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Build The Team: CFB Standouts Week 7

Two QBs rise to the occasion, a look at a top TE, and other standouts from week 7

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports


Will Grier, QB
School: West Virginia | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: rJr | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 204 lbs

Will Grier is having a break out year and midway through the college season has already thrown for 2000+ yards and has 21 TDs to 5 INTs. Grier is a mobile QB that can sling it down the field and plays well within the pocket. Grier has come a very long way. A couple years ago he was the starting QB at Florida as a true freshman and was off to a decent start before he was suspended for failing a drug test for performance-enhancing substances. Grier decided to transfer from Florida but before he could play a down for West Virginia he has to sit out an entire season. Grier is one of the top QBs in the nation and if he decided to enter the draft this year could be a solid day 2 selection in my opinion. There is some chatter about how Grier should be in the Heisman conversation just like his BIG 12 counterpart Baker Mayfield. I agree somewhat but also realize that the Mountaineers have not won against top competition like Oklahoma has this year (they had chances against Virginia Tech and TCU but couldn't finish). Regardless Grier is sure to be on scouts radars and it will be interesting to see his development and where he lands at the next level.

Sam Darnold, QB
School: USC | Conference: PAC 12
College Experience: Junior | Age: 20
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 220 lbs

Sam Darnold deserves to be mentioned this week because despite his horrendous start against Utah where he fumbled three times and lost all of them he was able to regain his focus and composure and led USC to the win. Darnold had several impressive drives in the second half and was really efficient in his targetting of Deontay Burnett and Tyler Vaughns. Darnold’s accuracy and his ability to extend plays are his most endearing attributes. The darkhorse receiver was definitely the TE Tyler Petite who Darnold hooked up with for two scores. There is a lot of criticism that has been lumped on Sam this year. He isn’t as crisp as some expected and his up and down play is due to several factors. However, this is the game I was looking for out of Darnold. Three turnovers from a QB in the first half will kill confidence but Sam hung tough and played some of his best football of the season in the second half. Let’s see if he can take some of this momentum into next week.

Steve Ishmael, WR
School: Syracuse | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 209 lbs

Ishmael has been having a stellar season and could have been featured in these articles since week 1. He has 802 yards receiving in 7 games and 4 TDs. I wanted to wait until Syracuse played a tougher opponent before I hyped him up and the Orange played arguably the best team in the country and won. Ishmael caught 6 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown against Clemson. In a stunning upset, Ishmael hardly lost a step. I’m not sure what scouts think of him but I know he’s a pretty good receiver that takes advantage of matchups out of the spread offense he plays in. Ishmael has good athleticism and great body control to go along with his hands and it allows him to make a ton of plays. One knock on him though is that he can get too physical at times as he will draw the occasional offensive pass interference call.

Mark Andrews, TE
School: Oklahoma | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: rJr | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 254 lbs

Andrews is the prototypical TE in today’s NFL. With good size and great athleticism, he is effective at blocking and even better catching the ball. Andrews has been the security blanket for Baker Mayfield and is a highly consistent player. This past week he hauled in 4 catches for over 100 yards and the game-winning touchdown in Oklahoma’s win over Texas. Andrews is primed to surpass career highs in yards receiving and touchdowns this season. What stands out about Andrews’ production so far is just how many chunk plays he’s pulling off. He’s a big play threat for sure and is averaging 20 yards per reception this year now halfway through the season. He’s definitely in the running to be considered one of the top tight ends in this draft class if he decides to declare.


Levi Wallace, CB
School: Alabama | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 183 lbs

Levi Wallace might be the best corner in the SEC at the moment in addition to his 3 interceptions on the season he has already racked up 9 passes defended which is a testament to his coverage abilities. He has an unreal passer rating when targeted this year and coaches game plan around him. Wallace is physical at the point of attack and is a pest in coverage. I have to do the research but I would be shocked if he didn't get called for a few penalties this year. His technique can be cleaned up but its the instincts and aggression you have to like out of a top CB. Wallace currently plays the boundary but could probably be moved inside at the next level if need be.

Rashaan Evans, LB
School: Alabama | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 234 lbs

Both Alabama linebackers Rashaan Evans and Shaun Dion Hamilton are playing well this year but I wanted to focus on Evans this week after his performance against Arkansas. Evans put up 3.5 TFLs, 2 sacks, and 1 FF against the Razorbacks which helped result in a blowout win for the Crimson Tide. There is sure to be a lot of debate about which senior linebacker is better between Hamilton and Evans but I like Evans a bit more to this point. I think Evans is the better athlete of the two (and that's saying a lot because Hamilton is no slouch), he plays nasty with reckless abandon, and he is a better pass rusher on the interior. Evans is sure to be in the conversation when discussing top inside linebackers this year and the Skins could use a young, athletic, passing rushing inside backer on defense.

Ben Banogu, EDGE
School: TCU | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: rJr | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 240 lbs

I first noticed Banogu this year when TCU played Oklahoma State. That game was supposed to be a test for Mason Rudolph going up against a legit defense. It was. Banogu was all over the field and that has continued this season. Banogu has 4 sacks on the season so far along with 8 for loss and is leading the BIG 12 in pressures off the edge. I’d be interested in official measurements. He looks solidly built at 240 but I wouldn't be surprised if he actually weighed more. He can be a flash off the edge and can also overpower linemen with a bullrush. I haven't seen him in coverage so I’ll be interested to see if TCU drops him back at all. He could use help in his technique and hand placement when engaged in a block. Banogu is a transfer from Lousiana Monroe and may elect to stay and play his senior season to put together more tape for himself. If he keeps up his effectiveness off the edge he’s going to a solid prospect.

Maurice Hurst, DL
School: Michigan | Conference: BIG 10
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 280 lbs

He’s only 280 but there is no question Maurice Hurst is one of the best defensive line prospects in the country. Hurst plays with a stunning display of power, strength, quickness, and leverage to consistently make plays in the backfield. His effectiveness as an interior lineman is unreal. If you haven't watched a Michigan game this year watch one to check out Hurst. There is some chatter of him going in the first round I’m not sure if that’ll stick but one thing I do agree with is the comparison to Grady Jarrett (now of the Falcons formerly of Clemson). These stout and powerful defensive lineman that can play the run, rush the passer, and stay on the field all three downs are becoming more and more valuable in the NFL. Hurst is probably going to help his draft stock a lot if he can string together an impressive performance against Penn State this week.

Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo compared Michigan redshirt senior DT Maurice Hurst to Atlanta Falcons DT Grady Jarrett.

Hurst has Jarrett to thank for helping to overthrow the NFL's deep bias against undersized defensive tackles. Jarrett was one of the nation's best defenders in 2014, his last season at Clemson, but he fell to the fifth round in the 2015 draft. The Falcons have been richly rewarded for their investment. The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Hurst is similar in size to the 6-foot, 290-pound Jarrett. He's also had comparable production in college. "When [Hurst is] on the field, he's as disruptive as any interior defensive lineman in the nation," Palazzolo wrote. "Hurst's 85.4 pass-rush grade is right there with Jarrett's 84.7 mark in 2014, and given the success of Jarrett, the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald, the Green Bay Packers' Mike Daniels and other undersized defensive tackles, Hurst's skill set hopefully will not go overlooked come draft time next April. - Rotoworld