College football kicks off this Saturday. This first weekend of college football is notorious for featuring some underwhelming matchups, but the NFL prospects listed below should be enough motivation to watch a least a couple of the games.
Talk about the games, leave questions on prospects and enjoy your weekend.
Keep Your Eyes On:
Quinton Flowers, Quarterback (South Florida) - In our preview of college quarterbacks, Quinton Flowers was described as “the best dual-threat quarterback this side of Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.” His unique windup and lack of ideal measurables might hold him back, but if he’s improved his passing at all this offseason he will be an intriguing mid-rounder come draft time.
Other Names to Watch:
Adam Breneman, Tight End (UMass) - One of the best tight ends in the country is a UMass Minuteman. Breneman is a transfer from Penn State who quit football for a time after two tough knee injuries. Now with UMass, he’s been rejuvenated. He sports some of the surest, softest hands at the position, making several one-handed catches last year. Has the ability to outrun linebackers and box out safeties over the middle. Not a great blocker; he’s a similar move TE to Evan Engram or Gerald Everett from last year.
Jake Bennett, Center (Colorado State) - The leader of an offensive line that ranked eighth in the country in sacks allowed in 2016, Bennet is a quick and agile Center prospect. He sports very fast hands and flashes decent technique. If beat, he can usually re-anchor; plus, he’s a finisher. At 6’3” 290 lbs though he’s a bit small and can be overpowered by larger interior lineman, even in college.
Quenton Meeks & Alijah Holder, Cornerbacks (Stanford) - Both Stanford cornerbacks possess ideal size for the position, standing at 6’2”. The Stanford man-coverage scheme will have them both prepared for the NFL. I have questions about both their speed and tackling ability, which leaves much to be desired. If those speed questions aren’t answered they could be destined to be zone corners.
Fred Warner, Outside Linebacker (BYU) - Last but not least is my favorite prospect playing this weekend in Fred Warner. Warner is used similarly to previous BYU linebacker (and current Patriot) Kyle Van Noy. He’s a Will linebacker who shuts down screen plays and any speed to the edge. His coverage is safety-like; BYU even allows him to cover wide receivers out of the slot. He must work on his tackling technique and needs to be kept clean from blockers, but he has mid-round upside.
College Game of the Week:
Slim pickings this week, but Oregon State vs. Colorado State at least promises to hold my attention. Besides the aforementioned Jake Bennett, Colorado State sports an intriguing receiver in 6’1” Michael Gallup. Gallup flashed some strong hands and speed over the middle last year. Oregon State has their own impressive receiver in Jordan Villamin who has NFL size at 6’5” 225 lbs along with a couple of unknown guys with potential in wide receiver Seth Collins and tight end Noah Togiai.