Fooch’s note: Trent Baalke is on hand for the Duke-Louisville game. He will also be attending Ball State-Buffalo on Saturday.
Greetings 49er Faithful! We are back with our breakdown of college football's Week 7 action. Each week throughout the college season we will break down a few college football games providing highlights and profiles of a few notable draft-eligible prospects you should pay attention to. This will help people build a list of names to know when we get into the offseason. The two college football games we will highlight today are Duke vs. No. 7 Louisville match-up and Mississippi State vs. BYU match-up. So, sit back, put your scouting hat on, and let's get things started with Week 7.
Tune in tomorrow for Jake Narayan's college football game thread.
Duke Blue Devils at No. 7 Louisville Cardinals
Time: 4:00 PM PST
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Duke has several draft-eligible prospects that have a good chance on making an NFL roster as an undrafted free agent rookie. Below are the prospects to keep an eye on.
RB Jela Duncan, No. 25, 5'9" - 215 lbs., 4.62 40 - (UDFA)
WR Anthony Nash, No. 83, 6'5" - 200 lbs., 4.59 40 - (UDFA)
OT Casey Blaser, No. 71, 6'5" - 290 lbs., 5.12 40 - (UDFA)
DT A.J. Wolf, No. 93, 6'4" - 280 lbs., 4.94 40 - (UDFA)
CB DeVon Edwards, No. 27, 5'9" - 180 lbs., 4.43 40 - (UDFA) Out for the year torn ACL and MCL
CB Breon Borders, No. 31, 6'0" - 180 lbs., 4.53 40 - (UDFA)
FS Deondre Singleton, No. 33, 5'11" - 180 lbs., 4.57 40 - (UDFA)
Louisville has a few draft-eligible prospects to keep an eye on: WR James Quick, No. 17; WR Jamari Staples, No. 2; TE Cole Hikutini, No. 18; DT DeAngelo Brown, No. 97; OLB Devonte Fields, No. 92; ILB Keith Kelsey, No. 55; and SS Josh Harvey-Clemons, No. 25.
On a side-note, sophomore QB Lamar 'Action' Jackson, No. 8, is an amazing 2018 NFL Draft prospect to watch. I salivate just imagining how explosive he'd be in a Chip Kelly offense.
WR James Quick, No. 17, is true to his namesake as a 'quick' athletically gifted natural pass catcher. Ideally a slot receiver at the next level, Quick is quicker than fast, but displays excellent suddenness in his game gaining separation with his quick feet and savviness as a route runner. A five-star recruit out of high school, there are a lot of flashes in Quick's game, staying consistent is crucial for him to find success in the NFL.
TE Cole Hikutini, No. 18, is an athletically gifted pass-catching tight end displaying solid hands as a receiver with the ability to extend away from the body to make the catch, and is excellent at stick routes (a tight ends' bread and butter) showing great skills releasing from the line of scrimmage, good speed, and nice suddenness in his game showing the ability to separate from defenders. A lackluster blocker in all facets of the game, Hikutini will need to address blocking technique considerably at the next level.
OLB Devonte Fields, No. 92, a natural pass rusher flashing top level first round talent, has an excellent combination of size, speed, and athleticism, with tremendous fluidity, balance, and change of direction skills. A terror off the edge with superb bendability and his effortless change of direction capabilities, Fields is a pass rush specialist with the potential to be a top-tier edge threat at the next level. Fields had a very impressive freshman year at TCU in 2012 (53 TKLS, 18.5 TFL, 10 sacks), but injuries (played with a torn labrum from Week 4 of the 2015 season) and off-field issues (alleged assault of an ex-girlfriend) have halted his progress. Fields would bring solid skills off the edge for the 49ers; however, the off-field red-flags he comes with will require some serious background checks.
SS Josh Harvey-Clemons, No. 25, is a large imposing defender with an excellent combination of size, strength, and athleticism. The transfer from Georgia boasts tremendous size and length (very long limbs) for the position, light feet, good agility, impressive balance and change of direction skills, and sound awareness. An aggressive defender, Harvey-Clemons is a force inside the box and takes full advantage of his amazing length in coverage. A red-flag prospect, Harvey-Clemons was dismissed from Georgia for violating team rules (two separate suspensions reportedly for marijuana use).
* = indicates junior status
RB Brandon Radcliff, No. 23, 5'9" - 214 lbs., 4.59 40 - (UDFA)
WR James Quick, No. 17, 6'1" - 180 lbs., 4.52 40 - (4th)
WR Jamari Staples, No. 2, 6'3" - 195 lbs., 4.45 40 - (7th)
WR Ja'Quay Savage, No. 19, 6'2" - 214 lbs., 4.54 40 - (UDFA)
TE Cole Hikutini, No. 18, 6'5" - 248 lbs., 4.84 40 - (5th)
TE Keith Towbridge, No. 89, 6'4" - 261 lbs., 4.83 40 - (UDFA)
C Tobijah Hughley, No. 61, 6'2" - 290 lbs., 5.10 40 - (UDFA)
DE Drew Bailey, No. 14, 6'5" - 285 lbs., 4.97 40 - (UDFA)
DT DeAngelo Brown, No. 97, 6'0" - 308 lbs., 5.23 40 - (6th)
OLB Devonte Fields, No. 92, 6'3" - 245 lbs., 4.72 40 - (2nd)
ILB Keith Kelsey, No. 55, 6'0" - 236 lbs., 4.83 40 - (5th)
SS Josh Harvey-Clemons, No. 25, 6'4" - 228 lbs., 4.59 40 - (3rd-4th)
Mississippi State Bulldogs at BYU Cougars
Time: 4:00 PM PST
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Mississippi State has a few draft-eligible prospects to keep an eye on: WR Fred Ross, No. 8; OT Justin Senior, No. 58; ILB Richie Brown, No. 39; and CB Tolando Cleveland, No. 7.
WR Fred Ross, No. 8, brings a good combination of size, explosion, athleticism, and toughness to the position. Shows versatility in his game lining up in the slot, split-end, as well as bringing value in the return game, Ross is a playmaking natural pass catcher with great hands, solid explosion off the line, nice ball skills, quality body control taking advantage of his length, athleticism, and physicality to win at the point of reception, and the ability to make plays after the catch running with great balance and vision earning solid yards after the catch -- displays an excellent ability taking a short pass and turning it into a big gain weaving through defenders breaking arm tackles.
ILB Richie Brown, No. 39, is tremendous leader on the field with a great combination of size, strength, toughness, speed, and athleticism for the position. Brown displays a high football IQ with a nose for the football with solid instincts reading run keys and impressive play speed to track down the football. Shows quality bulk with the ability to take on the run at the point of attack, stacking and separating with strong hands, and great burst chasing down ball carriers hitting with explosion.
WR Fred Ross, No. 8, 6'2" - 205 lbs., 4.58 40 - (5th-6th)
WR/RB Brandon Holloway, No. 10, 5'8" - 165 lbs., 4.46 40 - (UDFA)
OT Justin Senior, No. 58, 6'5" - 310 lbs., 5.17 40 - (7th-UDFA)
OG Devon Desper, No. 62, 6'4" - 305 lbs., 5.21 40 - (UDFA)
C Jamaal Clayborn, No. 60, 6'4" - 315 lbs., 5.36 40 - (UDFA)
DE A.J. Jefferson, No. 47, 6'3" - 280 lbs., 4.92 40 - (UDFA)
DE Will Coleman, No. 57, 6'5" - 250 lbs., 4.87 40 - (UDFA)
DE Johnathan Calvin, No. 16, 6'3" - 272 lbs., 4.88 40 - (UDFA)
DE Torrey Dale, No. 49, 6'6" - 277 lbs., 4.91 40 - (UDFA)
DT Nick James, No. 88, 6'5" - 320 lbs., 5.28 40 - (UDFA)
ILB Richie Brown, No. 39, 6'2" - 240 lbs., 4.79 40 - (7th)
CB Tolando Cleveland, No. 7, 6'0" - 190 lbs., 4.56 40 - (7th-UDFA) Out for year with torn ACL
CB Cedric Jiles, No. 5, 5'10" - 186 lbs., 4.55 40 - (UDFA)
SS Kivon Coman, No. 11, 6'3" - 205 lbs., 4.57 40 - (UDFA)
BYU has several draft-eligible prospects that have a good chance on making an NFL roster as an undrafted free agent rookie; however, one prospect of note with a rising game is RB Jamaal Williams, No. 21.
RB Jamaal Williams, No. 21, is an underrated powerful and violent downhill runner that is poised to rise up draft boards throughout the season. Williams' career at BYU started out great from having the most carries, yards, and touchdowns by a BYU true freshman in 2012, to leading the team as their top rusher in 2014 despite playing only eight games due to a season ending knee injury. In 2015, Williams withdrew from the football program, as well as the school, for "personal reasons"; however, it turns out Williams violated unspecified team rules and was told he could either be suspended indefinitely or withdraw from school. Reasons for his redshirt year in 2015, an arrest in 2014 for suspicion of underage drinking, and another alcohol related team suspension (one game) will no doubt be major factors NFL teams will need to address, as well as durability concerns with the knee injury he suffered in 2014.
Nevertheless, the 2016 version of Williams is similar to a Phoenix rising from the ashes, where a bigger, faster, and stronger version has emerged rooted by his growth in maturity (elected team captain). Williams displays excellent balance and vision rumbling through defenses spinning and shedding off tackles with great power and physicality. Shows solid pad level hitting the hole with power behind his pads, sound ability in making consecutive moves in a short area (excellent at jump-cuts), great football IQ and awareness showing the football smarts on ball security (adept and transitioning ball from one arm to the other at key moments), and looks promising in a zone blocking scheme. Ideally a short yardage type of back that battles for tough yards, Williams also showcases the ability as a natural pass catcher out of the backfield with good hands and fair blocking skills, although very inconsistent blocking where at times it seems like he blocks on a wing and a prayer -- closing your eyes and launching yourself hoping for the best. Does not possess the blazing speed one would like to see for their starting running back in the NFL level, but is a solid change-of-pace back many teams will covet with the ability to play all three downs. Moreover, outstanding production.
QB Taysom Hill, No. 7, 6'2" - 235 lbs., 4.59 40 - (UDFA)
RB Jamaal Williams, No. 21, 6'0" - 220 lbs., 4.62 40 - (6th) rising
FB Algernon Brown, No. 24, 6'1" - 250 lbs., 4.67 40 - (UDFA)
WR Nick Kurtz, No. 5, 6'6" - 215 lbs., 4.57 40 - (UDFA)
OT Brad Wilcox, No. 75, 6'7" - 310 lbs., 5.31 40 - (UDFA) Not with team Academic Ineligible
C/OG Parker Dawe, No. 54, 6'3" - 307 lbs., 5.16 40 - (UDFA)
DT Travis Tuiloma, No. 91, 6'2" - 301 lbs., 5.07 40 - (UDFA)
DT Logan Taele, No. 62, 6'2" - 295 lbs., 5.05 40 - (UDFA)
OLB Sae Tautu, No. 31, 6'4" - 245 lbs., 4.82 40 - (UDFA)
ILB Harvey Langi, No. 21, 6'3" - 252 lbs., 4.77 40 - (UDFA)
CB Michael Davis, No. 15, 6'2" - 196 lbs., 4.54 40 - (UDFA)
FS Kai Nacua, No. 12, 6'2" - 215 lbs., 4.59 40 - (UDFA)