With Week 11 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the weekend's action.
Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma, WR: In the NFL, offensive coordinators covet pass-catchers with polished route-running skills and explosive playmaking ability. That's why Shepard is certain to attract attention from evaluators looking to add a dynamic WR3 to the mix on draft day. The 5-10, 191-pound senior put on a show during Oklahoma's 44-34 win over Baylor. The performance will have scouts salivating over his potential at the next level. Shepard not only showed strong hands and outstanding ball skills during his 14-catch, 177-yard effort that also included a pair of touchdowns, he displayed precise route-running skills to get open against one-on-one coverage on the outside. Given Shepard's ability to win with a variety of releases and stems, the Sooners' standout will garner some attention as a potential slot receiver in meeting rooms around the NFL.
Keenan Reynolds, Navy, QB: The record-breaking playmaker is certainly creating a buzz in scouting circles for his rugged running skills as the director of the Midshipmen's triple-option attack. Reynolds broke the FBS record for career rushing touchdowns Saturday during a four-touchdown performance that showcased his knack for finding paint on hard-hitting runs between the tackles. Although Reynolds' skills aren't conducive to the NFL game, evaluators will definitely entertain the possibility of the 5-11, 205-pounder occupying a role as a punt returner.
Jonathan Allen, Alabama, DE: Scouts always covet long, rangy defenders with pass-rush skills and a knack for creating disruption off the edge. Allen is certainly an intriguing option as a 6-3, 283-pound junior with sneaky first-step quickness and agility. He flashed dominant skills during a three-sack performance against Mississippi State in which he showcased his versatility as a playmaker along the line. With Allen currently ranked second in the SEC with nine sacks, scouts are beginning to pinpoint the junior standout as one of the top defensive playmakers in the country.
Marlon Mack, South Florida, RB: Whenever a running back plays a significant role in a signature win for a program, he deserves a mention on this list. Thus, Mack earns a nomination based on his spectacular performance in South Florida's 44-23 upset win over Temple. The 6-foot, 200-pound sophomore rushed for 230 yards on 21 carries with a pair of scores. Mack also amassed 42 yards and another touchdown through the air. With the Bulls' feature back quietly putting up 100-yard games at an impressive clip (six games with at least 100 rushing yards in 2015), scouts are beginning to pay attention to Mack's exploits as coach Willie Taggart's franchise player.
Ryan Switzer, North Carolina, WR-PR: Scouts pay close attention to wide receivers with exceptional return skills due to the value "two-phase" players add to the roster. With some NFL coaches viewing the kicking game as an offensive play, a guy with a knack for taking punts to the house earns rave reviews in pre-draft meetings. Thus, it's not surprising Switzer is squarely on the radar of scouts looking for an electric slot receiver with explosive return ability. The 5-10, 185-pound junior is on the verge of claiming the NCAA record for punt return touchdowns after taking his seventh punt to the house during North Carolina's 59-21 win over Miami. Switzer's combination of speed, quickness and burst makes him a threat to take it the distance whenever he fields a kick in the open field, but it is his fearlessness, body control and wiggle that make him one of the best returners in college football. With points coveted at a premium in the NFL, Switzer's ability to take it the distance on special teams could make him a hot commodity down the road.
Jehu Chesson, Michigan, WR: Playmakers are always coveted at a premium in NFL circles. That's why scouts will pay close attention to the tape of Chesson's four-touchdown effort (10 catches for 207 yards) against Indiana that highlighted his playmaking prowess in the clutch. Chesson delivered a handful of impact plays throughout the game, and he came down with a touchdown catch to keep Michigan alive with the clock expiring in regulation. A 6-3, 207-pound receiver with long arms and strong hands, Chesson will intrigue coaches searching for a red-zone weapon on draft day. Although he wasn't a major contributor for the Wolverines' offense prior to 2015, Chesson's strong senior campaign will make him an enticing prospect to follow throughout the process.
Kevin Hogan, Stanford, QB: Just when scouts were starting to warm up to the Cardinal standout, he delivered a dud performance in a prime-time game that sealed his fate as a developmental prospect on most draft boards. Despite throwing for 304 yards and completing more than 75 percent of his passes against Oregon (28 of 37 with two scores and an interception), evaluators will harp on Hogan's critical mistakes (two botched snaps) in the fourth quarter that kept the Cardinal from closing out the game. Although the senior deserves credit for leading the offense down the field on a potential game-tying drive, the fact that he mismanaged a pair of center-quarterback exchanges is inexcusable for an experienced player. With Hogan already on shaky ground with evaluators due to his inconsistent play over the past two seasons, it's hard to envision the senior earning good grades from scouts searching for a franchise quarterback.
Everett Golson, Florida State, QB: It seems like it was only yesterday when scouts were comparing Golson to Russell Wilson, but those comparisons are long gone after watching the Florida State senior turn the ball over on three of five drives in the Seminoles' 34-17 win over North Carolina State. The 6-foot, 185-pound senior has thrown three interceptions in his last 17 pass attempts and is beginning to look like the turnover machine that lost his starting job at Notre Dame last season. With Golson heading for a spot on the bench behind Sean Maguire, it is hard to sell the slender passer as a developmental prospect at this time.