Posted: Tuesday September 26, 2006 5:05PM; Updated: Tuesday September 26, 2006 10:44PM
By Tony Pauline, Special to SI.com
Marshawn Lynch is averaging 7.2 yards per carry this season.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, California: After a 124-yard rushing day against Arizona State on Saturday, the junior has raised his season average to 112 yards per game in '06. If he enters the draft after the season, he'll likely be ranked behind only Oklahoma running back AdrianPeterson on draft boards.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech: He turned in another outstanding performance last Saturday against a Virginia secondary that offers several solid pro prospects. With six receptions for 165 yards and two scores, Johnson continues to impress scouts. He's averaging 16.4 yards per reception this season, and many believe the big junior has already made up his mind to leave early for the NFL. His play and skills are worthy of a top-three pick in next April's draft.
David Harris, LB, Michigan: He rededicated himself to football this season, shedding 10 pounds and adding a lot of intensity to his game. He is the leader of a Wolverines defense that has given up only 75 yards rushing in four games. Harris has moved into the middle rounds and could make a push into the first day if he continues his solid play.
Joe Thomas, T, Wisconsin: Still showing some rust and not fully recovered from last January's knee surgery, Thomas nonetheless is rounding into form. Against Michigan's pass rush he looked as if he'll soon be worthy of a top 10 pick.
Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville: Though the college-football world concentrates on Louisville's touchdown-makers, Okoye has been a silent killer on the defensive line. Dominant up front all season, he shows athleticism to make plays laterally as well as up the field. Even though Kansas State double-teamed the explosive tackle through four quarters last Saturday, Okoye was omnipresent all game. He has significantly improved his draft stock and should be a first-day pick.
Just when things were looking up for Dwayne Jarrett, now comes news that the USC wideout may miss two to four weeks with a sprained shoulder. Though the injury is not serious, it may impact whether or not the junior leaves for the NFL after the season. Scouts were hoping to see consistency on a weekly basis from Jarrett; this will hamper his opportunity to show them.... Clemson's running game has been outstanding this season, averaging more than 200 yards per game with 14 touchdowns on the ground after only four contests. The play of both offensive guards has been outstanding, as Nathan Bennett and Roman Frye have caught the attention of NFL scouts. Bennett, originally considered a late-round pick, has moved into the middle frames. Frye, graded as a free agent, will jump into the late part of the draft.