2017 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 12

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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Ohio State vs. Michigan State; Saturday, Nov. 19, 12:00 PM ABC

There is a good draft matchup in the trenches here with Spartans defensive lineman Malik Mcdowell going against Ohio State guard Billy Price and center Pat Elflein. Those two Buckeyes linemen are potential Day 2 picks, while multiple teams have said they see McDowell as a top-20 pick who is similar and perhaps better than Arik Armstead or DeForest Buckner. McDowell has been out with an ankle injury, but one can bet Michigan State will do everything possible to get McDowell on the field.

The player who could be drafted the highest next April from either team is Ohio State redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker. Sources from multiple teams have said that Hooker is a stud and have graded him in the top-10. Redshirt sophomore cornerback Marshon Lattimore also has received high first-round grades, while junior cornerback Gareon Conley could also go in the first round as well.

Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan has been a mild disappointment this season, but he should rack up lots of tackles against the Spartans. Buckeyes wide receiver/running back Curtis Samuel is another early round talent to watch.

Florida vs. LSU; Saturday, Nov. 19, 1:00 PM CBS

There are some good draft matchups in this game. LSU running back Leonard Fournette will take on one of the best defenses in the nation, although Florida has been ravaged by injuries. Inside linebacker Alex Anzalone is out for the year, and Jarrad Davis missed the last game with an ankle injury. Gators safety Marcus Maye also is out for the season with a broken arm.

LSU center Ethan Pocic will see one of the best interior defensive linemen in the nation with Florida’s Caleb Brantley. Brantley is a future first-round pick and has been superb this season. Pocic could help his draft stock by showing well against Brantley.

Tigers safety Jamal Adams and linebacker Kendell Beckwith should enjoy this game as Florida features a lot of downhill running. Adams and Beckwith should rack up big tackle totals against the Gators.

LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White will be called on to defend against dangerous Gators receiver Antonio Callaway.

Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech; Saturday, Nov. 19, 3:30 PM NBC

Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer is the top quarterback prospect for the 2017 NFL Draft, and he will see some talent against Virginia Tech. The Hokies have some edge rushers who can get after the quarterback and will challenge Kizer. Fighting Irish left tackle Mike McGlinchey is a potential top-20 pick, while Fighting Irish guard Quenton Nelson is also a potential first-rounder.

Virginia Tech has draft prospects to watch as well. Tight end Bucky Hodges could go on the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft. Fullback Sam Rogers and cornerback Brandon Facyson are possible third-day picks. Fighting Irish defensive lineman Jarron Jones is another player to watch who could go on Day 3.

Oklahoma vs. West Virginia; Saturday, Nov. 19, 8:00 PM ABC

Oklahoma cornerback Jordan Thomas will see a good test with the Mountaineers’ offense. Sooners running back Samaje Perine is having a quality season for Oklahoma and is worth watching. West Virginia center Tyler Orlosky is worth watching as well, and he could be a mid-round pick who turns into a starting center in the NFL.

Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt; Saturday, Nov. 19, 8:00 PM SECN

Considering these teams are both hovering around .500, you might not think there is a great matchup in this game, but there is a superb one for the 2017 NFL Draft. Sources have said that Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham is grading out as a first-round pick, and he is having a tremendous season. The big question about any inside linebacker is pass-coverage skills, and Cunningham will see a tough test with Evan Engram. If Cunningham can get some wins in man coverage against Engram,that would be huge for Cunningham.

Aside from Engram, Ole Miss edge rusher Marquis Haynes is having a good season and could be dangerous quarterback hunter as a pro.

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