2015 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 10

Want to get to know the draft prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft? This weekly column breaks down the best matchups to watch on Saturday and what players to watch.

By Charlie Campbell.
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Florida State vs Louisville Thursday, 7:30 ET ESPN

Many people think that the Seminoles could fall in a road upset, and there are some draft matchups here that could favor the Cardinals giving Florida State a run. Former Louisville head coach Charlie Strong left the program with a talented front seven led by pass-rushing outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin. He’ll go against a disappointing Florida State offensive line and could have his way with left tackle Cameron Erving, a possible second-day pick. In order for the Seminoles to avoid the upset, star quarterback Jameis Winston will need time to pass the ball and produce points.

Winston is my No. 1-rated draft-eligible prospect, and he’ll have another opportunity to show that he can put his teammates on his back and carry them to a victory in a game they could lose. Winston will target his favorite wide receiver, senior Rashad Greene, while Louisville has a talented junior cornerback in Charles Gaines to match up on Greene. The winner of that battle could see a boost in his draft stock.

On the other side of the ball, the Cardinals havee welcomed back their talented wide receiver DeVante Parker after he missed the first half of the season with a foot injury. Parker could be the best receiver that Florida State cornerbacks P.J. Williams and Ronald Darby will go against this season. All three of those players are potential first-rounders.

Florida vs. Georgia 3:30 PM CBS

This game isn’t what it used to be with the decline of the Gators program, but there is still some value for NFL draft evaluation. Florida 3-4 outside linebacker Dante Fowler, Jr is a potential top-20 pick, and his run defense will see a good test from Georgia regardless of whether Todd Gurley returns from suspension. Fowler also could be handful in pass blocking for Bulldogs left tackle John Theus. Theus was a star recruit, but he looks more like a right tackle or guard for the NFL.

On the other side of the ball, Florida junior offensive tackles D.J. Humphries and Chaz Green will take on some talented Georgia edge rushers in redshirt sophomore Leonard Floyd and junior Jordan Jenkins. The tape of those matchups could be scrutinized a lot over the next two NFL drafts.

TCU vs. West Virginia 3:30 PM ABC

The two upstart programs in the Big XII this season face off. The matchup to watch in this game is West Virginia breakout wide receiver Kevin White going against Horned Frogs safety Sam Carter. White has been on fire this season and has vaulted his draft stock into the first round. White makes plays all over the field, and Carter should be helping defend him over the top. Carter could use a big game to help his draft stock.

Auburn vs Ole Miss 7:00 PM ESPN

Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt will be challenged by Auburn’s potent scoring offense. Prewitt’s run defense will be tested, and his pass defense skills in the deep part of the field will be needed as the Tigers feature two speed receivers with size in Sammie Coates and Duke Williams. Both wideouts have first-round skill sets but don’t get a lot of opportunities. Both Coates and Williams will be challenged by some talented young cornerbacks from the Rebels.

Stanford vs Oregon 7:30 ET FOX

Stanford is the team that Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota hasn’t been able to beat during his great collegiate career. He’ll get his third shot at the Cardinal and has to elevate Oregon to a win for the Ducks’ playoff hopes to remain alive. Mariota is going to see a tough defense that has NFL prospects in the front seven and secondary. The best among those players is Cardinal cornerback Alex Carter. Last week, Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion challenged Carter by throwing his direction and it produced nothing for the Beavers. Mariota will be a tougher test for Carter.

On the other side of the ball, there is a great draft matchup in Oregon senior cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu going against Stanford wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Montgomery is big and fast,and the speedy Ekpre-Olomu should be able to run with Montgomery, but the Stanford wideout has a size advantage. If Montgomery produces a big game against Ekpre-Olomu, that could send Montgomery’s draft stock soaring.

Stanford left tackle Andrus Peat has played like a top-10 pick this season. He’ll see some quality opponents, including Ducks edge rusher Tony Washington and defensive tackle Arik Armstead. Peat should win these matchups and continue to prove to be a franchise left tackle for the NFL.

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