- Mel Kiper Jr., Football analyst
We're not quite to the point in the season where we have what I'd call a useful sample size. Few teams have played more than one game against top competition, or at least equal competition, and there are totals that look really inflated, as well as guys who haven't even played yet due to suspension. But we're no longer miles away.
For instance, Jadeveon Clowney already has played against two opponents that could never be called cupcakes, and has looked both great and occasionally tentative. It's been a mixed bag. Will we see a huge performance this week against Vanderbilt? Or will he get frustrated as teams continue to engineer their offense in the opposite direction of No. 7? Is a third game against good competition enough to have a stronger opinion on where he is as a player? It's one of the things I'll be watching this week as the sample size inches its way toward something tangible.
As always, scouting reports remain similar week to week, with updates on matchups. Asterisks denote juniors; two asterisks denote redshirt sophomores.
Jadeveon Clowney *
He didn't appear to be 100 percent in Week 1, and I thought he was a little tentative in the game against Georgia, though the Dawgs ran everything away from him. I'm looking forward to seeing him against Vanderbilt this week. Clowney combines exceptional strength and quickness, as well as strong hands to quickly shed blocks, and the result is a terrifying defensive talent. He's not just an edge-bender, as he does a great job of beating tackles inside. He can occasionally play a little high, which allows teams to run at him, but he has improved there and is nowhere near a liability.
PREVIOUS RANK: No. 1 | PLAYER CARD
Teddy Bridgewater *
There's nothing to complain about regarding his performances, but is there going to be one game all year before a bowl where we'll be able to say he was truly tested? Bridgewater rarely looks overwhelmed, and comfortably works his eyes across the field. When he sees a target -- or more likely, a receiver who will come open -- he has a quick release, plenty of arm strength and good ball placement. I really like how he calibrates his throws, not using too much arm when he doesn't need to.
PREVIOUS RANK: No. 2 | PLAYER CARD
Louis Nix III *
Just an OK game against Michigan, as the young Wolverines on the interior of that offensive line occupied Nix pretty effectively. At his best, Nix has the rare size and skills to handle a zero-technique role -- Nix can keep multiple blockers occupied and make life easy for linebackers cleaning up against the run -- but he's not limited to that because he can really move, at least a lot better than you'd expect from a guy who can play at 340 pounds.
PREVIOUS RANK: No. 3 | PLAYER CARD
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