NCAA

Top NCAA Football Prospects To Watch on Saturday

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The time is running out on the college football season and that means that the time that each prospect has to prove himself is running out as well. With only a few weeks left, each player must take this opportunity to leave a good impression on the numerous scouts and executives of NFL teams. Sure, this isn’t even close to the last step in the long and arduous process of declaring for the NFL draft, but it is the most important. What they show on the field is what will way heaviest in each evaluators’ mind.

This week isn’t a great slate of games, but there are a lot of individual matchups that will hold a lot of weight in the evaluation process. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of those individual matchups that will take place this weekend.

Eric Striker vs. Spencer Drango

One interesting matchup that will take place on Saturday will be between two heralded college football players who may need a position switch once they get to the NFL. Baylor offensive tackle Spencer Drango is one of the most decorated offensive linemen in the country, but his skill set seems best equip for guard rather than tackle. He doesn’t have the foot speed or technique to deal with NFL defensive ends, but he has the ability to slide down and work well as a guard.

Eric Striker is an explosive pass-rusher who doesn’t have the size to hold up on the edge on a consistent basis.  Striker is one of the most disruptive defenders in college football with his speed off the edge. He looks to be an ideal fit as a “Sam” linebacker in the NFL. In that scenario, he would be able to rush some off the edge against tight ends, which would best fit his size and skill set.

Overall, this matchup seems to benefit Striker more as his speed and quickness should give Drango fits throughout the ball game. However, there is a chance that Drango takes to Striker in the run game if Striker doesn’t get upfield quick enough. It will be up to Drango to take good angles throughout the game to mitigate Striker’s athletic advantage.

Jacoby Brissett vs. Jalen Ramsey

Another matchup that you should keep your eye on is the battle between underrated quarterback prospect Jacoby Brissett and top-tier defensive back prospect Jalen Ramsey. Brissett is a quarterback who is great on third down and in the red zone. He isn’t consistently accurate on intermediate and downfield throws, but he uses his mobility well to buy time and find receivers open in the middle of the field.

Ramsey is a defensive back who used to play safety, but was moved to cornerback this season. Thus far, Ramsey hasn’t been a fantastic cornerback, especially in man coverage, but he has been better than average. He looks to be a much better safety prospect, but for the moment, he will line up at cornerback.

This is a matchup that Ramsey should have the advantage in, but Brissett’s ability to keep plays alive could leave the highly-touted cornerback high and dry, especially when he is lined up in man coverage. Look for Ramsey to do well in zone coverage, but to get exploited a few times in man coverage by Brissett.

Kyle Murphy vs. DeForest Buckner

Quite possibly the most underrated offensive tackle in college football will get pitted against the best 3-4 defensive end in college football as Stanford takes on Oregon. Stanford offensive tackle Kyle Murphy is an extremely athletic lineman who understands the importance of a good kick set and he knows how to utilize angles well. He isn’t the strongest player, but he knows how to use leverage to help mitigate his strength deficiency.

He will need to utilize all the leverage he can when he takes on Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner. As a 3-4 defensive end, Buckner isn’t asked to be a dominant pass-rusher, but he has done much better in that respect this season. Buckner is an extremely long and strong defensive that uses every inch of length to his advantage. Buckner is great at two-gapping and the 3-4 defense teams in the NFL will fall in love with him.

This matchup is going to be one of the best of the season as the best battles will occur in the run game. This is a game that will be a war with both players likely have their highs and lows throughout the game.

 

 


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