With October winding down, we now have eight full weeks of college football action under our belts. While the best is still yet to come, we have already seen a lot from the best college football has to offer. At the end of each month, I set about ranking my top prospects heading into the upcoming draft. There is still a long ways to go, but this acts as a barometer for how players have separated themselves through the first two months of the year. To see how much things have already changed, feel free to check out my top 25 from the end of September.
This class is stacked at receiver and has really good depth at corner and running back. The quarterback group is starting to come together, but maybe doesn’t look quite as strong as we initially thought. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
1. Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
There is a drop after the top two prospects. That is mostly because of how dominant these two players are in Jerry Jeudy and Chase Young. Young put up four sacks on Saturday vs. Wisconsin. He is simply unfair to deal with.
2. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Don’t overthink this one. Jerry Jeudy is a stud. He will be a top-tier receiver from his first snap in the NFL. He is even showing he can do it without Tua Tagovailoa.
3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Another ankle injury to Tagovailoa is troubling, but Tua has separated himself from the rest of the QB class. There is some potential for Joe Burrow to close the gap some and we will get to see them play head-to-head in a few weeks. Cannot wait for that game.
4. Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
There are a lot of schools who claim to be DB University. Jeff Okudah is helping Ohio State’s case. He is a great man coverage defender and does an excellent job tackling in space.
5. AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
The production has not been there this season for AJ Epenesa, but the talent still is. He is commanding a lot of attention in every game for Iowa. He has a little bit of J.J. Watt in him, which is a great thing for any prospect.
6. Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Any team looking for a future starting left tackle will have its eye on Andrew Thomas. He is an elite pass blocker who has performed against top competition. He feels like a lock for the top 10, maybe even the top five.
7. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
There might not be a better receiver after the catch in this draft than CeeDee Lamb. He is super elusive and shows great vision. He is clearly very athletic, even if he won’t blow you away with speed.
8. D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
In the modern day NFL, running backs need to be able to catch the ball out of the backfield frequently. D’Andre Swift has proven he is more than capable. He already has 900 yards from scrimmage in seven games this season.
9. Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
This is an elite wide receiver class. Tee Higgins could very well be the top option in other draft years. He is dominant in the red zone and routinely makes big plays downfield.
10. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Up until a meeting with Ohio State, Jonathan Taylor had looked unstoppable. Clearly he is mortal, but that one game should not undermine all the work he has done in his career. The workload is a concern, but he has workhorse back potential at the next level.
11. Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Some questionable tackling has knocked Grant Delpit down the board a little bit, but he is still a decisive playmaker. Safeties have slid in the past few years and that could happen again, but Delpit should be a Day 1 starter.
12. Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
When you look at Derrick Brown, you might peg him as a run stopper. At 6’5″, roughly 320 pounds, that’s not a bad guess, but he also moves well as a pass rusher. Brown has three sacks this year and is handful for interior offensive linemen to deal with.
13. Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
One of the most dependable prospects in this class, Tyler Biadasz looks like a future All-Pro center. His base is so strong and he clearly has the mental traits needed to excel at the position in the NFL.
14. Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
Nobody can run with Henry Ruggs in football. He is electric in the open field. At six feet tall, he has good size for someone with his speed. Ruggs should be a run player for any offensive coordinator to use at the next level.
15. Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
Yetur Gross-Matos made some noise last year and he has followed it up with another solid campaign. His hand usage is excellent and he might just have the best motor of anyone in the nation. Super high-character guy as well.
16. Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
The biggest question surrounding Isaiah Simmons is what position teams see him at in the NFL. The line between safeties and linebackers is blurring more and more at the pro level. Someone will find a spot for the versatile Simmons in there defense.
17. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
It wasn’t his best performance of the year, but Joe Burrow put together a gritty performance to beat Auburn. Not every game is going to be super clear cut. Burrow continues to show his ability to adapt and make plays as needed.
18. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Clemson is chock full of talented offensive players and rarely does Travis Etienne get his due respect. He is one of the most productive players in college football. He should be a good change of pace back right away.
19. Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
This has been a tough season for Laviska Shenault Jr. He was dominant in 2018, but he struggled out of the gates this year. Against USC, he finally showed up with a big game. At his best, he can be a game-changing receiver with great run after the catch ability.
20. Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Based on size alone, Trevon Diggs was going to draw the attention of NFL scouts. It also helps he plays for ‘Bama. His 84-yard pick-six Saturday will help as well. He plays with the aggression needed to be a no. 1 corner.
21. Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
For the second straight year, Curtis Weaver is one of the most disruptive players in college football. He is an excellent pass rusher with good size and the potential to play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. If he keeps racking up sacks, 9.5 already in 2019, he might not last this long.
22. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Justin Herbert has not had the type of season most expected of him. He has flashed special arm talent, but his accuracy is a concern. Herbert has not handled pressure well either and seems like he will need a bit of seasoning before becoming a quality starter.
23. CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Scouts will love his frame, but CJ Henderson’s closing speed is generating first-round buzz. The biggest knock is his press coverage, but he excels in zone looks and has long arms to make critical plays downfield.
24. Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
With such a great receiver class, Tylan Wallace can get overlooked, but he is a proven playmaker. He high points the ball and will burn corners off the line. He reminds me a bit of Green Bay’s Davante Adams.
25. Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
Given the level of competition Javon Kinlaw is facing, he has earned first-round consideration. He has been a great interior pass rusher for South Carolina. Kinlaw regularly faces double teams and loves to compete.
26. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
At 6’6″, 310 pounds, Alex Leatherwood is built like a prototypical NFL left tackle. Leatherwood spent all of 2018 at right guard, but has looked very comfortable at left tackle this season. He isn’t the blindside blocker because Tua Tagovailoa is a lefty, but he should be a first rounder.
27. Walker Little, OT, Stanford
This offensive line class took a hit when Walker Little went down in Stanford’s season opener. He moves well in space and has shown a tendency to finish blocks in the run game. Little projects as a future left tackle in the pros.
28. Triston Wirfs, OG, Iowa
After watching Triston Wirfs this year, I don’t see how he can play outside in the NFL. He looks incredible in the run game, but he does not move well enough to be a tackle at the next level. If he kicks inside, I think he could have a good career.
29. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Georgia’s offense has ground to a halt in recent weeks and Jake Fromm deserves some blame for that. He doesn’t have the same type of arm talent to make up for some mental mistakes or missed throws as the other top QBs in this draft.
30. Kristian Fulton, DB, LSU
If you ask me, the real DB University is in Baton Rouge and Kristian Fulton seems set to join the ranks of quality defensive backs joining the NFL. He is athletic and unafraid. The one thing is he likely the third-best player in LSU’s secondary this year, so it is hard to tell how he will fair as the top option at the next level.
31. Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Teams around the Pac-12 have already realized it’s best not to throw at Paulson Adebo. He has eight interceptions over the past two years and the size to deal with taller receivers. If he runs well at the combine, he could go top 20.
32. Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
Another player coming off a major injury, Terrell Lewis has put up good numbers this year in his return. He is tops in the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss.
33. Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
He can disappear at times, but Julian Okwara can explode for big games on any given day. He has good power and will bully smaller offensive linemen. If he can find some consistency, he should rise up draft boards.
34. K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
I was disappointed with K’Lavon Chaisson early on this season, but I think I might have been too harsh on him coming off a torn ACL. He has shown the ability to be more than just a pass rusher. He is a bit small, but he has great speed.
35. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
With teams looking for versatility in defensive backs, Xaiver McKinney should make a good impression at the NFL level. He is a good tackler who has shown flashes of an ability to hold up in coverage.
36. Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
This was a lost season for Dylan Moses after tearing his ACL in camp. Given the injury, he could return to school for another season, but if he comes out and passes medicals, he has shown enough to go fairly early.
37. Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
If you don’t find a way to bottle him up, Jalen Reagor will burn you. He has had a much quieter 2019, but his speed is for real. With a great receiver class to compete with, he is sliding a bit.
38. Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
Without question, Jacob Eason has an NFL caliber arm. He has not shown the decision making or poise to match that. He has been a bit up and down this season, far too inconsistent for me to think he should be a first rounder. Someone will still probably reach for him.
39. Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Outside of a rough game from the entire Oklahoma defense Saturday against Kansas State, Kenneth Murray has had a great year. He already has 55 tackles this year, including 7.5 for loss. Murray has a nose for the ball and the athleticism to get there.
40. Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
Projecting as a right tackle, Lucas Niang saw his season end early. He will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn hip labrum. Niang made the decision to get the surgery now with hopes of being able to participate in the combine.
41. Kenny Willekes, DE, Michigan State
As a redshirt senior, Kenney Willekes is one of the elder statesmen of this draft class. He is a great run stopper who simply doesn’t have as much talent around him this year. He has not shown the ability to wreck a game by himself, but he will be a useful piece in any defense.
42. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
Already up to fourth in Buckeyes history in rushing, J.K. Dobbins is on track to pass Eddie George and Ezekiel Elliott before the season is over. That is some great company and after ripping apart the Wisconsin defense, he has earned it.
43. Jaylon Johnson, DB, Utah
Utah often gets overlooked and so do there best players. Jaylon Johnson does not get much national press, but he is one of the top corners in this draft. He plays with the mentality of a lockdown corner and could very well develop into a good one.
44. Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
He might be on the shelf right now with a thumb injury, but Troy Dye has made a case for being one of the better linebackers in the nation. He has led Oregon in tackles for three straight years. The injury will probably keep him from doing it again, but he is a fundamentally sound prospect.
45. Creed Humphrey, G, Oklahoma
As the lone returning starter along the Oklahoma offensive line, Creed Humphrey has been crucial to the Sooners’ success this season. He is a rock solid interior line prospect who could challenge for a starting spot as soon as he arrives in camp.
46. Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
I don’t know that there is a larger presence, literally, in college football this year than Raekwon Davis. Alabama lists him at 6’7″, 312 pounds. He draws a lot of attention from opposing defenses as soon as he steps on the field. Davis hasn’t been as dominant this year, but his physical tools keep him as a top 50 prospect.
47. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
In the midst of a breakout season, Justin Jefferson is flying up draft boards. He might not be the best receiver on his own team, but Jefferson has blossomed in this new-look LSU offense. He can separate from defenders and makes some touch catches.
48. Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
Ohio State’s defense is stacked with playmakers, but Malik Harrison has still found a way to stand out. He has 9.5 tackles for loss this year and seems to just fly around the field. It’s tough to tell if he is a product of the system or truly an elite prospect though.
49. Oluwole Betiku Jr., EDGE, Illinois
One of my favorite players in this draft, Oluwole Betiku Jr. has shown up in a big way in 2019. He is still incredibly raw, but with 11.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks, he is showing a knack for causing trouble. In a year or two, he has the potential to rack up double-digit sacks in the NFL.
50. Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
If you didn’t already know, Chuba Hubbard leads college football in rushing yards this season. He has been a bellcow for Oklahoma State. If he can show some signs of being a reliable receiver down the stretch, he could start drawing some first round attention.