Instant analysis: Tracking CFB's top 10 players in Week 11

Editor's note: In this space we'll track the top 10 players in college football (based on analyst Chad Reuter's rankings) through the 11th weekend of the season. Here you'll find each player's final stats and analysis of their performances. The post will be updated throughout the day as games conclude. All times listed are Eastern.

Tracking CFB's top 10 players: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10

1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (vs. Wake Forest, Saturday, 7 p.m.)
Last week: No. 1
Week 11 stats: 14-of-26 for 145 yards, TD. 22 carries for 153 yards (7.0 average).
Reuter's analysis: Wake Forest made Jackson look like a true sophomore rather than a seasoned veteran, the first time any team has accomplished that feat this season. Wake surrounded him in the pocket, and he took sacks even when escaping outside. On his best run early, Jackson took off for 20 yards and then fumbled the ball away. He and his running backs also fumbled twice on read-option plays in the first half. Jackson did manage to set up a field-goal drive before the half with his legs. Though he still was misfiring from the pocket in the second half, he made enough plays with his arm and his legs (including a 55-yard run in the third quarter) to score three fourth-quarter touchdowns for the win. Despite looking like a young quarterback early, Jackson looked like a veteran late, not making the big mistake and keeping his head up to recover from struggles.

2. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M (vs. Ole Miss, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.)
Last week: No. 2
Week 11 stats: 1 tackle, 2 QB hurries.
Reuter's analysis: Garrett got to know Ole Miss freshman phenom left tackle Greg Little on Saturday night. For the most part, Little stood up Garrett with his size and strength, keeping his arm extended to wall off the star end. Occasionally, Garrett's burst around the corner was on display, as he was able to get under Little's pads to affect the quarterback. But for the most part, he couldn't make hay against the large first-year player. Ole Miss didn't run his way very often, preventing Garrett from displaying his ability to shed blocks on the edge. It's clear, tough, that Garrett, who's dealt with an ankle injury, is still not 100 percent healthy. His explosiveness off the ball just isn't there, and neither is his typical hustle to the ball. The Aggies needed him tonight, though, as the Rebels came back from a 21-6 deficit in the fourth quarter behind freshman quarterback Shea Patterson (playing in his first game after taking off a redshirt) to win.

3. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU (at Arkansas, Saturday, 7 p.m.)
Last week: No. 3
Week 11 stats: 17 carries for 98 yards (5.8 average), 3 TDs. 2 catches for 44 yards (22.0 average).
Reuter's analysis: It was The Fournette Show early in Fayetteville. On a pass in the flat, Fournette showed off great speed. Later on the same drive, he walked into the end zone for a five-yard touchdown. He showed his speed on the next drive, taking off for 10 yards on 3rd-and-short. The junior's second touchdown of the half came from his jump-cut ability, finding a hole and running through arm tackles for a short score. Fournette aggravated his ankle injury after being smothered by an Arkansas defensive tackle in the backfield after taking a handoff. He returned to the field, however, even picking up a blitz like a boss when asked. Fournette fumbled in the second half on not a particularly hard tackle, but he came back to show great burst on a 15-yard run and score his third touchdown on the next drive. His ankle gave him trouble again in the fourth quarter, however, and his night was done.

4. Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina (at Duke, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.)
Last week: No. 4
Week 11 stats: 24-of-33 for 297 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs. 5 carries for 15 yards (3.0 average).
Reuter's analysis: Through most of the first half, Trubisky was in control of the Tar Heels' offense. His ability to place the ball on sideline and seam throws was impressive, as was his consistent checking of two or three options on a pass play. His excellent mobility outside the pocket was evident, as well. Trubisky did struggle with running the two-minute offense at the end of the first half, failing to avoid pressure and nearly throwing an interception into a Cover 2 look. His first interception came on the first drive of the second half from a ball tipped at the line. During the rest of the game, UNC coaches took the ball out of his hands on early downs, making very conservative calls. Trubisky didn't see many good options on the 3rd-and-longs that he saw, and the pressure given up by his offensive line overwhelmed him. On the final drive, Trubisky picked up a first down with his feet and a miscommunication with his receiver led him to throw a game-ending interception. This was an up-and-down performance.

5. Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan (at Iowa, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Last week: No. 5
Week 11 stats: 5 tackles, 1 QB hurry.
Reuter's analysis: Peppers plays his role as a nickel linebacker well, but his game against Iowa showed his potential as a safety. He played the last line of defense multiple times. Peppers stopped Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard from picking up a first down by chasing him from the middle of the field to the left sideline on one occasion. He again prevented a huge play by going across the field to stop a run later in the first quarter. Peppers struggled a bit more playing the run near the line, getting swallowed up by tackles at the point and missing backs in traffic. But it was easy to imagine him playing off the line a bit as a safety. Peppers didn't make plays on offense tonight, as Iowa was prepared when he was on the field. He did break loose on one third-quarter punt return, however, changing direction and accelerating to get needed field position in a tight game. Michigan scored the go-ahead field goal on that drive, but couldn't seal the victory over the Hawkeyes, who converted on their own three-point play to get the win.

6. Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama (vs. Mississippi State, Saturday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: No. 7
Week 11 stats: 2 tackles, 2 QB hurries
Reuter's analysis: With Mississippi State basically refusing to run the ball, and Nick Saban able to rotate linemen as the game got out of hand in the second half, Allen didn't need to have a huge ball game. He played outside contain well when needed, and pushed the pocket a bit from the inside in pass-rush situations. Allen made some plays in the second half, breaking through once to plant quarterback Nick Fitzpatrick into the turf. Later, he forced Fitzpatrick out of the pocket on a play in which Fitzpatrick was intercepted. Even on days when he doesn't make many tackles, scouts see him make an impact.

7. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (vs. Pittsburgh, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Last week: No. 6
Week 11 stats: 52-of-70 for 580 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs. 5 carries for 8 yards (1.6 average).
Reuter's analysis: Watson started off poorly vs. Pittsburgh, and cost his team dearly with a late mistake, despite throwing for a career-high 580 yards. He missed on a deep threw to Deon Cain early, and then stared down a fade into the end zone that was picked off. Watson had another interception when under pressure in the first half, sailing a throw over the middle. He picked it up eventually, though, helping his team stay with the Panthers' offense. Watson threw some darts from the pocket and on the run to move the chains despite a banged-up throwing shoulder. When he keeps his eyes downfield while moving in the pocket, he looks like a future NFL starter. Of course, any throw he made to receiver Mike Williams looked good because the senior receiver went up to get it, even if the back-shoulder throw was a bit inside or the fade was a bit toward the middle of the field. In crunch time, Watson made a terrible choice in the red zone, throwing an interception that led to a Pitt touchdown. The Tigers couldn't stop Pitt from scoring at the end, and Watson's performance will fuel some scouts' worries about his lack of consistency.

8. Jamal Adams, S, LSU (at Arkansas, Saturday, 7 p.m.)
Last week: Knocking on the door
Week 11 stats: 4 tackles (1 for loss).
Reuter's analysis: Adams is known for making big hits around the line of scrimmage, but his pass breakup to start the game made it clear he's capable of big plays everywhere on the field. He was a bit embarrassed in the first half when put to the ground by a stiff arm, and it happened again later in the game. Adams displayed his open-field tackling skills through most of the game, though, and his physicality on coverage, reminding scouts why they love his game. For example, he had two third-down stops vs. tight end Jeremy Sprinkle in about five minutes in the third quarter. Scouts will remember those plays more than the tackling mistakes.

9. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama (vs. Mississippi State, Saturday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: No. 8
Reuter's analysis: On the opening series, Robinson took off downfield consistently to take out linebackers and defensive backs. They didn't stand a chance. When he wasn't on the move Saturday, the Bulldogs couldn't get any rush on his side, as Robinson did his usual "stand-up-and-latch-on" job against the SEC West foe's defensive ends. Quarterback Jalen Hurts never had to worry about anyone coming from Robinson's side of the field while in the pocket. His combination of agility and stength gives Robinson a chance to be a longtime NFL starter on the blind side.

10. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama (vs. Mississippi State, Saturday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: Knocking on the door
Week 11 stats: 3 tackles (2 for loss, including 1 sack), 2 QB hurries.
Reuter's analysis: On his 23rd birthday, Williams made a strong statement early with a sack that showed off his quickness and change of direction. He's also improved his ability to play the run, either staying home when unblocked or stoning a pulling guard to set the edge. An injury sidelined him for a bit in the first half, and he wasn't as explosive after that. He eventually took an early seat because of the Tide's big lead. Scouts will love what they saw early, though, as he showed the all-around game that makes him one of the best prospects in the 2017 draft class.

6 knocking on the door

Orlando Brown, Jr., OT, Oklahoma (vs. Baylor, Saturday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: Unranked
Reuter's analysis: It's not even fair how big and strong Brown is, as he controls college ends off the snap. Forget about running around him with an initial move, as his long arms and agile feet make it a nearly impossible task. Brown must learn to play with more bend, however, as he tends to stand straight up off the snap. In fact, he rarely gets into a three-point stance. He also needs to trust his feet instead of overextending to reach smaller defenders. Scouts know he's athletic enough to do those things (he cut blocks effectively despite his height) but will need to see that change before they'll be comfortable believing that he can handle pro defenders. The same thing was said about Marcus McNeill coming out of Auburn, and he was a Pro Bowl left tackle for the Chargers.

Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee (vs. Kentucky, Saturday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: Unranked
Week 11 stats: 5 tackles, including 1 sack.
Reuter's analysis: In the first half, Barnett often faced a tight end on his side of the field. At times he slipped inside his right shoulder to win the gap, but was covered up by the double-team on run plays. When Barnett was in pass-rush mode, however, he turned the corner and put big hits on the quarterback. He was impressive in chasing down inside runs and shedding single blocks to contain the edge, as well. Barnett does have a strong build to hold the line, but he still gives up size to left tackles, and it was harder for him to win outside as the game moved on. He could use some variation in his pass-rush moves, as well, to become even more difficult to deal with. If an NFL team wants to use him as a linebacker -- he showed explosion from a stand-up rush position and very good short-area quickness to handle that job throughout the contest. Barnett's solid play in this game showed he can be an all-around solid defender at whatever position his NFL team chooses.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (vs. Boston College, Friday, 7:30 p.m.)
Last week: Knocking on the door
Week 11 stats: 18 carries for 108 yards (6.0 average), TD. 2 catches for 12 yards (6.0 average).
Reuter's analysis: The Seminoles' junior star was bottled up by Boston College early in the blowout win, as the Eagles loaded the box to stop him. When in traffic, Cook lacked the strength to power through tackle attempts. He did get outside eventually, accelerating off tackle and cutting inside of defenders to break off runs like a 19-yard first-half score and a 30-yard jaunt early in the second half. If you give him the space to drop his hips, plant, and go, it will be a long night for your defense. Cook showed he could do more than tote the rock, though, presenting solid hands out of the backfield by adjusting well to a throw in the flat. He was used as a lead blocker several times, missing one block that could have helped his quarterback run into the end zone. He was able to handle his blocking assignments on most other plays. His pass protection was fair, though asking him to handle defensive tackles is tough. Cook didn't quite get the Florida State record for career rushing yards on Friday, but he should surpass Warrick Dunn's mark next week at Syracuse (Cook is 19 yards away from breaking the record).

Mike Williams, WR, Clemson (vs. Pittsburgh, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Last week: Unranked
Week 11 stats: 15 catches for 202 yards (13.5 average), TD.
Reuter's analysis: Williams had more than 100 yards in the first quarter on Saturday. On the opening drive of the Tigers' game in Pittsburgh, Williams showed one of the traits scouts love about him -- he went up for a fade throw down the right side, high-pointing the ball to make a big play. He did the same thing on the next drive, going up strong for a 50-50 ball to bring it in. Williams isn't afraid to separate from defenders with an extended arm, as well. His body control, strength when catching the ball in traffic and ability to run through tackle attempts helped the Tigers, including on a couple of late slants that helped the Tigers keep the ball. Williams' hustle to track down a Pittsburgh defender before he could score after an interception might have been his most impressive play in a game where he had many. His only faux-pas was not holding onto a nice pass by Watson against Cover 2 as a safety came over to knock it away. But the way Williams hustled, caught the ball and ran every route in the tree showed his true potential as a WR1 at the next level.

Luke Falk, QB, Washington State (vs. Cal, Saturday, 10:30 p.m.)
Last week: Unranked
Week 11 stats: 36-of-50 for 373 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT. 2 carries for 6 yards (3.0 average).
Reuter's analysis: Falk had an inauspicious beginning to the Cougars' game vs. Cal on Saturday night, overthrowing a ball over the middle for an interception and underthrowing multiple fade throws that would have resulted in touchdowns. Once he got into a groove, however, Falk distributed the ball all over the field as his team put up 56 points on the Bears. It's easy to see why scouts like his game; he moves well within the pocket, uses tall posture, keeps his feet underneath him while surveying the field and possesses a nice, balanced overhand throwing motion that maximizes velocity. Falk displayed nice touch on throws over the middle and consistently hit both sidelines with precise throws in the 12-15 yard area. When leaving the pocket, Falk was able to hit targets on the run, as well as smartly throw the ball away when necessary. Like most Air Raid quarterbacks, Falk will have to show scouts he can operate from under center and correctly read defenses on a consistent basis. But there's no doubt some NFL team will view him as its answer at the quarterback position.

Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State (at Maryland, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Last week: Unranked
Week 11 stats: 1 tackle.
Reuter's analysis: Conley presented all of the attributes you'd want in Saturday's contest vs. Maryland. He wasn't tested by Maryland's passing game very often because his teammates up front did their jobs. Conley lined up in the slot and outside, showing a willingness to press while also displaying the hips to drop quickly into zone coverage when asked. His physicality was evident early in the game, as he helped teammates stop a fourth-and-one play. Conley also shed receiver blocks regularly to attack plays coming his way.

Dropped out: Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer (No. 9 last week), Florida CB Teez Tabor (No. 10 last week), USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knocking on the door last week), Michigan State DL Malik McDowell (knocking on the door last week), Florida CB Quincy Wilson (knocking on the door last week).

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter _@chadreuter_.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content