Each week, I’ll be previewing two NFL Draft prospects to watch (one from each team) from various nationally televised college football games.
Kansas vs. Coastal Carolina (Friday, 7:30 ET ESPN2)
Kyron Johnson (#15 EDGE, Kansas) 2021: 7 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 SK, 1 FF – Kansas won and they stormed the field. Against an FCS opponent, but still, so here’s some love. Kyron Johnson, a super senior edge defender, is probably the best prospect on the Jayhawks. Currently projected as a late round/UDFA prospect, Johnsons athleticism is a trait good defensive coaches will covet. A smaller frame, he likely would be best moving to rush linebacker unless he bulks up from his 230 pound frame.
Jeffrey Gunter (#94 EDGE, Coastal Carolina) 2021: 5 TKL, 2 TFL, 1 SK – Gunter has been a key playmaker during the Coastal surge into top 25 landscape. A disruptive presence off the edge, Gunter has the ability to play both standing up and with his hand in the dirt. If you’re tuned in on Friday like the degenerate you (and I) are, Gunter will be easy to spot and fun to watch.
Oregon vs. Ohio State (Saturday, 12 ET FOX)
Kayvon Thibodeaux (#5 EDGE, Oregon) 2021: 2 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 SK, 1 FF – There are questions of whether Thibodeaux will be able to play after leaving the Fresno State game this past Saturday, but if he plays, he’s obviously the player to watch for the Ducks. A projected top five pick next year, Thibodeaux is a potential game changer for the Ducks going against a young QB in C.J. Stroud.
Chris Olave (#2 WR, Ohio State) 2021: 4 REC, 117 YDS, 2 TD – Oregon gave up 70+ yards to two Fresno State receivers last week, and will follow that up with a matchup against the best one-two receiver core in the country. Olave always feels like he’s open, a product of his top tier route running ability and fantastic body control. Look for Olave to have another 100+ yard performance against the Ducks defense.
Texas A&M vs. Colorado (Saturday, 3:30 ET FOX)
DeMarvin Leal (#8 IDL, Texas A&M) 2021: 5 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 SK – Colorado ran for 281 yards in Week 1 against Northern Colorado, and the best way to defend against a team that wants to run is to have a dominate interior presence: thats exactly what A&M has in Leal. A projected top 10 pick next year, Leal is a powerful, explosive interior defender thats capable of ruining the Buffs gameplan and force them into passing downs.
Nate Landman (#53 LB, Colorado) 2021: 4 TKL – The strength and leadership of the Buffs defense, Landman has been a stout, smart defender for several years now. Texas A&M put up nearly 600 yards of offense against Kent State in Week 1, and if Colorado wants to have a chance at a major upset against a former conference rival, Landman is gonna be the key defensively.
Iowa vs. Iowa State (Saturday, 4:30 ET ABC)
Tyler Goodson (#15 RB, Iowa) 2021: 19 CAR, 99 YDS, 1 TD – I expect Iowa/Iowa State to be a heavy rushing game for both schools, focusing on each teams highly talented starting running backs. Goodson is maybe lesser known to general audiences than Breece Hall, but he brings explosiveness out of the backfield and the ability to catch passes. I think Goodson will reach 25 touches on Saturday
Breece Hall (#28 RB, Iowa State) 2021: 23 CAR, 69 YDS, 1 TD – One of the best running back prospect this year and a pre-season Heisman candidate, Hall is the key to the Cyclones offense. Going against a defense that shut the doors on the Indiana offense in week 1, it’ll take a big game and heavy workload from Hall for the Clones to pull off the win.
Texas vs. Arkansas (Saturday, 7 ET ESPN)
DeMarvion Overshown (#0 LB, Texas) 2021: 13 TKL, 0.5 TFL, 0.5 SK – Going back to Overshown, who was one of the best Big 12 players during the week one slate. He showed his dynamite athleticism in bringing down Cajun defenders a solid 13 times. Expect another big week from Agent 0 going against a rebuilding Razorback squad.
Treylon Burks (#16 WR, Arkansas) 2021: 5 REC, 42 YDS – The best draft prospect for the Razorbacks and a potential first round pick, Burks is a big receiver at 6’3″ 225 lbs but Arkansas likes to use him as an offensive weapon, spreading him around the field in different looks. Burks will be a key to Arkansas getting points on the board against a Texas defense that impressed in its first game.
Utah vs. BYU (Saturday, 10:15 ET ESPN)
Nick Ford (#55 C, Utah) – Ford is a sturdy, reliable center for the Utes offense. Ford has experience playing across the line in various positions, something that will get him on all NFL scout radars. A nasty control arm up front that helps a Utah offense that ran for 188 yards in game one, Ford will be key to Utah moving the ball against a BYU defense that let up just 81 yards last week.
Neil Pau’u (#2 WR, BYU) 2021: 8 REC, 126 YDS, 2 TD – Pau’u had a big opening performance against the Arizona Wildcats and looks to build off of it this week against arch rival Utah. Pau’u is a big target for QB Jaren Hall, standing 6’4″, and will need to use his physical play to help get the ball downfield against a solid Utes defense.