In a weekly feature, NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah identifies five players whose stock is on the rise and five others who failed to live up to expectations.
Hot 100 seniors
1. Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: Opening the season against Ohio State provided a big stage for one of the best senior prospects in the country. Mack delivered in a big way. He finished the game with nine tackles, 2.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. Those stats alone would've put him on this list, but to top off his dominant performance, he also added an interception return for a score. He was easily the best football player on the field and his play created a buzz across the scouting community.
2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: Much has been made about Louisville's cupcake schedule, but that is out of Bridgewater's control. He did what he was supposed to do against an inferior Ohio University defense. He completed 23 of 28 passes for 355 yards and five touchdowns in the Cardinals' 49-7 thrashing of the Bobcats. He is an effortless thrower and his ball placement was excellent on Sunday.
3. Christion Jones, WR/RS, Alabama: Jones was a one-man wrecking crew in Alabama's season-opening victory over Virginia Tech. He returned the very first punt of the game for a 72-yard score and later returned a kickoff for a 94-yard touchdown. In the third quarter, he capped off the scoring by hauling in a 38-yard touchdown pass on a fade route. Alabama has plenty of elite players, but Jones stole the show in this contest.
4. James Hurst, OT, North Carolina: Hurst drew the toughest assignment on the opening week of the college football season. He squared off against South Carolina's All-American pass rusher, Jadeveon Clowney. The Gamecocks did move Clowney around in this contest, but he lined up over Hurst on plenty of occasions and the Tar Heels' left tackle more than held his own. He effectively ran Clowney around the quarterback when he tried to beat him outside. When faced with a power rush, Hurst displayed the balance, knee-bend, and anchor to stall Clowney's charge.
5. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson:
Boyd was outstanding in the Tigers' 38-35 victory over Georgia. He completed 18 of 30 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. He also contributed two rushing touchdowns, including one where he powered through defenders to tie the score before the end of the first half. If not for a few dropped passes, he would've thrown for well over 300 yards against the country's fifth-ranked team.
1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: Clowney produced a few pressures against North Carolina, and he flashed his explosive burst to run down ball carriers, but his overall play wasn't up to his usual standard. His lack of conditioning was evident throughout the game, as he continually doubled over in between plays. He told reporters he was battling an illness and that could explain why he took so many plays off against the Tar Heels. I don't expect this to be much of an issue going forward as he works himself into football shape, but it wasn't a great start to the season for the most talented player in college football.
2. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech: Thomas wasn't given much support from his offensive teammates, but it's tough to excuse his stat line: 5-of-26 for 59 yards and an interception. He played well in 2011 before suffering through a brutal 2012 campaign. Scouts were eager to see which version of Thomas would show up in 2013. He will have plenty of time to impress NFL decision-makers as the season rolls along, but this wasn't the start he was hoping for.
3. Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson: Bryant's performance was one of the few downers in Clemson's big win over Georgia. There was plenty of hype surrounding the talented junior wide receiver, but he failed to deliver on that promise Saturday night. He dropped three catchable balls, including one beautifully thrown deep ball by Boyd. He has the size and athleticism to become a home-run threat in this already explosive offense, but he must become a more consistent pass catcher.
4.David Fales, QB, San Jose State: The table was set for Fales to have a monster game against FCS opponent Sacramento State. However, Fales only completed 50 percent of his passes (16-32) while tossing for 225 yards and two scores. Those numbers aren't shabby, but they aren't what we've been accustomed to seeing from the Spartans' signal-caller. Last season, Fales completed at least 65 percent of his passes in every game.
5. Marqise Lee, WR, USC: Lee posted an impressive stat line at Hawaii (eight catches for 104 yards), but he had three costly errors for the Trojans. He dropped an easy ball that would've converted a fourth down in the first quarter, lost a fumble on a punt return in the second quarter and later dropped a deep ball in the fourth quarter. He had fumbling issues last year as well, and that is an area of his game that he needs to improve.