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Calm Before the Storm

A lack of truly competitive games left this week's board relatively static, but get ready for the action to considerably kick up a notch

Aaron Murray has topped a 200 rating (244.2, 213.9) in consecutive games.

Aaron Murray has topped a 200 rating (244.2, 213.9) in consecutive games.

Many apologies for the lack of movement on this week’s Big Board. Blame the schools for scheduling one of the least competitive weekends of football in recent memory.

The good news? Things get real on Saturday. With Wisconsin going to Ohio State, LSU going to Georgia, Ole Miss going to Alabama, Oklahoma going to Notre Dame and Arizona going to Washington, we should see some great individual matchups that should provide for more movement next week.

2014 NFL Draft Big Board 4.0


Jadeveon Clowney DE; Junior; University of South Carolina; 6-6, 274 (Last week: 1) Clowney, who has already faced Bryn Renner and Aaron Murray, will see another future NFL quarterback this week in Central Florida’s Blake Bortles.


Teddy Bridgewater QB; Junior; Louisville; 6-3, 196 (Last Week: 2) Bridgewater gets the week off after torching Florida International.


Anthony Barr LB; Senior; UCLA; 6-4, 245 (Last Week: 3) Barr had a ho-hum game against New Mexico State – only one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for college football’s best stat-sheet stuffer.


Taylor Lewan OT; Senior; Michigan; 6-8, 308 (Last Week: 4) Lewan promised after the Akron game that Michigan would not come out so sloppy again. Then the Wolverines were terrible for the first three quarters against Connecticut. Lewan is quite good. The rest of his team might not be as good as we thought.


Jake Matthews OT; Senior; Texas A&M; 6-5, 305 (Last Week: 5) Matthews will face off this week with Arkansas defensive end Chris Smith, who leads the nation with 5.5 sacks.


Mike Evans WR; Redshirt Sophomore; Texas A&M; 6-5, 225 (Last Week: 6) Evans had a quiet day against SMU (two catches, 57 yards), but the Aggies didn’t really need him to do much. He’ll probably have to contribute more against Arkansas.


De'Anthony Thomas RB; Junior; Oregon; 5-9, 176 (Last Week: 7) After a bye, Thomas enters Pac-12 play against Cal this week.


Louis Nix III DT; Junior; Notre Dame; 6-3, 340 (Last Week: 8) Nix dominated Saturday against Michigan State, occupying two blockers much of the time while still racking up six tackles and a pass break-up.


Cyrus Kouandjio OT; Junior; Alabama; 6-6, 310 (Last Week: 9) This week, Kouandjio will meet up with Ole Miss freshman Robert Nkemdiche, who will be on this list in two years.


Johnny Manziel QB; Redshirt Sophomore; Texas A&M; 6-1, 200 (Last Week: 10) Manziel should pile up bigger numbers against Arkansas. He got lifted in the third quarter of last week’s blowout win against SMU.


Stephon Tuitt DE; Junior; Notre Dame; 6-6, 303 (Last Week: 14) Tuitt had six tackles—including a sack—against Michigan State. He can thank Nix for helping force the action his way.


AJ McCarron QB; Senior; Alabama; 6-4, 214 (Last Week: 12) McCarron had a frustrating day against Colorado State but still finished with a respectable statline: 20 of 26 passing for 256 yards with one touchdown and one interception. After the game, he criticized the offense’s communication.


Tajh Boyd QB; Senior; Clemson; 6-1, 225 (Last Week: 13) Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris said Monday that Boyd was pressing—trying too hard to make the perfect play—for most of the game against NC State. Morris said Boyd stopped worrying and started playing instinctively for about the final 20 snaps. Not coincidentally, that is when Clemson pulled away.


Aaron Murray QB; Senior; Georgia; 6-1, 208 (Last Week: 15) The Bulldogs got more of a fight than they expected from North Texas, but Murray completed 22 of 30 passes for 408 yards and three touchdowns with one interception on a rainy day in Athens.


James Hurst OT; Senior; North Carolina; 6-7, 305 (Last Week: 11) Hurst appeared to have more trouble with Georgia Tech defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu than he did with Clowney.


Sammy Watkins WR; Junior; Clemson; 6-1, 205 (Last Week: 16) Watkins led the Tigers with 10 catches for 98 yards in the win at NC State.


Ryan Shazier LB; Junior; Ohio State; 6-2, 222 (Last Week: 17) Shazier will have to prove this week he can make plays in the run game without getting erased by a Wisconsin offensive line that averages 321.6 pounds.


Braxton Miller QB; Junior; Ohio State; 6-2, 215 (Last Week: 18) Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said Miller (knee) will play against Wisconsin if he has a good week of practice. Translation: If Miller can walk, he’s playing.


David Yankey OG; Senior; Stanford; 6-5, 311 (Last Week: 23) Yankey helped keep Arizona State’s Will Sutton out of the backfield in the Cardinal’s first Pac-12 win of the year.


Will Sutton DT; Senior; Arizona State; 6-1, 305 (Last Week: 19) Sutton had six tackles at Stanford, but the Cardinal kept him from being disruptive. USC probably won’t be able to the same.


Jason Verrett CB; Senior; TCU; 5-10, 176 (Last Week: 20) The Horned Frogs have been off since their loss at Texas Tech. Verrett and company will take out their frustration on SMU on Saturday.


C.J. Mosley LB; Senior; Alabama; 6-2, 232 (Last Week: 21) Mosley had nine tackles, a tackle for loss and two hurries against Colorado State. He’ll be critical against Ole Miss. The hurry-up spread teams tend to wear out Alabama’s bigger linebackers, but Mosley usually shines against them.


Marcus Mariota QB; Redshirt Sophomore; Oregon; 6-4, 211 (Last Week: 22) Mariota is averaging an insane 17.5 yards a carry while throwing for almost 300 yards a game.


Kyle Van Noy LB; Senior; BYU; 6-3, 245 (Last Week: 24) Van Noy had eight tackles—including one for loss—a pass break-up and a hurry in a loss against Utah.


Loucheiz Purifoy CB; Junior; Florida; 6-1, 189 (Last Week: 25) The Gators’ offense opened Saturday’s game with an option pitch to Purifoy for a 15-yard gain. With a dearth of playmakers on that side of the ball, don’t be surprised if Purifoy does more on offense while still starting at corner.


Bradley Roby CB; Redshirt Junior; Ohio State; 5-11, 192 (Last Week: 26) Roby will need to work well by himself Saturday, because the Buckeyes will have to load the box to stop Wisconsin’s running game.


Marqise Lee WR; Junior; USC; 6-0, 195 (Last Week: 27) Lee had six catches for 72 yards in the win against Utah State. He’ll need to do more against Arizona State on Saturday.


Timmy Jernigan DT; Junior; Florida State; 6-2, 298 (Last Week: 28) Jernigan had a quiet day as the Seminoles emptied the bench against Bethune-Cookman.


Derek Carr QB; Senior; Fresno State; 6-3, 218 (Last Week: 32) Carr completed 39 of 60 passes for 460 yards and four touchdowns last Friday against Boise State. He also led a game-winning drive in the final minutes. Now Fresno State has launched a Heisman campaign for “The West’s Wonderdog Underdog.”


Ha Ha Clinton-Dix S; Junior; Alabama; 6-1, 208 (Last Week: 31) The chatter among the Texas A&M coaches about Clinton-Dix is hilarious in Bruce Feldman’s excellent behind-the-scenes story about the week leading into the Alabama game. He certainly does back up the name.


Cyril Richardson OG; Baylor; 6-5, 335 (Last Week: 29) Fortunately, Baylor opens Big 12 play next week against West Virginia. It’s tough to judge just how badly Richardson and the offense are mauling these overmatched opponents.


Adrian Hubbard LB; Redshirt Junior; Alabama; 6-6, 252 (Last Week: 30) Hubbard had five tackles—including 1.5 for loss—against Colorado State. And if you clicked the link in the Ha Ha Clinton-Dix section, Hubbard’s dimensions were the ones Aggies coaches thought were a misprint.


Zack Martin OT; Senior; Notre Dame; 6-4, 304 (Last Week: 33) Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees attempted 34 passes and didn’t get sacked once on Saturday. Against a defense as good as Michigan State’s, that’s a huge accomplishment for Martin and his linemates.


Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB; Junior; Oregon; 5-10, 190 (Last Week: 35) On Saturday, the Ducks face Cal quarterback Jared Goff, who leads the nation with 435.3 passing yards a game. Goff also has thrown the ball to the other team four times in three games, so Ekpre-Olomu should have plenty of chances to end drives with an interception.


Khalil Mack LB; Senior; Buffalo; 6-3, 245 (Last Week: 36) Mack and the Bulls had the week off. They’ll face Connecticut on Saturday.


Anthony Johnson DT; Junior; LSU; 6-3, 294 (Last Week: 38) Johnson left the Auburn win early with a leg injury, but LSU coach Les Miles said Johnson will be ready to play Saturday against Georgia.


Jordan Matthews WR; Senior; Vanderbilt; 6-3, 205 (Last Week: 39) Against an overmatched UMass defense on Saturday, Matthews turned a potentially boring screen into a quality highlight.


Trent Murphy LB; Redshirt Senior; Stanford; 6-6, 261 (Last Week: 40) Murphy was one of 11 Stanford defenders who recorded at least a half a tackle for loss in Saturday’s win against Arizona State.


Antonio Richardson OT; Junior; Tennessee; 6-6, 327 (Last Week: 34) Richardson struggled at times Saturday against Florida sophomore Dante Fowler Jr., who will be very high on this list next year.


Melvin Gordon RB; Redshirt Sophomore; Wisconsin; 6-1, 207 (Last Week: Unranked) Gordon abused Arizona State and then returned to Madison, where he carried 16 times for 147 yards and three touchdowns against Purdue. Gordon currently averages 11.8 yards a carry.


Eric Ebron WR; Junior; North Carolina; 6-4, 245 (Last Week: Unranked) With this one-handed touchdown catch against Georgia Tech, Ebron proved once again that he is one of the nation’s most athletic tight ends.


Odell Beckham Jr. WR; Junior; LSU; 6-0, 193 (Last Week: 42) Teammate Jarvis Landry had the spotlight against Auburn, but Beckham will need to come up big against Georgia.


Darqueze Dennard CB; Senior; Michigan State; 5-11, 188 (Last Week: 43) Dennard insists he played solid defense on a controversial pass interference call that negated an interception in Saturday’s loss to Notre Dame. Hopefully, Dennard won’t let a few calls stop him from playing so physically. It’s the biggest strength of his game.


Xavier Su’a-Filo OG; Junior; UCLA; 6-3, 304 (Last Week: 44) After an easy win against New Mexico State, Su’a-Filo and the Bruins get Saturday off to prepare for a Thursday matchup with Utah on Oct. 3.


Travis Swanson C; Senior; Arkansas; 6-5, 315 (Last Week: 45) Swanson and his linemates faced a packed box because Rutgers wasn’t scared of backup quarterback A.J. Derby’s arm. Swanson and company will need to play well against a suspect Texas A&M front seven if the Razorbacks have any hope of keeping pace with the Aggies on the scoreboard.


Ka'Deem Carey RB; Junior; Arizona; 5-10, 207 (Last Week: 41) Carey had Saturday off, but he’ll play in what should be a dynamite tailback duel this week against Washington and Bishop Sankey.


Jeremiah Attaochu DE; Senior; Georgia Tech; 6-3, 242 (Last Week: Unranked) Attaochu beat North Carolina’s Jon Heck on a play, forcing Heck to hold and wiping out an 82-yard touchdown pass. Two plays later, Attaochu blew past James Hurst on third down and sacked Bryn Renner. Not a bad series. The rest of the game went pretty well for Attaochu as well, but that series may have been the difference in the game.


Ra'Shede Hageman DT; Redshirt Senior; Minnesota; 6-6, 311 (Last Week: 48) Hageman had one tackle for loss in Saturday’s win against San Jose State.


Lache Seastrunk RB; Redshirt Junior; Baylor; 5-10, 210 (Last Week: 49) Seastrunk gained 156 yards and scored one touchdown on 10 carries against Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday. Seastrunk is now averaging 11 yards a carry.


Scott Crichton DE; Redshirt Junior; Oregon State; 6-3, 265 (Last Week: 47) There is no word on exactly what Crichton ordered at In-N-Out Burger to celebrate his 2.5 tackle-for-loss day against San Diego State.