2017 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 2

Want to get to know the draft prospects for the 2017 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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Louisville vs Syracuse; Friday, Sep. 9, 8:00 PM ESPN2

Louisville edge rusher Devonte Fields will be worth watching on Friday night. He ended the 2015 season in dominant fashion and had an excellent start to the 2016 season with five tackles, one sack, and a pass batted in the season opener. Fields should have his way with Syracuse.

SMU vs. Baylor; Saturday, Sep. 10, 3:30 PM FS1

One of the top wide receiver prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft is SMU’s Courtland Sutton. He opened the season with three touchdowns against North Texas, and Baylor could be the best opponent he will face all season. Safety Orion Stewart is a potential second-day talent who should be helping to double team Sutton.

The Bears have other pro prospects with quarterback Seth Russell, running back Shock Linwood, wide receiver K.D. Cannon and center Kyle Fuller.

Arkansas vs. TCU; Saturday, Sep. 10, 7:00 PM ESPN

Arkansas has a offensive tackle prospect for the NFL in Dan Skipper. He is a tough run blocker who could be a right tackle as a pro. Tight end Jeremy Sprinkle is another pro prospect who is on the Senior Bowl watchlist. Sprinkle could be called on to help Skipper block TCU edge rushers Josh Carraway and James McFarland. It will be interesting to see if Skipper needs double team help.

The Razorbacks have a good edge-rushing prospect of their own in Deatrick Wise Jr. He has been working to be an every-down defender, but he needs to show NFL scouts that he can be more than a situational pass-rusher.

BYU vs. Utah; Saturday, Sep. 10, 7:30 PM FOX

I know NFL evaluators who like the potential of BYU quarterback Taysom Hill, but want to see him stay healthy for a season. Utah has some good pro talent on its defense to face off against Hill, including an early round pick in safety Marcus Williams. The Utes also feature some future NFL defensive linemen in tackle Lowell Lotulelei, end Kylie Fitts and end Hunter Dimick. Hill’s durability could be put to the test as the Utes’ defense will hit him in the pocket and when he tries to run with the ball.

Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee; Saturday, Sep. 10, 8:00 PM ABC

This game features an excellent pro matchup with Tennessee cornerback Cam Sutton going against Virginia Tech wide receiver Isaiah Ford. Ford is a deep threat who will test Sutton’s speed to defend the deep part of the field. Tennessee also has other good pro prospects. Defensive end Derek Barnett is a potential top-20 pick. Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, running back Jalen Hurd and running back Alvin Kamara have second-day potential.

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