Risers & Sliders -- Week 10

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Week 10 on the college schedule saw Alabama display its dominance once again, as the Tide rolled over LSU. We also saw some outstanding performances on the offensive line and from a few receivers, but the week was led by a defensive lineman. Here are the Risers & Sliders for Week 10.

Risers

Derrick Brown/DT/Auburn: When talking about defensive line prospects for the next level, most understandably mention the lineups at Alabama and Clemson -- but don’t sleep on Brown. A prospect I stamped with a first-round grade over the summer, Brown was dominant during the victory over Texas A&M and totaled four tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack while forcing a fumble and breaking up a pass. The junior is a three-down lineman who easily stuffs the run, occupies gaps and rushes the passer. He’s a great combination of size and athleticism as well as growth potential and will impact the early part of Round 1 if he opts to enter the draft.

N’Keal Harry/WR/Arizona State: Harry continues to dominate opponents and keeps skeptics such as myself in check. Against Utah, a defense which lines up four NFL prospects in their secondary, Harry totaled nine receptions, 161 receiving yards and three TDs. The spectacular receptions he makes are seen every week nationwide, but his ability to pick up yardage after the catch is equally impressive. I still have my concerns about Harry’s speed and ability to separate at the next level, but there’s no denying he rates as one of the best natural receivers heading towards the 2019 draft.

Hakeem Butler/WR/Iowa State: Butler has been terrific all season long, taking over as the Cyclones' main wideout after the graduation of Allen Lazard. His latest masterpiece included five receptions fir 164 receiving yards and two touchdowns against Kansas. It’s the fourth game this season in which Butler has been over the century mark for receiving yards. The junior wideout combines awesome size with reliable hands and natural receiving skills. Butler grades as a second-day draft pick on film, but so much of his draft stock will rely on how fast he runs in predraft workouts. And as we saw with Lazard, if everything (40 time, shuttles, three-cone) doesn’t align as scouts hope, Butler could drop further than most predict.

Cole Chewins/OT/Michigan State: I identified Chewins as a third-day prospect over the summer, and the junior left tackle has shown continued improvement in his game all season long. During Saturday’s victory over Maryland, Chewins did a terrific job protecting the blind side of Brian Lewerke as the Terps finished the game with just a single tackle for loss, recording neither a sack nor a quarterback hurry. Chewins is a terrific pass protector who must improve his run-blocking strength, but he’s a nice-sized tackle with upside and growth potential.

Max Scharping/OL/Northern Illinois: Scouts stamped Scharping as a mid-round choice entering the season, while I was not as enthusiastic and gave him a late-round grade. Thus far, the scouts have been right on the mark. During NIU’s 10-point victory over Akron, Scharping’s blocking helped pave the way for 296 rushing yards. He also helped hold Akron pass rusher Jamal Davis, who is graded by scouts as a potential third-day pick, to just a half-sack. I’m still have my concerns as to whether Scharping remains at left tackle in the NFL but fully believe he’ll flourish as a zone-blocking guard.

Trevon Brown/WR/East Carolina: Once again the Pirates are mired in a terrible season, but Brown has been on fire lately. In the last three games, he has 33 receptions for 491 receiving yards and four scores. He entered the season stamped as a priority free agent, but I suspect Brown -- who measures 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds and runs in the low-4.5 area, has moved into the late rounds.

Sleeper Prospect - Andy Isabella/WR/UMass: Isabella could be the best receiver no one is talking about. He’s a receiver scouts dismissed, as the senior was graded as a street free agent before the season. All Isabella has done is produce big numbers every weekend, including nine receptions for 303 yards and two touchdowns against Liberty on Saturday. Isabella has topped 100 yards on five occasions this season, including games against Ohio (198 yards) and South Florida (191 yards). He was four yards shy of the century mark against Boston College, when he caught five passes. I presently grade Isabella as a fifth-round prospect and fully expect him to end up somewhere in the draft’s final day. He’ll be an asset at the next level as a slot receiver and punt returner.

Small School Prospect - Tytus Howard/OL/Alabama State: Howard is rarely mentioned outside of scouting circles, but the chatter around him will surely get louder as we move through the All-Star circuit in January. Playing left tackle for ASU, Howard is fundamentally sound, shows great skill in pass protection and does enough on the small-school level to open up the running lanes. He’s fluid on his feet, quick out to the second level and very effective blocking in motion. I remember Terron Armstead dominating practices at the 2013 Shrine Game and looking good as a Senior Bowl replacement before being selected in the third round of the draft that year. While I don’t think Howard will be chosen that early in the draft, I do believe he’ll create a buzz moving towards next April.

Sliders

Trace McSorley/QB/Penn State: At no point over the past three years have I considered McSorley a draftable prospect. He’s a good college quarterback who just doesn’t project well to the next level, and his performance against Michigan affirmed as much. I’m sure McSorley will sign with a team after the draft and could end up on a practice squad next September, but he won’t be chosen at any point during the seven rounds.