College football Rivalry Week is here. It means there are several great games on deck ... but also that the end of the season is coming.
With just a couple of weekends remaining on the schedule, we asked our NFL draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay to assess the outlook for 10 players currently leading FBS in an offensive stat. All 10 are eligible for the 2020 draft, but a few have eligibility remaining and could return to school for another season. Let's start with two of the top quarterbacks in the class, then run through running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama: 94.4
If he were healthy, Tagovailoa might still be my QB1 for the 2020 NFL draft, and that sparkling 94.4 QBR stands as evidence. Obviously, his season is over, though, as he recovers from surgery on his hip, but early reports are he will make a full recovery.
My question is whether he regains his twitchiness and suddenness when he is back on the field. Those are key traits for the 6-foot-1, 218-pound lefty. He keeps his feet aligned with his eyes as he moves quickly and smoothly through his progressions and then is sudden in his release. That ability, combined with his downfield accuracy and skill in anticipating and leading receivers into the ball, makes him special. Is he still going to be effective in that area after surgery? -- McShay
Joe Burrow, LSU: 78.9%
I wrote two weeks ago, before Tagovailoa was injured, that Burrow could be the No. 1 pick, and he is playing like the top quarterback in this class. If the 0-11 Cincinnati Bengals get that pick, could it come down to Ohio State pass-rusher Chase Young and Burrow -- an Ohio State transfer and Ohio native? That's a good problem to have. Burrow is up to 41 touchdown passes to just six interceptions, while completing 78.6% of his passes and averaging 10.9 yards per attempt. These are Heisman-winning numbers.
Burrow's improvement has been the biggest story of the college football season, and he is likely to be No. 1 on my QB rankings the rest of the way. -- Kiper
Passing yards and touchdown passes
Anthony Gordon, Washington State: 4,920 yards, 45 TDs