Clemson LT Mitch Hyatt vs Wake Forest DE Duke Ejiofor
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) August 6, 2017
11:00 CST on ESPN2 With the ACC loaded with pass rushers off the edge, Clemson’s Mitch Hyatt (#2 OT) has had and will have plenty of opportunity to show NFL teams his skill set. After shutting down the explosive Harold Landry and now must turn his attention to Ejiofor who has 20 sacks so far in his career. Hyatt has good movement skills which allows him to slide laterally and mirror the quick and explosive ends. Ejiofor (#15 Edge) isn’t looked at as a speed rusher and rather uses his hands and power well to attack the tackle and win with technique. Hyatt has struggled with power and the ability to anchor, so this should give him a good test against another type of pass rusher.
Miami RB Mark Walton vs Florida State Front 7
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) August 5, 2017
2:30 CST on ESPN In what should be a fun game to watch we get to see an underrated running back go up against a front seven that is loaded with NFL talent. Miami RB Mark Walton (#6 RB) is an explosive runner who can not only put a foot down and get through a hole quick but can make explosive lateral cuts to make defenders miss. He’ll be tested against this Florida State defense that is loaded up front with DE Josh Sweat (#4 Edge) and DT’s Derrick Nnadi (#11 DL) and Demarcus Christmas (#13 DL). Both Nnadi and Christmas are good run defenders being able to clog up the middle and then shed blocks. This allows their athletic linebackers (Hoskins, Pugh and Thomas) to run free and attack the ball. It will be key for Miami’s offensive line to create holes, but this also falls on Walton to showcase his elusiveness to take advantage.
Notre Dame WR Equanimeous St. Brown vs North Carolina CB MJ Stewart
2:30 CST on ABC While his first name may be hard to pronounce, Equanimeous St. Brown is an intriguing prospect that has plenty of love in the draft community. Brown doesn’t have good speed or quickness but through his route running ability setting up his routes allowing himself to get open and make catches. While they won’t face off on a regular basis, St. Brown will see plenty of MJ Stewart who is the Tar Heels top cornerback. Stewart mainly plays in the slot but will slide outside at times. Stewart isn’t a dynamic athlete but tends to use good technique and a physical nature to stick with receivers. He mainly works underneath but will plays some man coverage going deep with receivers. Stewart has struggled against taller receivers in the past but St. Brown doesn’t always play to his size, which could help Stewart out here.
Florida LT Martez Ivey vs LSU OLB Arden Key
2:30 CST on CBS Mainly believed (or still do) that Arden Key (#1 Edge) is one of the most talented players in the country and someone who likely will be drafted in the top 10 when he declares. However, he’s been slow to start the year coming back from an injury and only amassing a half sack so far. Despite his physical talent, Key needs to really get it going if he wants to be considered one of the elite prospects and that could start with a good game against Ivey who is a talented prospect in his own right. Ivey’s biggest weakness is his lateral quickness which could pose problems as Key is very fast and explosive off the edge. Ivey did well against the speed of Denzil Ware, but Key is a whole other animal. The key will be for Ivey to get his hands on Key and use his strength to shut down his momentum.
LSU WR DJ Chark vs Florida CB Duke Dawson
2:30 CST on CBS LSU’s offense hasn’t been as good as expected but you can’t put the blame on Chark (#12 WR) whose 338 yards so far is almost more than what he did last year in 11 games. Averaging 21.1 yards per catch Chark is doing his work downfield utilizing his long speed and size. He’ll see plenty of Duke Dawson (#5 CB) who has come back from a concussion that he suffered earlier in the season. Dawson isn’t the biggest corner (5’10) but tends to play bigger than his size. Dawson is at his best using his quick twitch ability to change directions and stick with receivers. When matching up against Chark his deep speed will be tested and showcase to everyone if he has the ability to play with the big receivers that litter the NFL.
Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk vs Alabama Secondary
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) June 9, 2017
6:15 CST on ESPN Issues at quarterback have limited the Aggies passing attack which is unfortunate because Christian Kirk (#2 WR) is one of the most exciting receivers in this class. Kirk’s combination of speed and change of direction skill make it impossible to cover him up one on one. While Kirk mainly lines up in the slot he’ll see plenty of Tony Brown (#3 CB) and SS Minkah Fitzpatrick (#2 S) but will also see some of Anthony Averett (#17 CB) when lining up outside. Brown is an Olympic athlete who plays physical but has the speed and quickness to stick with receivers. Fitzpatrick is a former cornerback who has transition back to safety but has the ability to run with receivers deep and be physical to reroute at the line of scrimmage. With all the attention towards Kirk, expect the Crimson Tide to bracket coverage him trying to shut him down and force other receivers to beat them man to man. A big game despite this attention could allow Kirk to get a stronghold of a position that lacks that clear front runner.
Alabama C Bradley Bozeman vs Texas A&M DT Daylon Mack
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) August 1, 2017
6:15 CST on ESPN As it is with any Alabama team they want to establish the run game and get both Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris going. If they want to do that they’ll need to contain the massive DT Daylon Mack (#15 DL). Mack was a highly regarded recruit coming out of high school who hasn’t really lived up to his billing. But at 6’1 320lbs he has the size and strength to control the middle of the field. It will be up to the Crimson Tide interior to occupy him, but pay special attention to Bozeman (#10 C) at center. Bozeman has the size at 6’5 314lbs to pound with Mack, but he has to make sure he can get his pad level down so Mack isn’t able to get the leverage. Bozeman is much better working in a phone booth which should prove well in this match up, but he has to do a better job in pass pro of anchoring in and not letting Mack put him on skates.
Michigan State C Brian Allen vs Michigan DT’s Maurice Hurst and Brian Mone
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) July 20, 2017
6:30 CST on ABC It is only fitting that the best prospect match up in the battle of Michigan takes place in the trenches. Michigan State is going to want to run the ball with RB LJ Scott but they’ll have to deal with a very talented Wolverine defensive line. Inside at tackle is where they might be the toughest. Maurice Hurst (#12 DL) is the name most people are familiar with but his teammate Bryan Mone (#14 DL) is no slouch either. These two tackles are very talented at tackle on blocks, clogging up the running lanes and then shedding to make plays. Looking to slow them down is Spartan C Brian Allen who has moved inside to center after playing guard the past couple of years. Allen isn’t a mauler in the run game but uses quickness and lateral agility to get into positon and seal off defenders. If the Spartans want to run the ball, they’ll need a big game out of Allen dealing with these two tackles.
Kentucky WR Garrett Johnson vs Missouri S Anthony Sherffils
6:30 CST on SECN While Kentucky is enjoying some early season success and a big part of that is because of Garrett Johnson whose 20 catches lead the team. Johnson plays out of the slot and will mainly run deep routes taking advantage of his ability to accelerate and get to top speed. Because of this we could see him face off against Sherffils in the defensive backfield on a regular basis. Sherffils plays the safety on the wide side and will line up over the slot on multiple receiver sets. With Johnson’s ability to go deep it should allow us all to see Sherffils’ range and ability to play the ball in the air. NFL teams are looking for safeties that can play both in zone and in man and this match up can showcase both.
Utah WR Darren Carrington vs Stanford CB Quenton Meeks
9:15 CST on FS1 One of the biggest risers this season has been the Oregon transfer Darren Carrington whose 485 yards is on pace to shatter any of the previous year’s yards. Carrington is at his best going deep and using his speed to get behind defensive backs. For the Cardinal their corners don’t follow receivers, instead look to play either the wide or short side of the field. At the boundary (short) the Cardinal best corner is Quenton Meeks. Meeks can play both off and press coverage using his speed to run with receivers and then go find the ball. Against Carrington they may have Meeks play more press coverage and should test how good Meeks deep speed is. The race for the top cornerback position is still up in the air and a good game shutting down a good deep speed receiver will only enhance Meeks’ stock.