OK State's Justin Blackmon headlines list of Week 2 draft risers
Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd looked like top-notch NFL wideouts
Trent Richardson cemented his role as a first-round running back
WR/KR T.Y. Hilton elevated his stock big time with an electric performance
Week 2 in the college season offered a number of thrilling games going down to the wire. And in these contests, several top NFL prospects whetted the appetite of pro scouts by standing out. Here's a look at nine players moving north on draft boards after the weekend.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State* -- This won't be the last appearance on this list for the Cowboys' elite receiver. He gave NFL decision-makers a glimpse of what he will bring to the next level during OSU's victory over Arizona. Blackmon totaled 12 receptions for 128 receiving yards and two scores, but the stats just scratch the surface. Blackmon put forth a complete game, beating the Wildcats with quickness, speed and brute force, looking and playing like Terrell Owens when the former All-Pro was at the top of his game.
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama* -- Like Blackmon, Richardson is an underclassman star just starting what should be a banner campaign. In the hostile confines of Happy Valley against Penn State, the dominant runner punched holes through the Nittany Lions' talented defensive line, finishing with 111 yards and two scores on 26 rushing attempts. He looked well-rounded, pounding the ball inside, making defenders miss in traffic and beating them into the open field. Richardson proved once again that he's a complete back worthy of an early-first-round grade.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame -- The senior was the go-to guy the Michigan Wolverines could not stop, even when they knew the ball would be thrown in his direction. Floyd had 13 receptions for 159 yards. He has rebounded from off-field issues that got him temporarily removed from the Irish roster, returning to the field with renewed route-running skills and surprising speed.
Mark Barron, S, Alabama -- After displaying flashes of brilliance as a sophomore in 2009, Barron took a step back last season. Saturday he showed scouts he's putting the pieces together. He was tough against the run, making seven tackles while also registering the team's only interception. Barron was constantly around the ball and played smart football, something the NFL desperately wants to see from him on a consistent basis.
Kelechi Osemele, OL, Iowa State -- Despite being hampered with a bad ankle that left him on the turf for several minutes in the first half, Osemele was dominant blocking for the run and protecting his passer in the Cyclones' thrilling overtime victory over Iowa. The left tackle looked well-conditioned, landing several key blocks throughout the second half and overtime. Whether he will play left tackle -- the position he has held down the past two years -- in the NFL is debatable, but most scouts agree Osemele offers big-time potential at the next level.
Khaseem Greene, S, Rutgers* -- The forceful safety stood out during the Scarlet Knights' loss to North Carolina. Greene changed the momentum of the game in Rutgers' favor several times, and led the defense with 13 tackles (including two tackles for loss). Greene also forced one fumble and was very effective on the blitz. He offers next-level size and is developing into a total player at safety.
Nick Perry, DE-OLB, USC -- One of the best athletes on a USC roster that's full of amazing athletic talent, Perry is transitioning his natural skills onto the football field. He was effective in all facets during the Trojans' razor-sharp victory over Utah. He harassed the Utes from defensive end (two tackles for loss, one sack), displayed skills in pass coverage (one pass broken up) and generally made plays sideline-to-sideline. He's starting to get consideration as a top-rated 3-4 outside linebacker.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International -- Scouts are aware of the speedster from FIU, who introduced himself to the rest of the football world on Friday night. Hilton was electrifying in helping lead his team to victory in Louisville. He finished with a school-record 201 receiving yards on seven receptions, including 83- and 74-yard catches, the latter resulting in a touchdown. He also averaged 33.5 yards on a pair of kick returns. Initially graded as a late-round choice, Hilton could move into the middle rounds, where a team that needs a slot/fourth receiver who can double as a return specialist may look his way.
Sleeper: Jerome Long, DL, San Diego State -- He gets little respect in the scouting community, but the hard-working defender is constantly making positive plays. Against Army's motion offense, the senior make 10 tackles and one sack. He lacks the great size/speed numbers the NFL looks for, yet his hustling style and ability to always be around the ball will make scouts take notice.
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