DE, Ohio State.
Previously: 1 Avg. 1.7 per 7
Bosa is still out indefinitely after having surgery on a core muscle injury. In Week 3 taking on TCU, Bosa had a strip-sack that was recovered by Ohio State for a touchdown, but that was also the game in which he sustained his injury. Bosa has four sacks, 14 tackles with six for a loss, and one forced fumble in 2018 over roughly two games of playing time.
In Week 1, Dre'Mont Jones and Bosa formed a lethal tandem who Oregon State was incapable of blocking. After coming close on a few plays, Bosa used his speed and strength to get to the quarterback for multiple sacks in the first half. The Beavers' offensive tackles were incapable of blocking Bosa, who constantly used speed to get upfield and active hands to knock down the blockers trying to get a hold of him. Bosa totaled two sacks, two fumble recoveries, one touchdown and four tackles for the contest despite only playing in the first half. He showed that he is an elite talent and a tremendous edge rusher. The Oregon State tape will help Bosa to grade out as a high first-round pick.
Like his older brother Joey, Nick Bosa (6-3, 265) looks like an elite edge defender. He is fast off the edge with the ability fire by tackles to get upfield. Bosa has excellent hands, functional strength to fight off blocks, a burst to close, and puts quarterbacks down hard. In the ground game, Bosa is solid, but it is his pass-rush potential that excites.
Bosa had 34 tackles, 8.5 sacks, two passes batted and one forced fumble in 2017. He was the Buckeyes' best defensive end even though he rotated with Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes. Bosa could explode as a junior now that those other three have left for the NFL, which should leave Bosa playing every down in 2018. As a freshman, Bosa played well for Ohio State, recording 29 tackles with seven tackles for a loss and five sacks.
Previously: 4 Avg. 3 per 2
Williams has broken out for Alabama this year. Raekwon Davis and Isaiah Buggs garnered more preseason hype, but Williams has been the most consistent play-maker and disruptor on the Crimson Tide's defensive line. In 2018, Williams has 22 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss, .5 sacks and one pass batted. He has caused more disruption than the numbers indicate. Williams is very fast at the point of attack with the ability to fire a gap and cause havoc in the backfield. The redshirt sophomore is listed at 6-foot-4, 289 pounds. If those measurements are legit, he could be a good fit as a three-technique in a 4-3 defense and a five-technique in a 3-4.
Previously: 2 Avg. 3.7 per 7
Brown totaled three tackles and .5 for a loss versus Mississippi State. Previously, he played well against LSU while taking on a bunch of double teams. In the season opener, Washington sent consistent double teams Brown's direction, but he made three tackles and did a good job of stuffing runs to limit Myles Gaskin. Brown also had some pressures. He is up to 24 tackles with two sacks and four tackles for a loss so far in 2018.
In many years, Brown (6-4, 322) would be the consensus-No. 1 interior defensive lineman; however, in this loaded draft class, Brown might go behind some other elite defensive line talents. Still, team sources love Brown with his quickness to push the pocket and the strength that he plays with. They see him as a three-technique in a 4-3, and he could play as a one-technique as well. Sources say they see Brown as a future first-round talent.
In 2017, Brown was a really solid interior lineman for Auburn. He was a tough run defender and contributed some in the pass rush. He totaled 56 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles on the year. Brown has the upside to get better as he gains experience.
DT, Mississippi State.
Previously: 5 Avg. 3.7 per 7
Simmons recorded five tackles with one for a loss against Auburn. He has 26 tackles and 8.5 tackles for a loss and two passes batted on the season.
Recently in the Hot Press, we reported how one team's scout said they were going to fight for Simmons in pre-draft meetings after doing their research into the background of Simmons. They said that the staff at Mississippi State and contacts at his hometown town speak highly of Simmons. He will have a lot of scrutiny because of a tape of him in a street fight, but there is no doubt that Simmons is a top-20 talent for the NFL. If team evaluators are comfortable with Simmons off the field, that could send his stock soaring high into the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Simmons (6-4, 301) is extremely talented athletically and possesses a ton of upside. In 2017, he totaled 60 tackles with 12 tackles for a loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass batted. As a freshman, he had 40 tackles with two forced fumbles. While Simmons is a great athlete with a superb skill set, he comes with off-the-field baggage, including a video of him striking a woman with multiple punches in a street fight. Similar to Joe Mixon, that video could cause Simmons to slide in his draft class.
Previously: 6 Avg. 8.9 per 7
Gary had one tackle which was for a loss against Maryland and played through an injury he suffered against Northwestern. All night against Notre Dame in the season opener, Gary burned the Fighting Irish offensive tackles and put steady hits on quarterback Brandon Wimbush. Gary totaled four tackles with .5 for a loss, but he played much better than the stat line indicates. In 2018, Gary has 22 tackles with 4.5 for a loss and two sacks.
Gary notched 65 tackles with six sacks, one forced fumble and 12 tackles for a loss in 2017. He is a rare athlete who could turn into a dominant defender. Scouting sources say Gary (6-5, 287) has high first-round potential if he puts everything together. That could definitely happen during his junior season. One scouting sources who has done advance work on the 2019 class said that Gary is a rare physical talent similar to some former top-of-the-draft prospects, but Michigan doesn't turn him loose as a pass-rusher as much as other prospects were.
DE, Boston College.
Previously: 7 Avg. 7.9 per 7
Taking on N.C. State, Allen had eight tackles with .5 for a loss and a pass batted. A week earlier, Allen dominated against Temple, recording eight tackles, two sacks, four tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. He has totaled 29 tackles with 3.5 sacks, three passes batted, one forced fumble and eight tackles for a loss on the year.
Allen (6-4, 284) didn't receive the hype of teammate Harold Landry, but Allen was the better pro prospect and could easily have been picked before Landry if both had been in the 2018 NFL Draft. Allen is a tough run defender who is strong to hold his ground at the point of attack. He anchors well and is tough to move. As a pass-rusher, Allen has an impressive first-step and burst out of his stance for a heavy defensive end. He has the strength to get pressure on the bull rush and the speed to close. Allen could use more pass-rushing moves for the NFL and with his size and strength, it would be nice to see him add a club or rip move.
Allen totaled 100 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks, three passes broken up and an interception in 2017. In the NFL, Allen will be an asset as a run defender playing end in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense.
Previously: 8 Avg. 6.3 per 7
White had 11 tackles with 1.5 for a loss In the upset loss to Florida. Taking on Ole Miss, he was excellent in pass coverage while making six tackles with .5 for a loss. Versus Louisiana Tech, White recorded 11 tackles with 2.5 for a loss and three passes broken up. He made some huge plays to help LSU pull off a road upset at Auburn, totaling eight tackles with one for a loss. White had a quality start to the season with eight tackles versus Miami. In 2018, White has 53 tackles with 6.5 for a loss, three passes broken up, one sack and one forced fumble.
White had an excellent 2017 season, totaling 133 tackles with 14 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, three passes broken up and one interception. White didn't get the attention of other SEC linebackers like Roquan Smith and Rashaan Evans, who became first-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, but White was every bit as good as they were if not better in 2017.
As a linebacker, White is the complete package. He has excellent instincts and is very fast to read his keys to get in position to make plays. For a big and thick linebacker, White has shocking speed to get to the perimeter, and he eats up space in a hurry. White is a good tackler who wraps up ball-carriers and puts them into the turf with force. White has the size and mentality to take on blocks, hold his ground, shed the block, and get in on tackles. He is a superb run defender.
In pass coverage, White is a dynamic defender. He is very fast as a blitzer with excellent diagnosis skills. White reads plays quickly and covers a lot of ground in zone. He has the speed to run down the middle seam. On dump-off passes to the, flat White explodes into the ball-carrier and is very good at making tackles in space. His size and athleticism allow him to have the potential to play some man coverage on tight ends and backs out of the backfield.
Previously: 9 Avg. 8.1 per 7
Ferrell had three tackles and a sack against Wake Forest. A few weeks earlier against Georgia Southern, Ferrell was superb with seven tackles, two sacks and one pass batted. Against Texas A&M, Ferrell was excellent with two sacks, a tackle for a loss and a critical forced fumble that helped Clemson to a two-point win. He has 20 tackles with six sacks, eight tackles for a loss, two passes batted and a forced fumble on the year.
In 2017, Clemson fielded a defensive line that was comprised of future first-round picks, and Ferrell was arguably the most consistent of the bunch. He created a lot of the big plays for the Tigers' other defensive linemen with the instant pressure he caused off the snap. Fellow defensive end Austin Bryant spent 2017 playing himself into an early-rounder, but Bryant did well cleaning up a lot of scrambling quarterbacks running away from Ferrell.
Ferrell has superb speed with athleticism and the ability to bend around the corner. He is very fast off the snap to get upfield and put quick pressure on the quarterback. Ferrell is more disruptive than his stat line indicates. In 2017, he totaled 66 tackles with 18 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, one pass batted and two forced fumbles. In 2016, Ferrell had an impressive redshirt freshman season for the Tigers, totaling 44 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks and two passes batted.
Previously: 10 Avg. 17.4 per 7
Texas A&M ended Kentucky's winning streak despite Allen contributing four tackles with a pass batted. Kentucky previously dropped South Carolina while Allen dominated the Gamecocks by recording eight tackles with four for a loss, three sacks and one forced fumble. Allen turned in a huge performance to help Kentucky upset Mississippi State. He totaled one sack, six tackles, one pass batted and two tackles for a loss.
Allen had four tackles with one for a loss against Murray State. He was superb versus Florida, breaking up a critical two-point conversion pass and clinching the game with a strip-sack. At will, Allen could burn by left tackle Martez Ivey with speed rushes.
Allen is a legit late first-round or early second-round pick who would be a superb defender as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. In 2018, Allen has 37 tackles with 10.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks, two forced fumbles and three passes batted.
In early October of 2017, WalterFootball.com was first to report that Allen was receiving early-round grades from NFL teams. One national scout compared Allen to Leonard Floyd coming out of Georgia with Allen's ability to rush off the edge. Another director of college scouting said they had given Allen a high second-round grade, and thought Allen has similarities to current Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham in terms of his height, speed, length, and athleticism in the middle.
Allen was one of the top edge defenders in college football during the 2017 season. The junior had seven sacks along with 65 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and three passes batted on the year. He started the season fast but didn't play as well late in 2017. Allen produced well as a sophomore in 2016 with 62 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles.
Previously: 11 Avg. 10.4 per 7
Oregon had a bye last week. Taking on California, Herbert completed 16-of-22 passes for 225 yards with two touchdowns. On the year, he has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,411 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Earlier, Herbert was very impressive against Stanford, completing 26-of-33 passes for 346 yards with one touchdown and one interception on a tipped pass. He looked like a legit NFL starter versus the Cardinal. Herbert really played an impressive game against the Cardinal. He showed a dynamic skill set and looked like an NFL starting quarterback. With his big arm and athleticism, Herbert had his way with a tough defense. As a passer, he threw some lasers into tight windows to beat good coverage. Herbert also showed impressive anticipation to throw the ball before his receivers made their breaks and to lead them open with good ball placement. Through regulation, Herbert was a very accurate passer who only had three incompletions. Herbert played well enough to lead his team to a victory, but his teammates' fumbles were back-breakers.
There are definitely some things that Herbert needs to work on for the NFL. First of all, he has to move his eyes more and get more adept at working through his progressions. He can lock on to primary targets or sides of the field. Herbert does show the ability to move his eyes and scan through targets, but he needs to do it more consistently. He also has to speed up his clock, as he can take some sacks from holding on to the ball far too long. Those issues can be improved upon as he gains experience, but his skill set is something that can't be coached. The Stanford tape could help Herbert to be a high first-round pick.
Sources who have already completed advance work on the 2019 NFL Draft's class say Herbert (6-6, 225) has big-time potential. He only played in eight games during 2017, but completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,750 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. The sophomore also ran for five touchdowns. As a freshman, Herbert completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,936 yards with 19 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Herbert displays good size and a strong arm with the ability to loft in touch passes. He can drop in passes with nice ball placement that leads his receivers and beats quality coverage. With his height and size, Herbert can comfortably stand tall in the pocket and demonstrate the patience to let routes develop. Along with his arm talent, Herbert is a quality athlete who has the ability to pick up yards on the ground.
For the NFL, Herbert needs to improve his field vision and working through his progressions. His college offense often has him throwing to his first target or only focusing on one side of the field. Still, there is no doubt that Herbert has the skill set to start on Sundays and possesses plenty of upside to develop.
Previously: 12 Avg. 6.7 per 7
Against Arkansas, Davis notched four tackles. He totaled three tackles versus Ole Miss, but did not play much as the game was effectively over early in the second quarter. Davis has 21 tackles with 1.5 for a loss on the season.
Davis could make it three years in a row that an interior defensive lineman from Alabama goes as a top-20 pick. Like Da'Ron Payne, the 6-foot-6, 316-pound Davis has a freaky combination of size, quickness and athleticism. As a sophomore, Davis showed interior pass-rush skills with a fast first-step, active hands with functional strength to fight off blocks, and a burst to close. Davis can use powerful bull rushes to power through blockers as well.
Davis broke out in 2017 for the eventual National Champions, racking up 69 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and one interception. It was his first season of extended playing time, and he was very impressive. Davis definitely has early-round potential for his draft class.
Previously: 13 Avg. 12.5 per 2
Taking on Arkansas, Diggs had seven tackles with a pass broken up and a forced fumble. Diggs has taken his game to another level this season. He flashed last year, but still was developing at cornerback after starting his career playing both offense and defense. In 2017, he was able to focus on corner, and now this year, his play has taken a huge jump into phenomenal. Diggs has 20 tackles with six passes broken up, one forced fumble, and one interception on the season.
As a freshman, Diggs had 11 receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. He also brings added value as a punt and kick returner after doing that during his first two seasons at Alabama. In his junior year, Diggs totaled 13 tackles with five breakups and an interception. He was buried behind Anthony Averett, Levi Wallace and Tony Brown. Diggs is listed at 6-foot-2, 199 pounds with excellent speed and athleticism.
Previously: 15 Avg. 14 per 7
In a blowout win for Clemson over Wake Forest, Lawrence did not record any stats. He previously notched three tackles versus Syracuse. A week earlier against Texas A&M, he collected three tackles. He also had a few pressures in the pass rush and caused some disruption. Lawrence has 12 tackles with one for a loss on the year.
Lawrence totaled 34 tackles with 2.5 sacks in 2017. While he wasn't as good as he was in 2016, and his production reflected that, he helped create a lot of sacks for those around him. Some team sources wonder if Lawrence was playing injured as a sophomore.
Lawrence was a tremendous freshman to help Clemson win the National Championship. NFL sources were raving about him in the 2017 preseason, as he was impossible to ignore in 2016. Lawrence was an All-Freshman selection all over the nation while being the ACC Rookie of the Year for that season. He totaled 63 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and a pass batted that year. One national scout for a NFC team told me that they thought Lawrence was among the two most disruptive defensive linemen in 2016, along with Alabama's Jonathan Allen.
Previously: 3 Avg. 3.9 per 7
The Cougars beat Tulsa while Oliver had 13 tackles with 1.5 for a loss. He was superb against Arizona in early September, causing disruption while routinely beating double teams and some triple teams. In Week 1, Oliver was all over the field against Rice, recording 13 tackles - 8 solo - with 3.5 for a loss. He has 40 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss and a pass batted on the season.
Oliver (6-3, 290) is extremely fast at the point of attack. He explodes out of his stance and immediately gets penetration into the backfield. On top of his speed and tremendous pad level, Oliver possesses active hands with functional strength to slap away blockers hands. Oliver has a quality motor and doesn't quit on plays that go downfield. While they have different body types, Oliver reminds me of Warren Sapp with his explosive speed off the ball and the way he lives in the backfield.
In 2017, Oliver had 73 tackles with 16.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, three passes batted and two forced fumbles. He continued the strong play from his debut season despite seeing extra blocking attention all year. As a freshman, Oliver dominated at the point of attack, starting with his debut game against Oklahoma. From the beginning, Oliver overwhelmed offensive linemen with his quickness, athletic ability, and physicality. He totaled 66 tackles with 22.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles and nine passes batted that season.
Previously: 14 Avg. 13.4 per 7
Taking on Vanderbilt, Baker notched five tackles with three passes broken up. Previously, he had an easy day covering Missouri wide receiver Emmanuel Hall because a groin injury sapped Hall of all his signature speed and explosion. Taking on Middle Tennessee, Baker collected one interception and three tackles. Going against South Carolina speedster Deebo Samuel, Baker played him pretty well overall, but he had two pass interference penalties as well. Baker also caught a tipped pass for an interception and returned it for a long touchdown, but made a stupid play and dropped the ball before crossing the goal line. Luckily for him, a teammate scooped it up and scored. Baker has 21 tackles with six breakups and two interceptions on the season.
Baker (5-11, 183) was very impressive as the No. 1 cornerback for Georgia in 2017. He showed good speed and athleticism to run with receivers and prevent separation. As a corner, Baker has some similarities to former Ohio State corner Denzel Ward. Like Ward, weight could be an issue, so it would be good if Baker could add some muscle to his frame to battle NFL receivers. Baker totaled 44 tackles with nine passes broken up and three interceptions for 2017. As a sophomore, he notched two picks, five breakups and 31 tackles. Some team sources have compared Baker to Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White.
WR, Ole Miss.
Previously: 16 Avg. 16 per 7
Brown had nine receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown taking on Louisiana-Monroe. Versus LSU, Brown made nine receptions for 72 yards. Against Alabama, he totaled four receptions for 34 yards. Brown has 44 receptions for 586 yards and four scores on the year.
In 2017, Brown totaled 75 receptions for 1,252 yards and 11 touchdowns despite playing for a bad team that lost its starting quarterback to injury. Brown (6-1, 225) is a quick receiver who is not a burner with rare speed, but he makes up for it with polish and physicality. Brown is very dangerous with the ball in his hands. He uses his well-built frame to break tackles and is very difficult for a lot of defensive backs to get to the ground. For the NFL, Brown has tremendous yards-after-the-catch potential and could be a great fit in a west coast offense. He had a strong debut in 2016 with 29 receptions for 412 yards with two touchdowns.
Previously: 17 Avg. 16.1 per 7
Williams demonstrated good coverage against Florida, but also did not record any stats as the Gators avoided throwing his direction. He previously played well against Ole Miss and its trio of future NFL receivers of A.J. Brown, Damarkus Lodge and D.K. Metcalf. Williams mostly went against Lodge and Metcalf, putting together a good game. Versus Louisiana Tech, Williams made two tackles. He snagged one interception against Auburn and had good coverage downfield when tested. In Week 2, Williams notched an interception against Southeast Louisiana. On the season, Williams has two interceptions, 18 tackles and two passes broken up.
Williams broke out in 2017 with six interceptions, 11 passes broken up and 38 tackles. For pass coverage, Williams is an impressive cornerback. The first thing that stands out is his ability to run the route and prevent separation. Williams possesses enough speed to carry verticals and the recoverability to close gaps from breaks. He has quick feet and agility to stay in the hip pocket of wideouts. On top of his ability to run, Williams has excellent height and length, which make it tough to get around him. On top of his physical skills, Williams has an impressive mental makeup as an instinctive player.
The biggest concern regarding Williams (6-2, 175) entering his redshirt sophomore season is his weight. He is extremely thin-framed, and that is an issue that could weigh down his draft grade if he is unable to pack on more pounds leading up to his draft. Being so skinny is going to cause a lot of teams to have durability concerns because a lot of thin-framed cornerbacks have a hard time avoiding injuries in professional football.
CB, Penn State.
Previously: 18 Avg. 26.3 per 7
Penn State had a bye last week. Ohio State avoided throwing at Oruwariye, who had just four tackles against the Buckeyes. Versus Illinois, he had four tackles with a pass breakup. A few weeks ago in the Hot Press, we surveyed team scouts on who impressed them during fall training camp, and Oruwariye was one player mentioned. Oruwariye has taken that strong practice performance to the field, including making interceptions in back-to-back games to open the 2018 season. To go along with the picks, Oruwariye has broken up five passes and has 20 tackles. The 6-foot-1, 203-pounder has excellent size for the NFL. With his hot start to the season, Oruwariye could end up being one of the top corner prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Previously: 19 Avg. 25.2 per 6
Taking on Maryland, Winovich had two tackles. He was excellent against Nebraska, helping Michigan to blow out the Cornhuskers. He finished with four tackles, 1.5 sacks and two tackles for a loss. In 2018, Winovich has 34 tackles with 10.5 for a loss, three sacks and a pass batted.
Winovich dominated Notre Dame to open the season. All night, he showed serious speed off the edge with the athleticism to dip underneath blockers and the strength to fight off the hands of blockers.
Winovich is able to use his hands and feet at the same time while seeing the field well. With his non-stop motor, Winovich pursues plays all over the field. His physical look and style of play resembles Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.
Winovich (6-2, 258) is a gritty defender who was always around the ball for the Wolverines in 2017. He had an excellent season, totaling 79 tackles with 18 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and two forced fumbles. He had five sacks in the previous season. Given his length and weight issues, Winovich might be better off moving to 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
DE, Mississippi State.
Previously: 21 Avg. 14.1 per 7
Following a quiet first half, Sweat was excellent after halftime versus Auburn. He burned the Tigers' tackles with speed rushes and had three sacks to help close out the win for the Bulldogs. While Mississippi State lost to Florida, Sweat got the better of Gators offensive tackles Jawaan Taylor and Martez Ivey. Taking on Kentucky, Sweat did well in the pass rush, but he needs to get better in run defense for the NFL. Sweat recorded seven tackles with 1.5 sacks against the Wildcats. Previously, he was very productive against Stephen F. Austin and Kansas State. Sweat is up to totals of 24 tackles, 10 for a loss and 7.5 sacks on the year.
Sweat debuted for the Bulldogs with an excellent 2017 season as a dynamic edge defender. He totaled an SEC-leading 10.5 sacks, with 15.5 tackles for a loss and 48 tackles for the year. To start out his collegiate career, Sweat played at Michigan State before some disciplinary issues led to him leaving for the junior college ranks at Co-Lin Community College. Sweat could add weight to become a defensive end, stay as an outside linebacker, or be a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
Sweat is a dangerous pass-rusher who shows good instincts and natural feel off the edge. He has good play recognition and uses his instincts to get in the right position to affect the quarterback or disrupt plays. For a tall defender, Sweat possesses a nice ability to redirect, and he uses that to get after the quarterback or defend the perimeter. As a pure pass-rusher, Sweat is quick off the edge with the speed to turn the corner and run around offensive tackles. One of his most impressive traits is his active hands to fight off blocks while using his feet at the same time. Sweat has some functional strength that he uses to get off blocks and shows impressive hand placement to get under the pads of blockers or rip them away from him. Sweat's excellent length helps him to do that and also makes it harder for offensive tackles to get into his chest. Once he gets free, Sweat has burst to close on the quarterback.
Previously: 24 Avg. 23.7 per 3
Versus Louisiana, Thompson had a bunch of tackles and a pass broken up. He has been one of the breakout players in the early going of 2018, and multiple team sources are raving about him. They say that a first-round buzz is building around Thompson. In 2018, he has two interceptions, five passes broken up, one forced fumble and 36 tackles. Thompson was a backup to Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison as a junior. Over limited playing time last season, Thompson recorded 27 tackles, four passes broken up and two interceptions. The 6-foot-2, 196-pounder has a big-time skill set and could be a fast riser during the 2019 NFL Draft process.
Previously: 22 Avg. 20.6 per 7
Stanford held Love out against Utah with an ankle injury. He had 73 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown against Notre Dame before leaving early after suffering the ankle injury. Against Oregon, he ran for 89 yards on 19 carries with a clutch touchdown run to help Stanford pull off a huge comeback win. The Cardinal held him out with an undisclosed injury against UC Davis. Love had a rough start to the season in Week 1, but he bounced back with an impressive performance against USC. While taking on a Trojans defense with some good NFL talent, Love ran for 136 yards on 22 caries with a touchdown. He showed his speed on a 59-yard run and averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Over his four games of 2018, Love has averaged 4.3 yards per carry for 327 yards and three touchdowns. He has six receptions for 34 yards as well.
Team sources say that Love is better than other smaller backs who have gone in the first round, like David Wilson or Jahvid Best. They think that Love is more on a par with Chris Johnson coming out of East Carolina, except Love isn't as straight-line fast as Johnson, but possesses more elusiveness and moves in the open field. While Love is extremely fast, he is a tougher running back than one would think given his size. Love has great vision that, combined with his speed, makes him deadly. One college director told me, ""If the other nine guys do their job for a few seconds, this guy is gone.""
In 2017, Love averaged a staggering 8.1 yards per carry for 2,118 yards with 19 touchdowns. He also caught six passes for 33 yards. Sources say Love has more receiving potential for the NFL than the numbers illustrate.
Previously: 23 Avg. 22.7 per 7
Wilkins made five tackles versus Wake Forest. Against Georgia Tech, he had three tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss and one sack. On the year, Wilkins is up to 20 tackles with 5.5 for a loss and two sacks.
In 2017, Wilkins totaled 60 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. He played well all year, using his speed and athleticism to cause disruption at the point of attack. In speaking with sources at multiple teams, they see Wilkins as a future first-rounder. He is a fast interior pass-rusher who can collapse the pocket and provide an inside pass rush.
Wilkins (6-3, 312) played well for Clemson in 2016 as part of a tough defensive line that controlled the point of attack. The sophomore recorded 48 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and 10 passes batted. Wilkins made 33 tackles and two sacks as a freshman in 2015. He has a nice skill set with versatility to play a lot of techniques up front.
DT, Notre Dame.
Previously: 27 Avg. 37.7 per 7
Tillery was excellent in the 2018 season opener, notching a sack against Michigan and causing a ton of disruption. Against Stanford, Tillery had one of the best games of the year from any player in college football, as he dominated the Cardinal with four sacks, six tackles and a forced fumble. He has 19 tackles with seven sacks and three forced fumbles on the year. In previous seasons, Notre Dame played Tillery at nose tackle, but moving him to three-technique looks like a great decision, as Tillery has been one of the best pass-rushers in college football during 2018.
Over the past few seasons, Tillery has played well for Notre Dame and has been active at the point of attack. For 2017, he totaled 47 tackles with nine for a loss, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Tillery had 37 tackles with three tackles for a loss in 2016. The sophomore played better than the numbers illustrate and caused some havoc in the backfield.
Tillery (6-6, 310) has a good skill set with size, speed, and athleticism to develop. In the pass rush, Tillery has showed excellent strength to shed blocks, technique to get under the pads of offensive linemen, power to bull rush, and speed to close on the quarterback. He also is a stout run defender who is sound to hold his gap.
Previously: 22 Avg. 22.1 per 7
Oregon had a bye last week. Jelks made six tackles while taking on California. He had a disappointing game against Stanford, recording only one tackle. Versus San Jose State, he recorded five tackles with 1.5 for a loss, one sack and a pass batted. Jelks has 26 tackles with four for a loss and 2.5 sacks so far in 2018.
Jelks (6-5, 244) had a breakout redshirt junior season in which he recorded 59 tackles with 15 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks and seven passes batted. Jelks had totaled 40 tackles and five sacks in his previous two seasons as a backup for Oregon.
In the pass rush, Jelks is quick off the edge and shows nice vision with instincts to adjust to the offense. He has speed to close and can run around blockers. Jelks flashes some ability to bend his long frame, and that make him harder to block. As a run defender, Jelks is a good pursuit player and flows well to the ball. He reads his keys well and is able to get in good position to get in on tackles. For the NFL, Jelks is going to need to add more weight to his frame. Jelks is lean and could have issues with downhills runs coming straight at him. He also gets into trouble in the ground game and pass rush when he stands up too high.