP he rushed for 179 yards.
Safety Otis Wiley, 6′ 2″ 210 lbs, Michigan State: Wiley is quite the ball hawk and an under-rated 2009 NFL Draft Prospect. Against California in week one, Wiley recorded 2 interceptions returning them for 84 yards and returning one back for a touchdown.
WR Brandon Tate, 6′ 1″ 191 lbs, North Carolina: What a kick returner, in the last two seasons Tate racked up a combined 2,251 kick return yards. He is already off to a good start in 2008. Against McNeese State he recorded a whopping 397 total yards with 106 rushing, 93 receiving, 142 kick return and 56 punt return yards.
I didn’t want this portion to sound like an injury report, but with so many top NFL Draft Prospects injured I felt compelled to run down the injuries as they (injuries) do have a significant impact on draft status.
RB Chris Wells, (JR), 6′ 1″ 237 lbs, Ohio State: Buckeye nation is holding their breath after Wells left the game against Youngstown State with a right foot injury. The extent of the injury is unknown, X-rays were negative, but he will not play against Ohio on September 6th.
DT Jeff Owens, 6′ 3″ 298, Georgia: Owens is a very powerful (550 lb bench), talented defensive tackle that suffered a devastating injury in the first game of the 2008 season. He will miss the entire 2008 season after receiving knee surgery. Owens next challenge will be trying to work his way back for the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine so he can regain his once lofty draft status.
WR Jeremy Maclin, (Soph), 5′ 10″ 187, Missouri: Maclin had a great game against Illinois, with 234 total yards, 31 receiving, 56 punt return and 145 kick return yards, but he injured his left ankle and was seen standing in a boot on the sidelines.
DE Greg Hardy (JR), and DT Peria Jerry, Ole Miss: Two of the best defender in the nation are battling injuries at Ole Miss. Jerry will miss the entire season due to right knee surgery and Hardy will miss 6-8 weeks with right foot surgery.
DE Eric Moncur, 6′ 2″ 260 lbs, Miami (FL): Had hernia surgery and missed the Charleston Southern game, questionable for the Florida game on September 6th.
TE Travis Beckum, 6′ 4″ 230 lbs, Wisconsin: This speedy Tight End is fighting a bad hamstring. He missed the game against Akron and is questionable for the game against Marshall this Saturday.
OG Jeremy Perry, 6′ 2″ 323 lbs, Oregon: This once promising guard (1st team PAC 10 in 2006)), just can’t stay healthy. He missed most of last season and still hasn’t played in 08. He had knee surgery and is listed as questionable.
TE Jeff Cottam, (JR), 6′ 7″ 260 lbs. Tennessee: His brother Brad was drafted by the Chiefs in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Jeff’s once promising career is in jeopardy, he is listed as out indefinitely after back surgery.
QB Ben Olson, 6′ 4″ 235 lbs, UCLA: In 2006 Olson transferred from BYU and looked like a legitimate NFL Draft Prospect, but he just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Olson broke his right foot in April, had surgery and won’t be able to play for a couple more months.
CB Victor Harris, 5′ 10″ 187, Virginia Tech: Harris missed the East Carolina game with a foot injury, which by the way was a stunning upset loss. Harris is listed as questionable for the Furman game. Harris really needs to get on the field and help the struggling Hokies.
FB Brannan Southerland, 6′ 0″ 240 lbs, Georgia: One of the top full backs in the nation will miss the 2008 season with a broken foot. Along with DT Jeff Owens and OT Trinton Sturdivant (out for the season), the Bulldogs have incurred some devastating early injuries.