Cal QB Jared Goff tops list of players with something to prove


When I first started scouting college players, I was told by an influential NFL executive to pay the most attention to the games in which players faced off against other NFL-caliber talent. That's what you'll find below -- five prospects who have a chance to stand out this Saturday by raising their quality of play against the best competition.

An important note: These guys are all playing in highly competitive games against top-notch opponents, so I promise you the NFL draft is the furthest thing from their minds. This is merely a window into the evaluation process throughout the season.

Note: Underclassmen are marked with an asterisk.

Jared Goff, QB, California Golden Bears*

It's hard to imagine Goff's junior season getting off to a better start. He ranks top-10 nationally in completion percentage (70.2, eighth), passing yards (1,630, seventh), passing touchdowns (15, tied for third) and completions of 20-plus yards (28, tied for second). Now he heads to Salt Lake City to play No. 5 Utah. The last time we saw the Utes, they were busy shutting down Oregon on the road with five QB sacks and two interceptions. Goff will need to be at his best for Cal to leave with a win, but I wouldn't put it past him. He's shown he can make all of the throws and carry the Bears when necessary.

To Read Todd McShay's full ESPN Insider article, click here