Week 14 Risers & Sliders

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

The final regular season of the college football weekend, which included conference title games, resulted in a major shakeup at the top of the national rankings. It was also a week where players who will be sprinkled throughout the draft stepped up their games and impressed NFL scouts. Here, for the final time in 2017, are the Risers & Sliders for Week 14.

Isaiah Wynn/OL/Georgia: Wynn has been a favorite of mine since I first scouted him as a sophomore in 2015. After moving to left tackle this season, Wynn has watched his game take off, and his draft stock is surging. He was terrific during the Bulldogs victory over Auburn in the SEC title game, springing ball carriers free for several long runs while helping keep his quarterback upright just about the entire game. Wynn has the build of the offensive lineman and the strength to play at the next level. Though he won’t be able to stay at left tackle in the NFL, Wynn is a solid mid-round pick who could have a long career as a backup or spot starter.

Jerome Baker/LB/Ohio State: Baker had his ups and downs this year but finished strong with a phenomenal showing during the Big 10 title game. The junior led all defenders with 16 tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack. He made plays sideline to sideline and was very effective in space, which is his specialty. As I mentioned in our preview of the Big 10 title game, Baker is a three-down defender for the next level whose game parallels former OSU linebacker Darron Lee in a variety of ways.

Olasunkanmi Adeniyi/DE-OLB/Toledo: Adeniyi is a prospect I covered with glory before the season, and he’s lived up to expectations this year. During the Rockets' convincing 45-28 victory over Akron in the MAC title contest, the junior finished with six tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and a pair of quarterback hurries. Adeniyi is a natural pass rusher who quickly gets off the ball and shows the ability to bend off the edge. Measurables are a question and Adeniyi is scheme-limited, but his ability to disrupt the opponent’s game plans is attractive.

Eric Boggs/LB/Appalachian State: Once again Boggs proved to be the dominant force on the Appalachian State defense. The three-year starter and two-time All-Sun Belt performer helped lead the Mountaineers to victory over Louisiana-Lafayette, which ensured the team a portion of the conference title. Boggs finished the game with nine tackles while also tallying 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and intercepting a pass. Saturday’s total gave him a team-leading 97 tackles this season, and Boggs has eight pass defenses to his credit in 2017. Entering the season stamped as a potential free agent, what Boggs lacks in athleticism as well as size and speed he more than makes up for with instincts and intensity. He plays with a special teams mentality and will be an asset at the next level as a backup inside linebacker.

Ronald Jones/RB/USC: Jones capped off a terrific season with 140 yards rushing and two TDs during the Trojans' Pac-12 title game victory over Stanford on Friday. His productivity improved in every category compared to a year ago, including rushing yards (1,486 yds vs. 1,082 yds) and touchdowns (18 vs 12). In most cases this season, it was the running game that made the Trojans offense click and not the quarterback -- if Jones was not carrying the offense, then Sam Darnold struggled. I’m expecting Jones to enter the draft where he will end up somewhere in Round 2.

Cedrick Wilson/WR/Boise State: Wilson was one of the prospects we highlighted in our preview of the Mountain West title game, and the senior did not disappoint. He led all receivers with eight receptions for 148 yards (18.5-yard average) while also contributing on special teams. For the year Wilson totaled 65 receptions, 1,142 receiving yards and six TDs. His best performances came against top competition on the Boise State schedule, as Wilson posted nine receptions against Washington State and 13 against Virginia. Presently graded as a last-day pick, Wilson offers potential as a fifth receiver at the next level with the ability to return punts. Forty times are critical for the Boise State senior, as clocking at or below 4.50 seconds in predraft workouts will enhance his draft stock.

Kalib Woods/WR/Florida Atlantic: Prior to the season, scouts considered Woods a prospect they did not expect to make it out of May mini-camp despite flashes of next-level ability. During the Owls' decisive victory over North Texas in the Conference USA title game, Woods led all receivers with six receptions, 208 yards and one TD. Woods is sure-handed, plays with great balance and is a pass catcher who consistently finds ways to separate from opponents. What he lacks is next-level speed and maturity. After two productive seasons for FAU, Woods was suspended for six games this season after being arrested on felony battery charges last June. The senior has enough skill to make a Sunday roster as a fifth receiver if teams are comfortable with his character.

Jordan Akins/TE/Central Florida: It was yet another high scoring affair as Central Florida beat Memphis 62-55 in overtime to take the American Athletic Conference title. Akins, who has been productive all season long, turned in his best performance during the most important game of the year. His stat line read four catches, 66 yards and one TD. Ignored by scouts entering the season, Akins has the size and enough athleticism to make a roster as a third tight end.