Clay’s NFL Draft Cheat Sheet – Week 3 Edition

Clayton Smarslok with his week 3 college football cheat sheet…

The Jets were dominant on Monday night and are on pace for a 16-0 season so no need to look at top prospects anymore. Okay, now with that bad joke out of the way, it really was a tremendous start to the season but there is a long way to go and the Jets are still looked at as a mid to lower tier team at the moment. After a couple weeks of the college season have past us, scouts are getting a better idea of what players to look at. Here are some that you should as well.

Week 2 Top Performers

Offense: HB Benny Snell Jr, Kentucky

I really wish I didn’t have to put this name down being a Florida Gators fan, but Benny Snell was a huge reason why the Kentucky Wildcats snapped their 31 game losing streak in the Swamp last week. The Gator defense had no answer for the running game as the junior back ran for 175 yards. While he didn’t find the end zone his physical style is legit. He will always keep the feet churning, constantly moving forward. Snell may not have the breakaway speed but his combination of toughness and vision will be the reason he moves up the boards. The one thing I would like to see is if he can get more involved in the passing game.

Defense: EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

Another week goes by and I’m still on the Sweat train. Against Dalton Risner and Kansas State he continues to show his ability to get to the quarterback with one sack, two TFL and one QB hurry. Risner is one of the best tackles in the country and Sweat was still able to make his presence felt all game. Not only has he gotten to the quarterback but he has made plays in the running game as well. He has a high motor that allows him make plays off the backside or run down a ball carrier to the sideline. Sweat may be the third or fourth edge rusher in this class in my mind and still be a top 15 player.

Week 3 Players to Watch

HB Justice Hill, Oklahoma State (vs Boise State, 3:30pm, ESPN)

Seems like Hill is going into his 7th year with the Cowboys rather than only his 3rd. But in what is likely his last year, Hill is off to a nice statistical start and seems to getting a lighter workload if it isn’t necessary. He only has 19 carries and 2 catches in both blowouts the first two games, running for 154 yards and 3 touchdowns. With already a 92 yard touchdown under his belt this season, which definitely inflates his stats, he has a proven track record in his first two years. I’ve noticed he has very good balance when hit and will always fall forward. On the other end, he will duck his head and his smaller size may hurt him at the next level. This Boise State defense may be the best defense he faces so it will be fun to see how he does against a team outside the Big 12.

CB Kendall Sheffield, Ohio State (vs TCU, 8:00pm, ABC)

The former Crimson Tide member is on the rise out in Columbus. According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, he said on his podcast Stick to Football that Sheffield could possibly be the next first round cornerback from Ohio State. He will be one of the fastest players, if not the fastest, on the field at any given time. He has great short area quickness and does a great job mirroring receivers in man, however he just got his first career interception last week against Rutgers. If he can turn those PBUs he’s had over the last year into turnovers there is a great chance that first round label will come to fruition for Sheffield.

 

Week 3 Games to Watch

#7 Auburn vs #12 LSU (3:30pm on CBS)

In the first edition, both of Auburn and LSU were mentioned as teams to watch in the opening week. After strong starts for both, this will be a big game if either one has any legitimate playoff hopes. On one side, Jarrett Stidham goes against a high energy LSU defense featuring arguably the top cornerback, linebacker and a top 50 player in the upcoming class with Greedy Williams, Devin White and IDL Rashard Lawrence. Stidham is regarded as many as the best quarterback in the class so if he can replicate how he started against Washington, it would be tough to deny that distinction. On the other side, there aren’t a ton of prospects but two to keep an eye on are LSU’s HB Nick Brossette and Auburn’s IDL Derrick Brown. The senior running back Brossette has started off on fire this season and is becoming a household name with back to back dominant performances. He may not at the top of the board yet but will be interesting how it pans out for him.

Ole Miss vs #1 Alabama (7:00pm on ESPN)

It’s a prospect bonanza down in Mississippi later tonight. There are three receivers on Ole Miss alone that could all be picked within the first two rounds next April; DK Metcalf, AJ Brown and DeMarkus Lodge. They also have a top tight end in Dawson Knox and top offensive tackle in Greg Little. Ole Miss is loaded on the offensive side of the ball which makes you wonder why Shea Patterson ever left. As for Alabama, they have HB Damien Harris and OT Jonah Williams on offense but the 2019 draft will be loaded with Alabama defenders. On the line you will see Raekwon Davis, Isaiah Buggs up the middle and then Anfernee Jennings coming off the edge. On the second level they have LB Mack Wilson who can find his way into the first round and are led by a true single high safety in Deinote Thompson on the back end. Those are just the draft eligible prospects, which makes this the only game to watch come 7:00pm.

Weekly Rankings

Top 5 HB

  1. David Montgomery, Iowa State
  2. Damien Harris, Alabama
  3. Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma*
  4. Benny Snell Jr., Kentucky
  5. Justice Hill, Oklahoma State

On the Bubble: Travis Homer (Miami), Bryce Love (Stanford), Darrell Henderson (Memphis)