Week eight of the college football season is in the books, which means we got another look at the potential stars of next year's NFL draft, as well as future classes. Each week, I'll be picking the players from each power-five conference who stood out the most. Thus, this is the eighth edition of TDN Power 5 Players of the Week.
Offense: AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College - 34 carries for 223 yards and 3 TDs
This is AJ Dillon's first 200-yard performance of the season, finding the end zone three times and averaging 6.6 yards per carry. At 6'0, 250, Dillon is a kind of running back you don't really see anymore. With scat backs becoming more of the norm than the exception in today's NFL, the big, workhorse ball carriers like Dillon have nearly become extinct. It's going to be interesting to see where his draft stock is, but there is no doubt he was the best offensive player this week in the ACC.
Defense: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson - 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 PBU
Isaiah Simmons has now made this list in back-to-back weeks with another signature performance in the ACC. Against Louisville, he was, once again, all over the field as a run defender, blitzer, and coverage piece. I've said before that I think he's the "Zion" of the 2020 NFL draft with his freakish combination of size, speed, and explosiveness. With the season he's having, I consider him a top-10 lock.
Offense: KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State - 6 catches for 108 yards and 2 TDs
Averaging about 18 yards per catch this season, KJ Hamler continues to establish himself as one of the nation's top deep threats and most explosive playmakers in the open field. With two big touchdown plays against Michigan this weekend, it just reminded people that Hamler is a serious prospect to keep an eye on for this upcoming draft. My comparison all along for Hamler has been Mecole Hardman, and the nation got a glimpse of that in his performance against Michigan.
Defense: Chris Orr, LB, Wisconsin - 9 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 FF
Three sacks from an inside linebacker? What's even crazier is that Chris Orr, who is 6'0, 225, now has eight sacks on the season. He's not even a primary pass rusher, and he's still putting up production better than most edge defenders across the nation, let alone the Big 10. As a senior, Orr is having the season he needed to have in order to make an impression on NFL front offices. His explosiveness and ability to convert speed to power make him such an effective blitzer, and that's what we saw against Illinois, despite a tough loss.
Offense: Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma - 16/17 for 316 yards and 3 TDs - 10 carries for 75 yards and 2 TDs
Coming off a couple of sluggish performances, Jalen Hurts needed a bounce-back game in a big way for NFL scouts. While West Virginia is not the best competition, this was exactly what he needed to do. Quite simply, he had four more touchdowns than he had incompletions. This was the dual-threat dynamo we've seen flashes of that will give teams picking in the first round next April something to think about.
Defense: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma - 9 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 QB hurries
How many times do I have to put Kenneth Murray on this list before he finally gets the respect he deserves as a top 2020 prospect? There has not been a more improved defensive player from 2018 to 2019 than Murray, and I believe with his combination of power, explosiveness, and range, there are not many players in this upcoming class that have his kind of ceiling.
Offense: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU - 25/32 for 327 yards and 4 TDs
I can't remember the last time there was such a dramatic shift in a quarterback's draft stock from junior to senior year quite like what has happened with Joe Burrow. He is consistently making smart decisions with the football, throwing with precision and velocity each time he drops back. Think about this. He went from borderline undraftable, based on 2018 tape, to potentially becoming the number one overall pick, based on what he's showing right now. He's the real deal.
Defense: Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn - 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 PBU
Arkansas is not a good team, but my goodness, Marlon Davidson was not playing around this weekend. Racking up a statistic in nearly every category a defensive player can attain, it's safe to say Davidson was unstoppable in this matchup. As a senior, Davidson is starting to come on and show the talent he's flashed since his days as a five-star recruit out of high school.
Offense: Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA - 18 carries for 176 yards and 1 TD
At 5'11, 220, I've compared Joshua Kelley to Chris Ivory several times because of his running style and how he just gets better as the game goes on. That was the case against Stanford, and while he's more a workhorse who chips away at a defense, he broke off for a 54-yard touchdown this weekend, showing the big-play potential he flashed last season. Now, Kelley needs to take this signature performance and carry it over for the rest of the season.
Defense: Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah - 3 sacks
Bradlee Anae is a force to be reckoned with. He's playing with even more juice and explosiveness than the last two years, and it's making his skill set as a pass rusher even more unpredictable and difficult to beat. His three sacks were obviously a huge reason why Utah suffocated Arizona State 21-3 this weekend, and I believe this will be the signature game on his resume when we look back at his tape from this season.