• Zach Pratt

Zach's Draft Corner: Overhyped Players/What to Watch

Welcome to Zach’s Draft Corner, where it’s always amateur hour.

I try not to be a negative person.  I’m a huge proponent of putting positivity out in the world, and doing that as often as possible.  Unfortunately, there’s going to be a lot of negativity this week.  First off, someone that I have mentioned quite often in my articles, wide receiver Ahmmon Richards from the University of Miami, received some terrible news this week.  The neck injury that Richards sustained in the beginning of the season was not temporary, and forced him to retire from football altogether due to the injury’s debilitating nature.  Richards was a supremely talented receiver, but more importantly, is by all accounts an even better human being.  Before anything else, I think I speak on behalf of all of the writers here at the 49ers Hub when I wish Richards a happy, healthy, and prosperous life, and hope that he is able to recover from this injury to the point where he can live his day-to-day life to the fullest extent possible.

I want to take a minute and just reflect on the point that, in these articles, we are not just talking about football players.  We are talking about people with lives, feelings, and families. I’m sure that some of these people that we mention are not great people, but I’m more certain that the majority are.  Whatever criticisms we may have of these players, the criticisms for things done on the football field should not spill over to criticizing them as human beings.  I’m about to criticize a lot of football players, but these criticisms in no way reflect how I feel about them as human beings.  That being said, here are the players that are getting a lot of hype right now, but I’m not buying into.

Quarterbacks with last names not starting with H

The old mantra in football is that “The most popular player on the team is the backup quarterback.”  In scouting circles, a popular mantra is “Just wait until you see next year’s quarterback class!”  There were so many names being thrown around in the preseason as guys who could burst onto the scene as superstar quarterbacks, but more tape and more time for evaluation has put us right back into the “maybe next year” circle.  Let’s run through some names, shall we?

Missouri changed to a pro-style system in an attempt to prove that Drew Lock could succeed in the NFL, but he keeps falling back into his “one read then panic” style.  Jake Bentley was my bounceback candidate for quarterbacks last week, but that’s unlikely to occur now that he was benched for Michael Scarnecchia.  Jarret Stidham was supposed to take the SEC by storm, but the Auburn quarterback’s inconsistency and inaccuracy has turned that storm into more of a slight breeze.  Will Grier’s accuracy and mobility last season made him my QB1 for a while, but his lack of even average arm strength was on full display when he threw 3 interceptions against Kansas last week.  Malik Rosier benched for N'Kosi Perry at Miami, Deondre Francois has looked overmatched in every game this season for Florida State, and Shea Patterson has been largely inconsistent.  Brian Lewerke was a late comer to the party, but the hype surrounding him has died down as he continues to stare down his intended target right after the snap.  Trace McSorley was supposed to be the next Baker Mayfield, but his accuracy issues are making him more Johnny Manziel (on the field, of course) than Baker. There was a lot of hope at the start of the season, but Justin Herbert from Oregon and Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State are looking like the only draft-eligible quarterbacks with any hope of becoming starters at the next level, and there are rumors that both of them might return to school next season.  Sorry, Giants.  Looks like you shouldn’t have passed on a quarterback last year.

Justice Hill - Running Back, Oklahoma State University

Guys are typically either overhyped because they have good stats but the tape doesn't match, or they had a lot of potential and pre-season buzz and haven't lived up to it, but you can't get that first impression out of your mind.  For Hill, the season-long stats don't match the tape.  You look at the stats and see that he is averaging over 107 yards per game, with 6.4 yards per carry, and even had a nine-carry for 32-yard performance in a blowout victory against South Alabama.  However, you have to remember that Oklahoma State's system is all about spreading the defense wide and throwing the ball deep.  Justice Hill is running against five- and six-man boxes because of the threat of the pass, and yet he's only putting up those stats.  The main running back before him was Chris Carson, who averaged 6.8 yards a carry in his senior year, and he has been an average-to-below average runner in the NFL.

What sealed it for me was his performance against Iowa State, one of the only good defenses in the Big 12.  Iowa State won that game with a final score of 48-42.  Hill ran the ball 24 times and gained only 66 yards, with his longest run being 8 yards.  He was not elusive, explosive, or effective, even as Oklahoma State was slinging the ball all over the field and putting up 42 points.  The overall stats are impressive, but Justice Hill is too small to be an every-down back and too slow/not a good enough receiver to be a true change-of-pace guy.  I hope everyone I'm down on proves me wrong and has a successful NFL career, but Justice Hill has a ways to go if he is going to do that.

David Sills V - Wide Receiver, West Virginia University

Sills is another guy with loaded stats.  He had 18 touchdowns in 2017, and has 6 more already this year.  He does have one skill, which is the ability to use his body in the red zone to get between the quarterback and the defender, which helps lead to those gaudy touchdown numbers.  However, he also isn't facing the best talent in the country in the Big 12.  Nonetheless, I think Sills has a place in the league.  The issue is that people are talking about drafting him in the first or second round as a true number-one receiver.  That’s where the hype needs to come down.

Sills runs an extremely limited route tree thus far at West Virginia. Even on these routes, he gives away his ultimate route way too easily with hops in his breaks and turning his head toward his intended destination before he is even breaking.  He also drops the ball way too often for a guy some are projecting as a true number-one receiver.  He's the perfect receiver for a spread out, West Virginia offense that gets their receivers open with scheme rather than skill.  A number-one receiver can't do that in the NFL, and a professional cornerback will not let him get inside as easily and will crush him if he is not smooth in and out of his breaks.

Albert Okwuegbunam - Tight End, University of Missouri

During the pre-season, and even now, people were comparing "A-OK" to Jimmy Graham with their height and straight-line speed similarities.  They also had similarities in how terrible both were at blocking, but the hope was that the pure athleticism of A-OK would be enough to make him a stud tight end as a receiver.  The issue with that comparison is that Jimmy Graham was an overall athlete, showing quickness, balance, and precision in his routes without losing his top-end speed.  

Okwuegbunam is the opposite, lacking the flexibility and quickness in his routes to get open with anything but straight-line speed.  Even then, the speed is only effective if he is running down the seam.  This lack of overall athleticism has been evident in the way that he is fully lacking the ability to pick up any yards after the catch.  In my preview of the season, I noted that one of his coaches forced him to be a tight end when he wanted to be a wide receiver.  They worried about him being soft after that.  This type of softness is on display when he steps on the field, and it's not a good thing.  Somebody will still draft him because of the height-size-speed combination, thinking that they can change his mentality.  In the end, he is likely more Gavin Escobar than Jimmy Graham.

Brian Burns - Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Florida State University

Another example of stats not telling the full story here with Brian Burns.  He has 7.0 sacks in 6 games, which sound like beastly numbers in a conference like the ACC.  Burns has the ability to absolutely dominate games.  However, he tends to only dominate against teams with less athletic tackles and quarterbacks without the pocket awareness to step up into the pocket.  This is because Burns has one move, albeit a very good one.  He can shoot off the line of scrimmage, bend around the tackle, and get the quarterback if he doesn't step up into the pocket.  

The issue is that all 7 sacks came in games he was facing a sophomore or freshman quarterback with very limited playing experience, and all 7 sacks came on the same type of pass rush.  If a professional offensive tackle knows you are trying to go around him, and a professional quarterback is taking the snap, it's easy for an offense to counter his style.  He doesn't have the functional strength or variability of moves at this point in his career to counter an offensive tackle who can slide with him.  He is garnering early first round chatter with the games he dominates.  He likely won't live up to that billing unless he learns even a single counter.  He can still be effective situationally, he’s not going to be a game-changing edge rusher.

Christian Wilkins - Defensive Tackle, Clemson University

Wilkins is part of the most feared defensive line in college football, which very much benefits him and his style of play.  Dexter Lawrence is a massive nose tackle who occupies two blockers at all times.  Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant are fantastic speed rushers that pull the tackles away from the rest of the line.  This leaves Christian Wilkins in one-on-one situations in an open field with a guard used to only having to block in a phone booth.  This fits his skill set perfectly, where he has good change of direction skills and the sheer will to get by the hapless guard.

The issue comes in projecting that to the pros.  If you are a defensive tackle that is 6'4" tall, you need to either have the technique or the power to beat blocks.  In run defense, Wilkins lacks the power at the point of attack to beat blockers head-on.  He also lacks the flexibility to remain low through the point of attack.  When he is operating in less space at the professional level, his traits lead me to think that he won't be able to rely as much on his quickness to rush the passer.  Again, his technique and strength will be more important, and he is lacking in both areas.  

Bobby Okereke - Linebacker, Stanford University

The minute I say that I have a linebacker who can't tackle, you should respond with "I'll look elsewhere, thank you."  That's the issue with Okereke.  As fast as he is, as instinctive as he is in coverage, he simply doesn't finish the play.  Do you remember Tecmo Super Bowl, or even NFL Blitz, where you would rarely run into the ball carrier to engage, but instead try to dive at the runner from five yards away?  That's how Okereke tries to tackle.  Instead of leading to killer stops and big hits, he often just fails to tackle the ball carrier and give up big plays.  As players become more athletic and their hesitation moves become stronger, he is going to dive by the ball carrier left and right.  He also lacks the power to disengage from blocks.  His athletic profile is having people talk about him like he is a top-five linebacker.  I wouldn't even draft him for special teams.

Lavert Hill - Cornerback, University of Michigan

Lavert Hill is a case where there is a single glaring issue that isn't a big deal for college, but likely will lead to a middling NFL career.  To re-iterate, I don't think Hill won't be a professional football player.  However, he isn't someone who should be drafted in the first four rounds of the draft.

Hill is incredibly lean, only weighing 177 pounds at 5'11".  He also lacks a safe amount of functional strength.  This sheer lack of size will lead to poor run defense and poor coverage against more physical receivers.  His ball skills could lead to success in a pure zone scheme, and he has enough speed that maybe he will convert to free safety, especially given the lack of coverage safeties in this year's draft.  However, his inability to handle the physicality of man coverage and his lack of length will really limit his upside

Delvon Randall - Safety, Temple University

Not a ton of safety depth in this class, which leads to talking more and more about players from smaller schools as people dive to find the talent.  That's when you come across someone like Delvon Randall, see his combination of size and speed, his ability to read the quarterback's eyes, and his skills when the ball is in the air, and you want to move him into the end of the first round.  He may be good, but the hype needs to come down a little.

While he can tackle, he almost seems disinterested in defending the run and has trouble getting to the ball carrier in space.  He can be fooled with change of direction and hesitation moves, and lacks the discipline to finish plays in space.  Part of this issue is with his motor.  Part of this issue is also his lack of athleticism outside of straight-line speed.  It's great for a safety making a play on a deep ball when he simply has to go from point A to point B.  Those flashy plays make him seem like a great pickup, but the other 95% of the time is not so great.  When the safety is asked to man up on a slot receiver or crash the line of scrimmage to make a tackle on a shifty running back, I’m not sure if Randall will be able to handle the responsibility.  Don’t be fooled by flashy plays on defense.  If you’re giving up two or three plays for every one you make at Temple, that’s not a good sign for the NFL.

TV Guide

The sheer amount of college games on at any given time can be completely overwhelming.  Every week, in the TV Guide section of my column, I will choose the top two games at any given time slot and outline the various prospects you can watch in those games.  That way, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and hit the “Previous Channel” button on your remote to toggle between games chock full of pro prospects.  Here is your guide for week seven (all times Eastern).

Friday, October 12

University of South Florida at University of Tulsa, 7:00 PM, ESPN

The early game here is nothing to write home about.  The undefeated USF Bulls have made their way into the AP rankings, but their draft-eligible talent is lacking.  Mitchell Wilcox (junior tight end, #89) will likely be a top-five tight end come April, but he’s really the only guy you should be paying attention to for USF.

Tulsa’s offensive line is overall pretty talented, with Waahid Muhammed (sophomore tackle, #76), Tyler Bowling (senior guard, #72), and Chandler Miller (senior center, #74) all having mid- to late-round hopes.  Justin Hobbs (senior wide receiver, #29) will see a training camp, as will McKinley Whitfield (senior strong safety, #5).  If you have other things to do early in the evening, that’s fine.  The real fun comes in the night game with…

University of Arizona at University of Utah, 10:00 PM, ESPN

Arizona has had a very up and down season.  One week, they are losing at home to a not-cohesive USC team, and then beat the upstart Cal Golden Bears the next week.  In 2019, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (senior safety, #6) is really the only draftable prospect, but the Wildcats are still worth watching for Khalil Tate (true sophomore quarterback, #14).  Tate is one of the most exciting players in the country as a dual threat quarterback who routinely makes you think of peak Colin Kaepernick.  That alone will make this game worth watching as a nightcap.

Meanwhile, Utah seems to be a team on the rise.  They lost at home to Washington before getting upset on the road by Washington State. Just when things were looking bleak for the Utes, they pulled off a stunning upset on the road against Stanford.  They don’t have a ton of talent, but they are always really tough for opposing teams, which is looking to hold true again this year.  Chase Hansen (senior linebacker, #22), Bradlee Anae (junior defensive end, #6), and Julian Blackmon (junior cornerback, #23) are draftable talents on defense, but are all likely late-round prospects.  Zack Moss (junior running back, #2) is the strongest prospect for Utah, but is still a mid-round pick at best.  Jackson Barton (senior tackle, #70) is another late-round guy on the offense. Matt Gay (senior kicker, #97) is one of the best kickers in the country, but his position will devalue him to being a late-round guy.  Although, plenty of NFL teams have had kicking woes this season, so maybe some team will reach for him in the third round.

Saturday, October 13

Oklahoma State University at Kansas State University, 12:00 PM, ESPNU

The early games are nothing to write home about.  Sleep in if you’d like, but make sure you wake up for the early afternoon games.  Oklahoma State is having a down year as far as draftable talent, but they still have plenty of offensive firepower.  Justice Hill (junior running back, #5), as overhyped as he may be, is still a good back for the Oklahoma State system.  Jalen McCleskey (senior wide receiver, #1) was looking to take over the receiving game from recent draftees James Washington and Marcell Ateman, but was unhappy with his role and decided to redshirt this season and transfer to another school. Taylor Cornelius (senior quarterback, #14) is taking over the mantel left by Mason Rudolph, slinging the ball all over the field effectively.  Trey Carter (senior defensive tackle, #99) is the leader of the defense, and a matchup with Kansas State is likely to play to his strengths of stopping the run.

Dalton Risner (senior tackle, #71) is a first round talent on the offensive line, but his ultimate position at the next level might be at guard. Scott Frantz (junior tackle, #74) is a respectable prospect on the other end of the line, and they routinely open up outside rushing lanes for Alex Barnes (junior running back, #34).  Kendell Adams (senior safety, #21) is the leader of the Wildcats’ defense, although the defense is certainly this team’s weakness.

University of Iowa at University of Indiana, 12:00 PM, ESPN2

Iowa is led by the top tight end in the nation in Noah Fant (junior tight end, #87), although his status for this weekend is up in the air after sustaining a head injury during a play where he ran a jet sweep.  Nate Stanley (junior quarterback, #4) and Nick Easley (senior wide receiver, #84) will look to battle Indiana in the air, while Keegan Render (senior center, #69) and Ross Reynolds (senior guard, #59) provide leadership on an offensive line with true sophomores at the tackle positions. On defense, Anthony Nelson (junior defensive end, #98), Matt Nelson (senior defensive end, #96), and Parker Hesse (senior defensive end, #40) all are capable of causing disruption in the backfield.  Amani Hooker (junior safety, #27) and Jake Gervase (senior safety, #30) form a solid safety duo in the secondary.  Miguel Recinos (senior kicker, #91) is a generally reliable kicker, and could be working his way into draft consideration with a relatively strong season.

Indiana doesn’t have much draftable talent, but they are still a generally exciting team to watch. Brandon Knight (senior tackle, #62) and Nick Linder (senior center, #50) are underrated along the Hoosier offensive line.  Nick Westbrook (junior wide receiver, #15) is the main playmaker for Indiana, with some support from various freshmen and non-draft-eligible sophomores.

University of Georgia at Louisiana State University, 3:30 PM, CBS

Now we get to the good stuff.  Georgia is loaded with talent, as they always are.  However, quite a bit of their main talent is younger (e.g., next year’s potential QB1, Jake “From State” Fromm).  Deandre Baker (senior cornerback, #18) and J.R. Reed (junior safety, #20) form a strong tandem on the back end and could each be picked before the end of day two.  Tyler Clark (junior defensive tackle, #52), Julian Rochester (junior defensive tackle, #5), and Jonathan Ledbetter (senior defensive end, #13) anchor a fierce defensive line, which benefits D'Andre Walker (senior outside linebacker, #15) coming off the edge.  Terry Godwin (senior wide receiver, #5) and Calvin Ridley’s younger brother Riley (junior wide receiver, #8) provide the firepower on offense, while Isaac Nauta (junior tight end, #18) gives Georgia a reliable extra blocker and checkdown option.

LSU lost a tough one to Florida last week, and they are in a position where another loss could eliminate their conference championship and playoff hopes.  Every game is now a must-win, and they will be coming out hungry.  Greedy Williams (redshirt sophomore cornerback, #29) is CB1 and a potential 49er draftee in the top five overall, Devin White (junior linebacker, #40) is working his way up to LB1, and Rashard Lawrence (junior defensive tackle, #90) has also shown first-round talent.  Breiden Fehoko (junior defensive end, #91) and Edwin Alexander (junior nose tackle, #99) are likely mid-round selections, making that defense even stronger.  Garrett Brumfield (senior guard, #78) is one of the better guards in the class, and Foster Moreau (senior tight end, #18) could be an interesting late round pick.  Joe Burrow (junior quarterback, #9), a transfer from Ohio State, is starting to look comfortable, and an improved passing game could be exactly what LSU needs for a playoff push.  Nick Brossette (junior running back, #4) has stepped up and filled right in for Derrius Guice, keeping LSU’s tradition of strong running backs alive.

Michigan State University at Penn State University, 3:30 PM, Big Ten Network

Michigan State features Brian Lewerke (junior quarterback, #14), who leads an offense with some dynamic and balanced weapons, including Felton Davis III (senior wide receiver, #18), L.J. Scott (senior running back, #3), Matt Sokol (senior tight end, #81).  On defense, Khari Willis (senior safety, #27), David Dowell (junior safety, #6), Justin Layne (junior cornerback, #2), Raequan Williams (junior defensive tackle, #99), and Joe Bachie (junior linebacker, #32) all have hopes of being drafted from a talented Michigan State team that has underachieved thus far with upset losses to Arizona State and Northwestern.

Penn State lost quite a bit of talent in the 2018 draft process, but they still keep churning out legitimate players.  Miles Sanders (junior running back, #24) has filled in very well for Saquon Barkley, and may be the best draftable running back in the Big Ten.  Conner McGovern (junior interior offensive line, #66) and Ryan Bates (junior tackle, #52) anchor a surprisingly strong Penn State offensive line, while Juwan Johnson (junior wide receiver, #84) and DeAndre Thompkins (senior wide receiver, #3) give the Nittany Lions some reliable, though not necessarily explosive, weapons on the outside. Trace McSorley (senior quarterback, #9) may stand to benefit from Baker Mayfield having success in the NFL this season, but I still stand by my evaluation that his accuracy and decision making are too poor for him to be a legitimate prospect.  Amani Oruwariye (senior cornerback, #21) is a top-five cornerback prospect, while Koa Farmer (senior linebacker, #7), Shareef Miller (junior edge, #48), Kevin Givens (junior defensive tackle, #30), and Nick Scott (senior safety, #4) all have the potential to be Day 3-type prospects.

University of Miami at University of Virginia, 7:00 PM, ESPN2

Miami opened the season with a tough loss to LSU, but rolled over opponents for weeks until a tight win against in-state rival Florida State.  Miami has perhaps the best defense in the ACC, and will rely on that to keep the success going.  Led by Joe Jackson (junior defensive end, #99), Jaquan Johnson (senior safety, #4), Shaquille Quarterman (junior linebacker, #55), and Michael Jackson (senior cornerback, #28), this defense may very well shut out the Cavaliers.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of teams on bye this week, so the choices are limited.  Gerald Willis III (senior defensive Lineman, #9) has been a huge surprise for the Hurricanes, and has moved all of the way up to the mid-second round in the eyes of some scouts with his strong play.  Michael Pinckney (junior linebacker, #56) and Tito Odenigbo (senior defensive tackle, #94) both could garner late round grades with strong 2018 campaigns.  On offense, Travis Homer (junior running back, #24) is an explosive playmaker, and Tyree St. Louis (senior tackle, #78) is working his way up the offensive tackle rankings with his consistent and strong play.  Malik Rosier (senior quarterback, #12) was benched in favor of true freshman N’Kosi Perry, all but ending his hopes of turning into a professional quarterback prospect.

For Virginia, Juan Thornhill (senior safety, #22) has a chance to be a team’s starting strong safety, but is more likely to make a living on special teams in the NFL.  That’s really it for Virginia.  Virginia is in for a long night.

University of Wisconsin at University of Michigan, 7:30 PM, ABC

Wisconsin’s loss to Brigham Young University at home in Madison earlier this season was a crippling blow to their playoff hopes.  While a one-loss Big Ten Champion would still likely make the playoff, another loss would be a death knell for the Badgers, regardless of the conference champion.  Wisconsin’s elite offensive line (every one of them is a prospect, so just watch and enjoy) will face off with a talented Michigan defense, but should have the upper hand.  If they are able to open holes for Jonathan Taylor (sophomore running back, #23) and provide a clean pocket for Alex Hornibrook (junior quarterback, #12) to throw to an overall underwhelming group of targets, then Wisconsin may have a chance to pull off the upset.  Regardless, Wisconsin’s defense will have to step up, but they have plenty of talent to do so with T.J. Edwards (senior linebacker, #53), Andrew Van Ginkel (senior linebacker, #17), Olive Sagapolu (senior nose tackle, #99), and Ryan Connelly (senior linebacker, #43).

On the other side of the field, Michigan will be led by perhaps the most talented quarterback they’ve had in a while in Shea Patterson (junior quarterback, #2), although his play has been very erratic thus far.  Karan Higdon (senior running back, #22) is very productive when healthy, and the 6’8” Zach Gentry (senior tight end, #83) should be a reliable safety blanket for Patterson while he adjusts to the Michigan offense.  Michigan also boasts one of the most talented defenses in the country, with Rashan Gary (junior defensive tackle, #3), Devin Bush (junior linebacker, #10), Chase Winovich (senior defensive end, #15), Lavert Hill (junior defensive back, #24), Khaleke Hudson (junior linebacker, #7), and Tyree Kinnel (senior defensive back, #23) all being locks to be drafted next year outside of a catastrophic injury. Some members of their defense are banged up, including Rashan Gary, but everyone that matters is still expected to play.

Boise State University at University of Nevada, 10:30 PM, CBS Sports Network

Boise State has had a rough go of it ever since I mentioned that Brett Rypien (senior quarterback, #4) was having a strong season, scoring only 34 total points in losses to Oklahoma State and San Diego State.  The Broncos will look to get back on track against a weaker Wolfpack team.  Alexander Mattison (junior running back, #22) and Ezra Cleveland (redshirt sophomore tackle, #76) will look to control the ground game for Boise State.  David Moa (junior defensive tackle, #55), Jabril Frazier (senior defensive end, #8), Tyler Horton (senior cornerback, #14), Curtis Weaver (redshirt sophomore outside linebacker, #9) all have potential on defense, but the true calling card of this Boise State team is their gunslinger behind center.

Nevada has had some strong linemen come through their program lately, and Sean Krepsz (senior interior offensive lineman, #64) is no exception.  He and the rest of the Nevada line will look to protect Ty Gangi (senior quarterback, #6) in an effort to keep up with the high flying Broncos.  Malik Reed (senior defensive end/outside linebacker, #90) and Asauni Rufus (senior strong safety, #2) will look to create pressure on the Boise State offense and force some turnovers, which is likely their only chance to pull off the upset.

University of Colorado at University of Southern California, 10:30 PM, Fox Sports 1

Colorado has had a surprising start to the season, and are currently in the driver’s seat for the PAC-12 South Division.  Evan Worthington (senior strong safety, #6) and Rick Gamboa (senior linebacker, #32) are hoping to make enough noise to get drafted next April, but Colorado is led by their offense.  Travon McMillian (senior running back, #34) has had a strong season for the Buffaloes, and while his upside is limited, he still has mid-round value as a reliable back.  Steven Montez (junior quarterback, #12) has been reliable, but Laviska Shenault (true sophomore wide receiver, #2) has been the one stealing the show, leading the nation in receiving yards and even garnering Heisman consideration as a receiver.  He isn’t draft eligible until next season, but he is fun to watch (especially for fans of the 49ers, who don’t have any healthy receivers).  McMillian will be running behind Aaron Haigler (junior offensive tackle, #64), and hoping to keep Alex Kinney (senior punter, #89) off the field.  

USC has had some unimpressive wins and has already lost two of their first five games.  It’s not too late, though, as only one loss came against a PAC-12 opponent.  If they are able to pull off the upset against Colorado, they will take over the lead in the PAC-12 South and find themselves in control of their own destiny.  Tyler Petite (senior tight end, #82) and Daniel Imatorbhebhe (junior tight end, #88) form one of the best tight end duos in the country.  Toa Lobendahn (senior guard/center, #50) leads the offensive line with the mobility and skill of a tackle but the length of a guard, and will likely stay inside at the next level.  Cameron Smith (senior linebacker, #35) and Marvell Tell III (senior safety, #7) could easily be Day 2 picks on defense, while Porter Gustin (senior outside linebacker, #45), Iman Marshall (senior cornerback, #8), and Christian Rector (junior defensive end, #89) could be later round prospects.

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