Every year there are prospects that get hyped up by draftniks in the offseason and then lay an egg once they’re on the field. Shawn Oakman from the 2016 draft comes to mind. Most of the prospects to watch this week have been hyped up by draft commentators but have yet to make an impact during the games, and the time is now.
Talk about the games, leave questions on prospects and enjoy your weekend.
Keep your eyes on
Arden Key, edge rusher (LSU)
Where is Arden Key? Many draftniks #1 ranked edge rusher coming into the season has pulled a Houdini to begin the year. He only a lone half-sack. Some have speculated that he is dogging it to avoid injury, similar to Jadeveon Clowney. We’ll see if that’s true on Saturday, when he faces off against Florida rapidly improving offensive line.
Other prospects to watch
Richie James, wide receiver (Middle Tennessee)
I’ve been wanting to watch this small-school receiver since the season started. He’s a short, quick slot wideout who sports some decent route running skills. He can also line up and run with the ball like a running back. In that way, he’s similar to Carlos Henderson from last year.
Marquis Haynes, edge rusher (Ole Miss)
While Ole Miss uses Haynes largely as a typical edge rusher, he might be more suited for an outside linebacker role in the NFL. Because of that, I’ll be looking at his speed and instincts if he drops into coverage. Auburn’s talented offensive line and running backs will be a good test for him.
Brandon Fainaka, guard (Stanford)
One of the reasons for Stanford running back Bryce Love’s success is Fainaka. He is a great blocker when pulling and just generally on the move. I have questions about his anchor ability, and facing off against run stopper Lowell Lotulelei this week.
Armani Watts, safety (Texas A&M)
Watts came back for his senior year, even though he was highly regarded. Many thought he was better than his teammate Justin Evans who was drafted in the middle of the second round by the Buccaneers. Watts isn’t as physical as a tackler as Evans but he is faster and has a nose for the ball. He already has 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles on the year. His battle against Alabama’s Calvin Ridley should be entertaining.
Derrick Nnadi, defensive tackle (FSU)
Nnadi has that squat build and thick, tree-trunk legs that give him natural leverage against offensive lineman. Flashes quickness against the pass but needs to display more consistency. This week, he’s being challenged by both a good center in Nick Linder and a good running back in Mark Walton.
Nick Stevens, quarterback (Colorado State)
Nick Stevens has some good things going for him: he plays in a pro-style offense, has good production and decent size at 6’3” 215 lbs. His worst performance this season came against Alabama, the best defense in college football. Unfortunately, his weak arm strength won’t endear him to any pro scouts, and ultimately will cap his draft potential. Look for him to continue to put up huge number this week against Utah State.