Risers/Fallers

Updated - 10-17-14

By: Alex Khvatov

 

Week 7

Risers/Fallers

 

Risers
 

Junior RB Tevin Coleman (Indiana)

Coleman had 219 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries against Iowa.  He scored touchdowns on runs of 45, 69 and 83 yards.  He is a big-play threat with good size.  He is more quick than fast, but shows the ability to pull away from defenders in the open field.  He shows very good balance and breaks tackleswith regularity.  He leads the FBS with 1,060 yards through six games. 

 

Senior WR Antwan Goodley (Baylor)

He caught eigth receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns against TCU.  Goodley is only 5'11, but he is very well put together at 220 pounds.  He is a strong WR that is willing to make catches in traffic.  He uses his big body to shield defenders away from the ball.  He is also a dangerous vertical threat.  He does a great job tracking and locating the ball on downfield throws.   

 

Junior DE Leonard Williams (USC)

He recorded eight tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble in a wn against Arizona.  He is a disruptive defensive lineman that can play in multiple fronts.  Williams has ideal size, great quickness and terrific athleticism.  His lateral quickness is off the charts.  He takes on double teams and gets off blocks with ease.  He is making a strong case for being the number one pick in next year's draft.      

 

Fallers

 

Junior RB T.J. Yeldon (Alabama)

He gained 45 yards on 16 carries and averaged only 2.8 yards per carry against Arkansas.  He hasn't scored a TD since the season-opener.  He has an upright running style.  Yeldon has a tendency to dance at the line of scrimmage, and his vision is questionable at times.  He also has fumbling issues that have haunted him in the past.  His stock is falling right now.        

 

 

Week 6

Risers/Fallers

 

Risers

Junior QB Dak Prescott (Mississippi State)

He had an outstanding game in a win against the Aggies.  He completed 20/26 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns.  He also added three more touchdowns on the ground.  Prescott has become a better passer this year.  He was very accurate on short and intermediate throws.  He went through his progressions, made good decisions and looked poised in the pocket.  He is also a dangerous and physical runner which gives him an extra dimension.  He is having a great year so far.           

 

Junior DE Randy Gregory (Nebraska)

Gregory had seven total tackles, 0.5 TFL and one interception.  The interception came off the tipped pass on the Spartans' first offensive possession.  He didn't record a single sack during this game.  But he was active and relentless.  He had numerous QB pressures.  He is an athletic defensive end with good size and great change of direction skills.  Gregory has outstanding closing speed and a non-stop motor.  He is playing with better leverage and has improved against the run this year.  He is a top 10 pick in the 2015 Draft.     

 

Junior DE Shilique Calhoun (Michigan State) 

After a slow start to the season, this was his best game thus far.  Calhoun had four tackles, one TFL, one sack and one fumble recovery.  He was disruptive throughout the entire game.  His size and athleticism stood out right away.  He combined strength and a burst off the edge that caused problems for offensive tackles during this game.  He has done a better job splitting double teams and getting off blocks this year.          

 

Junior LB Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi State)

McKinney looks like a top 15 pick in next year's draft.  He has great size and terrific closing speed.  He displayed outstanding instincts in the run game and showed his athleticism against the Aggies.  He was able to use his strength and long arms to shed blocks.  However, he showed some tight hips in pass coverage.  He dropped an INT and was called for pass interference on one particular play.    

 

Fallers

 

Senior QB Bryce Petty (Baylor)

He completed 7/22 throws for 111 yards and two touchdowns.  Petty looked like a late round pick if you strictly judge him by the performance against Texas.  His accuracy and ball placement were below average.  He overthrew a number of passes especially in the intermediate area.  He had a tough time reading the defense and working through his progressions.          

 

Senior RB Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska)

Running backs usually struggle against Michigan State's defense, but Abdullah's statline was certainly not encouraging (24 carries for 45 rushing yards and two TD's).  He wasn't able to break any tackles which is usually his specialty or come up with any explosive plays.  His longest run of the day was for nine yards.  At times, he danced around too much at the line of scrimmage and tried to bounce most of his runs outside.  Abdullah struggled in pass protection and had a costly fumble.    

 

Senior WR Ty Montgomery (Stanford)

Montgomery came up short in a loss against Notre Dame.  He had only four catches for 12 yards.  He showed inconsistent hands and sloppy route running.  I counted three drops on the day.  He is an explosive player in open space especially on screen passes, reverses and returns.   But he needs to become a more polished WR.   

 



Week 5

Risers/Fallers

 

Risers

Junior QB Jacoby Brissett (NC State)

He transferred from Florida after the 2012 season and sat out last year.  He has been on fire in the early part of this season.  Despite the two lost fumbles, Brissett had a fantastic game against FSU (completed 32/48 passes, 359 passing yards and three TD's).  He has good size and arm strength.  He showed great command of the offense and impressive field vision.  He went through his progressions and manipulated the defensive backs with his eyes.  Brissett demonstrated terrific pocket awareness and strength.  He was able to avoid defenders, break tackles and extend plays.  He was very accurate throwing on the run.         

 

Junior RB Todd Gurley (Georgia) 

This is the second time that Gurley has made the list this year.  He has been a beast.  He ran for 208 rushing yards which was a career-high for him on 28 carries and two TD's against the Vols.  Most of those yards came in the fourth quarter.  He got stronger as the game wore on.  He ran through arm tackles, used a deadly stiff arm, lowered his shoulder and finished his runs.  He showed his big-play ability on a few occasions.  He exploded through the hole and displayed incredible balance.  Gurley is a weapon in the passing game which is his most impressive trait. 

 

Senior RB Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska)

We knew all about Abdullah coming into the year, but he is running with a different purpose out there in 2014.  He had 208 rushing yards on 22 carries and three TD's.  He did most of his damage in the first half.  He is a quick and powerful back.  He is a great cutback runner.  He runs low to the ground and will break his share of tackles.  He has established himself as the number one senior RB in this class.  

 

Junior RB Shadrach Thornton (NC State)

Brissett isn't the only NC State player that deserves to be on this list.  Thornton had 145 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns on Saturday.  He is a punishing RB with good size and terrific balance.  He is a very effective runner between the tackles.  He always made the first defender miss.  He broke a number of tackles.  Thornton showed toughness, great effort and fought for every yard.  He kept those legs moving upon initial contact.  He also displayed the ability to catch the ball and block in pass pro.    

 

Junior DE Shane Ray (Missouri) 

He had an outstanding game against South Carolina.  He recorded eight tackles, two tackles for loss and two sacks.  Ray has shown terrific speed and athleticism.  He is incredibly quick off the ball.  He has displayed a variety of pass rush moves.  He has great lateral quickness and a good motor.  Ray is undersized for a DE and would have to move to OLB in a 3-4 scheme.  He is a legitimate first round talent.     

 

Senior LB Denzel Perryman (Miami, FL)

Perryman has been the leader of Miami's defense.  He had five tackles, a forced fumble and an interception last weekend.  He is an incredibly instinctive defender.  He takes great angles in the run game and is an outstanding wrap up tackler.  He makes plays all over the field.  He has the speed and terrific change of direction skills that allows to be very effective pass coverage.  His interception with less than two minutes left in the game sealed the win against Duke   

 

Junior CB Marcus Peters (Washington)

His statline doesn't look all that impressive (two tackles and one pick).  But he was the main reason why the explosive Ty Montgomery was held to only four catches for 29 yards.  He is a tough corner that excels in press coverage.  Peters is an instinctive player with great ball skills.  He was suspended for one game this season that needs to be looked at, but in my opinion he has emerged as the number one corner in next year's draft.   

 

Fallers

 

Senior QB Sean Mannion (Oregon State)

Mannion had a tough day against USC.  He struggled with his decision making and his accuracy.  He forced throws into coverage.  He threw two interceptions, and one of them was returned for a touchdown in the first quarter.  He showed average field vision.  He didn't seem to have great command of the offense.  He reminds me of Derek Anderson when he was coming out of Oregon State.      




Week 4

Risers/Fallers

 

Risers

Junior RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin)

Yes, I do recognize that his huge game on the ground came against Bowling Green.  But his rushing numbers are impressive (253 yards and five TD's on only 13 carries).  Gordon demonstrated his home run ability on TD runs of 50 and 69 yards.  He is a dangerous outside runner.  He displayed a great burst through the hole and terrific speed.  He has outstanding balance, athleticism and change of direction skills.  He should be a first round pick.    

 

Junior WR Amari Cooper (Alabama)

Here is another player that has been absolutely dominant in the early part of this season.  He had success against one of the better corners in Vernon Hargreaves III when he was matched up against him.  Cooper defeated press coverage with his footwork and quickness off the line.  His route running, speed and balance were on full display against the Gators.  He shows great awareness on the field.  He has also cut down on his drops that have plagued him last year.  He is clearly the top receiver in the draft.             

 

Senior LB Stephone Anthony (Clemson)

I thought that he was the best player on the football field in the Clemson versus Florida State game.  He recorded eight tackles, two TFLs and one sack.  Anthony had an outstanding all-around game.  He timed his blitzes well and pressured the QB all night.  He did a good job in coverage on RB's and TE's.  He came up with a tipped ball that resulted in an INT.  He demonstrated terrific instincts and took good angles in the run game.    

 

Junior LB Kris Frost (Auburn)

Frost moved to outside linebacker this year, and the move seems to be paying off.  His speed, athleticism and physicality were evident last Thursday night.  He looked comfortable and fluid in pass coverage.  He delivered a big hit on QB Jake Waters that forced a fumble.  He is just scratching the surface and is finally showing everyone why he was a five-star recruit coming out of high school. 

 

Senior LB Quayshawn Nealy (Georgia Tech)

He had an outstanding game last Saturday.  He recorded eight tackles, two TFLs and 0.5 sacks.  The middle linebacker was able to get consistent pressure on the QB especially on third downs.  He is not the biggest LB, but he has great closing speed.  Nealy was able to diagnose plays quickly and demonstrated good awareness. 

 

Fallers

Senior QB Devin Gardner (Michigan)

Gardner has shown flashes of his potential, but he hasn't been able to turn into a consistent QB.  His accuracy and ball placement were below average against Utah.  He still makes throws that make you scratch your head.  Gardner's decision making and field vision are atrocious at times.  He was pulled in the fourth quarter in favor of Shane Morris.  His future is at WR at the next level.  

 

Senior WR Tyler Lockett (Kansas State)

His speed and his ability to create yards after the catch are his two biggest strengths.  However, his size and strength are definitely a concern.  He struggled with drops against Auburn.  Lockett had a bad drop on the short slant route in the endzone where the ball went off his hands and resulted in an INT.   

 

Senior OT Cameron Erving (Florida State)

He looks like a prototypical left tackle at the next level, but he doesn't always play up to his physical abilities.  He has ideal size, strength and long arms.  Erving had a lot of success against Beasley in last year's matchup.  But he struggled last Saturday night and gave up two sacks.  He is bothered by quick speed rushers.  He was late coming out of his stance on his kick slide.  Erving can get lazy with his technique and is inconsistent with his hand placement.    

 



Week 3

Risers/Fallers
 

Risers

Senior WR Kevin White (West Virginia)

White is off to a hot start this season.  He had another big game against Maryland last Saturday.  He is a big play threat.  He has good size and strength.  White has displayed very good ball skills.  He attacks the ball while it is in the air.  He has also shown the ability to create yards after the catch.  He is emerging as a day two pick.  

Senior WR Phillip Dorsett (Miami, FL)

He missed seven games last season with a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee.  But Dorsett has returned stronger than ever and has shown his explosive ability.  He is arguably the fastest player in this upcoming draft.  He is a dangerous deep threat.  He is also very elusive after the catch.  He has averaged 35.5 yards per catch through the first three weeks of this season.   

Senior OG A.J. Cann (South Carolina)

Cann has a lot of starting experience.  He has outstanding strength and excels as a run blocker.  He is a good knee bender and he has improved his hand placement this year.  He has shown the ability to get to the second level.  He has quickly emerged as the top guard prospect in the 2015 draft class. 

Junior LB Shaq Thompson (Washington)

He scored two defensive touchdowns, on a 36-yard interception return and a 52-yard fumble recovery this past weekend.  Thompson is an athletic playmaker at LB with sideline-to-sideline speed.  He is also a reliable tackler.  He has even been used as a part-time RB this season.  His best position would be as a weakside LB in a 4-3 scheme at the next level.    
 

Fallers

Junior DE Noah Spence (Ohio State)

Spence was forced to sit out the first two games of this season after failing a drug test.  He has failed another drug test and has been suspended indefinitely by the Buckeyes.  He is a talented pass rusher, but he needs to settle his off the field issues before he can be considered a high draft pick. 

Senior CB Damian Swann (Georgia)

He has good athleticism, instincts and experience at the cornerback position.  But Swann isn't the biggest or the fastest guy on the football field.  He has struggled with his technique and has given up some big plays.  He has been exposed this season in man coverage.  I had him rated as one of the top senior corners before the season started, but he has dropped in my rankings since then.    


 

 

 

Week 2

Risers/Fallers

 

Risers

Junior QB Vernon Adams Jr. (Eastern Washington)

We were introduced to Vernon Adams last season after he threw for 405 passing yards, ran for 100 yards and had six total TD's in a win against Oregon State.  He was just as impressive last week.  He threw for 475 yards and a school-record seven touchdowns in a loss against Washington.  Adams is an undersized, athletic QB that excels throwing on the move.  He went through his progressions and hit the receivers in stride.  He has really improved his deep ball accuracy and his touch compared to last year.  However, he needs to work on his pocket awareness.  He was sacked six times during this game.    

Junior RB Jay Ajayi (Boise State)

The Broncos RB had 33 carries for 219 rushing yards and three total TD's.  He also added 61 receiving yards on four catches.  He is a big back with a thick lower body (6'0 and 216 pounds) that runs in the low 4.4's.  Ajayi is a physical back with good balance.  He can run over you or around you.  He is hard to bring down.  He is also a threat as a receiver. 

Junior RB Javorius ''Buck'' Allen (USC)

He had 23 carries for 154 rushing yards in a win against Stanford.  He was featured in USC's offense on Saturday.  Allen showed the speed to get to the outside.  He demonstrated outstanding vision and good balance.  He has good leg drive and deceptive strength that allowed him to pick up tough yards.  He is quickly emerging as one of the top underclassmen running backs in next year's draft. 

Senior WR Ty Montgomery (Stanford)

Montgomery had five catches for 77 yards and a 44-yard punt return in week two.  Stanford's offense featured him on the outside, in the slot, on reverses, as a wildcat QB and even lined him up in the backfield in the I-formation.  He is a dynamic and explosive playmaker.  He is at his best when he gets the ball in the open field.  Montgomery is an athletic receiver with great speed.  He is also the most dangerous return man in the nation.     

Junior WR Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma)

He has become Trevor Knight's favorite target in the passing game.  He had a career-high 177 yards on eight catches and a TD.  Shepard used his speed to stretch the field on vertical routes.  He was quick in and out of his breaks.  He is also dangerous on post and seam routes.  With Jalen Saunders moving on to the NFL, Shepard has become the primary punt returner and that will boost his draft stock even more. 

Junior DE Leonard Williams (USC) 

He suffered an ankle sprain last week and appeared to be hampered by the injury in warmups before the start of the game.  But Williams showed his toughness and played the entire game.  Head coach Steve Sarkisian called him a warrior.  He recorded 11 total tackles and one sack.  He lined up all over the field.  His size, speed and power were on full display against Stanford.  Williams took on multiple blockers and showed a non-stop motor.  He reminded us all why he is considered a top five pick in next year's draft.     

Senior DE Markus Golden (Missouri)

Golden is a player that most fans should get to know this season.  He recorded six tackles and a sack against Toledo.  He disrupted the quarterback and was a constant presence in the backfield.  The most impressive trait about him is his terrific burst off the line.  He is an athletic DL that is relentless in pursuit.  He is off to a great start and could lead the SEC in sacks in 2014.   

 

Fallers 

Junior RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin)

Gordon had only 38 rushing yards on 17 carries against Western Illinois.  He didn't make any explosive plays or hit the hole with authority that we have become so accustomed to.  There is a strong possibility that he was still bothered by the hip flexor injury that he suffered in week one. 

Senior TE Jake McGee (Florida)

He transferred from Virginia and was supposed to be a big part of the Gators' offense this year.  Unfortunately, his season is over after he suffered a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg.  McGee was my top rated senior tight end.  He should come back next season after taking a redshirt year.

 

 

Week 1

Risers/Fallers
 
Risers
 
Junior RB Todd Gurley (Georgia)
 
Gurley had 198 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns on the ground.  He also added a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD.  He took over the game in the second half after only rushing for 44 yards in the first half.  He is finally healthy and looks to be in great shape this year.  He is a strong, physical downhill runner with great size.  He broke a number of arm tackles and punished defenders with his running style.  He also showed the burst to get to the outside.  Mark Richt likes the running back by committee aproach, but he has to feature Gurley more.             
 
Senior RB Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska)
 
He had 232 rushing yards and a touchdown on 21 carries last weekend.  He didn't even play most of the second half.  Abdullah averaged a first down every time he carried the ball.  He is a quick, shifty back.  He is undersized, but he is tougher than he looks.  He has surprising strength.  He is also a terrific receiver coming out of the backfield.        
 
Senior WR Rashad Greene (Florida State)
 
Greene was the go-to guy for Winston against the Cowboys.  He answered the bell every time they needed a play in the passing game.  He had 11 catches for 203 yards and one touchdown.  He averaged 18.5 yards per reception.  He is a sure-handed WR that is quick in and out of his breaks.  Greene excels in catching the ball in traffic especially on slants and crossing routes.  He does a lot of his damage after the catch.  But he also demonstrated the ability to stretch the field on vertical routes.      
 
Junior DE Shawn Oakman (Baylor)
 
Penn State dismissed him from their program in 2012, but he found a home at Waco, Texas.  He didn't start last year at Baylor, but he showed flashes of dominance.  Oakman recorded six tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in week one action.  He stands at 6'9, 280 pounds with a very long wingspan.  He displayed his strength and quickness off the snap.  He has developed more pass rush moves this year to go along with his physical traits.  If he keeps playing at this level, he looks like a top 10 pick.    
 
Senior LB Eric Kendricks (UCLA)
 
He recorded 16 total tackles, a forced a fumble and returned an interception for a TD.  He is clearly the leader of this defense.  Kendricks is always around the ball.  He is a good wrap-up tackler with outstanding instincts.  He was also much better in coverage than I ever anticipated.     
 
 
Fallers
 
Junior QB Brett Hundley (UCLA)
 
His offensive line struggled, and the receivers had three or four drops during this game.  But Hundley failed to impress himself against Virginia.  The Heisman hopeful was bothered by pressure, and needed to make quicker decisions.  His field vision and ball placement were questionable.  Hundley needs to do a better job recognizing coverage.      
 
Junior RB Mike Davis (South Carolina)
 
He was one of the best running backs in the nation last year, but Davis had only 15 rushing yards on six carries against the Aggies.  He missed time during fall camp due to a rib injury.  He re-aggravated the injury last Thursday night.  He is questionable to play against East Carolina this week. 

 


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