#12 Michigan State Spartans at #13 Ohio State Buckeyes 11:00 CST on Fox
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) June 17, 2017
What to Watch: Not only does this game have major implications for the East Division but it is littered with NFL Draft prospects. When Michigan State has the ball they will look to pound the ball with RB LJ Scott who is a downfield runner who has the ability to weave through traffic. Keep an eye on C Brian Allen (#7 C) as he faces off against two talented Ohio State DTs in Dre’Mont Jones (#4 DL) and Tracy Sprinkle not to mention one of their several DE’s who move inside on passing downs. At the second level the Buckeys have WLB Jerome Baker (#6 LB) and Chris Worley (#5 LB) to try and stop Scott. When Ohio State the trenches is where the attention will be as LT Jamarco Jones (#6 OT) and C Bill Price (#2 C) face off against DE Demetrius Cooper and DT Raequan Williams.
#15 Oklahoma State Cowboys at #21 Iowa State Cyclones 11:00 CST on ABC/ESPN2
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) September 7, 2017
What to Watch: In this major Big 12 match up there is plenty of NFL Draft prospects to watch. Both teams bring in top receivers in Allen Lazard (ISU) and James Washington (OSU) along with Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph (#8 QB). It will be imperative for the defenses to limit those two receivers. Looking to stop those receivers will be two free safeties possibly giving help over the top. For Iowa State they have Kamari Cotton-Moya who is a late round prospect while Okie State’s Tre Flowers could easily be a day two pick.
#1 Georgia Bulldogs vs #10 Auburn Tigers 2:30 CST on CBS
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) July 31, 2017
What to Watch: In this top ten match up both teams want to rely on the run game to churn out a victory. Georgia relies on their two headed rushing attack lead by Nick Chubb (#3 RB) and Sony Michel who both have a combination of power and speed that make it difficult to stop. That will lie on the powerful DT Dontavius Russell (#6 DL) and speedy WLB Tre’ Williams. On the other side we have a great match up between Auburn’s offensive line featuring LT Austin Golson, RG Braden Smith (#2 G) and RT Darius James and the Georgia front seven. Along the line the Bulldogs feature John Atkins at NT while the athletic Trenton Thompson provides a penetrating ability at end. But it’s the Bulldog LBs that you need to keep an eye on as Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy provide pressure off the edge while ILB Roquan Smith is considered by many to be a top 20 pick.
#20 Iowa Hawkeyes vs #8 Wisconsin Badgers 2:30 CST on ABC
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) May 9, 2017
What to Watch: It is a battle running the ball and stopping the run for both of these top 20 teams. Iowa has always been known for their offensive line play and are led by RG Sean Welsh (#3 G) opening holes for the shifty and explosive RB Akrum Wadley (#4 RB). Looking to slow that rushing attack is a group of late round prospects in DE’s Alec James and Connor Sheehy along with the rising OLB Garrett Dooley. When Wisconsin has the ball the Badgers will run out their traditional power attack lead by freshman RB Jonathan Taylor who has been running all over defenses. Standing in the way is MLB Josey Jewell (#2 LB) who isn’t an elite athlete but makes up for it with elite instincts that always has him around the ball.
Additional Matchup to Keep an Eye on: While the Florida State vs Clemson game doesn’t have the same pull that it has in the past couple the matchup between the Seminoles defensive backs and the Clemson receivers is something to keep an eye on. Deon Cain (#4 WR), Hunter Renfrow (#9 WR) and Ray Ray McCloud will face off against Tavarrus McFadden (#1 CB), FS Derwin James (#1 S) and SS Trey Marshall.
#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs #7 Miami Hurricanes 7:00 CST on ABC
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) August 5, 2017
What to Watch: The old Catholics vs Convicts game hasn’t had this type of hype for quite a while and bring in some big name recruits. The match up to that has scouts and draftniks drooling is Notre Dame LG Quenton Nelson (#1 G) vs Miami DT Kendrick Norton (#10 DL). Nelson is one of the best prospects in this class with a blend of speed and strength faces off against the underrated tackle who uses his burst and power to get into the backfield. Also along the offensive line LT Mike McGlinchey (#8 OT) faces off against Chad Thomas who has great size at 6’6 275lbs but can be explosive off the line.
#6 TCU Horned Frogs vs #5 Oklahoma Sooners 7:00 CST on Fox
What to Watch: Whenever you’re watching an Oklahoma game your attention is going to be with QB Baker Mayfield who is not only a tremendous college football player but is starting to get some first round buzz. How he does against a good TCU defense whose 6th nationally in yards given up per game. Mayfield has been delivering all year long but he’s still under the microscope with scouts and draft analysts. TCU is no slouch on offense but the main player to watch is RB Kyle Hicks who is a smooth runner patient runner that can find seams in the defense. One match up to keep an eye on is LT Joseph Noteboom (#7 OT) faces off against OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. Noteboom is criminally underrated in my opinion showing good lateral agility faces off against Okoronkwo whose 8 sacks is tied for 7th in the nation.