Greetings 49er Faithful! We are back with our breakdown of college football's Week 1 action - keeping our sights set on the 2018 NFL Draft.
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.
We'll start things off covering a top 10 ranked team playing this evening in No. 8 Washington vs. Rutgers match-up. So, sit back, put your scouting hat on, and let's get things started with Week 1.
* = indicates junior status
No. 8 Washington at Rutgers
Time: 5:00 PM PST
Live Stream: FOX Sports Go
*QB Jake Browning, No. 3, 6'2" - 209 lbs., 4.78 40 - (2nd)
*RB Myles Gaskin, No. 9, 5'10" - 195 lbs., 4.50 40 - (3rd)
WR Dante Pettis, No. 8, 6'1" - 188 lbs., 4.49 40 - (2nd)
*OT Trey Adams, No. 72, 6'8" - 327 lbs., 5.30 40 - (2nd)
OG Andrew Kirkland, No. 73, 6'4" - 311 lbs., 5.28 40 - (UDFA)
C Coleman Shelton, No. 79, 6'4" - 293 lbs., 5.08 40 - (4th)
*DT Vita Vea, No. 50, 6'5" - 332 lbs., 5.19 40 - (1st)
*DT Greg Gaines, No. 99, 6'2" - 321 lbs., 5.34 40 - (3rd)
OLB Connor O'Brien, No. 29, 6'3" - 232 lbs., 4.79 40 - (UDFA)
ILB Azeem Victor, No. 36, 6'3" - 230 lbs., 4.74 40 - (2nd)
ILB Keishawn Bierria, No. 7, 6'1" - 221 lbs., 4.73 40 - (6th)
K/P Tristan Vizcaino, No. 43, 6'2" - 206 lbs., - (UDFA)
WR Dante Pettis, No. 8, finished the 2016 college football season amassing 15 touchdown receptions, and with the departure of fellow receiver John Ross, Pettis is poised to breakout as the Huskies' top receiver. The former basketball and track and field high school athlete boasts professional sports bloodlines with his father, Gary Pettis, playing 11 seasons in the MLB and his cousin, Austin Pettis, a former wide receiver with the St. Louis Rams.
Dante is a natural pass catcher with good hands, but needs more consistency going forward (tends to double catch balls). He is a fluid route runner with a smoothness to his game displaying good bend on breaks coming out quickly with great athleticism, nice footwork, quickness, and decent burst. He is solid in intermediate routes and shows the burst and speed to take the top off coverages displaying impressive skills tracking the ball over his shoulder. Brings added value in the return game.
*DT Vita Vea, No. 50, is a very strong defender with great size, length, power, and athleticism that plays with violence. A large stout run stuffer, Vea showcases power at the point of attack, capable of handling two-gaps, great in collapsing the pocket, has sound awareness to stop ball carriers next to him utilizing good hand technique (great power in hands) stacking and shedding, and plays with good leverage and power with a high motor chasing down ball carriers coming off back-side blocks.
The former high school basketball athlete and Bay Area native has quick feet with balance possessing great lateral agility navigating impressively through the trash. The space-eater two-gap defender is extremely stout against the run dominating front-side blocks at the point of attack and displays tremendous quickness for a man his size.
ILB Azeem Victor, No. 36, is an aggressive and ferocious long-limbed linebacker that hits with explosion and has a nastiness in his game. Shows a great ability to take on the run at the point of attack defeating blocks separating with hands and gets up the field with nice closing speed. Displays the ability to go sideline-to-sideline covering a lot of area in the field with impressive speed and chase pursuit. Shows solid instincts and awareness, and is a playmaker in space. Fractured right leg on 11/12/16. Suspended for the season opener due to violation of team rules.
Washington's potential draft-eligible prospects to keep an eye on:
*QB Jake Browning, No. 3
*RB Myles Gaskin, No. 9
*OT Trey Adams, No. 72
C Coleman Shelton, No. 79
*DT Greg Gaines, No. 99
ILB Keishawn Bierria, No. 7
RB Robert Martin, No. 7, 5'11" - 212 lbs., - (UDFA)
RB Josh Hicks, No. 8, 5'10" - 210 lbs., - (UDFA)
WR Janarion Grant, No. 1, 5'10" - 178 lbs., 4.48 40 - (7th)
WR Damon Mitchell, No. 5, 6'2" - 217 lbs., - (UDFA)
*OT Tariq Cole, No. 65, 6'6" - 320 lbs., - (5th)
OG Dorian Miller, No. 60, - 6'2" - 300 lbs., 5.08 40 - (UDFA)
DE Darnell Davis Jr., No. 59, 6'2" - 247 lbs., - (UDFA)
DE Kemoko Turay, No. 58, 6'5" - 252 lbs., - (UDFA)
DT Sebastian Joseph, No. 51, 6'4" - 305 lbs., - (UDFA)
*CB Isaiah Wharton, No. 11, 6'1" -205 lbs., 4.59 40 - (7th)
*CB Blessaun Austin, No. 10, 6'1" - 195 lbs., 4.56 40 - (7th)
CB Ross Douglas, No. 21, 5'10" - 205 lbs., - (UDFA)
WR Janarion Grant, No. 1, is Rutgers All-Time kickoff return yardage leader and has tied the NCAA record for combined kick returns with eight career touchdowns. The playmaking return specialist brings added value in the receiving game utilizing his speed, quickness, and shiftiness working out of the slot/backfield excelling in open space.
As a receiver, Grant displays reliable hands with good ball skills, body control, and extends his arms high pointing the ball to make the catch with great athleticism. Shows good effort in the blocking game. He takes advantage of his speedy quick feet, vision, and superb balance to be an elusive threat in the open field showcasing video-game like moves. Grant has a history of injuries; therefore, durability is a concern at the next level.
Rutgers' potential draft-eligible prospects to keep an eye on (provided they declare):
*OT Tariq Cole, No. 65
*CB Isaiah Wharton, No. 11
*CB Blessaun Austin, No. 10
Player measurables courtesy of team pages. 40 times projected.