Commentary

Top prospects ready for big games

Many big-name players face tough challenges in Week 5

Originally Published: September 26, 2012
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
The college football season is a month old, and we're starting to get a good feel for the top NFL prospects across the nation. We should get more insight in Week 5, when several top prospects face quality opponents.

The Tennessee-Georgia game will be loaded with big-name prospects. It starts with Tennessee WR Justin Hunter, who faces a Georgia secondary that includes four draftable prospects -- Shawn Williams, Bacarri Rambo, Branden Smith, Sanders Cummings -- in addition to OLB Alec Ogletree.

And don't forget Bulldogs OLB Jarvis Jones, who will be looking to get pressure on Vols QB Tyler Bray, and Tennessee OL Dallas Thomas, who will likely get a chance to go head-to-head with massive Georgia DT Johnathan Jenkins.

Elsewhere, Ohio State heads to Michigan State, where Spartans DE William Gholston will chase Buckeyes QB Braxton Miller, and OSU DT Johnathan Hankins and DE John Simon will try to contain MSU RB Le'Veon Bell.

West Virginia QB Geno Smith and Tavon Austin could be in for a big day in their Big 12 opener against Baylor, while Texas S Kenny Vaccaro and his mates will get their first real test of the season against Oklahoma State.

All this could produce shuffling next week; also, be sure to check back later this week for a complete update to my ranking of the top 150.

As always, draft-eligible non-seniors are noted with an asterisk.


Big Board Bar

1
OLB
6-2
242

Analysis: Jones' dominating performance against Missouri turned plenty of heads. He flashed an impressive combination of pass-rush skills, range and coverage ability. He has the versatility to line up all over the formation, and is a very good overall athlete. Previously: 4

2
OG
6-2⅜
325

Analysis: Warmack is as good as any guard prospect I've ever evaluated, dating back to Steve Hutchinson coming out of Michigan in 2001. Warmack is agile, athletic and strong, and the rare guard worthy of a top-10 pick. The classic interior tough guy who is also a very smart player. Previously: 2

3
QB
6-1⅞
228

Analysis: Barkley has been victimized by leaky protection and drops by his receivers, but his decision-making also has not lived up to expectations. Still, he's smart, accurate and throws with good tempo, so he remains the clear-cut No. 1 quarterback on the board. Previously: 3

4
DE
6-5
240

Analysis: Mingo has a long frame, an elite first step as a pass-rusher and outstanding speed for his size. He also has great range and closing burst against the run. Previously: 3

5
DT
6-4⅛
363

Analysis: A massive two-gap nose tackle with a good combination of size, strength and short-area quickness to control the inside and occasionally contribute as a pass-rusher. Previously: 5



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