2016 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 10

Want to get to know the draft prospects for the 2016 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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Baylor vs. Kansas State; Thursday, Nov. 5, 7:30 PM FOX1

This game will feature a nice draft matchup with Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman going against Kansas State left tackle Cody Whitehair. Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah illustrated that Whitehair can have struggles with powerful edge defenders, which fits Oakman to a tee. Oakman has had a somewhat disappointing season and has off-the-field issues that will plague his draft stock. He needs a strong finish to the year.

The best NFL prospect on the Baylor defensive line is Andrew Billings, and he has been a load this season. Billings has dealt with an ankle injury, but a lot of NFL general managers have an easier time traveling to Thursday night games, so this contest is important for Billings as a lot of NFL eyes will be watching.

Bears wide receiver Cody Coleman has been dominating this season. That should continue against Kansas State. Coleman is a likely early round pick.

Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh; Saturday, Nov. 7, 12:00 PM ABC

This game features a good draft matchup with Pittsburgh wide receiver Tyler Boyd going against Notre Dame cornerback KeiVarae Russell. Boyd is a play-maker who also runs out of the backfield and has had success throwing some passes. He has seen tons of double coverage this season and could use a big game against a good team to help his draft hopes of being a Thursday night selection.

Fighting Irish junior linebacker Jaylon Smith looks like a top-25 prospect if he enters the 2016 NFL Draft. Senior left tackle Ronnie Stanley is a first-round talent, and defensive tackle Sheldon Day an early rounder who has been playing well in 2015.

Florida State vs. Clemson; Saturday, Nov. 7, 3:30 PM ABC

This game will feature a nice test for Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Clemson is without speedster Mike Williams, but the Tigers have a lot of receiving talent that will challenge Ramsey’s cover skills. If Ramsey allows separation against Clemson’s receivers, that will bolster the opinion that he needs to go back to safety in the NFL.

Clemson has pro talent as well. Defensive end Shaq Lawson is having a strong season and will see a good tackle in Seminoles sophomore Rod Johnson. Tigers safety Jayron Kearse is another pro prospect to keep an eye on.

TCU vs. Oklahoma State; Saturday, Nov. 7, 3:30 PM FOX

This game doesn’t have a lot of NFL talent going head-to-head, but the Cowboys have a potential first-rounder in defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah taking on the Horned Frogs point-machine offense. TCU wide receiver Josh Docton is having a huge season, but a lack of speed to separate could make him a second-day pick.

Arkansas vs Ole Miss; Saturday, Nov. 7, 3:30 PM CBS

This game has a great draft matchup with Mississippi defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche going against Arkansas guard Sebastian Tretola and left tackle Denver Kirkland. Nkemdiche has the athletic skill set to be a high first-rounder, but his production hasn’t equaled what he’s capable of doing. No player will test Tretola like Nkemdiche, so if Tretola has his way with Nkemdiche that could really help Tretola’s draft grade.

Another player definitely worth watching is Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil. He is a high first-round talent. Continuing his strong play against Arkansas will reinforce the view of Tunsil as a franchise left tackle for the NFL.

There are two good tight end prospects in this game with Ole Miss’ Evan Engram and Arkansas’ Hunter Henry. Henry is the more balanced of the two, but Engram is a dangerous receiving mismatch. Ole Miss could have a good defender to go against Henrty with safety Tony Conner. Connor’s been out of the lineup with a knee injury, but he is supposed to return to the field soon.

LSU vs. Alabama; Saturday, Oct. 24, 7:30 PM SECN

The Alabama defensive front seven has a number of future NFL players with linebacker Reggie Ragland, defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, defensive tackle Jarran Reed and defensive end Jonathan Allen. They will see their toughest test of the season in college football’s best offensive player with LSU sophomore running back Leonard Fournette. The stud runner would be a top-five pick next April if he were able to declare. Fournette runs behind some future NFL blockers led by senior right tackle Vadal Alexander. Alexander looks like a better fit at guard in the NFL, but if he does well in pass protection against Alabama, that could help to change some opinions.

LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White will be tested Crimson Tide standout freshman receiver Calvin Ridley. White is a possible first-rounder. Tigers junior defensive end Lewis Neal is having a breakout season and could continue to build his draft rating with a big game against the Crimson Tide.

Alabama junior running back Derrick Henry and tight end O.J. Howard are other early round talents to watch.

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