As each week of the college football season passes, it's becoming more apparent that LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is a first-round talent. He looked great against Mississippi State on Saturday pulling in nine receptions for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 111 yards on kickoff returns.
Some will doubt Beckham because of his size (6-foot, 193 pounds), but he has speed and shiftiness to make up for it. Beckham is also known to have large hands for his size, which helps him make difficult catches. They also help him make weird one-handed catches on kickoffs.
LSU has a growing history of sending wide receivers to the NFL – Rueben Randle, Brandon LaFell, Demetrius Byrd, Early Doucet, Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis have all been drafted Tigers since 2007. Beckham is looking like the best of the bunch. Before long, it may be time to wonder if Beckham is better than Southern California's Marqise Lee or Clemson's Sammy Watkins.
Here are five other prospects who helped their NFL Draft standing in Week 6 of the college football season, and few who hurt themselves.
Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
Against LSU, Jackson was as good as advertised. And how is he advertised? A scout called him "one big and powerful man." By the time the draft comes around in May, teams will have a hard time choosing between Jackson and Baylor's Cyril Richardson. Both are mauling power blockers difficult to move off the line of scrimmage. Jackson was pushing around the talented LSU defensive line all night opening holes for running back LaDarius Perkins.
Rajion Neal, RB, Tennessee
Neal is not the biggest running back, nor is he the fastest. In a loss to Georgia, Neal showed a trait that some running backs just don't possess: drive. Neal rarely went down on first contact and drove his legs through contact. Neal's ability to get sneaky extra yards, combined with his solid receiving skills, could land him on an NFL roster.
Anthony Jefferson, CB, UCLA
It's easy to overlook Jefferson on a defense that features pass rushers like Anthony Barr and Cassius Marsh. Jefferson, a junior, is in his first season as a starter for the Bruins. He has good size at a listed 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds and displays good instincts. Jefferson tallied two interceptions against Utah last Thursday by getting good breaks on the ball and playing off the opposing receiver nicely.
Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford
Murphy has improved considerably from last season to this one. The senior is showing greater range and athleticism this season. At 6-foot-6 and 261 pounds, Murphy always stood out because of his size. Now his playmaking ability is matching his impressive frame. Against Washington, Murphy scored two sacks and tipped a pass that went for an interception.
Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State
The Buckeyes needed to fill a large hole left by the departure of Johnathan Hankins, and Bennett is doing a nice job. Just a junior, Bennett looks and plays much bigger than the 285 pounds he listed at. Bennett had just two tackles and a half sack against Northwestern, but did much more. He was consistently occupying multiple blockers and when he was single blocked he showed the quickness to shoot gaps. Added bonus: Bennett was praised by head coach Urban Meyer recently for his leadership.
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
When Miller returned against Wisconsin, he was on point completing 68 percent of his passes and four touchdowns. Against Northwestern, he seemingly regressed. Miller's completion percentage dropped to 57.7 percent and he threw an interception and fumbled twice. Miller didn't look as decisive and held onto the ball too long at times. he ran the ball for 68 yards but wasn't making the kind of quick cuts and moves as he often does. Miller is only a junior and looks like h could use another year of development in college.
Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami
Normally the stock up/down feature is based on on-field performances. Unfortunately for Henderson, he didn't even see the field because of suspension. Henderson has now been suspended at least one game in three consecutive years. Henderson is a gifted specimen of a right tackle, but some NFL teams will have him completely off their draft board.
Colt Lyerla, TE, ??
Lyerla has left Oregon and will be in the draft next year. Lyerla played in just two games this season and had two catches for 26 yards. There will be questions about Lyerla's character. Some teams might not want to bother with a player like Lyerla at all.
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