Another week down in the 2019 college football season and another crop of prospects rose to the occasion and had stand out performances. Here’s the guys that caught my eye in Week Four.
Michael Pittman, WR, USC
Southern Cal may have been down to its third quarterback on Friday night against Utah, but that didn’t stop Pittman from setting a new career-high in receiving yards with 232. Pittman had 10 receptions and his touchdown extended the Trojans’ lead to 11 in the third quarter.
My favorite traits of Pittman are his ball skills and physicality, both of which were on full display on the career day from the senior wide receiver looking to elevate his draft stock. He did just that on Friday.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Taylor sliced through South Florida and Central Michigan in Wisconsin’s first two games of the season, but the Wolverines of Michigan looked equally as challenged on Saturday trying to corral the Badger’s star running back. Racking up 203 rushing yards on 23 attempts with two touchdowns, Taylor is now up 510 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns through three games.
Not only is Taylor firmly in the Heisman race, he may be the first running back off the board in April if he keeps having his way with the rest of the Big 10 schedule.
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Burrow has been sensational to start the 2019 season and that continued on Saturday in LSU’s 66-38 win over Vanderbilt. Completing 25 of 34 passes for 398 yards, Burrow set the LSU single-game record with six passing touchdowns against the Commodores. In addition, Burrow became the first quarterback in LSU history to throw for at least 350 yards in three straight games. Burrow surpassed the 350-yard mark in the first half and his 357 first-half passing yards were also the most in school history.
Executing the offense with precision and making big time throws to all levels of the field, Burrow has arguably done the most of any prospect so far this season to elevate their draft stock.
Evan Weaver, LB, California
A Pac Twelve team hasn’t went on the road and defeated an SEC team since 2009 until the Cal Golden Bears beat Ole Miss 28-20 on Saturday. Among the catalysts for Cal’s victory was senior linebacker Evan Weaver who racked up 22 tackles in the game.
11 of Weaver’s 22 tackles came of the solo variety while he also added, .5 sack, .5 tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries. Weaver brought a relentless, physical and tone-setting presence to the second level of Cal’s defense to improve the Golden Bears’ record to 3-0. And no tackle was bigger than the game-saving stop he made on the final play of the game:
Alton Robinson, EDGE, Syracuse
After producing 17 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 2018, it has been a quiet start to the season for Alton Robinson who had just 1.5 tackles for loss and a .5 sack over the first three games of the season. In Syracuse’s 52-33 win over Western Michigan, Robinson found his playmaking ways as he compiled six tackles, three tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and five quarterback hurries.
It may have taken a few games for Robinson to find his groove, but he sure looked like a top pass rushing prospects again on Saturday.
Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
I don’t think there is a defensive tackle that has been more dominant this season than what we’ve seen from Marvin Wilson. His hot start to 2019 continued in the Noles 35-24 victory over Louisville where he racked up 10 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery. It’s not often that a defensive tackle leads his team in tackles, but that’s the type of playmaking ability Wilson is putting on tape this year.
Wilson has been a wrecking ball for the Florida State defense and he’s making a statement so far this season as he aims to be among the first defensive tackles selected in April. Here’s a look at some of his best pass rushing reps from last week’s game against Virginia:
Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
One of the top seniors in all of college football, Derrick Brown proved why in his performance against Texas A&M while Auburn improved its record to 4-0 with a 28-20 victory over the Aggies. Racking up four tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks, Brown has more than Texas A&M could handle up front.
A massive man, Brown is incredibly explosive and powerful for his size which led to him consistently penetrating and wrecking the line of scrimmage. Brown just might be the first interior defensive linemen off the board in the 2020 Draft.
Jacob Breeland, TE, Oregon
The best aspects of Breeland’s game are his ability to securely catch the football and challenge the second level of the defense. Hauling in five receptions for 78 yards and two touchdowns, he did just that against Stanford. His first touchdown game late in the second quarter to extend the Duck’s lead to two scores before hauling in an early fourth quarter touchdown to make it a three-possession game.
Oregon was able to avenge it’s disappointing loss to Stanford in 2018 with a 21-6 victory on Saturday, largely because of the Breeland’s playmaking skills.
JR Reed, S, Georgia
I remember studying Reed last season and thinking he was extremely talented but the ball production was missing. He made an impressive interception against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game in 2018, and he came up with another clutch takeaway in the fourth quarter of Georgia’s 23-17 win over the Irish on Saturday Night. He also added seven tackles and three pass breakups to go with his interception.
One of the top senior safety prospects in the nation, Reed is developing before our eyes and if his ball production continues the way it’s trending then he is going to be a value prospect next April.