Hello there, 49er faithful! Another weekend of football is upon us and we are here to provide you with everything you will need for week 9 of the college football season. There are several top 25 matchups that are worth your attention, along with some intriguing prospects on both sides of the ball that we should all keep our eyes on. We’ve got games to watch with prospects included below - take a look and tell us who you’ll be watching in the comments below!
Marvel Tell III, S, No. 7 - USC
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 190
Arizona State at USC | 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, October 27 | ABC/ESPN 2/WatchESPN
Any team looking to add help to their secondary - specifically at either safety spot - in the 2019 draft better do it within the first 3 rounds as the talent drops off after that. That’s where USC Trojans Marvel Tell III comes into play. The junior safety is thought to be a top 50 prospect in his class and for good reason. Tell possesses all the qualities you want in a young player: a high motor, a tendency to be where the ball is more often than not, and an ability to read offenses and adjust accordingly to how plays develop.
The Trojans have had a down year: freshman quarterback JT Daniels has shown flashes but is still obviously young, the defense has had its fair share of injuries pile up, and Clay Helton seemingly hasn’t put his players in the best positions to succeed. Tell III, though, has been a bright spot during a tough transition year for the team but will look to continue leading his young squad against an up-and-coming Arizona State team trying to find its identity in the new era of Herman Edwards.
Cody Ford, T/G, No. 75 - Oklahoma
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 335
Kansas State at Oklahoma | 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, October 27 | ESPN
Cody Ford entered Norman as a guard but has recently moved to tackle and has been the most consistent presence on the Sooners front line, providing protection for the high-powered attack led by head coach Lincoln Riley and starting quarterback Kyler Murray. Not many people talk about Ford but one look at the tape and you’d be able to tell that he has what it takes to become a pro-caliber offensive lineman.
Ford plays with good leverage and shows some heavy hands to manipulate defenders. While Ford looks well put together, he shows some quickness to the second level and is more athletic than one would think from the eye ball test. In the pass rush, Lindstrom uses his hands well with good placement and sustains his block. If San Francisco is considering securing Joe Staley’s eventual replacement in this year’s draft then Cody Ford should get a long, hard look before it’s all said and done.
Chase Claypool, WR, No. 83 - Notre Dame
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 228 | Projected 40 Time: 4.50
#3 Notre Dame At Navy | 5:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday, October 27 | CBS
Chase Claypool has great size and physical traits that should transition smoothly at the next level. So far this season Claypool has recorded 14 receptions for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has demonstrated his ability to use his size and frame to out-box defenders along the outside. Can be lined up at multiple spots along the offensive line. Can run the short, intermediate, and long routes, and will pick up speed to extend plays after the catch. According to many scouts and evaluators who have studied Claypool he has played better than his stats show. Part of this could be to subpar quarterback play.
Claypool is improving with each passing season. While he may not have the most established route tree, he has shown growth in this area of his game. What I like most about Claypool is that he is a receiver who has an excellent blend of size and speed to go along with his strong, reliable hands. Claypool can stretch the field on long passing downs, and also serve as a red-zone threat inside the twenty. At the present moment, Claypool is looking like a locked in day two pick with his arrow pointing up.
Juan Thornhill, DB, No. 21 - Virginia
Height: 6’0” | Weight: 212 | Projected 40 Time: 4.55
North Carolina at Virginia | 9:30 a.m. (PT) Saturday, October 27 | CHSS
Thornhill is not going to get the national media hype playing at Virginia. However, once you see this kid play there is a lot to like on tape. Thornhill has a great frame and size for the position. Plays well in coverage and man to man along the outside. So far this season Thornhill has 31 tackles, with 4 passes broken up and 1 interception. Last season he had 63 tackles with 4 interceptions and 12 passes broken up. On film, Thornhill plays an aggressive and physical brand of football, often cutting receivers off of their routes. He forces receivers onto an island, and isolates his opponent, taking them out of the play.
Has good football instincts, and will often line up with the opponents number one option. Thornhill trusts his speed and burst off the snap that allows him to stay with receivers on intermediate and deep routes. Has a natural blend of lower and upper body strength, and runs fluidity through his hips. His size and frame should transition smoothly at the next level. Thornhill is looking like a day two prospect who’s arrow is pointing up. If you get a chance, tune into a Virginia game at some point this season and pay close attention to #2 when the Cavaliers are on defense.
Jeffery Simmons, DT, No. 94 - Mississippi State
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 307
No. 16 Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State | 4:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday, October 27 | ESPN
Any team in need of interior defensive linemen will be happy with the potential this draft class appears to be loaded with. Although I do not expect the 49ers to spend their first-round pick on a defensive tackle, Jeffery Simmons is a prospect that could be all over the spectrum on team’s boards. The junior is a first-round talent, but has serious off-field concerns every team will need to have vetted thoroughly.
On the field, Simmons showcases amazing athleticism and power with impressive quickness, agility, and technique wreaking havoc in backfields as an upfield disrupter with a quick first step and great strength at the point of attack (commands double teams). A large stout run stuffer, Simmons 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 great hand technique (tremendous 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. A testament to Simmons’ freakish athleticism, the former high school blue-chip five-star athlete can bench 450 pounds, squat over 600 pounds, and carries only 15 percent body fat at 307 pounds.
Clelin Ferrell, DE, No. 99 - Clemson
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 260
No. 2 Clemson vs. Florida State | 9:00 a.m. (PT) Saturday, October 20 | ABC
I usually tend not to go over a prospect already mentioned, especially since my boy Alex Eisen had an excellent write-up on Clelin Ferrell earlier in the season; however, since the reality of the 49ers’ draft status is slowly coming to fruition, I believe another mention of Ferrell is worth highlighting. Plus, the 49ers’ are in desperate need of an edge presence, and if Nick Bosa is not the selection, Clelin Ferrell is equally an excellent choice to establish a dominating fear off the edge.
Ferrell is a junior prospect that has shown the capacity to improve throughout his collegiate career. With a complete game showing dominance both against the run and the passing game, Ferrell offers a perfect blend of size, length (long arms), strength, and athleticism. He displays great burst off the edge utilizing his length to his advantage playing with excellent leverage, body control (terrific bend), and balance, adept at holding the point of attack and releasing with nice change of direction skills, agility, foot quickness, and power.
Ferrell also displays an excellent ability playing front-side blocks at the point of attack utilizing his length and power to successfully stack and shed showing a solid game setting the edge. Moreover, he brings impressive skills defending back-side blocks with nice athleticism, agility, length, and closing speed.