With three weeks left in the college season, NFL scouts are starting to think hard about the April draft. After the first two picks, they see a precipitous drop-off in talent. Here's a consensus top 10 (asterisks indicate underclassmen).
1. Reggie Bush*, RB, 5'11", 202, USC
More complete than any of the '05 first-round backs because he can get outside.
2. Matt Leinart, QB, 6'4", 222, USC
Not as mobile or strong-armed as Carson Palmer but accurate and poised enough to be a very good pro.
November 21, 2005
3. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, T, 6'5", 298, Virginia (above)
As athletic as any left tackle in the NFL; the Texans love him.
4. Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, 6'6", 265, Boston College
He's no mere combine workout wonder--he loves football.
5. Winston Justice*, T, 6'6", 300, USC
Lines up on the right for USC but could play either side in the NFL.
6. Gabe Watson, DT, 6'3", 340, Michigan
Keeping his motivation up and weight down might be problematic.
7. Santonio Holmes*, WR, 5'11", 185, Ohio State
A good deep threat, he stands out in a thin batch of senior receivers.
8. DeAngelo Williams, RB, 5'10", 217, Memphis
Only once this year has he averaged fewer than six yards a carry.
9. Michael Huff, SS, 6'0", 205, Texas
A decent hitter who had a high draft rating and hasn't disappointed.
10. Tye Hill, CB, 5'11", 180, Clemson
Very good in coverage but an average hitter.
Chad Johnson versus Marvin Harrison
They both have 53 catches, but Cincinnati's Johnson (left) has outgained his idol, the Colts' Harrison, 808 yards to 624. The younger player's heart will be pumping fast when Cincy hosts Indianapolis on Sunday. "We're winning, but we have doubters," says Johnson. "That's why my mindset is, We not only have to win this game, we have to beat [Indianapolis] decisively." At the same time, Johnson and QB Carson Palmer have learned much by watching their Colts counterparts. "Peyton [Manning] and Marvin set the standard. I love watching them play. This game is so big for me because I respect them so much."
1. I still have no idea what Paul Tagliabue announced last week. He said he hopes that by around 2010 there'll be a team in either L.A. or Orange County. Big news! But what team?
2. It's looking more and more as if Jerome Bettis will be in a TV studio next fall, not on a football field.
3. If the 6-3 Jaguars, who are currently in position for a wild-card spot, don't make the playoffs, heads will roll. Only one of their remaining opponents has more than three wins.
Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback, every week at SI.com/football.