Every week during the college football season we’ll highlight a few players in key games you should keep an eye on because they’re NFL draft material in 2013. Here’s the first week; here’s week two. And here’s our most recent 2013 NFL mock draft.
California at Ohio State, Saturday, 12, ABC
Keenan Allen, junior, WR, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds: His frame is similar to that of Julio Jones, the budding star in Atlanta, but Allen only runs a 4.53 40. How did Allen end up at Cal? He was all set to go to Alabama, but then his half-brother, Zach Maynard, signed with Cal. Allen proceeded to break DeSean Jackson’s freshman records and then had a monster sophomore year (98 catches, 1,343 yards, 6 TDs.). Combination of size, hands and footwork probably means he’ll be the top receiver in the 2013 draft.
Johnathan Hankins, junior DT, 6-foot-3, 320 pounds: Seeing plenty of double-teams, and thus he’s off to a bit of a slow start (.5 tackle for loss in two games). Then again, the entire OSU has been underwhelming so far (only three sacks; Florida State star Bjoern Werner has five.) How will Hankins fare against a senior-laden Bears’ offensive line? With four seniors protecting Maynard, this may not be the game Hankins gets going.
John Simon, senior, DE, 6-foot-2, 260 pounds: Not in the same class as junior studs Montgomery, Werner and Jeffcoat, all likely first rounders. Simon is not as long as Gholston and doesn’t quite has 1st round size. Here’s video of one of his top performances of the year against Wisconsin (two sacks, two tackles for loss):
Alabama at Arkansas, Saturday, 3:30, CBS
Dee Milliner, junior CB, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds: Looked terrific in the opener against Michigan, breaking up four passes … in the first half. In front of a national audience, his stock soared. (Also the same night, NC State corner David Amerson, a highly-touted prospect, was getting toasted against Tennessee.) Milliner missed the Tide’s win over Western Kentucky (hip flexor) but is expected to play against the Razorbacks. Will Tyler Wilson – assuming he plays – throw at Milliner?
C.J. Mosley, junior LB, 6-foot-2, 230 pounds: Is he better than fellow linebacker Nico Johnson? At about 10 pounds lighter, Mosley’s faster and probably a slightly better prospect, though I don’t think either is first round material. Mosley does a bit of everything – 18 tackles, an INT for TD, a tackle for loss, and a sack so far this season. The big question for Mosley will be how he measures up to the two Stanford star outside linebackers, Chase Thomas and Shane Skov. The three players are 2nd or 3rd round material in a decent draft for linebackers.
Knile Davis, RB, redshirt junior, 6-0, 226 pounds: Coming off the major injury, he still clearly isn’t 100 percent. He’s only got a paltry 34 carries for 132 yards and a mere 3.8 ypc through two games. Two years ago, when healthy, he averaged 6.4 ypc. Playing at home, with his QB iffy to play, against a fierce defense … don’t like the prospects for Davis this week. But Davis isn’t the only quality running back off to a slow start – Monte Ball hasn’t done anything for Wisconsin, either.