November 17, 2012; Pasadena, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans tight end Randall Telfer (82) holds back UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) from getting to Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley (7) in the third quarter of the game at the Rose Bowl. UCLA won 38-28. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Week three of the college football season is in the books, and what a week it was. Alabama and Texas A&M stole all the headlines, but there was a lot of quality college football being played around the country, specifically a game played at Nebraska where the Huskers were dominated by the UCLA Bruins.
A couple of UCLA players may be rising high enough to challenge for a top five selection, but I still think there is a clear-cut favorite for this year’s number one overall pick until proven otherwise. Here is our latest top five power rankings for what player will be the number one overall pick in 2014.
1. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Here’s Bridgewater’s stat line through three games:
The kid is absolutely lighting it up. If he chooses to leave after his junior season (hard to believe he still has another year of eligibility left) he will undoubtedly be the number one overall pick, likely to the Jacksonville Jaguars at this point. Bridgewater is a very smart quarterback with great ball placement and he also has solid athletic ability. I don’t even think Jadeveon Clowney would challenge him for the top spot as of this point in time.
2. Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
Hundley is a player who is seriously on the rise right now. The redshirt sophomore out of UCLA is lighting it up, and on Saturday, he helped key a comeback for a UCLA team that trailed 21-3 to Nebraska on the road. Here are his numbers through just two games:
I may be Hundley’s biggest fan at this point, and may be overrating him to a point, but I think with his ideal size at 6’3″ 220 pounds (roughly) and ability to both run and pass, he could easily be in contention for a number one pick, or at least top five consideration, even at his young age.
3. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Jadeveon Clowney will likely still be a top five or ten pick, but his hotness has worn down considerably since the huge hit he had against Michigan in last year’s bowl game. Through three games, Clowney has two sacks, three tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and 10 total tackles. Those are hardly pedestrian numbers but many expected more out of him. He’s getting a lot of double teams and so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
4. Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA
Barr missed a couple of sacks on Taylor Martinez simply because of the athletic ability he possesses, but make no mistake about it, he was absolutely dominant in UCLA’s comeback win, racking up 11 of his 16 tackles on the season with 1.5 tackles for loss and THREE forced fumbles. Barr was outstanding last season after just one season on the defensive side of the ball, but he elected to go back to UCLA to refine his craft, and it appears to have paid off for him. He could be the best pass rusher in this year’s class if he keeps this up.
5. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Matthews is an outstanding offensive tackle who can play the right or left side in the NFL. He might not have the same luck that Eric Fisher and his former teammate Luke Joeckel did in terms of there not being an elite QB ahead of them on the board, but he’s still worth a strong look in the top five or top 10.