This is the weakest slate of college football games all season. There’s only one game worth of mentioning here, and thankfully, it’s not an SEC game. (Florida-Tennessee might be a decent game, but we’ve already covered the Gators in this space.) Here are last week’s players, led by UCLA star Brett Hundley. Here are future NFL stars mentioned prior to the season-opening weekend.
Arizona State at Stanford, 7 pm, Fox
Will Sutton, Defensive Tackle, Senior: Opened lots of eyes last year with 23.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks when he was named the Pac-12 defensive Player of the Year. It was a mild surprise he returned to school, as there appeared to be a chance he could go in the 2nd or 3rd round. Swift and powerful for 6-foot, 290. Feels like definitely a 2nd round pick, with the chance of getting into the 1st. Based on what I’ve seen this year, I lean Dominique Easley of Florida slightly over Sutton. Here’s tape of Sutton playing all over the line last year against Missouri.
Marion Grice, RB, Senior: Versatile back tallied 1,104 yards from scrimmage as a junior, and put him down on your sleeper lists for the draft. Runs (679 on the ground), and catches (425 receiving). Should have his way in space if the Stanford linebackers mark him out of the backfield. Decent size (6-foot, 200 pounds). Six touchdowns already this season, and if he runs a sub 4.5 at the 40, I can see Grice getting serious as high as the 2nd or 3rd round. Watch these videos – do you see any Jamaal Charles?
Trent Murphy, Defensive End, Senior: Probably the best player on the defensive line in the country you’re not familiar with. Somehow, 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks last year barely registered east of the Mississippi. He’s “only” 260, but I can see him doing the things he does in this video with 15 more pounds in the NFL. Jared Allen comparisons will flow because he wears 93. At 6-foot-6, Murphy and Ben Gardner (he’ll be drafted a few rounds later) are quite a pair. Murphy probably would fit in a 3-4 or 4-3. If he destroys the combine, he could be a first round pick and the first DE taken after Mr. Clowney.
Shayne Skov, LB, Senior: Could fall into the “great” college football linebacker category, but one who doesn’t project as a great pro. I fully admit to falling in love with his fellow linebacker, Chase Thomas, last year, and thought he’d be a solid mid-round pick. Yet Thomas wasn’t drafted (he’s on the Falcons practice squad). Skov isn’t a carbon copy of Thomas, but at 6-foot-2, 245 pounds, he’s very similar in size. (Thomas was 6-3, 244.) So is Skov a mid-round pick who lands on a 3-4 team, or a reserve linebacker in a 4-3 scheme? Tough to ignore his lack of speed as Marcus Mariota blows right past him for a 50+ yard carry.