2017 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 4

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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USC vs Utah; Friday, Sept. 23, 9:00 PM FS1

USC offensive line has some NFL talent with tackles Chad Wheeler, Zach Banner and guard Damien Mama. The Trojans had some shuffling in their lineup, but these prospects need to show improvement against a good defensive line after being dominated by Alabama in the season opener. Utah has some NFL talent on its defensive line with end Hunter Dimick and tackle Lowell Lotulelei.

In the secondary, Utah safety Marcus Williams will be needed to help defend USC wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Both players are early round prospects.

Georgia vs. Ole Miss; Saturday, Sept. 24, 12:00 PM ESPN

Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram and quarterback Chad Kelly could be come off the board before the end of the second round in the 2017 NFL Draft. Georgia has a ballhawking safety in Dominick Sanders. He needs to show well against Ole Miss and also improve his tackling.

Georgia junior running back Nick Chubb looks like a future first-round pick if he can stay healthy and productive. Other prospects to watch include Ole Miss edge rusher Marquis Haynes, Georgia offensive lineman Greg Pyke, Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and Georgia wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie.

Florida vs. Tennessee; Saturday, Sept. 24, 3:30 PM CBS

There is a ton of NFL talent in this game. Florida linebackers Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone are impressive early round talents who will be tested by Tennessee power running back Jalen Hurd. The Gators linebackers will also need to be ready to defend the legs of running quarterback Josh Dobbs. Dobbs has underwhelmed as a passer this season, and he will be seeing a NFL secondary with first-round talents in cornerback Jalen Tabor and safety Marcus Maye. Gators cornerback Quincy Wilson could end up being a top prospect as well. At the point of attack, Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley is another first-round talent.

Tennessee has a cornerback prospect of its own with Cam Sutton. He will be tested by some explosive play-makers in Brandon Powell and Antonio Callaway. Volunteers linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin is a second-day prospect who will be tested by some talented young running backs from Florida.

In the trenches, there will be a matchup of future NFL players with Gators left tackle David Sharpe going against Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett. Sharpe has Day 2 potential, while Barnett could be a first-rounder.

Penn State vs. Michigan; Saturday, Sept. 24, 3:30 PM ABC

Michigan has yet to be tested by a good opponent this year, and while the Penn State Nittany Lions aren’t very good, they do have some talent to test the Wolverines’ NFL prospects. Penn State’s star sophomore running back Saquon Barkley will be a good test for Wolverines defenders like end Chris Wormley, tackle Taco Charlton and safety/cornerback Jabrill Peppers. Peppers could be a top-25 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He and fellow corner Jourdan Lewis could be pushed by Nittany Lions receiver Chris Godwin.

Michigan tight end Jake Butt is a future early round pick who will see a potential Senior Bowl linebacker in Brandon Bell. Butt is a dangerous receiver who could stand to show better as a blocker. Wolverines wide receiver Jehu Chesson is another prospect to watch.

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M; Saturday, Sept. 24, 9:00 PM ESPN

Arkansas senior left tackle Dan Skipper is more of a right tackle prospect for the NFL, and he will see the toughest test of his senior year with Texas A&M superstar edge rusher Myles Garrett. When Garrett isn’t going against Skipper, Skipper will see another future NFL competitor in defensive end Daeshon Hall. After a mediocre tape against TCU, Skipper could use a strong performance against the Aggies.

The Razorbacks have an edge rusher of their own who will be playing on Sundays in Deatrick Wise Jr.

Aggies safeties Justin Evans and Armani Watts are early round prospects who will be tested by a good tight end in the Razorbacks’ Jeremy Sprinkle. Evans and Watts need to show their skills at playing man coverage on a tight end like Sprinkle. If Sprinkle continues to play well, he could end up grading out as a second-day pick.

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