Quinnen Williams is coming for Ed Oliver as the best defensive tackle prospect in the 2019 Draft.
The redshirt sophomore has absolutely exploded in his first season as a full-time player on Nick Saban’s defense, showing a polished game well beyond his years.
He was clearly the best player on the field Saturday against LSU in a contest oozing with future NFLers, and the way he wins with a spectacular combination of athleticism, power, and most importantly, slippery pass-rushing moves, translates to the next level.
Here’s my updated Top 20 prospects list.
1. Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Bosa’s top spot is still safe for the time being.
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2. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Williams allowed a pressure on a nice inside rush on the first play of the game. After that, he locked down the LSU pass-rush on the left side of Alabama’s formation and was a bulldozer for the Crimson Tide’s ground attack.
3. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Williams didn’t get exposed against Alabama but did allow a touchdown early on an in-breaking route directly into his coverage area. He did knock down a pass later in the game, I just would’ve liked to see Williams rise to the occasion against Alabama’s prolific passing attack. He didn’t.
4. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Oliver remained on the shelf over the weekend with a knee injury that’s certainly worth monitoring now that he’s missed two games in a row.
5. Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Baker was a bit off against Kentucky, but the good has significantly outweighed the bad in 2018. Georgia is clearly unafraid to put him on an island on the outside because he’s the best mirroring corner in college football.
6. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
After a hit-or-miss first quarter, Williams was unblockable against LSU over the weekend. And it’s how he does it on a consistent basis that’s so impressive. He has quality burst off the snap and plenty strong enough, but thrives mainly because he’s a hand-use master … offensive linemen seemingly can’t never get their hands securely on the inside of his frame. He led Alabama with 10 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 3.5 tackles for loss in the Crimson Tide’s convincing win over LSU.
7. Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
Jones had a sack and five tackles in Ohio State’s surprisingly close win over Nebraska on Saturday. His hip fluidity and array of pass-rushing moves impressed me last season, and that’s continued in 2018. He’s the prototypical three technique in today’s NFL.
8. N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Harry simply took over the game against Utah, and he demonstrated his polished skill set on his three touchdowns. His first came in the red zone when he shook press coverage to win easily to the inside on a slant. The next demonstrated his effortless body control on a back-shoulder catch. On the last score, he accelerated down the field after catching an intermediate dig route and dove over the goal line as a defender tried to bring him to the turf. Harry looks like the complete package.
9. Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
The past month for Clemson has been a breeze, and Louisville was outmatched at seemingly every position on Saturday. Ferrell had a half sack and shared a tackle for loss. Going on the road to Boston College should be somewhat of a tough test for the Tigers. Ferrell hasn’t needed to do much defensively but is now up to 7.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss on the season.
10. A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Brown had a drop in the second quarter in the track meet against South Carolina, but other than that was dynamic, especially down the field and after the catch. He finished with six catches for 115 yards in the loss. It seems as though he and Harry are going to go neck and neck over the final month or so of the season for the WR1 designation, and the combine could separate the two.
11. Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Thompson wasn’t involved much against LSU, but that doesn’t mean he had a disappointing game. He has a stranglehold on the top safety spot because of his explosive movements and quick play-recognition ability.
12. Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
Classic individual performance that was much better than the stat sheet would indicate. Tillery had three tackles against Northwestern. That was it. But he looked as explosive as I’ve seen him all season when firing off the snap, and utilized quick, powerful pass-rushing moves to disrupt the Wildcats’ backfield for a good portion of the game. He’s a relatively polished, high motor defensive tackle.
13. Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
Risner had a strong albeit unspectacular game against TCU on the right side of Kansas State’s offensive line. He typically mirrored well and showed off his surprisingly strong anchor for such a tall, and relatively light offensive tackle but was beaten by a club move to the inside and had some trouble with the speed of the Horned Frogs’ pass-rushers.
14. Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
After erupting against Syracuse, Harmon was held in check as his teammate Jakobi Meyers went off for nine catches, 125 yards, and a touchdown in the convincing win over Florida State. Harmon is a big-bodied rebounder with impressive athleticism.
15. Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
Little’s outing against South Carolina was the norm for him. A ton of high-quality pass-blocking reps, some plays with lazy footwork, and the lunge-forward tendency as a run-blocker. When his technique is good, Little is tremendous on the left side. He just has to get more consistent with his fundamentals.
16. Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo
The Bulls took to the ground early against Kent State and didn’t really need a huge performance from Johnson to cruise to victory. He did catch a touchdown pass though. Johnson has it all at the receiver position.
17. Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington
It was just another day at the office for BBK against Stanford. The speedy linebacker had 12 tackles, a forced fumble and one pass breakup in the 27-23 win. He’s the most polished off-ball linebacker in this class and has the athleticism necessary to flourish in the modern NFL.
18. Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
This was the type of game I was worried about with Allen. Georgia sophomore left tackle Anthony Thomas was able to match the athleticism of Allen on the edge, and without a developed arsenal of pass-rushing moves, Allen wasn’t able to have his normal impact when Georgia dropped back to pass. He did show some shedding ability against the run and held his own in coverage.
19. Ryan Finley, QB, NC State
Finley has had better games in an NC State uniform than his outing in the win over Florida State, but the veteran signal-caller made a handful of pinpoint back-shoulder throws and anticipation tosses across the field toward the sideline. He was a little more antsy in the pocket than usual and missed high on a few throws on the run. But, overall, Finley did more than enough to maintain his QB1 status.
20. Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
Collectively, NC State probably has the best offensive line in the ACC, and Burns had a good, not great performance in Florida State’s loss to the Wolfpack. To me, he is just reaching his potential as a football player.
Devin White, LB, LSU, Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State, Zach Allen, EDGE, Boston College, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford, Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson, Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon, Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida, Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State, Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma, Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson, Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia, Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech
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