We’re a quarter of the way through the season and the Big Board has officially been shaken.
We’ve seen season-ending injuries allow reserves to step up and shine. We’ve also seen some guys that were always there elevate their game. As always, this board only includes draft-eligible players and is solely ranked by their NFL potential.
1. Ronnie Stanley – OT (Previously: 1)
Stanley stays at the top. His only hiccup(s) has come in Kizer’s first start, when he had a few penalties related to the snap. Other than that, he’s been outstanding.
Grade: Top 5
2. Jaylon Smith – ER/LB (Previously: 2)
He would be on the top of nearly every other college board in the country. He’s truly a once-in-a-generation freakish talent. The questions remains, how will an NFL team use him? If that’s your only question, you’re in good shape.
Grade: Top 10
3. KeiVarae Russell – CB (Previously: 3)
3-5 on this board are separated by the thinnest of margins. Russell gets the nod at 3 due to the premium placed on CB’s in the NFL. He hasn’t been tested much but he’s only been beat one time. He’s also doing pretty well in run support.
4. Sheldon Day – DI (Previously: 4)
Monster. Teams simply can’t block him one-on-one and he’s living in opposing backfields. The NFL will question his size, he’s a decent amount smaller than a lot of teams like their interior defenders. I can tell you that his 6’2″ listing is pretty generous. However, Aaron Donald seems to be doing just fine at the next level.
5. Will Fuller – WR (Previously: 5)
Fuller is a legit Heisman candidate and remains really, really fast. There are some in NFL circles that are concerned with his drops, which we’ve seen be a problem once or twice this season. But the talent is undeniable and he has solid size.
6. Isaac Rochell – DI (Previously: 9)
Another big jump from Rochell. He’s been a machine. Teams have been having to give extra attention to Day which means Rochelle has seen more one-on-ones, which hasn’t worked out well for the offense. He has + size and he’s athletic enough to move around up front.
7. CJ Prosise – RB (Previously: Unranked)
Well, this has been a pleasant surprise. Prosise started in the secondary, then moved to a reserve slot role before settling in as the third-string RB. Now, it’s his show and he’s taking advantage. The breakaway speed is enticing and his athletic ability allows him to keep runs alive. My only hesitation at the next level would be the fact that defenders aren’t going to miss tackles like they do at this level but it’s still a good skill to have.
8. Chris Brown – WR (Previously: 10)
Browns is rising, too. He’s still more of the reliable, steady WR that we’ve seen but he’s breaking off bigger and bigger chunks. With the natural ability he already has, adding sure hands to that mix is going to excite NFL teams.
9. Corey Robinson – WR/TE (Previously: 6)
Corey is dropping. He hasn’t been involved much, even with the staff obviously trying to get him involved in the GT game. He was better suited for the “chuck and pray” approach Everett would take from time to time, letting Robinson use his height to make plays. His inability to separate from CBs still has him on track to be a TE in the NFL, where his fantastic hands, ball skills and athleticism will make him a hot commodity.
10. Max Redfield – S (Previously: 7)
Redfield has fallen for the same reason most guys have, he’s been hurt. He played really well against Texas before breaking his hand, rendering him pretty close to useless the last few weeks. He hasn’t been able to wrap up or make plays on the ball but Brian Kelly seems to think he’s close to being a full-go. Once he is, he can fly back up this board.
11. Nick Martin – C (Previously: 12)
He’s been solid, only a few mistakes here and there. He never blows assignments, which is always a good thing.
12. Tarean Folston – RB (Previously: 8)
His drop is obviously due to the season-ending injury. He could declare and probably get picked in the later rounds but he’ll want to come back and have a big year, putting himself in the discussion of the first couple rounds.
13. Cole Luke – CB (Previously: 11)
Like Russell, he hasn’t had a ton to do. He’s been beat a couple times but he’s usually where he’s supposed to be. I predicted 10 picks for Luke in preseason. While that probably won’t happen now, look for him to have a few big plays.
14. Jarron Jones – DI (Previously: 14)
He stays where he was. He would get drafted late but with a big year next year, he could jump as high as R1.
15. Mike McGlinchey – OT (Previously: Unranked)
We finish off the board with a new addition. McGlinchey has been really good this year and NFL teams have to love the athleticism he’s been showing off. He has a few things to clean up fundamentally but that’ll come.
DI – Defensive Interior
ER – Edge Rusher