It was another week of college football filled with cancelled games, but besides Ohio State, most of the top teams in the country played. We got an extra day of great college football this Thanksgiving weekend with a couple of games on Friday.
Iowa State hung on for the victory against Texas; Oregon State won a comeback shocker over Oregon; Oklahoma State had to put up 50 to narrowly beat Texas Tech; Alabama rolled Auburn in the Iron Bowl; Clemson dominated Pitt in Trevor Lawrence’s first game back since October 24th; and Michigan State had the upset of the weekend over Northwestern.
I highlighted one player last week that I want to speak about, but not actually list two weeks in a row. That player is Buffalo RB Jaret Patterson. Last week, he had 301 yards and 4 touchdowns while averaging 9.7 yards per rush, which is obviously absolutely insane. So what did he do this weekend? 409 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 11.4 yards per rush. He tied the most rushing touchdowns in a single game in NCAA D1 history.
I’ve been hesitant with Jones this year, with all of his weapons and following Tua Tagovailoa. But then I really watched his tape; Mac Jones is a legitimate potential first round pick this year. He added to his great season in the Iron Bowl on Saturday, throwing for 302 yards and 5 touchdowns on just 26 pass attempts. While his biggest knock is not being being very mobile, Jones has so many of the other traits NFL teams are looking for. He has an accurate arm, he reads the field very well, he’s highly intelligent, and he operates at an extremely efficient clip. What worries me is that lack of athleticism, with the NFL moving towards QBs who are at least slightly mobile, but I love almost everything else about Jones.
The biggest beneficiary to Mac Jones’ big day was, no surprise, DeVonta Smith. He reeled in 7 receptions for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns. We know how great Smith is, and that he should most certainly be drafted top 20 this year. But it’s starting to feel like we are almost getting bored with how great his production is, and some people are just waiting in the bushes to start nit-picking everything about him. And I just want to get ahead of that and say: DeVonta Smith is a great wide receiver prospect and whichever team drafts him, no matter how high, won’t regret it for a second. On the season, Smith has 72 catches for 1,074 yards, 12 touchdowns in 8 games. That comes out to 14.9 yards per catch, 134.3 yards per game, 1 touchdown per every 6 catches, and 1.5 touchdowns per game. Even in college football, in an offense as good as Alabama, and with a QB as good as Mac Jones, those numbers are ridiculous. Don’t listen to the hate that may be coming, Smith is a top prospect.
Vanderbilt got completely demolished by Missouri, but Odeyingbo had a phenomenon performance. He ended the game with 4 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. His two sacks yesterday came on back-to-back plays; the first on a great swim move against the left tackle that took very little time. The second sack came on a triple-team against the left tackle, left guard, and running back, where Odeyingbo overpowered everyone. He can win with speed, power, finesse, and sheer determination and not giving up on a play. As of now, Odeyingbo looks like a Day Two prospect with great tools and high potential.
Similar to Odeyingbo, Weaver had a fantastic game despite his team getting trounced on Saturday. Weaver made my Week Two article, making him another repeat prospect this year. On Saturday against Clemson, he racked up 5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. Weaver is 8th in the nation with 7.5 sacks, and tied for first in the nation with 3 forced fumbles. At 6’5” and 270 pounds, he has the size and speed to line up at any position on the defensive line besides nose tackle. Weaver missed all of the 2019 season with an injury, but he’s putting on the type of performance this season that will lead to a meteoric rise on draft boards, and can land him in the top 50 picks this year.
Paye missed the previous two games with an injury, and with all of the prospects opting out before season and mid-season to start preparing for the draft, it’s a little surprising Paye decided to come back after his injury and keep playing. With that being said, Paye had a huge impact on this game. You could just feel the difference of this Michigan defense with Paye versus without him. His stats against Penn State won’t “wow” you, but it’s what he does besides what will show up in the box score that makes him a special prospect. He’ll draw double-teams, sometimes even triple-teams, flush a QB out of the pocket leading to sacks, blowing up rushing lanes leading to teammates tackles, etc. In the first game this season, Paye had two sacks. He can get the sacks, and he can also produce without getting stats. Paye has cemented himself in the top 20 of this draft class.