College football’s second week featured a lack of defense and several high-scoring affairs as a result. Miami put up 77 points against an over-matched Savanna State while Syracuse, Boston College, Oregon, Virginia Tech and Boise State all put up 62 points against their respective opponents. Still, amidst the offensive fireworks, there was a fair share of decent defensive performances to observe. Below are the NFL prospects that helped their draft stock rise during week two.
Benny Snell Jr., RB (Kentucky)
Kentucky shocked No. 25 Florida thanks to Snell’s consistency in the run game. Though he’s not going to win many races against, say, defensive backs, his decisiveness when choosing a hole and his tendency to fall forward ensures that the Wildcats are always ahead of the chains. His 27 carries for 175 yards provided proof he can be one of the rare workhorse tailbacks in today’s game.
Preston Williams, WR (Colorado State)
Williams made clutch catch after clutch catch against Arkansas. While he’s a big target at 6’4”, his speed in and out of his breaks is surprisingly advanced. He was able to beat his defender in man coverage and found the open spots in the zone all night. The second-most prolific wide receiver in the nation, the junior wideout might already be the successor to Michael Gallup.
Kaden Smith, TE (Stanford)
Stanford is a well-known tight end factory and the junior tight end has massive potential. Not much of an in-line blocker despite his great measurables —6’5”, 252 pounds — Smith was a reliable target in the intermediate passing game for Stanford against the USC Trojans on Saturday. Three of his four catches on the night were for first downs, including one on a third-and-23, keeping several Cardinal drives on schedule.
Jeffrey Simmons, DT (Mississippi State)
Simmons has had some off-the-field concerns, but on the field against Kansas State, he was dominant. While the Wildcats sport one of the best defensive lines in the country, it was the Bulldogs’ junior defensive tackle who consistently used his long arms to jack-up the offensive lineman in front of him to stuff runs. Finishing with 4 solo tackles, 2 tackles-for-loss and one hurry can be considered quite a victory against this group.
Curtis Bolton, LB (Oklahoma)
The WILL linebacker’s assignment on the day was to mirror UCLA’s freshman quarterback, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and corral him whenever he escaped the pocket. Bolton executed that game plan nearly to perfection. Built more like a safety at 218 pounds, the senior kept crashing downhill against the run and on blitzes. He eventually came up with 1.5 sacks and two tackles-for-loss on the day.
Rock Ya-Sin, CB (Temple)
Pretty much the only reason the Temple Owls almost pulled out a victory against the University of Buffalo was because of Ya-Sin’s play. A transfer from tiny Presbyterian College, the senior had a touchdown-saving interception when he went mano-a-mano against Bulls wide receiver Anthony Johnson in the end-zone. Combined with three passes defended throughout the game and 7 tackles — if they didn’t before, you can bet NFL scouts now have him on their radar.