NCAA

College Football Players to Watch: Week 3

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The first two weeks of the college football season have been a great prelude to the important inter-conference play that begins for some teams this week. The first two weeks gave us a great baseline to judge these players by as the season goes on. From here, we want to see players make subtle changes to improve on their weaknesses while also showing the intelligence to not make the same mistakes over and over again.

Last week there wasn’t a ton of marquee games to look forward to; however, that changes this week as there are four games between teams ranked in the top 25 to go along with a host of other interesting matchups.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few players you should keep your eye on this week.

Montravius Adams, Auburn vs. LSU

Auburn has had a rough start to the season, despite being undefeated. They haven’t really clicked on offense, which has made for tough sledding in both of their first two games. Nevertheless, one player has stepped up and played at a high level, that player is defensive tackle Montravius Adams. Whether it is against the run or pass Adams has been able to be extremely disruptive.

Adams does a great job of knifing through the offensive line and into opposing backfields. Adams has the ability to win with strength or quickness, which is a great indicator for his future in the NFL. One thing Adams needs to be more consistent with is his ability to attack the edges of a blocker when the opportunity calls for it. All too often, Adams relegates himself to attacking the chest of an offensive lineman, which limits his ability to get into the backfield quickly.

This week, Adams will go up against a very stout LSU offensive line, led by Vadal Alexander. This will be a huge test for Adams and will likely have a huge effect on where he goes in the NFL draft.

Su’a Cravens, USC vs. Stanford

The epitome of a playmaker, Su’a Cravens looks to continue his playmaking ways against rival Stanford on Saturday. Cravens has played at safety and linebacker in his career at USC and he has shown the ability to really affect the game at both positions. This year, Cravens lines up as a linebacker and he must show quick and decisive decision-making.

Thus far, Cravens has shown the ability to make those quick decisions, while also showing the physicality necessary to succeed at linebacker. Cravens looks like a 4-3 “Will” linebacker at the next level with his ability to flow to the ball and make plays from sideline to sideline. The biggest worry about Cravens is whether he has the ability to take on blocks on a consistent basis.

That will be tested a lot on Saturday as Stanford brings a physical running game and a very good offensive line against USC. Cravens will need to prove that he can hold up at the point of attack and this week will be a great opportunity to do just that.

Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss vs. Alabama

The player who everyone will have their eyes on this weekend will be highly-touted defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche as he faces his toughest test of the season against the Alabama offensive line. Nkemdiche is an ultra-talented defensive lineman who is an athletic freak with incredible strength to match.

One problem Nkemdiche suffers from is that he tends to fade in and out of games, which shouldn’t happen with a player of his physical abilities. His hand placement isn’t always where it should be and he has a ton of trouble against down blocks and double teams. Nkemdiche has shown flashes of top-five talent, but he needs to be more consistent on a play-by-play basis.

This game against Alabama will be a great opportunity for him to show the NFL scouts the type of player that he can be in the NFL. If Nkemdiche can come out against a rival team and dominate the way he should, you will see his draft stock soar all the way to the top of the board.

 


About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and DraftBreakdown.com