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Week 8 college football standouts

Williams is Elusive, Paye is Disruptive

North Carolina State v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Kwity Paye and Javonte Williams are the top NFL Draft prospects in terms of their Week 8 performances.

Paye shined in his season debut as Michigan and the rest of the Big 10 kicked off their season while Williams continues his impressive junior season. Before games kicked off Saturday, I highlighted Paye as one of the prospects to watch as Michigan took on a dangerous Minnesota offense. I noted Paye being talented but that he had “room to grow” as a pass rusher. Well, if Saturday is any indicator, Paye the pass rusher has arrived.

Kwity Paye had two sacks and one more TFL against Minnesota and that doesn’t even begin to tell the story of how disruptive the senior defender was. Paye was getting pressure and penetration on what felt like every down and he impressively did it from multiple alignments. Paye’s talent and athleticism have never been in question, nor has his motor. Against Minnesota, however, you could see Paye’s improvement in technique translating to actual sack production. If he continues this level of play, or anywhere near it, for the rest of the season, Paye will play his way into top ten consideration this spring.

While Kwity Paye was making Minnesota’s offense look disjointed, Javonte WIlliams was similarly embarrassing NC State’s defense. The 220 pound junior running back had an outstanding performance where he forced SEVENTEEN missed tackles (Per PFF). SEVENTEEN!

Williams does not look like a power back with the way he accelerates through the line of scrimmage outruns angles. However, whenever he makes contact with defenders, especially in this NC State game, he makes his size and strength felt.

Williams is having a breakout season with the Tar Heels. After rushing for ten touchdowns in his first two seasons combined, Williams has hit that number through five games in 2020, adding two more as a receiver. It is a crowded field for the 2020 running back class, but Williams is asserting himself as one of the nation’s top playmakers and it will be hard for him to stay under the radar any longer.