What we learned from Week 5 in college football

Here's a look at what NFL.com analysts learned about prospects in Week 5 of the college football season.

  1. The must-see QB showdown between Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson wasn't the cleanest performance from either competitor, but it allowed NFL scouts to fill up their respective notebooks with plenty of information on both players.

Jackson was sensational in the contest. He completed 29-of-44 passes for 295 yards with one touchdown and an interception. In addition, Jackson totaled 162 rushing yards on 31 carries while exhibiting enough jaw-dropping moves to validate the comparisons to a young Mike Vick. From his strong arm to his spectacular running skills, Jackson was the most dynamic athlete on the field. Although he is far from polished as a passer, he has enough magic to entice any coach or executive to consider his potential as a franchise QB.

Watson didn't deliver an A-level performance, but showed tremendous heart and courage in guiding the Tigers to the win. He made timely plays throughout the contest, particularly on the game-winning drive, to convince scouts that he can handle the pressure of being a QB1. Despite missing the mark on a number of short and intermediate throws that an elite quarterback should make with ease, he definitely has enough athleticism, arm talent and moxie to play quality football as a pro. Watson needs to become more accurate as a passer to warrant serious consideration as the top QB in college football, but everyone loves a winner and he has a long track record of getting his team to the winner's circle. -- Bucky Brooks

  1. Two players gaining a lot of steam in personnel circles -- North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky and WR Ryan Switzer -- both put on a show today in a last-second win over Florida State. Trubisky showed tremendous poise and accuracy throughout the game and Switzer made a ton of plays. Switzer is a clone of Julian Edelman. He's so quick in the slot and he catches everything (14-158 today). Trubisky has tremendous size (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) and an NFL tool set. I'm looking forward to really studying both of these players. -- Daniel Jeremiah
  1. I thought Florida State RB Dalvin Cook was phenomenal in a loss to North Carolina. He ran the ball with authority, breaking a lot of tackles and fighting for every yard. He showed he could handle a heavy workload. In the passing game, he routinely made defenders miss in space and flashed an explosive burst. However, I was most impressed with his blocking. One particular play stood out to me -- he had a decleating lead block to pave the way for his QB in the second half. He made the block after he'd been heavily featured for a long stretch. That was a great example of his competitiveness and team-first mindset. -- Daniel Jeremiah
  1. Texas left tackle Connor Williams reminds me of the Browns' Joe Thomas. The Longhorns lost to Oklahoma State, but Williams blocked everybody in his way on Saturday. -- Gil Brandt
  1. T.J. Watt did a great job rushing the passer vs. Michigan. He's a big guy (6-5, 243, per school measurements), but he's not as heavy as his brother, J.J. The younger Watt, an outside linebacker for Wisconsin, played lights-out against a good Wolverines team. -- Gil Brandt
  1. There are few guys I've seen that can catch a ball over his head like West Virginia junior wide receiver Shelton Gibson can. He's not a big guy (listed at 6-0, 198), but he has great speed and explosiveness. -- Gil Brandt
  1. Kansas State DE Jordan Willis is relentless. He left the field twice due to injuries in a loss to West Virginia, but came back each time. He's a big, tall, competitive guy and had 2 sacks on Saturday. -- Gil Brandt

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