The Raleigh News & Observer reports that Wake Forest freshman QB John Wolford (head injury) will be back in the starting lineup this week against Boston College.
Wake Forest HC Dave Clawson said Wolford showed no sign of a concussion following last week's 30-7 loss to Syracuse. The true freshman QB, suffered a head injury as he was hit while throwing a pass during the second quarter. After the huge hit, Wolford ended up missing the second half on the bench in street clothes.
NFL Media analyst notes that Missouri redshirt junior DE Shane Ray has an "explosive get-off and can bend the edge."
The Tigers prospect has the initial pop but needs to improve his ability to convert speed to power. He's an active and disruptive force against the run, making a lot of plays in pursuit, but his lean frame and lack of strength limit his effectiveness against the run overall. Ray displays a relentless motor, and has had made a huge impact this season. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Ray runs a 4.44 forty, has a 41-inch vertical jump and bench presses more than 400 pounds. On Monday, ESPN's Mel Kiper called Ray "the nation's fastest-rising prospect," and currently has him No. 5 on his big board.
Minnesota HC Jerry Kill notes that senior RB David Cobb "is a back that seems to get stronger as the game goes on," according to the Star Tribune.
"He’s a back that seems to get stronger as the game goes on," coach Jerry Kill told the Start Tribune. "I keep saying every week, ‘We need to take a few of those off of him.’ It’s hard to do, when he gets into a rhythm. But I think we need to be careful." The 5-foot-11, 229-pound Cobb rushed for 194 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries in Saturday's 39-38 win over Purdue. Through seven games, Cobb has rushed for 1,013 yards and leads the nation with 27.0 rushes per game. In the last four games, Cobb has 34, 32, 30 and 35 carries for the Golden Gophers.
Mississippi State senior DE Preston Smith "projects best as a five-technique end," similar to Cardinals' 2014 3rd round selection "Kareem Martin as a prospect," according to CBS Sports' Dane Brugler.
"Despite lacking quick-twitch movements, he looks the part with his tall, long build and is playing with the nonstop motor that makes him tough to block for very long. The Bulldogs need him to complete the undefeated season and he projects best as a five-technique end, similar to Kareem Martin as a prospect," Brugler wrote. In the last four games, the 6-foot-6, 270-pound Smith has had 4.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss, while rushing off the edge and lining up inside as the one-technique on passing downs.
The Orlando Sentinel's Brandon Sonnone reports that FSU redshirt sophomore QB Jameis Winston "has struggled to match the same level efficiency from last year."
"After losing key targets like Kelvin Benjamin – a first-round draft pick – and Kenny Shaw, the FSU quarterback has struggled to match the same level efficiency from last year," Sonnone writes. Aside from being "less efficient," Sonnone believes that a "different offensive philosophy" could be a reason for the dip in Winston's production. Last season, the Seminoles threw the ball 46.6 percent of the time. This season, Florida State has thrown the ball 53.7 percent of the time. Sonnone believes "this philosophical difference is bound to impact Winston’s numbers" and the Seminoles are not running the ball with as much consistency" in 2014.
Kentucky senior DE Za'Darius Smith is an "aggressive edge rusher with some burst and the motor needed to compete at a high level," according to CBS Sports' Dane Brugler.
"Although his 2014 stats are mediocre (3 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks), the tape shows an aggressive edge rusher with some burst and the motor needed to compete at a high level. Smith rarely loses sight of the ball with proper eye use to quickly locate and track, using feisty swat and swim moves to defeat blockers," Brugler wrote. The Wildcats prospect and former JUCO transfer, recorded 59 tackles, with 6.5 tackles for loss and six sacks, in his first try against SEC competition last year.
One NFC scout called the showdown between Syracuse senior LT Sean Hickey and Clemson senior edge rusher Vic Beasley an "exposure matchup."
"You want to watch good vs. good" when evaluating, the scout said. Hickey recently called Beasley the best pass rusher in the country. He might not be the top, but he is one of the best. Hickey is a prospect himself, so this should be a focal matchup to watch.
CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes that Mississippi State redshirt junior LB Benardrick McKinney is "lacking a natural feel for pass defense at this point."
"However, there are still areas where he needs to show improvement before NFL scouts will stamp a first round grade on him. McKinney isn't as natural in space or when asked to retreat in coverage, lacking a natural feel for pass defense at this point," Brugler wrote. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound McKinney's limitations may keep him out of the first round, but, if so, he'll get plucked in the second stanza. The Bulldog's prospect is huge, athletic, and doesn't mind doing the dirty work in the trenches. Brugler still questions if McKinney has the "requisite skills to be an every down pro linebacker."