QB Murray measures 5-10 1/8 at NFL combine

http://www.espn.com/nfl/draft2019/story/_/id/26102751/qb-murray-measures-5-10-1-8-nfl-combine

INDIANAPOLIS — In the measurement heard around the NFL world, or at least all around the NFL’s scouting combine in a matter of minutes, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray was 5-foot-10 1/8 inches tall and weighed in at 207 pounds.

The Heisman Trophy winner’s physical dimensions have been one the hottest topics of discussion in and around the annual gathering for the NFL draft’s top prospects. Murray’s combination of high-end performance in the passing game, his electric running style and overall athleticism make him one of the most intriguing prospects for a quarterback-starved league.

His height would also make him one of the shortest starting quarterbacks in the league’s history.

Two of the quarterbacks Murray’s potential future, in terms of size, have been compared to are Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees and Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson. Brees was 6-0 ¼ and 213 pounds at the 2001 scouting combine while Wilson was 5-10 5/8 and 204 pounds at the 2012 scouting combine. Wilson is the only starting QB in the NFL under 6-feet tall.

Other quarterbacks at the combine were more prototypical size. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins measured 6-3 3/8, 231 pounds. Missouri’s Drew Lock was 6-3 6/8, 228, and Duke’s Daniel Jones was 6-5 1/8, 221.

Wednesday at the combine Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway said he believed Murray had the ability to be a “great player” in the NFL.

“He’s a great athlete and has had a great career,” Elway said. “The one year he played at Oklahoma was great there and shows he’s a great athlete. Obviously, the size is always the question, but we’ve seen guys that have had success in the league that are not necessarily the prototypes as far as when it comes to height. He’s got the ability to be a great player.”

In his one full season as a starter at Oklahoma, Murray finished with 4,361 yards passing with 42 touchdowns to go with 1,001 yards rushing with 12 touchdowns. Murray threw just seven interceptions on the season — and averaged 7.2 yards per carry.

Murray has said he is committed to football even though he has a contract with the Oakland Athletics that includes a $4.66 million signing bonus. The A’s selected Murray with the ninth pick in the 2018 MLB draft.

“I think (height) has been proven to not be as much of a factor maybe as it was years ago,” said Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden Thursday morning. Gruden added he didn’t know if height had a “true impact” on “the position for the performance” of a quarterback. Oakland has the fourth pick in the draft.

Elway did add Murray’s height, or any quarterback’s height, could be an issue if the quarterback was asked to play under center a great deal instead of being in the shotgun. So that any team that would select Murray, or a player like him, in the draft would have to consider putting him in the shotgun all, or most, of the time.

“I will say this, having played the position: when you’re shorter and you’re in shotgun, it doesn’t have nearly the effect because you see much better out of shotgun,” Elway said. “So, if you’re in shotgun and starting in shotgun and that’s the only place you’ve ever been, you can see the field much better from shotgun. So, really, the height from shotgun doesn’t matter nearly as much if it does if you’re coming out from underneath center all the time because by the time you get back there the pocket a lot of times is caving on you. That’s where height does matter a little bit more. But if you’re playing in shotgun every down like a lot of these guys, then the height, to me, does not have nearly the impact that it normally would if you’re coming out from underneath.”

Murray is not expected to throw during his time at the combine, but there has been no confirmation from his camp. He is expected to throw at Oklahoma’s pro day.

Notre Dame 2019 spring football preview: Can Irish remain CFP caliber?

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/26094106/irish-remain-cfp-caliber

Sitting inside the visitor’s locker room at AT&T Stadium on the heels of a 30-3 blowout loss this past December, Notre Dame’s players and coaches said they had no doubts about the program’s ability to compete for national championships in the future.

The Fighting Irish have lost by a combined 55 points in the two postseason games they’ve played with a title shot hanging in the balance this decade. After the first, a 42-14 loss to Alabama at the end of the 2012 season, head coach Brian Kelly said the gap between his team and winning it all felt as large as it ever had. After a Cotton Bowl loss to Clemson in December, Kelly didn’t feel the same “so close, yet so far” doom. He and his players unanimously said that the foundation they built the past two seasons will make them regulars in the College Football Playoff.

Notre Dame is on a short list of schools that have hit double-digit wins in three of the past four seasons. However, the Irish’s formula for success — which doesn’t include a quick-strike juggernaut offense or an abundance of future first-round draft picks — doesn’t match the teams that have become regulars in the sport’s semifinals. With some rebuilding to do on defense and around returning starter Ian Book at quarterback, the 2019 Notre Dame team will go a long way in answering whether the program has maxed out its potential or the confidence Kelly’s players exhibited at the end of 2018 was justified.

2018 record: 12-1

Spring start date: Saturday

Spring game: April 13

Biggest offseason position battle: Linebackers

The loss of Drue Tranquill and Te’Von Coney leaves a crater of experience, skill and leadership in the center of Notre Dame’s defense. That duo combined to make 209 tackles last season. They each made big plays in big moments and served as a good steadying force for the players around them. Second-year defensive coordinator Clark Lea will likely have to dedicate a good deal of spring ball to testing different combinations to try to replace Tranquil and Coney.

Sophomore Bo Bauer, junior Jordan Genmark Heath and senior Jonathan Jones will all have a chance to battle for starting roles after playing primarily on special teams to this point in their careers. Fifth-year senior Asmar Bilal started nine games in the team’s rover spot last season but could slide to an inside spot given the depth behind him at that position. Sophomore Shayne Simon would have to show he’s ready to take over Bilal’s old job for that switch to take place. Lea has lots of options but no clear answers at linebacker yet.

Strength heading into spring: Pass rush

Returning starters Julian Okwara and Khalid Kareem combined for 12.5 sacks on a defensive line that liked to spread the wealth in 2018. Notre Dame’s defensive front has questions to answer up the middle, but its edge rushers (including Daelin Hayes, a regular member of the 2018 rotation) are fast, strong and versatile. Okwara and Kareem both could have jumped to the NFL after strong junior seasons but stand to benefit from another year of development.

Instant impact addition: Punter Jay Bramblett

The biggest loss of experience for Notre Dame this year comes on special teams, where placekicker Justin Yoon and punter Tyler Newsome are both out of eligibility. Yoon set a school record for points scored in his four seasons kicking field goals. Newsome did enough during his career to be the rare specialist named a team captain in his senior season. Bramblett, a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, enrolled in January, and Notre Dame is counting on him to be ready by fall. For better or worse, his freshman season will have a big impact on Notre Dame’s ability to control field position.

2019 game to get excited about now: at Georgia (Sept. 21)

Georgia fans turned Notre Dame Stadium black and red two years ago, when the Bulldogs visited South Bend. Notre Dame heads to Athens in late September for the second half of that home-and-home series. In retrospect, the one-point Georgia win in 2017 was the first sign that Notre Dame had remade itself after a disastrous 2016. This year’s rematch against what will likely be a top-five opponent on the road will be a chance for Kelly and the Irish to prove that they can sustain their ability to compete with college football’s best programs.

Spring storyline to watch: Surprises at the skill positions

Notre Dame needs to replace the production of top receiver Miles Boykin (872 yards, 8 TDs) and top running back Dexter Williams (995 yards, 15 TDs). There are some obvious options with experience. Chris Finke and Chase Claypool combined for 99 catches last season, and both return. Jafar Armstrong emerged as a pleasant surprise with 245 rushing yards last September, while Williams sat out the first four games of the season but faded fast in October and November.

There is room for some new blood to turn heads this spring. Receivers Kevin Austin and Michael Young have the talent to challenge Finke and Claypool for targets in 2019 if they hit their stride and earn Book’s trust in the spring. Boykin was the go-to guy for Book when he found himself in a tight spot. At running back, Tony Jones Jr., Avery Davis and early enrollee Kyren Williams might all be bigger home run threats than Armstrong but have to prove they can be reliable.

2019 NFL combine preview: Kiper, McShay answer biggest draft questions

http://www.espn.com/nfl/draft2019/insider/story/_/id/26078886/2019-nfl-combine-preview-kiper-mcshay-answer-biggest-draft-questions

The best 2019 NFL draft prospects have descended upon Indianapolis for the scouting combine, the most important evaluation event leading up to April’s draft. Prospects will get accurate measurements, go through athletic testing, and meet with teams for in-depth interviews.

With workouts starting Friday — here’s the full schedule — we asked ESPN NFL draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay to answer questions about what they’re keeping an eye on in Indy:


What are you most interested in seeing from the quarterbacks this week?

Kiper: I’ve seen enough of these guys on tape to know what they can do on the field. Now I want to see how they interact with one another. Who takes charge and seizes drills? Who’s the leader of the group? I don’t see my rankings changing much — my top five is Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray, Drew Lock, Daniel Jones and Will Grier — unless something shows up in the medical evaluations, or one of them bombs the interview sessions with teams. For quarterbacks, the combine is much more about what they do off the field and how they carry themselves.

McShay: I want to find out who the alpha dogs are. Each position group has a scout who escorts it around Indy for four days; I want information from that guy. Who are the leaders? Who has the presence? And then there are the interviews. Who impresses on the whiteboard? Those things are a lot more important to me than 40-yard dash times and throwing against air in shorts and T-shirts.

What would be considered a good week for Kyler Murray?

Swinney wants Tigers to turn page as camp starts

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/26097974/swinney-wants-tigers-turn-page-camp-starts

CLEMSON, S.C. — On Tuesday, Clemson players visited the South Carolina State House, where a new sign to be featured on roads throughout the state was unveiled noting the program’s third national championship. A day later, Dabo Swinney was eager to turn the page.

Clemson opened spring practice on Wednesday, with Swinney saying it’s critical the team gets an early start on putting last year’s title in the rearview mirror.

“If you had everybody back, maybe [there’s carryover], but we have so many new faces, and you turn the page quick,” Swinney said. “We’ve got a lot to accomplish. For me, it’s chemistry, it’s leadership, it’s team, it’s the little things.”

If much of Swinney’s opening remarks fell under the label of coachspeak — Trevor Lawrence has to earn the starting QB job again, the freshmen all have so much to learn — there were some hard truths mixed in.

Clemson must replace a host of impact seniors, including the entirety of last year’s defensive line, and the departures might not be over.

Backup tailback Tavien Feaster said he is “all-in” for spring practice but also is taking his situation “day to day.” Feaster, a former ESPN300 recruit, has slipped on the Clemson depth chart and has considered a transfer.

Swinney pointed to the talented group of defensive linemen on the roster as a position to watch. He loves the depth, he said, but all jobs are up for grabs.

What might be tougher to replace than the on-field impact of Christian Wilkins and Clelin Ferrell is the off-field leadership and personality. Asked about new leaders emerging, Swinney rattled off a few names, many of whom have never played a significant role on the field.

Then there’s the issue of complacency. No player on the roster has ended a season outside the College Football Playoff, and many now have two championship rings.

“There’s nothing that carries over,” Swinney said. “You don’t start on second base. We’re right back in the batter’s box.”

That’s the mantra Swinney has been reciting for years, even if the wins tend to undercut its credibility, and he already is working to convince his new team it has a lot left to prove.

“We’ve got a lot to do,” Swinney said, “but we’ve got a lot to work with. And that’s exciting.”

Swinney says its time for Tigers to turn the page

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/26097974/swinney-says-tigers-turn-page

CLEMSON, S.C. — On Tuesday, Clemson players visited the South Carolina State House, where a new sign to be featured on roads throughout the state was unveiled noting the program’s third national championship. A day later, Dabo Swinney was eager to turn the page.

Clemson opened spring practice Wednesday, with Swinney saying it’s critical the team gets an early start on putting last year’s title in the rearview mirror.

“If you had everybody back, maybe [there’s carryover], but we have so many new faces, and you turn the page quick,” Swinney said. “We’ve got a lot to accomplish. For me, it’s chemistry, it’s leadership, it’s team, it’s the little things.”

If much of Swinney’s opening remarks fell under the label of “coach-speak” — Trevor Lawrence has to earn the starting QB job again, the freshmen all have so much to learn — there were some hard truths mixed in.

Clemson must replace a host of impact seniors, including the entirety of last year’s defensive line, and the departures may not be over.

Backup tailback Tavien Feaster said he’s “all in” for spring practice, but also taking his situation “day to day.” Feaster, a former ESPN300 recruit, has slipped on the Clemson depth chart and has considered a transfer.

Swinney pointed to the talented group of defensive linemen on the roster as a position to watch. He loves the depth, he said, but all jobs are up for grabs.

What may be tougher to replace than the on-field impact of Christian Wilkins and Clelin Ferrell is the off-field leadership and personality. Asked about new leaders emerging, Swinney rattled off a few names, many of whom have never played a significant role on the field.

Then there’s the issue of complacency. No player on the roster has ended a season outside the College Football Playoff, and many now have two championship rings.

“There’s nothing that carries over,” Swinney said. “You don’t start on second base. We’re right back in the batter’s box.”

That’s the mantra Swinney has been reciting for years, even if the wins tend to undercut its credibility, and he’s already at work to convince his new team it has a lot left to prove.

“We’ve got a lot to do,” Swinney said, “but we’ve got a lot to work with. And that’s exciting.”

Harris becomes 1st female non-kicker to sign LOI

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/26095947/harris-becomes-1st-female-non-kicker-sign-loi

Toni Harris made history Tuesday, becoming the first female football player at a skill position to sign a letter of intent, accepting a scholarship with Central Methodist University, a college in Missouri.

Harris first made news when she was offered a scholarship in January of 2018 to play football at Bethany College, an NAIA school in Kansas.

The 5-foot-7, 164-pound safety from Detroit had been playing football at East Los Angeles College in California for the past two seasons and will now further her college career at Central Methodist.

Becca Longo, a kicker from Arizona, was the first woman to sign a national letter of intent at the Division II level or higher, signing with Adams State in Colorado last April.

Shelby Osborne signed with Campbellsville University in Kentucky in 2014, but she was not initially on scholarship. The defensive back later received a partial scholarship while enrolled at the school.

Harris began playing football at age 6 in Detroit, and she eventually played wide receiver and cornerback at Redford Union High School in Michigan. While she missed the 2017 season at East Los Angeles College, she had three tackles and one tackle for loss in 2018.

Featured in a Toyota commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, Harris has had a spotlight on her journey since she received her first offer from Bethany College.

Being a female, she had a difficult time finding a junior college that would let her play football, which is how she wound up at East Los Angeles College, where she was given an opportunity.

“A lot of coaches didn’t believe in me,” Harris told ESPN in January. “A coach told me nobody’s ever going to play you to be at the next level. In the end, you’ve got to push yourself. I’m going to focus on my goals.”

Her ultimate goal is to play in the NFL, but for now she is content with the opportunity ahead of her at Central Methodist.

“The NFL is the dream,” Harris said in an ESPNW Q&A. “I’m going to be working toward that until the death of me. Whether I go drafted or undrafted, I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep my faith and God is going to take me there.”

Spring previews for 20 top college football teams

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/26038293/spring-previews-20-top-college-football-teams

As college football teams return to the field for spring practice, here’s a look at what the nation’s top teams are expecting this spring. What will Alabama’s new coaching staff look like? How will Michigan’s offense evolve? Which true freshmen are ready to burst onto the scene? And what will Jalen Hurts look like under Lincoln Riley’s tutelage? We break down those questions and more for the nation’s top teams as we gear up for spring ball.

Michigan

Is this (finally) the Wolverines’ year?
It’s been 14 seasons since Michigan’s football team won a Big Ten title, and fans are searching for hope. Preview

Texas

With marquee QB, the Longhorns are back
In Sam Ehlinger, Texas has a star quarterback for the first time in a decade, and he’s surrounded by blue-chip talent. Preview

LSU

Can Tigers build on their success?
There’s optimism in Death Valley after a 10-win season, with experience back on offense and elite recruits on the way. Preview

Miami

Manny Diaz is reinventing the U
Developing a quarterback and reshaping the offense are key priorities this spring for new coach Diaz and Miami. Preview

USC

Plenty of questions after losing season
The Trojans’ fan base is unhappy, the upcoming schedule is brutal, and there’s uncertainty if JT Daniels is the answer at QB. Preview

Alabama

Tide looks to regroup after title loss
The expectations — winning a national title — remain the same in Tuscaloosa, despite serious player and coaching turnover. What’s next for Alabama this spring? Preview

Ohio State

A new era for the Buckeyes
Ryan Day takes over for Urban Meyer, with Georgia QB transfer Justin Fields getting a chance to lead the offense. Preview

Florida State

Uncertain future for Seminoles
Florida State’s program is no longer at the top of the ACC. Can a strong secondary vault the Seminoles back toward dominance? Preview

Oklahoma

Hurts helps offense, but can defense keep up?
The Sooners’ offense — with new quarterback Jalen Hurts — should keep rolling. But can the defense improve enough to make Oklahoma title-worthy? Preview

Oregon

Can the Ducks make a CFP push?
With star quarterback Justin Herbert and arguably the Pac-12’s most talented roster, Oregon could be the conference’s best hope. Preview

Georgia

Can the Dawgs get past Alabama?
The Bulldogs will have a new look in 2019, but Kirby Smart’s squad will still be loaded with talent as it seeks to get past Nick Saban & Co. Preview

Michigan State

Can the Spartans’ offense bounce back?
Mark Dantonio shuffled his coaching staff, hoping it will shake up the Spartans’ attack this season. Preview

Clemson

Can you improve on 15-0?
Trevor Lawrence and a dynamic offense return for Dabo Swinney, but the Tigers will need to replace a lot of talent on defense. Preview

Who’s next?

Feb. 28: Notre Dame
March 1: Tennessee
March 4: Texas A&M
March 5: Penn State
March 6: Florida
March 7: Nebraska
March 8: Auburn

2019 Heisman odds analysis: Tua vs. Trevor, sleepers, long shots

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/26092734/2019-heisman-odds-analysis-tua-vs-trevor-sleepers-long-shots

Despite being outplayed by Clemson counterpart Trevor Lawrence in the national championship game, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the offseason betting favorite to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy.

Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released opening odds that put Tagovailoa as the favorite at 5-2, just ahead of Lawrence at 3-1.

Tagovailoa emerged as the favorite at Westgate in August last year, even before Alabama coach Nick Saban had named him the starter. He remained at the top throughout the regular season, throwing for 36 touchdowns with only two interceptions, while leading the Crimson Tide into the SEC championship game undefeated.

But after Tagovailoa struggled in Atlanta before leaving the Georgia game with an ankle injury, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray overtook him to win the Heisman the following weekend. Then, in the national title game, Lawrence shined with 347 passing yards and three touchdowns, while Tagovailoa was shaky again, tossing two interceptions as Clemson routed the Crimson Tide 44-16.

Yet almost two months later, despite Tagovailoa’s late-season slide, Westgate considers him to be the favorite once again, despite Lawrence’s spectacular playoff performances.

Both Tagovailoa and Lawrence return most of their top weapons on offense, as Alabama brings back its top three receivers, led by Biletnikoff winner Jerry Jeudy, plus Jaylen Waddle, Henry Ruggs III and DeVonta Smith. Clemson, meanwhile, returns star tailback Travis Etienne and the dynamic receiving combo of Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross.

Tagovailoa’s former Alabama teammate, Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, tied for the third-best odds at 6-1, alongside Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, whom the NCAA recently ruled eligible for the 2019 season after he transferred in from Georgia.

Here are some more thoughts on the initial list:

Sleepers to watch
Both Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond and Purdue’s Rondale Moore bring interesting value all the way down at 50-1. Both are coming off breakout 2018 campaigns, Mond in his first season as the Aggies’ full-time starting quarterback, and Moore, as a lethal true freshman.

Moore topped the Big Ten last year with 1,258 receiving yards, and was the league’s top all-around playmaker, with 14 touchdowns and a series of electric returns. If he delivers even more breathtaking performances in 2019, like the one he delivered in the upset blowout of Ohio State, he could be a factor in the Heisman.

Mond and the Aggies, meanwhile, have the look of a preseason top 10 team, with several key players returning from last year for coach Jimbo Fisher. If the Aggies can knock off Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide in College Station on Oct. 12, Mond could make a legitimate Heisman run, similar to former A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, whose performance at Alabama catapulted him all the way to the 2012 Heisman.

Long shot to watch
Despite sitting the first four games of the 2017 season, Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate unbelievably rose into the top three of the ESPN Heisman Watch by November with a string of video game-like statistical barrages.

But by comparison last year, Tate disappointed while attempting to transition into more of a pocket quarterback, as opposed to a run-first one.

Under first-year coach Kevin Sumlin, Tate upped his passing attempts by a third from the year before. But after rushing for 1,411 yards in 2017, he ran for only 224 last year; he also completed only 56 percent of his passes, as the Wildcats failed to make a bowl game.

The talent, however, is still there. And even at 100-1, Tate has the potential to return to the Heisman conversation, should he regain that sensational 2017 form.

Overvalued pick
Had it not been for Lawrence, Martinez might have been a freshman All-American. He passed for 2,617 yards, completed 65 percent of his passes and rushed for 629 yards and eight touchdowns. And yet despite that, Nebraska went 4-8, including 3-6 in the Big Ten’s mediocre West Division.

The Huskers did play better down the stretch, and figure to be improved in coach Scott Frost’s second season; Martinez is the biggest reason for that.

But no quarterback, save for Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung in 1956, has ever won the Heisman with more than three regular-season losses. Though not inconceivable, it’s difficult to see Nebraska making that kind of leap in 2019, making Martinez’s value at 6-1 curious.

The five most intriguing prospects at the 2019 NFL combine

http://www.espn.com/nfl/draft2019/insider/story/_/id/26084856/the-five-most-intriguing-prospects-2019-nfl-combine

There’s no question Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray is the most intriguing prospect at the 2019 NFL combine. Is he shorter or lighter than the 5-foot-10, 195 pounds he’s listed at by Oklahoma? Can he convince NFL decision-makers that he’s focused on football and won’t give it up to go back to baseball? Will he show off his arm in workouts? Will he run a 40-yard dash or compete in other athletic testing drills?

He’s far from the only prospect teams will be closely watching, however, as testing gets underway Thursday. Here are five others to keep an eye on in Indianapolis:


Scouts Inc. ranking: No. 1 DS, No. 35 overall

Rapp reportedly ran a 6.57-second three-cone and a 3.88 short shuttle time last March. That would have been the third-fastest three-cone time among safeties last year, and the fastest short shuttle run by any defensive back since 2016. If he’s 200 pounds, runs in the low 4.5s in the 40-yard dash and his arm length checks out, along with those kinds of times in the agility drills, he’ll have the testing and tape to push for the top safety spot and the first round.

Scouts Inc. ranking: No. 6 WR, No. 49 overall

College football trades wed make if we could

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/26033280/college-football-trades-make-could

The NBA trade deadline came and went with its usual theatrics. We waited with bated breath to see who would win the Anthony Davis sweepstakes, only to watch some delicious pettiness ensue by the New Orleans Pelicans, who were not about to let LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers grab their superstar.

But there were plenty of other movers and shakers, including Eastern Conference contenders Toronto, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. It’s going to be a wild finish on that side of the league, thanks to another eventual trade deadline.

Just imagine if college football had such a thing.

To be a fly on the wall while Nick Saban calls up Jim Harbaugh to talk moving some guys. Imagine Dabo Swinney’s twang trying to match Dan Mullen’s bravado on the line.

You’d surely replace silly tampering with even sillier pettiness.

It’s all a fantasy, but for the third straight year, we’re left daydreaming of what could be if we had trades in college football.

Here are nine trades we’d love to see before the 2019 college football season:

1. Washington junior QB Jacob Eason for Florida State junior DT Marvin Wilson and senior CB Levonta Taylor

Florida State is desperate to get things going on offense, and that means the Noles need an elite quarterback. Eason is expected to be Washington’s starter this year — after sitting out 2018 — and he was the No. 1 QB prospect in the 2016 recruiting class and a 13-game starter in the SEC at Georgia before a knee injury ended his 2017 season early. Washington needs help all over its defense, but especially up front. The athletic, versatile, 300-plus-pound Wilson was the No. 1 DT prospect in 2017 and registered 4.5 TFLs, including 3.5 sacks last season. Taylor is coming off an injury but is a shutdown corner and All-American type when he’s healthy.

2. Missouri senior QB Kelly Bryant for Wisconsin sophomore CB Faion Hicks and junior S Eric Burrell

Another quarterback on the move! With Mizzou playing for nothing in 2019 because of NCAA sanctions, Bryant deserves to go somewhere that can get him back on the national scene. Wisconsin needs a talented, experienced QB in the worst way, and Mizzou needs all the help it can get in the SEC’s worst secondary in 2018. Couple Bryant with All-American running back Jonathan Taylor, and Wisconsin shoots to the top of the Big Ten West. The Badgers have a ton of depth in their secondary, so parting with two of their best DBs is well worth getting Bryant. Hicks started 11 games in 2018 and grabbed an interception with four pass breakups.

3. Texas senior WR Devin Duvernay and freshman ATH Jordan Whittington for Arizona State junior RB Eno Benjamin

If Texas can get its running game going, the Longhorns become real College Football Playoff contenders. Giving up two talented WRs to land the Pac-12’s best back is something Tom Herman has to do. Arizona State just lost its best player in receiver N’Keal Harry and is thin at the position. Texas has around 12 guys who could play receiver this season. Duvernay has two years of eligibility left after catching 41 passes for 546 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. Whittington is a true freshman who is already enrolled and could play all over on offense. He was the No. 40 player in this year’s ESPN 300 and accumulated 5,400 all-purpose yards and 60 total touchdowns in his past three prep seasons. All Benjamin did was lead the Pac-12 with 1,642 rushing yards and 16 rushing TDs last season.

4. Alabama junior WR Henry Ruggs for Cal senior MLB Evan Weaver

It was clear all season that the Tide needed more help at middle linebacker. Alabama needs a leader with a host of talent there. Weaver is the perfect fit after ranking second in the Pac-12 with 158 tackles (88 solo) and spurning the NFL. He also had nine TFLs with 4.5 sacks. Alabama has a plethora of talent returning at receiver, and Ruggs instantly becomes the best player on the field for Cal. Ruggs has two years left and just caught 46 passes for 741 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.

5. Oregon sophomore LT Penei Sewell for Florida senior WR Van Jefferson and sophomore WR Jacob Copeland:

This would be a tough move for Oregon coach Mario Cristobal, who absolutely loves Sewell, but with so much good depth along the offensive line and a huge need for playmakers at receiver, he just has to do it. Getting Penn State grad transfer Juwan Johnson was big, but Jefferson is a superior route runner and has tremendous explosion off the line. Copeland was an ESPN 300 member in the 2018 class, and he has tremendous potential. Florida just lost its longtime starter at left tackle, and Sewell has SEC athleticism and an SEC build to be a franchise left tackle for the Gators.

6. Ohio State sophomore DE Tyreke Smith for Georgia sophomore OL Cade Mays

Georgia needs a pass-rusher, and Ohio State needs a monster offensive lineman. Both schools have plenty of depth where the other needs help. These guys have a ton of potential and would be immediate impacts for their new teams in 2019. Smith played sparingly last season, but people around the program think he’s a budding star on the outside. Mays can play multiple positions up front, and the former ESPN 300 member started seven games in 2018 and played on 75 percent of Georgia’s offensive plays in SEC play.

7. Oklahoma freshman WR Theo Wease Jr. for Iowa junior DE A.J. Epenesa

The Sooners have receivers for days, and even though Wease was part of one of the greatest freshman receiver classes in history, Oklahoma needs way more immediate help on defense. New defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has a very aggressive scheme, and he needs a top-flight pass-rusher. Epenesa led the Big Ten with 10.5 sacks and was fourth with 16.5 TFLs in 2018. Iowa’s defense would take a major hit, but man, does Iowa need a spark on offense. Wease was the nation’s No. 3 receiver prospect and would get on the field on Day 1.

8. Clemson sophomore Lyn-J Dixon for Boise State junior LB Curtis Weaver

Believe it or not, the defending champs need some help in 2019. People will look at all those losses on the defensive line, but with stars waiting in the wings there, linebacker is a much bigger priority. In steps Weaver, who is being looked at as a potential top draft pick in 2020. Weaver is a hybrid LB/DE and has 20.5 sacks in two years. But he’s rangy enough to be a true linebacker for the Tigers. Dixon was third on the team with 547 rushing yards in 2018 and has a lot of upside. He was an ESPN 300 member in 2018 and would replace outgoing star back Alexander Mattison, who led the Mountain West with 1,415 yards and 17 touchdowns last season

9. UCF redshirt sophomore QB Darriel Mack Jr. for Auburn junior DE Big Kat Bryant

Auburn has to replace two-year starter Jarrett Stidham, and the young Mack would fit perfectly in Gus Malzahn’s offense. Mack doesn’t have a ton of experience, but he did start UCF’s final two games after McKenzie Milton suffered a serious knee injury. He totaled 956 total yards of offense with nine scores last season but will likely sit behind Notre Dame grad transfer Brandon Wimbush if McKenzie can’t play. UCF lost three starting defensive linemen, and Bryant has major upside after being an SEC all-freshman in 2017.