PFF’s college football Dream Team

Steve Palazzolo selects the top performers at every position heading into Week 3 of the season.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

PFF’s college football Dream Team


Jared Goff, Cal +9.9

One of the nation’s best passing quarterbacks through two games, Goff leads the country with an accuracy percentage of 83.3 percent on the deep ball (10-of-12 for 356 yards, two touchdowns) while ranking fourth in overall accuracy percentage at 85.2 percent. He has the NFL’s attention.

Running Backs

Dalvin Cook, Florida State +4.9 rush grade

Coming into the season, it was all about Nick Chubb vs. Ezekial Elliott, but Florida State’s Dalvin Cook has thrust himself into the mix. He’s coming off a 274-yard effort that included 13 forced missed tackles against USF. Keep an eye on Cook’s Heisman campaign to heat up soon.

Nick Chubb, Georgia +3.0 rush grade

As for Chubb, he’s carried on as expected, averaging 8.9 yards/carry including 4.3 yards after contact per carry after leading all power-5 running backs in elusive rating a year ago.

Wide Receivers

JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC, +6.0 receiving

True sophomore Juju Smith-Schuster has emerged as the top playmaker for the Trojans as he’s caught 14-of-15 passes thrown his way for 281 yards (20.1 yards/reception) and three touchdowns.

Will Fuller, Notre Dame +4.7 receiving

Fuller is one of the best deep threats in the country, as evidenced by his touchdown passes of 66, 59, and 39 on the season, including the game-winner against Virginia last weekend.

Corey Coleman, Baylor

Sometimes it looks like Baylor’s offense is just playing Madden, sending fast receivers deep and chucking it up, and Coleman is one of the reason’s it looks so easy sometimes. He leads the nation with 360 receiving yards on only 11 catches, good for an astounding 32.7 yards per reception.

Tight End

O.J. Howard, Alabama, +8.7

Getting old school on us at tight end, Howard has brought a blocking presence to Alabama’s offense (+8.3) while hauling in seven passes for 105 yards through two games.

Offensive Tackles

Roderick Johnson, FSU, +10.8

After flashing last year as a freshman, Johnson has gotten off to an excellent all-around start, grading at +6.8 in the run game while not allowing a pressure on his 60 pass blocking attempts.

Tyrell Crosby, Oregon +10.3

No player had a more up-and-down performance in last year’s College Football Playoff like Crosby (+8.6 in semifinal, -8.6 in championship), but good Crosby has shown up to play early in 2015. He leads all offensive tackles with a run block grade of +9.7.


Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas, +12.2

No player epitomizes Arkansas’ smashmouth style like Tretola who has quietly been one of the best run blockers in the country the last two seasons. He tops the list again at +9.8 while only surrendering one pressure on 78 pass blocking attempts.

Jordan Walsh, Iowa, +10.2

Last season was not always kind to Walsh, but it’s been an impressive start as he’s grading at +8.6 in the run game while not allowing a pressure on 58 attempts.


Ryan Kelly, Alabama, +6.8

Alabama is averaging 7.6 yards per carry through the “A” gaps, and Kelly’s +3.6 run block grade is a big part of that. He’s also perfect in pass protection with no surrendered pressure on 73 attempts.

Edge Rushers

Charles Harris, Missouri, +14.2

Overshadowed by other SEC true freshmen pass rushers last season (Myles Garrett, Derek Barnett), Harris was respectable in his own right and he’s dominated early in 2015. He’s posted two sacks, four hits, and four hurries on 46 rushes to go with a +5.8 grade against the run.

Jordan Jenkins, Georgia, +13.5

Coming off a monster game against Vanderbilt, Jenkins has been strong against the run (+5.2) and disruptive as a pass rusher (+4.9, two sacks, one hit, five hurries). He is tied for the lead among all edge rushers with 13 stops.

Defensive Interior

DeForest Buckner, Oregon, +10.6

Our No. 12 player coming into the season, Buckner has not disappointed as he’s done his usual fine work against the run (+6.1) while adding a hit and seven hurries for a +5.2 pass rush grade.

Sheldon Rankins, Louisville, +9.5

A little one-dimensional to this point in the season, Rankins has dominated in the run game at +8.7 to go with a nation-high 16 tackles and 11 stops. Given his +15.0 pass rush grade a year ago, we expect him to improve upon the three pressures he’s posted in two games.


Kentrell Brothers, Missouri, +10.5

Brothers has lit up the stat sheet through two games with an absurd 21 stops that leads the nation by a big margin. His +8.2 run grade is also best in the country and he’s been solid in coverage at +2.3

Darron Lee, Ohio State, +7.1

Lee can affect the game as a pass rusher (+3.2) and as a run defender (+3.0), while improving his coverage weakness (+0.7) from a year ago.

Skai Moore, +6.9 South Carolina

It’s been an impressive start for Moore in coverage as he’s notched three interceptions and a pass defensed to go with a nation-high +6.8 coverage grade. He’s been ok against the run, but his early-season playmaking puts him on the Dream Team.


Cameron Sutton, Tennessee, +4.7

One of our top cornerbacks a year ago, Sutton is off to another good start as he’s allowed only five catches on 11 targets for 28 yards while getting his hand on two passes.

De’Vante Harris, Texas A&M, +6.4

Cornerback play can fluctuate, but Harris has been on his game after an uneven 2014. He’s been targeted seven times, allowing only two catches for 12 yards to go with an interception and two passes defensed.


Jeremy Cash, Duke, +10.1                                                          

We have Cash classed as a safety, but he does it all for Duke, playing around the line of scrimmage and in the slot. He’s picked up a sack, two hits, and seven hurries as a blitzer while showing well in coverage (+2.5) and against the run (+2.0).

Nate Gerry, Nebraska, +5.4

Already pegged as one of the best coverage safeties in the coming into the season, Gerry hasn’t disappointed with his +4.2 mark and two interceptions on five targets. He’s added three stops in the run game.

| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

  • Zac

    Garrett? Myles Jack? Jaylon Smith?