Rivals recruiting director Mike Farrell wrote that "[t]he biggest question [regarding Ohio State four-star 2017 verbal QB committ Tate Martell] is whether Martell will be patient enough to wait his turn if he needs to."
So long as Martell doesn't get too antsy for early playing time, Farrell sees this as a match made in heaven for the Buckeyes -- particularly given some of the 5-foot-10, 192-pounder's similar playing tics to those of J.T. Barrett. Wrote the analyst, "He can extend the play, he can run when needed and he does a good job creating passing lanes." Martell is an early-enrollee at OSU and will participate in spring practice as he begins his first acclimatization to collegiate ball. A redshirt is well within the realm of possibility for 2017 given that Barrett is already entrenched as starter.
CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang notes that Louisiana-Lafayette RB Elijah McGuire's "square frame and powerful, downhill running style make him a favorite for many."
McGuire is just one plant attempting to fight for light in the overstuffed rain forest that is the 2017 running back class. The 5-foot-11, 208-pounder might just have the chops to meet the sun. Rang writes that in addition to his power, he possesses "vision, quickness and burst, as he demonstrated on what turned out to the game-winner [at the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday]." Both Rang and Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline came away from the Shrine Game practice week impressed with what they saw from McGuire, who could well find himself selected on Day 2 in the draft. And if not Day 2, early on Day 3.
Oregon received a verbal commitment from three-star 2017 DT Austin Faoliu.
Faoliu made his Ducks commitment at the Polynesian Bowl over the weekend. He opted for Oregon over Oklahoma, Michigan State and Texas -- this despite the fact that the 6-foot-4, 285-pounder has yet to visit Eugene (that will come next weekend). He was actually fresh off an official visit to the Sooners at the time he made his opposite pledge. Scout.com's Blair Angulo was impressed with his work during the Polynesian Bowl practice week, writing that Faoliu "show[ed] the agility off the snap and hand quickness that made him one of the hotter prospects in the last month."
Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline hears that "the quarterback most intriguing to scouts" at the Senior Bowl is Texas Tech QB Pat Mahomes.
"His arm strength, general accuracy and upside has many believing he could jump into the second round if he throws and interviews well during the combine, Pro Day and individual workouts," Pauline writes. The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder was as prolific as they come during his time with the Red Raiders, throwing for 11,252 yards (63.5% completions) with a 93/29 TD/INT ratio over the course of three seasons. He will need to adjust as he moves on from Tech's Air Raid system, but the intrigue is very much there for a Day 2 selection.
ESPN's Tom Luginbill writes that LSU four-star 2017 verbal ATH commit JaCoby Stevens could "[take] a similar defensive path as [Jabrill] Peppers did at Michigan."
"While Stevens will start in the secondary," Luginbill explained, "we wouldn't be surprised if he grows into a hybrid linebacker." The analyst refers to the 6-foot-2, 199-pounder as "one of the best pure athletes in the class." He initially committed to LSU in August, but has not budged off that even with the September firing of HC Les Miles.
Rivals recruiting director Mike Farrell sees Stanford five-star 2017 verbal QB commit Davis Mills as a strong fit with the Cardinal.
"Mills, like most high school quarterbacks, does most of his work out of the shotgun, but he has shown the ability to work under center and he does a good job with ball fakes even out of the shotgun," Farrell notes, adding that the 6-foot-2, 188-pounder is "also smart and makes good decisions." Farrell isn't alone in this opinion. Over the summer, Scout.com's Chad Simmons called Mills and Stanford "the perfect fit for one another."
Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline spoke with a member of Clemson QB Deshaun Watson's camp who "ridiculed reports" regarding the quarterback's lack of Senior Bowl participation.
Citing the length of the season, Watson declined a Senior Bowl invitation last week. Earlier on Monday, MMQB's Peter King reported that the coaching staff of the Browns had actually asked Watson to strut his stuff at the annual pre-draft prep bowl, only for the quarterback to spurn them. Both Watson's representative who spoke with Pauline and Senior Bowl director Phil Savage have shot down MMQB's report. Browns HC Hue Jackson has already indicated that he will not be holding Watson's non-participation against him, so regardless of how we reached this point, it looks like it will be a non-factor moving forward.
ESPN's Tom Luginbill believes that Georgia four-star 2017 verbal ATH commit DeAngelo Gibbs' best collegiate fit comes at wide receiver.
Luginbill notes that while Gibbs does have potential as a safety or nickelback, the Bulldogs simply need him more on offense. Wrote the analyst, "[His ability] as wideout was made especially clear after seeing his supreme speed and ball skills after making the full-time switch to offense halfway through Under Armour All-America week because of injuries at the position." The 6-foot-2, 207-pounder committed to Georgia just after the calendar flipped over to 2017.