Last week marked the first time in the 2020 season that all 10 conferences played college football, a major step forward for the sport. Unfortunately, this week saw them take two steps back as there have been nine game postponements and two cancellations including #1 Alabama and #3 Ohio State’s games versus divisional opponents. Such is life in 2020.
The bright side is, we still have a 38-game slate including some fun ones with top notch matchups. So, let us all take a deep breath and dive into some college football players to watch in Week 11.
Before we get into our five profiles, let’s take a look at the subjects of last week’s blog.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (#8), WR, USC
- St. Brown played well in what was a phenomenal USC win over Arizona State. He recorded seven receptions for 100 yards and drew two separate pass interference penalties, including one in the end zone, as the Trojans scored 14 in the fourth quarter to come from behind and win the game 28-27.
Rashod Bateman (#0), WR, Minnesota
- In a game where Minnesota ran the ball 46 times, Rashod Bateman still ended up with 10 receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown. Not only did he have more receptions than the rest of the team combined, but he showed some pretty good YAC skills as well.
Tempering my excitement because this is against Illinois, but I did not think Rashod Bateman was this good after the catch. pic.twitter.com/6NAsOwFSbL— Keagan (@KeaganStiefel) November 13, 2020
Kadarius Toney (#1), ATH, Florida
- Toney gets lost in the shuffle a bit as he’s playing with the best TE in the country in Kyle Pitts but he had another solid performance against Georgia’s #2 defense. He recorded seven catches for 42 yards in a 44-28 win.
Jaycee Horn (#1), CB, South Carolina
- The South Carolina Gamecocks got WHOOPED by Texas A&M but Jaycee Horn still found a way to stand out as a positive. His draft stock is shooting through the roof.
Max Borghi (#21), RB, Washington State
- This was a tough look for your boy. Borghi was a late scratch (about 9:00pm) from Washington State’s win over Oregon State. That doesn’t change the profile, you’ll just have to keep an eye out for him in future weeks.
Let’s get into Week 11.
*Weekly Disclaimer* I am not predicting that the Patriots will draft any of these players, I am just connecting the dots on who could fit in or have ties to New England.
Steven Gilmore (#3), CB, Marshall
- Matchup: vs. Middle Tennessee State
- Gametime: 12:00pm
- Network: CBSSN
I waited on this entry for a while because I wanted to get a sense of how good Stephon’s little brother was as a football player. Suffice to say: he’s legit. Through six games this season, Gilmore has been targeted 27 times with 0 touchdowns allowed and four passes defended. He has one interception and 21 tackles. The easy way of putting it is on the field, he looks like a mini Stephon Gilmore. The size isn’t there (5’11” 175 lbs) as he gives up some height and weight to Stephon (6’1” 202 lbs) but the play style is. He’s physical on the outside and is a plus in the run game just like his older brother.
I like Gilmore 2.0 a lot but I’m not sure how he will approach draft season. He’s eligible to enter but this is his first season as a full-time starter. I would be willing to bet he stays for another year to hone his skills and move up the draft board.
It’s always fun watching brothers play football and comparing playing styles and stuff like that. He’ll have a fairly easy matchup against Middle Tennessee who hasn’t produced much talent over the last few years. This should be a fun start to the day.
Hunter Long (#80), TE, Boston College
- Matchup: vs. Notre Dame
- Gametime: 3:30pm
- Network: ABC
Outside of the big three (Kyle Pitts, Pat Freiermuth, Brevin Jordan) there hasn’t been much chatter around tight ends in the 2021 class. Hunter Long has set himself up to be the top option behind those three. The 6’5” 250 lb junior leads the team in receptions with 43 and has been quarterback Phil Jurkovec’s security blanket. He’s certainly not the most athletic of the tight ends in this class but he’s the craftiest. He finds soft spots in zone defense better than 90% of receivers let alone tight ends. He’s not incredibly physical and his hands are suspect in traffic but he’ll catch the ball when he’s open. Works best in the short passing game.
After spending so much capital at the position last year, it’d be hard to see them draft one of the top three as they’re all projected in the top 100. If Long gets jumped over by some other guys he could slip pretty far. I don’t see the Patriots passing over him if he gets to the fifth. Could be a fun draft day storyline to follow.
Long should see plenty of work as the Eagles will host #2 Notre Dame a week after they knocked off former #1 Clemson. BC has out performed anyone’s expectations in Jeff Hafley’s first year at the helm. This is what folks call a let down spot for the Irish. I think Long and the next man will have big days.
Rondale Moore (#4), WR, Purdue
- Matchup: vs. Northwestern
- Gametime: 7:30pm
- Network: BTN
Let’s try this again shall we?
The Patriots need someone who can separate consistently at the wide receiver position. Rondale Moore can do that. They also need a player with yards after catch ability, Rondale Moore has that. They could certainly use someone with home run ability, and what do you know, Rondale Moore has that as well. He checks all of the boxes for a player the Patriots should target.
What Josh McDaniels does best is working his receivers into space, whether it be on screens, end-arounds, or the quick hitting passing game. You can even include the eight trick plays he calls every year. That is exactly the type of offense that Rondale Moore would fit perfectly in. He’s a really good wide receiver with running back skills in the open field. Purdue’s offensive game plans have pretty much been “get Rondale the ball and get the hell out of the way” since he arrived in West Lafayette.
This week Moore should return from his 2019 leg injury against Northwestern. We haven’t seen him in almost a year so if he plays (It’s presumed he will) you’ll get a glimpse at what he is after the injury.
Jack Sanborn (#57), LB, Wisconsin
- Matchup: @ Michigan
- Gametime: 7:30pm
- Network: ABC
Oftentimes when scouting linebackers, draft pundits tend to focus too much on the measurables of a linebacker and pretty much forget to find out if they can actually play the position. I say that because when you watch Jack Sanborn it’s easy to point out what he’s lacking. He doesn’t have great hips, looks to be a bit light, and his speed won’t wow you. What he can do is play linebacker, and he can do it very well. He’s very good in the run game whether it be downhill or sideline to sideline. His on-field IQ is tremendous as he has shown great play recognition throughout his two seasons in Madison. He reminds me a ton of Logan Wilson who was drafted by Cincinnati in 2020.
I have a feeling the Patriots will be looking to maximize the value of their picks come April. Whether that means reading back or looking to move around to nab their perfect player, I suspect a lot of movement. Sanborn is a bang for your buck type player. I think with a normal offseason he could be ready to play right away in the league. That is the kind of off-the-ball linebacker the Patriots will be looking for. My only worry is that Wisconsin’s system is much different from New England’s.
Wisco will be coming off a fairly long layoff as they head to Ann Arbor to take on a struggling Michigan squad. The Wolverines have struggled throwing the ball so Sanborn should have plenty of opportunities to show his skill in the run game.
Levi Onwuzurike (#95), IDL, Washington
- Matchup: vs. Oregon State
- Gametime: 11:00pm
- Network: FS1
Levi Onwuzurike may be the most confusing prospect in the upcoming draft. Though he’s only 6’3” 288 lbs, he’s exclusively played on the interior of the defensive line, and he’s done so very well. Onwuzurike is a tremendous run defender. He has very quick hands and can get off blocks quickly. He two-gaps well at the college level and plays best as a 0 and 3 technique. That is because he works best in 1-on-1 scenarios, not so much taking on double teams. He needs to add weight if he’s going to be as versatile as he has been in college.
The Patriots will most likely have to make a decision between Lawrence Guy and Adam Butler this offseason. Both will command significant pay raises and the Patriots likely won’t want to submit to both. In my eyes Guy is the more important piece therefore you’re going to need to find a guy to play Butler’s role. I think Onwuzurike would be the perfect, cheap option to do so.
Washington should pounce Oregon State in this #Pac12AfterDark matchup. He’s a lot of fun to watch.