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Week 5 college football watch list, game thread

Week 5 of the college football season is upon us! We’ve got a game thread for you along with some prospects to keep an eye on.

Greetings 49ers Faithful! Week 5 of the college football season is upon us, and after the gut-punching loss of our beloved Jimmy Garoppolo for the season, we grudgingly pull ourselves away from the pits of despair with the mindset on refocusing our eyes towards the future of the team. Therefore, we are back offering our continued breakdown of college football’s weekly action - keeping our sights set on the 2019 NFL Draft.

Each week throughout the college season Josh Eccles, Alex Eisen, and Greg Valerio 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.

For this week, Josh, Alex, and Greg each picked two players to talk about. All prospects highlighted are featured today; nonetheless, feel free to drop in the prospects you are watching.

Josh Eccles

Brian Burns, DE, No. 99 - Florida State
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 235
Florida State at Louisville | 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, September 29 | ESPN/WatchESPN

Possesses high football IQ and has drawn praise for his ability to diagnose plays before the ball snap. His tackling needs work - which may seem to some to some as a deal-breaker given the 49ers’ recent woes on defense in that particular department. He lounges, he leans, he’ll hold on and weigh ball carriers down to the ground but it all works out. Burns led all freshmen in 2016 with 9.5 sacks and has done nothing to hurt his image among scouts as a highly athletic defensive prospect.

He needs to improve against the run and needs to grow into his body a little bit more but that shouldn’t shy teams away from taking a serious look at him. The Seminoles will look to move to 3-2 against a rebuilding Louisville team that has shown some improvements on both side of the ball these last couple of weeks.

Bobby Evans, OT, No. 71 - Oklahoma
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 301
Baylor at #6 Oklahoma | 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, September 29 | ABC/WatchESPN

The Sooner tout one of the most talented offenses in the country, led by the likes of starting quarterback Kyler Murray and formerly starting running back Rodney Anderson (whose season ended early due to an ACL injury). One of the strengths of this team - a strength which has played a large role in the success this offense has seen thus far - comes from the offensive line. Their ability to open up wide running lanes for the ground game and have given Murray enough time to make his progressions have this team setting its sights on the College Football Playoff.

Enter Bobby Evans who finds himself replacing offensive tackle Orlando Brown, who now has a home in the NFL playing for the Baltimore Ravens. Evans played tight end in high school and that makes sense when you watch him play and realize just how quick and athletic he truly is. If there’s one thing we know it’s that a Kyle Shanahan offense necessitates having athletes up and down the o-line. San Francisco could serve themselves right in investing in future tackles, especially given the fact that Joe Staley is getting up there in age.

Alex Eisen

Dexter Lawerence, DT, No. 90 - Clemson
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 351
Syracuse at #3 Clemson | 9:00 a.m. (PT ) Saturday, September 29 | ABC

Dexter Lawrence has outstanding size and power along the defensive line. He is one of the best defensive lineman against the run. While there is still room for growth in the pass rushing department, his raw talent to create chaos and disruption in the opponent’s backfield is second to none. Lawerence uses his lengthy arms and pro-ready frame to deflect and bat down passes, and break up plays along the line of scrimmage. He uses a blend of raw power and limited moves to create pressure on the quarterback. Has clean footwork off the snap, with sudden burst off the line. Don’t let his size frighten you…Lawerence might be one of the fastest draft-eligible defensive lineman. He has that natural blend of size and athleticism that scouts and evaluators seek at the next level.

Health has been a factor for Lawrence and this season he would benefit from having a complete and healthy season, that is injury free. Other than his football traits, Lawrence has great character and a team-first attitude. Lawerence is coachable, and continues to discover growth and potential in his game. If you are still unsure about Lawrence, his head coach says it all in one telling statement, “When you have great talent and skill plus great work ethic and character, you usually become a superstar” - Dabo Swinney. At the moment, Lawerence is looking like a top fifteen overall pick in next year’s draft.

Parris Campbell, WR, No. 21 - Ohio State
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 207
#9 Penn State at #4 Ohio State | 4:30 p.m. (PT) September 29 | ABC

The wide receiver out of Ohio State is quite the explosive playmaker who can stretch the field. Last season Campbell had 40 receptions for 584 yards and 3 touchdowns. I know the stats seem a little underwhelming, however I will point out to quarterback play last season ( J.T. Barrett) who had difficulties throwing the ball vertically down the field. Campbell has burst and blistering speed off the line and is expected to be one of the fastest prospects in next year’s draft. Campbell has the ability to run at all there levels, running the short, intermediate, and deep routes. There is big-play ability with Campbell, with the potential for growth. I honestly don’t believe we have seen the full package with Campbell. Already this season Campbell has 19 receptions for 299 yards and 5 touchdowns. In four games he already has two more touchdowns than he had all of last year. An extra bonus is that Campbell has experience on special teams as well returning kickoffs.

Drops were a concern for Campbell last season. However, so far this season he seems to have cleaned up that area of concern. This week against Penn State, Campbell will be up against a challenging and stiff defense. This will be a big week for Campbell to improve and raise his draft stock. At the moment I have Campbell as a day two selection. The arrow is pointing up and with a strong, consistent season, Campbell could be a fringe, first round prospect by next spring.

Greg Valerio

Oshane Ximines, DE, No. 7 - Old Dominion
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 255
Old Dominion at East Carolina | 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, September 29 | ESPN 3

A leader on the field, Oshane Ximines is an explosive LEO prospect with destructive tendencies wreaking havoc in opponents’ backfields. A standout athlete, Ximines is an impressive pass rush talent with great first-step explosion, length, fluid change-of-direction skills, quickness, agility, strength, and athleticism. Ximines displays good bend off the edge (nice flexibility) maintaining balance and burst closing with speed and violence. He does a good job utilizing his active hands and is quick to transition into his pass rush moves with smoothness winning with speed, power, and awareness.

It is no secret the 49ers lack an ideal presence off the edge when rushing the passer. Ximines is one of many draft eligible edge prospects capable of improving the 49ers’ edge presence potentially helping the defense flourish in reaching its potential. Along with the toughness, passion for the game, and lauded leadership skills, Ximines is a somewhat under-the-radar prospect worth noting.

Collin Johnson, WR, No. 9 - Texas
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 215
No. 18 Texas at Kansas State | 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, September 29 | FS1

Standing at 6-foot-6-inches, Collin Johnson is a massive target sporting vines for limbs and an impressive catching radius making him an ideal threat all over the field, and most importantly, as a red zone target flashing his explosive leaping ability. The junior is a big physical receiver with great speed and length displaying good explosion and burst off the line of scrimmage. He does a great job working his strong hands and quick feet in concert to win at the point of attack and shows fluidity in route running.

A fluid athlete, Johnson lulls defenders with his long strides eating up ground quickly and displays impressive suddenness and smoothness for his size going in and out of his breaks creating separation. He shows a superb ability to elevate above the rim attacking balls at its highest point with excellent body control extending his arms snatching the catch with his strong hands and excellent ball skills. He shows the physicality and toughness to win in a crowd, but also offers the suddenness and flexibility to create separation making him an ideal open target with a condor-like wingspan.