Dishing on the Draft (9/30/20)

Welcome back to another edition of Dishing on the Draft. The rest of FBS decided they wanted to play again, the SEC is back, and more this week.

THIS WEEK’S DRAFT NEWS

The big news this week is that the Pac-12, Mountain West, and MAC have all joined the Big Ten in reversing course on playing this season. The Pac-12 will begin its abbreviated season on November 6th. The Mountain West will begin an 8-game campaign on October 24th. And weekday MACtion returns in early November with a 6-game slate. Umass, an FBS independent has declared that they will also play in the fall. However, they currently have no games scheduled. As of this writing, only Uconn, New Mexico State, and Old Dominion do not intend to play this fall amongst FBS squads.

The NCAA announced this week their intentions to wave the minimum bowl wins requirement. No one knows how the whole bowl process is even going to work, but hey, good on them.

In this week’s edition of who’s in and who’s out, Purdue WR Rondale Moore has declared his intention to return to play when the Boilermakers re-take the field.

Northwestern OT/G Rashawn Slater has re-affirmed that he is not going to play this fall and will continue training for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Oregon safety Jevon Holland has declared for the draft. The now-former Duck is considered one of the top safety prospects for next year.

LAST WEEK IN REVIEW

UAB-@-South Alabama

UAB senior WR Austin Watkins had his best game of the three I have watched this season. Watkins was uncoverable by the USA defenders. He finished with seven catches for 183 yards and a score.

Kansas State-@-Oklahoma 

Oklahoma blew a three TD lead in the second half and KSU picked up their second straight win over the Sooners. K-State senior QB Skylar Thompson isn’t a flashy prospect but he is efficient. He finished with 334 yards and one TD passing. Thompson also had three rushing touchdowns.

Senior safety Jahron McPherson jumped out to me with his big plays. The 6-1 200-pound DB finished with 11 tackles, one forced fumble, and one interception that sealed the win.

Mississippi State-@-LSU

Who said the “Air Raid” couldn’t work in the SEC? Stanford transfer K.J. Costello, in HC Mike Leach’s first game coaching in the SEC, set the conference single-game passing yardage record with 623. Costello went 36/60 with 5 TDs and 2 picks.

RB Kylin Hill returned for his senior season. I had a 2nd-round grade on Hill last year. He showed last year how dynamic of a runner he was. Now, Hill is showing how valuable he can be catching the ball. Against LSU, Hill caught 8 balls for 158 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown.

Senior WR Osiris Mitchell took to the new offense well. He made several plays down the field, finishing with seven catches for 183 and two scores.

LSU only fielded three starters from last year’s national championship game. Only one of those was on defense.

 

Jacoby Stevens did okay for himself.

Without Ja’Marr Chase or Justin Jefferson, the onus of pass-catching falls upon Terrance Marshall. He fared well against Miss State with an 8-122-2 TD line.

North Dakota State transfer, senior LB Jabril Cox, showed early that the SEC stage wasn’t too big for him. Cox recorded six tackles, one sack, and had one pick that he returned for a score.

Alabama-@-Missouri

Alabama looked in fine form already. No one more so than junior WR Jaylen Waddle. Waddle is track star fast and makes phenomenal catches on the field. Against Mizzou, Waddle caught 8 passes for 154 yards and 2 scores.

Waddle’s partner-in-crime, senior WR Devonta Smith, is impressive in different ways. Smith is much more suited for an outside receiver role while Waddle can play all over. Smith finished with eight receptions for 89 yards.

Najee Harris is another RB that could have been a second-round pick had he come out after last season. Harris has tremendous balance and a good overall skill set. Against the Tigers, Harris carried 17 times for 98 yards and three touchdowns.

Mac Jones doesn’t do anything great as a QB but he isn’t going to cost you a game either. Jones has a chance to be a late-round selection but I doubt he will work his way up any higher.

Dylan Moses did not show any ill-effects from the season-ending injury that surely took him out of last year’s draft class. Moses should be one of the first LBs selected.

While he won’t be drafted in the first round like Moses, Missouri LB Nick Bolton is a fine player. The Mizzou senior finished with 8 stops, 1 TFL, and 1 FR.

Florida State-@-Miami (FL)

This rivalry use to be fun. Now Florida State is just a wreck. One of their top prospects, junior WR Tamorrion Terry didn’t even record a catch. Another top FSU prospect, safety Hamsah Nasirildeen didn’t play.

Miami edge Quincy Roche continued his hot start. The former Temple Owl finished with two TFL and one sack.

Tennessee -@-South Carolina

Tennessee guard Trey Smith is a bully. He is a dominant player in the trenches. His power and athleticism could get his name called in the late first.

Colorado State transfer, senior QB Collin Hill was solid, if not unspectacular, in his SEC debut. Hill finished 25/39 for 290 yards with one TD and one INT. The interception was returned for a touchdown. Hill needs to process a bit faster, especially if the offensive line struggles continue.

Shi Smith seems to have taken to his role in the slot well. Smith caught 10 balls for 140 yards and 1 TD.

Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu get a lot of attention on the Gamecocks defense. And they should. Both are future NFL corners. However, after Mukuamu exited with a groin injury, Tennessee decided they would never target Horn and it paid off for the Vols.

I mentioned after last season that JJ Enagbare would have a chance to emerge this season. The junior edge rusher stood out against Tennessee. Enagbare finished with 9 tackles (six solos), two sacks, and forced a fumble.

Another Gamecocks junior defender I like is LB Ernest Jones. Jones was all over the field making plays, finishing with 11 tackles (7 solos).

Troy-@-BYU

I always enjoy watching BYU junior RB Lopini Katoa play. Katoa is a three-down back at the next level. He has good (not great) speed. However, he catches the ball well. Against Troy, Katoa had 15 touches on offense for 111 yards and a score. The biggest question mark on Katoa will be his age entering the NFL. Like a lot of BYU players, Katoa served a two-year Mormon mission so he got a late start in Provo.

Khyris Tonga is a big wall of a man. The senior defensive lineman is more known as a run plugger but he swiftly got into the Trojan backfield for two sacks.

 

WHAT’S ON TAP

Louisiana Tech-@-BYU-8:00 PM-ESPN2 (Friday)

Arkansas State-@-Coastal Carolina-11:00 AM-ESPN2

Baylor-@-West Virginia-11:00 AM-ABC

South Carolina-@-Florida-11:00 AM-ESPN

Memphis-@-SMU-2:30 PM-ESPN2

Texas A&M-@-Alabama-2:30 PM-CBS

Virginia Tech-@-Duke-3:00 PM-ACCN

Auburn-@-Georgia-6:30 PM-ESPN

Virginia-@-Clemson-7:00 PM-ACCN

 

 

Image courtesy of USATSI/Denny Medley