The College Football Playoff Committee released it’s second week of top 25 rankings on Tuesday, and was met with much instant criticism (for good reason). Despite this, most of the teams are loaded with talent and feature an extraordinary prospect that we at Draft Rite want to highlight. So here we are, the top prospects on each of the Top 25 College Football Teams this week!
25. Appalachian State – LB Akeem Davis-Gaither
If the Raiders aren’t going to take Moses/Simmons, early in the Draft, they should go after App St LB Akeem Davis-Gaither. He played well against SEC comp last night in coverage, and showed he could get to the QB. pic.twitter.com/G8jp1pVFsC— Maliik 🏁🇳🇬 (@Obee1ne) November 10, 2019
Akeem Davis-Gaither has come on as an interesting prospect in the last few weeks. As the Mountaineers have put together an impressive 8-1 season, including upset wins over North Carolina and South Carolina, Davis-Gaither stood out on tape as a legitimate defensive prospect.
A 4-3 outside linebacker, Davis was labeled as the hardest hitter in the Sun Belt conference. While he currently lacks real pass rushing moves, he projects to be much more effective as a late blitzer, and a zone coverage over the middle type player who will come up and make a quick, smart tackle.
22. Oklahoma State – RB Chuba Hubbard
Chuba (pronounced Chew-Ba) Hubbard is one of the most electric running backs in college football. Hubbard currently leads the nation in rushing yards, hitting 1604 yards in just 9 games. He’s also second in the country right now with 18 rushing touchdowns, averaging exactly 2 per game.
Hubbard has extraordinary field vision and speed, allowing himself to literally get wherever he wants to go on the field. As just a redshirt-sophomore, it’s unclear if Hubbard has any interest in going pro this season. Regardless, this kid is a monster and is the best prospect on the team.
21. Boise State – EDGE Curtis Weaver
Curtis Weaver is a special prospect. As the programs career leader in sacks, he has physical proof that he can make a huge impact on the field. He’s only a redshirt-junior, but Weaver has compiled an impressive 12.5 sack total in just 9 games.
Weaver brings a nose to the football on the field, and a motor that doesn’t stop. He’s a powerful rusher with a variety of moves that combine both power and finesse to get into the backfield. He’s a fun one to watch, and a borderline first round guy.
20. Iowa – EDGE AJ Epenesa
Want to talk about a freak of nature? Let’s talk about AJ Epenesa.
Easy speed stab-rip rush by AJ Epenesa, who is my current EDGE1 for 2020. He’s dominant. pic.twitter.com/LrBi3Pmg0Q— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) July 8, 2019
Epenesa is every bit of 6’6″ and 280 pounds. He’s quick, violent and powerful. Remember what JJ Watt looked like at Wisconsin? That’s what AJ Epenesa looks like. Playing limited snaps last season, he collected 10.5 sacks. This season, offenses have done everything they can to neutralize and avoid him, so his production has dipped. It doesn’t mean the tape is any bit less impressive.
I really like AJ. As a junior, he could elect to stay another season. However, whenever he comes, he’s going to be a monster in the NFL for years.
19. Texas – WR Devin Duvernay
I’m sure this is met with some surprise by some of my peers. Devin Duvernay? Even with Collin Johnson on the team?
Yes, I believe Devin Duvernay is the best prospect on this football team. Duvernay isn’t as big as Johnson, but he is every bit as physical. Johnson has separation issues, which is why he stayed in school for another year. Duvernay is an ex-track stud. His forty time is about to be blazing in Indianapolis this season.
Duvernay brings finer footwork, better overall route-running, and better separation from the defensive back. He’s become Sam Ellinger’s number one guy. He’ll be that for someone in the NFL, too.
18. Memphis – IDL Bryce Huff
Bryce Huff has been on my watch list for quite some time this season now. At 6’3″ and 255 pounds, Huff plays as a 4-3 defensive end in Memphis. I don’t think he will quite transition to the NFL in that system. Huff lacks straight up speed, which oftentimes limits his effectiveness as an EDGE prospect.
I think Huff would be much better suited as a 3-4 defensive end, as a good tackler. He has a good head, lateral quickness, and the ability to transition burst into power. I really like the idea of him putting on another 15 pounds or so and then moving to the 3-4.
17. Cincinnati – TE Josiah Deguara
Josiah Deguara is one of the more underrated names currently in the NFL Draft cycle. He’s not a perfect prospect by any means, but he does a lot of things right and deserves the recognition for doing so. A high effort player, Deguara has come up when his team has needed him most, including 7 touchdown receptions through 9 games this season.
Deguara is a capable blocker, a capable receiver, but most of all he doesn’t stop hustling. He made the tackle in the season opener against UCLA that prevented an interception from being a pick-six by running the defender all the way across the field to catch him. This kid is special, and some NFL team is going to be lucky to get him.
16. Notre Dame – EDGE Julian Okwara
Julian Okwara entered this season with a few things that people wanted to see him improve. Consistency was a big thing, as sometimes he looked like a different player between snaps last season. Okwara needed to develop a second move according to some scouts.
Okwara had a very impressive performance this season against Virginia Tech. He collected 3 sacks and was a menace off of the edge. However, he’s produced 4 sacks this season total. He’s pressured the quarterback a further 7 times. He hasn’t taken the next step, but is still a borderline first round prospect because of his size and athleticism.
15. Michigan – EDGE Joshua Uche
Michigan is surprisingly lacking a top-end prospect, but if anyone is going to get there, it is Josh Uche. The 6’2″ 250 pound linebacker is a 3-4 outside linebacker who plays both the run and can get to the quarterback. He’s collected 7.5 sacks and showed he is a disciplined run defender against Army when he logged a season high 8 tackles.
Uche doesn’t have the speed to be elite, but he’s smart enough and has enough hustle to be an impact defender at the next level. He’s on his way to the Senior Bowl, and a good week there can make him a legitimate candidate.
14. Wisconsin – RB Jonathan Taylor
Wisconsin has a very good running back prospect in Jonathan Taylor, perhaps the best that RBU has ever offered! Taylor came into the season with some concern about his ability to assist in the passing game, as both a blocker and a receiver.
This season, Taylor has put those concerns to bed. He’s scored 4+ touchdowns in three games this season (one of those it was 5) and his receiving ability has opened up another chapter to this offense. He’s a stud, and now the only thing teams can be concerned about is the tread on his tires and how long he will last in the NFL.
13. Baylor – WR Denzel Mims
we’re sending denzel mims to the space jam football gamepic.twitter.com/tt2nI1mp4m— Thor Nystrom (@thorku) November 13, 2019
Denzel Mims is a machine. One of my favorite players that I watched on tape last season, I thought Mims should have gone pro last season. Instead, Mims decided to return and help Baylor start off to a 9-0 start and compete for a Big 12 Conference Title.
Instead of burying his draft stock, Mims has only improved it, displaying an improved catch radius and one of the most controlled bodies that I have ever seen. The problem is that this class of wide receivers is arguably the deepest class in NFL history, and Mims gets buried in the group.
12. Auburn – IDL Derrick Brown
Derrick Brown is arguably one of the most dominant interior defensive lineman prospects that we have ever seen. Brown is every bit of 315 pounds on a 6’5″ body. Only problem for opposing offenses? Brown moves like he weighs around 270. His speed and quickness is absolutely mind-boggling, and his impact on the field is immeasurable.
Brown doesn’t have many weaknesses, other than he can’t be everywhere on the field! Seriously though, he has struggled this season on double teams. Some of these lesser teams in games that don’t mean as much to Auburn, we’ve noticed Brown’s lack of effort is notably missing. However, he’s there for all of the big games, putting in an extremely impressive performance.
11. Florida – EDGE Jabari Zuniga
Jabari Zuniga has a lightning burst that is explosive and quite frankly a lot of fun to watch. His get-up off of the line of scrimmage is extremely impressive. He has a knack to time the snap perfectly and blow up the play before it has even began. It’s astonishing sometimes.
As good as it can be, Zuniga is inconsistent. Sometimes he seems like he is a full second behind the snap. He can be locked up quickly by an offensive lineman and doesn’t have the technique to get around him quickly. Despite this, he will be a borderline first round prospect because of the potential he brings.
10. Oklahoma – WR CeeDee Lamb
CeeDee Lamb is a demon after the catch – pic.twitter.com/UnZPvRfulu— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) November 10, 2019
What CeeDee Lamb is capable of doing at the wide receiver position is truly extraordinary.
Lamb is an outstanding route-runner and has a pair of elite hands. He’s a With his 6’2″ and 191 pound frame, he does need to fill out a little more, but he has a physical play style combined with incredible speed. His after the catch ability is extraordinary because of his elite field vision and core strength that allow him to break out of arm tackles in the open field.
He’s my wide receiver number one.
9. Penn State – EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos
Yetur Gross-Matos may not even declare. If he does, he has some work to do to climb on NFL draft boards. He has great size, standing at 6’5″ and 260 pounds. A special athlete, Gross-Matos has made his speed rush work on the college level, and has the quickness and length to be a menace from the snap.
However, he doesn’t use his length to his advantage. He has real opportunities to create plays because of his long arms, and he doesn’t understand how to use them. Another season in college will probably do him good, but he has the tools to be a special player.
8. Minnesota – WR Tyler Johnson
Minnesota has produced some fine NFL type-talents over the past few years. Tyler Johnson might be the finest yet.
Johnson is a very refined route runner, and shows excellent receiving ability. He’s kind of that underrated receiver that no one ever talks about. People should be talking about him, he’s producing another fine season. A 1000 yard receiver last season, Johnson is on pace to do it again this season, already with 50 catches for 750 yards.
Johnson will be a fine piece for some team in the NFL. He’s a very balanced prospect and teams will find intrigue in him.
7. Utah – S Julian Blackmon, Utah
If Julian Blackmon played on the East Coast, he would be considered a surefire first round pick and one of the best defensive prospects in the country. People just don’t usually stay awake long enough to see Blackmon play. He’s a special prospect, and he stands out on tape.
The senior safety has good ball skills, and can deliver the hit when he needs to. Blackmon shows a lack of discipline sometimes, and that allows opponents to pull him out of position to get past his zone.
6. Oregon – QB Justin Herbert
Justin Herbert was once viewed as a potential first overall pick. Now, that seems less than likely, as both Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow have pretty well eclipsed him. Herbert has flashed all of the skills and traits that teams like to see in their franchise quarterback.
Herbert’s own offense has held him back this year, as the scheme has been designed for Herbert to protect the football and, ultimately, protect himself. It’s kept him upright this season, but it’s hidden a lot of the things that we grew used to seeing the first couple of years. Oregon is banging on the door of the top four teams, and just needs to keep winning. So far, limiting Herbert has been a key to success.
5. Alabama – WR Jerry Jeudy
People may be surprised that Tua Tagovailoa isn’t listed here. While Tua is a fantastic prospect, the better and less flawed one is his top wide receiver, Jerry Jeudy. Alabama comes off a loss to first ranked LSU, but he still had a hay day against the Tigers defense.
Jeudy has been a machine while in Alabama. He averaged 19.3 yards per catch last year, and this year is looking to set career highs in both receptions and receiving yards. Jeudy is not just a fine route runner, he’s got incredible speed, the best hands on the team, and is incredibly effective in the open field after the catch.
4. Georgia – OT Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas is one of the most perfect prospects on tape. He’s strong, smart, and quick, and makes good decisions while in the trenches. Georgia is completely undeserving of the 4th spot in this Top 25, but Thomas is deserving of a top 4 overall grade.
Some people are going to be worried about his limitations athletically and his measurables as he may not have the length that other prospects have. Trust your eyes, people. Trust the film.
3. Clemson – LB Isaiah Simmons
Isaiah Simmons might be the most ultimate tool we have ever seen on the defensive side of the ball. He’s exactly what NFL teams are craving for, a linebacker who’s big and fast enough to cover the modern tight end. He has the speed to run like a cornerback, and the hit power of a linebacker.
Simmons is sometimes undisciplined and tries to make the big play every time. The huge hit, so to speak. He wants to be a hero, and sometimes he needs to just make the play instead of the highlight.
2. Ohio State – EDGE Chase Young
The hands-down best prospect in the NFL Draft class. The Ohio State squad is loaded with incredible NFL prospects. However, Chase Young is on another level. He might just be the best edge prospect that we have ever seen.
Young is ultimately the perfect prospect. He’s a game changer. You have got to see it to believe it.
1. LSU – QB Joe Burrow
Joe Burrow has become my favorite quarterback prospect in the draft class. He’s incredible. He can make every throw, see’s the field better than any of these prospects, and he has made the entire LSU program even better.
Burrow hasn’t showed many weaknesses. He doesn’t have the strongest arm in the class, but it’s a good one. He isn’t the most mobile guy, but he’s good enough. Burrow is the reason the LSU offense has seen so much success this year.