With the way BCS contenders have been playing as of late, NFL scouts must be salivating at the idea of what the future holds for potential NFL prospects in the years to come.
Five players from the top two teams in the nation come to mind when I think NFL-ready.
Starting at the top, the Oregon Ducks have had no shortage of scoring, and a lot of credit has to go to three extremely gifted players on offense.
Freshman QB Marcus Mariota has played like a veteran under center, throwing for 2,164 yards, 28 TDs and just five interceptions. The Honolulu, Hawaii native has added 516 yards rushing to his name as well. Currently, Mariota has the best passer rating in the FBS after a 59-17 victory over Cal this past Saturday.
The fact that Mariota has taken such good care of the ball all season is the accomplishment that really stands out on his resume. Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has put Mariota in a position to do well with his playcalling, and as long Kelly is there to mentor him, I believe Mariota could develop into a pro prospect when his time comes.
Oregon also has the luxury of having one of the most dynamic running backs in the nation to add to its electric offense. Kenjon Barner has blazing speed from the moment he touches the ball to the second he crosses that end-zone line, and he isn't just a one-dimensional back.
Barner has accounted for 1,360 yards on the ground and 19 TDs to go along with 219 yards receiving and one TD reception. The senior also has some experience in the return game if NFL scouts are looking for a utility player. What's not to love about Barner?
Finally, the Ducks round out their powerhouse offense with a guy that you could literally plug in anywhere. De'Anthony Thomas doesn't have NFL receiver size at 5'9" but that doesn't mean he won't make plays with the football. Only a sophomore, Thomas has 521 yards rushing, 378 yards receiving, 220 yards in punt returns and 182 yards in kick returns for a total of 12 TDs.
Thomas isn't the type of player that will out-muscle bigger defenders in the NFL, but with enough space, he could burn teams week in and week out.
Then there's the No. 2 team in the nation, the Kansas State Wildcats. While Kansas State has been a surprise contender for most of the season, its Heisman front-runner QB has been on the map since Week 1.
Collin Klein has led his team to an undefeated season with his arm and legs, throwing for 12 TDs and rushing for another 19. At 6'5", Klein has all the features of an NFL quarterback—a strong arm, good decision-making and mobility—but his ability to take over a game is truly what sets him apart from everyone else.
John Hubert is another name that comes to mind when you think about K-State, but the junior running back isn't getting the exposure he deserves with Klein stealing the show. Last season, Hubert rushed for 970 yards and three TDs. In 2012, Hubert has improved his TD total to 12 on the season and currently has 783 yards rushing.
Hubert, at 5'7", has Darren Sproles-like size, but not necessarily the speed. He's like a small bowling ball that enjoys contact. Hubert has the potential, but it's going unnoticed with how much Klein is touching the ball.
Simply from their offense alone, I would have to say that Oregon has the most NFL-ready talent. Scoring more than 54 points a game is a shocking statistic in my mind even though these are just college teams. Oregon's big three are well on their way to an NFL career.
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