#24 Michigan Wolverines vs #5 Wisconsin Badgers 11:00 CST on Fox
What to Watch: There isn’t a more Big 10 type of game than this match up as we’ll see two run heavy physical teams bashing heads play in and play out. This leads to a juicy prospect battle between these lines. When Michigan has the ball the match up to watch is LT Mason Cole (#5 C) facing off against OLB Garrett Dooley. Cole is better suited to play inside but has held up on the edge using quick lateral agility and strength to shut down edge pass rushers. Dooley has thrived stepping up into the starting role after TJ Watt and Vince Biegel went to the NFL. Wisconsin’s offensive line is talented but full of underclassment. They’ll have their hands full with the Wolverine front four that is one of the best groups in college football. DT Maurice Hurst (#12 DL) is getting a lot of 1st round attention because of his explosiveness while quietly DE Chase Winovich has tallied up 7 sacks on the year. And this is without mentioning that true sophomore DE Rashan Gary (not draft eligible) is a complete stud.
Additional Matchups to Keep an Eye On: One receiver who has been working his way up draft boards is Pittsburgh’s Jester Weah whose combination of size (6’2 210lbs) and speed make him a contested catch threat down the field. Facing off against Virginia Tech he’ll see talented cornerbacks in Greg Stroman (#15 CB) who is a technician, Adonis Alexander (#9 CB) who is a tremendous athlete and Brandon Fayscon who has the size to match up with Weah. In the Texas/West Virginia game the player to watch is safety DeShon Elliott whose 6 interceptions is second in the nation. Elliott coverage ability will be tested as the West Virginia offense can really spread the Texas defense. Not to mention he’ll be seeing some of WRs David Sills (#9 WR) and Ka’Raun White.
Kentucky Wildcats at #7 Georgia Bulldogs 2:30 CST on CBS
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) October 7, 2017
What to Watch: While this game doesn’t have much sizzle (there really isn’t another game better at this slot) there is still plenty of 2018 NFL Draft talent on both teams to watch. Georgia’s success has been built on the shoulders of their talented running backs Nick Chubb (#3 RB) and Sony Michel (#16 RB). Both backs can run with power and speed either inside or out allowing the Bulldogs to not skip a beat. Looking to slow them down is an underrated Wildcat linebacker core that could see all four players get drafted. The star of the group is OLB Josh Allen who is getting some Leonard Floyd comparisons because of his length and explosiveness. Joining Allen is speed rushing OLB Denzil Ware and ILBs Jordan Jones (#16 LB) and Courtney Love. Not to be out done the Georgia defense is also loaded with talent and looking to shut down the struggling Wildcat offense. DE Trenton Thompson, OLBs Lorenzo Carter and David Bellamy, Roquan Smith and Dominick Sanders could all hear their names called when they declare.
Additional Matchups to Keep an Eye On: Kansas vs Oklahoma should be a slaughtering but it at least we get to see the highly touted LT Orlando Brown (#11 OT) face off against DE Dorance Armstrong (#14 Edge). Brown uses his massive size (6’8 360lbs) and length to bully defenders but can struggle when having to move more than a couple of steps. Armstrong is an athletic pass rusher who will really attack the edges and hope to use his speed and quickness to get Brown off balance and moving.
UCLA Bruins at USC Trojans 7:00 CST on ABC
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) May 4, 2017
What to Watch: How often do you get to see the two best quarterbacks in a draft class face off against each other? Especially when both are viewed as potential top 5 picks? We get that here with Josh Rosen (#1 QB) facing off against Sam Darnold (#2 QB). While these teams play each year these two QBs haven’t had a chance to go head to head since Rosen missed last year’s game with an injury. Rosen is as gifted as a thrower as we’ve seen but because of a lack of weapons he’s had to force throws and take more risks. Darnold has struggled this year turning the ball over but still plays his best in big games. USC has the better talent, but every talent evaluator will be focusing on these two signal callers.
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) August 6, 2017
Additional Matchups to Keep an Eye On: The edge pass rusher group is easily the most talented of any of the positions in this 2018 NFL Draft class. Two of the top guys in this class play against each other when NC State travels to Wake Forest. NC State brings in an impressive tandem of Bradley Chubb (#3 Edge) and Kentavius Street (#10 Edge) providing both strength and agility off the edge. Wake Forest isn’t lacking for talent as Duke Ejiofor has a blend of explosiveness and hand usage that makes him a pain to deal with. If your favorite team needs a pass rusher, this might be a game that you want to focus on.
Utah Utes at #18 Washington Huskies 9:30 CST on ESPN
What to Watch: If Utah wants any chance in beating the Huskies they need to slow down their rushing attack that features RBs Myles Gaskins and Lavon Coleman. Coleman is the more between the tackles runner who lets his blocks develop before bursting through holes where Gaskins is more explosive using his start and stop ability to reel of big chuck gains. For the Utes their defense is built to slow down the rushing attack as their front four is the strength of their defense. DT Lowell Lotulelei (#7 DL) is the star of the group as a stud run defender using his strength to plug up holes and to create penetration into the backfield. He’ll see plenty of Washington C Coleman Shelton (#4 C) which should be a good battle. Joining Lotulelei is DT Filipo Mokofisi who is a more athletic tackle and DE Kylie Fitts who has speed and a nonstop motor off the edge.