This week was supposed to be a return to competitive college football matchups. After several weeks of nondescript games, Notre Dame was going to play USC and Penn State was playing Michigan. However, those games quickly turned into blowouts while games involving Texas, West Virginia, and Oklahoma turned into gems, thanks to several of the prospects below. You never can predict college football.
Baker Mayfield, quarterback (Oklahoma)
Mayfield has continued to turn scouts’ heads with his impressive play, and this past game against Kansas State was more of the same. He completed 32 passes for 410 yards and two touchdowns while running for two touchdowns. Because of his short stature, his draft stock might be capped but it only takes one general manager to fall in love with his electric style of play.
Josh Adams, running back (Notre Dame)
Although Notre Dame’s offensive line is one of the most talented in the country, Adams isn’t simply a product of the blocking in front of him. He’s a 6’2 225 pound back who’s upright running style reminds me of Karlos Williams. Against USC, he had a couple long runs, but more impressive is his ability to break several tackles on short runs and to always fall forward. He’s moving on up draft boards as a result.
David Sills V, wide receiver (West Virginia)
Sills has been making the transition from quarterback to wide receiver and the process has been going swimmingly so far. He’s tenth in FBS college football in receiving yards and number one in touchdowns by a wide margin. Against Baylor this week, his route running deficiencies were clear to see, but his combination of size and speed are just too much for most college corners. To become a legitimate NFL prospect, he’ll have to keep on improving.
Max Scharping, tackle (Northern Illinois)
Most readers won’t have heard of Scharping, but he is the MAC’s premier tackle prospect. Last year, Northern Illinois led college football with the fewest sacks allowed and Scharping was a large part of that effort at right tackle. This year, he’s switched over to the left side and has been almost perfect in pass protection. He was perfect again this week against Bowling Green and is really starting to build a name for himself.
T.J. Edwards, linebacker (Wisconsin)
While Edwards has the look of a beefy, run-stopping linebacker at 6’1”, 244 pounds, his instincts in pass coverage have been eye-opening. He already has three interceptions and three passes defensed on the year. His recent pick-six against Maryland came from a combination of luck and following the eyes of the quarterback.
Duke Ejiofor, edge rusher (Wake Forest)
One of the many reasons I’ll be watching the combine in February is to find out the length of Duke Ejiofor’s arms. From what it looks like on tape, Ejiofor has the wingspan of a Harpy Eagle. He uses those mitts to control offensive lineman at his leisure, as evidenced by his 2.5 sacks against Georgia Tech. He might be a top-five edge rusher of this class.