After a long Labor Day Weekend of watching college football which included games on Thursday night, Friday night, all day Saturday and even more college football on Sunday and Monday nights, there were many performances to be highlighted relative to the 2018 NFL Draft.  I didn't include some obvious outstanding performances such as Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma State players as they played against much weaker opponents and won't improve their draft stock until they have outstanding performances against better competition.
1.  JOSH ALLEN - QB - 6-5 222- JRr - WYOMING - While some thought that he might declare for the draft last year after he had a breakout season and lost many of his offensive weapons, he decided to return to improve in some areas of his QB play and has shown some improvement.  While many thought that he had a bad performance against Iowa, I thought that the "traits" that he displayed will have him moving up draft boards even further.  And while he will be criticized for a 23 for 40 and 174 yards with 2 Interceptions in the 4th quarter, it must be remembered that he had little to work with as far as weapons and with a ground game that could only muster 59 yards.  Also there was a dropped pass in the end zone and a very tough Iowa defense.  What he did show was good footwork and a nice throwing motion with a live arm who was throwing lasers on the deep out.  He threw one laser for a completion off of his back foot and showed that he can elude the rush and even shake off would be sackers despite being sacked three times.  He can make nice throws while rolling to his right and all things considered is a great talent.  I for one was surprised that he returned to Wyoming for this season as he had such a weak supporting cast returning.
2.  JOSH ROSEN - QB - 6-3 218 - JR. - UCLA - In a Heisemanesque dramatic comeback 45 - 44 win over Texas A&M after being battered around in the first half, Rosen should have eliminated any doubts about his toughness.  This was a game of two halves for Rosen and for UCLA as the Bruins were losing 44 to 10 during the 3rd quarter when they went on a tear for 35 unanswered points.  A report prior to the season claimed that Rosen's right shoulder might be a real issue and might not pass the Combine's medical exam after the season is over, but he didn't seem to have any trouble throwing except for one deep ball that was underthrown and should have been intercepted but went through the defender's hands and landed with a UCLA player for a TD.  He also had another lucky TD when he was rolling to his left under pressure and he just heaved the ball into the end zone and fortunately a teammate ran under it for the score.  The Bruins couldn't get much done in the first half as they were thoroughly outplayed and Rosen was getting battered around.  It should be noted that Rosen was wearing a big knee brace and at one point in the 1st half came up limping after a sack but he continued to play.  His stat line for the game was 35-59-59.3%-491 yards -4TD - 0 Int. and 3 sacks and, while I don't have the breakdown for the 1st and 2nd halves, I believe that there was a big difference with a positive 2nd half and negative 1st half stat line. Another report prior to the season claimed that scouts questioned whether Rosen loved the game and while I am not a mind reader one thing is clear and that is that he is a competitor. And what he does have for a skill-set is that he stands tall in the pocket, has a nice high release, delivers lasers to all areas of the field and threw well under pressure. He is also very clever as with time running down he faked spiking the ball and then turned and threw a TD pass that climaxed one of the greatest comebacks in history.  His negatives are that he doesn't have the greatest mobility in the pocket and isn't much of a threat to extend plays with his legs but you have to consider that Eli Manning has the same negatives.
3.  MANNY WILKINS - QB - 6-2 197 - JRr - ARIZONA STATE - with the arrival of Alabama transfer Blake Barnett it was speculated that Wilkins would not retain his starting job, but he did and had a fine opening day performance against New Mexico State.  While the stats are impressive with a 22-27-81.5%-300 yards - 13.6 average per completion with 2 TDs and 0 Interception line, it was his ability to drive the ball down the field and to the sidelines and also throw the deep ball well that will impress scouts.  One pass went for 65 yards in the air and hit the receiver in stride for a TD.  He can also maneuver in the pocket but will have to cut down on the seven Sacks in this game after having 34 Sacks last year.
4.  SIMMIE COBBS - WR - 6-3 220 - JRr - INDIANA - In the Hoosiers 49 - 21 loss to Ohio State Cobbs stood out with an 11 catch for 149 yards, 13.5 per catch average and 1 TD performance, which included 2 sideline catches whereby he high pointed the ball with one hand.  He used his 4.4 speed and his height to advantage and is picking up where he left off after the 2015 season as he missed most of 2016 with ankle surgery.  NFL teams would probably like to see more over the middle catches as most of his catches were down the sideline.  In addition, his off the field issues will be a source of concern.  His teammate, TE IAN THOMAS, had a breakout game with 5 catches and 2 TDs.  A breakout season had been predicted by his coaches.
5.  CHUKWUMA OKORAFOR - LT - SR. - WESTERN MICHIGAN - having better than prototypical size at 6-5 330 with very long arms, Okorafor played well in the Broncos opening day loss to USC.  He has the size and length with quick feet and some natural knee bend and hip roll.  He will need work in Pass Protection with his kick-slide to have more sliding than hip-hopping and he will also have to eliminate those False Starts, but he has the "traits" to develop into a starting LT in the NFL.  I think he is a better prospect than former teammate Taylor Moton, who was drafted in the 2nd Round of the 2017 Draft by the Carolina Panthers.
6.  BILLY PRICE - CENTER 6-3 312 - SRr - OHIO STATE - Price played Right Guard in 2015 and 2016 and while I thought that he was outstanding in 2015 with a little drop off in his play in 2016, all of that is water under the bridge at this point as he came back in 2017 in great shape to take over the Center duties with the graduation of Pat Elflein, who was a 3rd Round draft choice of the Vikings.  Price is quick off the snap and has the quick feet, power and contact balance along with being a sound technician who will get high grades in his blocking assignments, which was demonstrated in the Week 1 win over Indiana. He will become an immediate starter for whichever team is smart enough to draft him.
7.  CARL GRANDERSON - DE - 6-4 255 - JR. - WYOMING - gone unnoticed in the Cowboys being outclassed by Iowa in the 24 - 3 loss was the play of DE Carl Granderson.  Coming out of high school he had no ranking as he was only 185 pounds but grew to 227 pounds in 2016 where after six games he went down with an ACL injury.   ACL recovery kept him out of 2017 spring practice, but he was back in the fall at 255 pounds and in the opener showed quickness with a pass rush and an ability to play off blocks.  This ability resulted in 3 Solo Tackles, 6 Assisted Tackles along with a Sack and another 1/2 Tackle for Loss and 2 QBH and a Forced Fumble.  Still developing, he will be a player to watch for the rest of the 2017 season.
8.  JOSHUA JACKSON - CB - 6-1 192 - JRr - IOWA - While Iowa LBers Josey Jewell and Ben Niemann received much acclaim for the Hawkeyes 24 - 3 win over Wyoming, I thought that CB Joshua Jackson was the one who improved his draft stock more than anyone else.  He had his first start in last season's Outback Bowl only because of injuries to the first and second stringers, but this year the starting spot was all his and in the opener against heralded Wyoming QB Josh Allen Jackson played a huge part in helping to stymie Allen.  He was in on a number of tackles, covered well, had a Pass Breakup and an Interception.
1.  RILEY FERGUSON - QB - MEMPHIS - my No. 1 Sleeper in pre-season rankings to crack the top ten of QBs he looked nothing like he did last year when he directed the Tigers to an 8 - 5 record with the big win being a 48-44 over Houston.  In a heavy rainstorm last Thursday night against UL-Monroe his performance cannot be totally blamed on the rain as his decision making, off balance throws, wobbly passes and lack of arm strength were on him.  He has the remainder of the year to make amends but that 10 for 25 and 97 yards and an Interception passing stat was a woeful performance.
2.  JAMARCO JONES - LT - OHIO STATE - A second team All Big Ten performer by both the Coaches and Media in 2016 and one of my top ten Tackles in pre-season rankings, his performance in the much anticipated matchup with Indiana last Thursday night left much to be desired.  He will complete a number of his assignments on blocks and then he will be unsteady and beaten on other blocking tasks.  He does get beat on his kick-slide on pass protection and was beaten off the snap on an inside move to stop a key short yardage 3rd down play.  Based upon this performance he would be an undrafted Free Agent.
3.  JA'VON ROLLAND-JONES - OLB - 6-2 244 - SRr - ARKANSAS STATE - Two time Sun Belt All Conference and 2016 Conference Player of the Year as a DE (who will transition to OLB in the NFL), he came up a cropper in the Red Wolves opener against Nebraska.  He had 0 Solo Tackles with only 2 Assisted Tackles to show for the game.  Last year he had 13.5 Sacks with an additional 7.0 Tackles for Loss and 7 QB Hurries and was No. 95 in Sports Illustrated top 100 players for the 2017 season.