2018 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 10

Want to get to know the draft prospects for the 2018 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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Penn State vs. Michigan State; Saturday, Nov. 4, 12:00 PM FOX

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley has been the best player in college football this season, and he will see a tough defense against the Spartans. Barkley is a top-10 talent who can take games over. Michigan State running back L.J. Scott is an NFL prospect as well, and some sources have said they are grading him on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Other prospects to watch are Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki, Penn State safety Marcus Allen, Penn State linebacker Jason Cabinda and Michigan State center Brian Allen.

Auburn vs. Texas A&M; Saturday, Nov. 4, 12:00 PM ESPN

There is a good draft matchup in this game with Auburn cornerback Carlton Davis taking on Texas A&M wide receiver Christian Kirk. Both are early-round talents. Davis has issues with deep speed, and the fast Kirk will challenge him downfield. Other prospects to watch in this game include Auburn defensive tackle Dontavius Russell, Auburn guard Braden Smith and Texas A&M safety Armani Watts.

Ohio State vs. Iowa; Saturday, Nov. 4, 3:30 PM ESPN

Iowa running back Akrum Wadley could be a second-day pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and he will see a tough defense loaded with NFL talent. Ohio State Defensive end Sam Hubbard and Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones are both early-round talents who will have their run defense challenged. Ohio State Linebacker Jerome Baker is a potential mid-rounder, while Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward is likely to go in the first or second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Ohio State has first- or second-round picks in wide receiver Parris Campbell and center Billy Price.

Wake Forest vs. Notre Dame; Saturday, Nov. 4, 3:30 PM NBC

There’s a good draft matchhup in this game with Wake Forest defensive end Duke Ejiofor taking on Notre Dame left tackle Mike McGlinchey. Ejiofor could be a solid starting base defensive end in the NFL and a second-day pick. McGlinchey could be a first-round pick next April. Another first-round talent is next to McGlinchey in guard Quenton Nelson. Nelson has been dominating this season, and that should continue against Wake Forest. Other prospects to watch in this game include Notre Dame wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery and Wake Forest tight end Cam Serigne.

Clemson vs. N.C. State; Saturday, Nov. 4, 3:30 PM ABC

If you want to watch future NFL defensive linemen, this is the game for you. Clemson’s starting defensive line is comprised of potential first-round picks. Defensive end Clelin Ferrell, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and defensive end Austin Bryant could be Thursday night picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. Defensive tackle Demarcus Lawrence is a first-round candidate for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Clemson left tackle Mitch Hyatt has struggled this season, and he is going to see one of the top edge defenders for the 2018 NFL Draft in N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb. Chubb is playing like a top-10 pick this year, so Hyatt could really help his draft stock if he plays well against Chubb. Wolfpack defensive tackles Justin Jones and B.J. Hill are NFL prospects as well.

Another of the dangerous receiving mismatch weapons is N.C. State tight end/H-back Jaylen Samuels. For the NFL, he is a receiving running back in the mold of Brian Westbrook. Clemson cornerback Mark Fields is a pro prospect who could be called on to help cover Samuels. Another NFL prospect who will be challenged by Samuels is Clemson linebacker Kendall Joseph. Clemson wide receiver Deon Cain has disappointed this season, but he could be a mid-round pick next April.

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State; Saturday, Nov. 4, 4:00 PM FS1

This rivalry features two quarterback prospects for the NFL. A few sources have taken a liking to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield as a mid-round prospect. Mayfield has some limitation,s but he is a gritty player.

Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph is a bit of a love/hate prospect in the scouting community. Some are high on his potential, while other teams project him to the mid-rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. Cowboys wide receiver James Washington is another prospect who has some fans and detractors for the NFL.

Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown is an early-round talent to watch. Other prospects to watch from the Sooners are edge rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and cornerback Jordan Thomas. This trio of players could all be second-day picks.

Ole Miss vs. Kentucky; Saturday, Nov. 4, 4:00 PM SECN

There could be two future first-round picks in this game with Ole Miss cornerback Ken Webster and Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen. Allen is one of the top pass-rushers in the nation and also has the flexibility to play some inside linebacker. Both prospects are going under the radar, but team sources really like both players. Another prospect to watch in this game is Ole Miss defensive end Marquis Haynes. He’s an undersized player, but he could be a dangerous weapon as a designated pass-rusher in the NFL.

LSU vs. Alabama; Saturday, Nov. 4, 8:00 PM CBS

LSU running back Derrius Guice had been slowed down by a knee injury before exploding against Ole Miss before the Tigers’ bye week. The Rebels have a bad defense, and against Alabama, Guice will see one loaded with NFL talent. Alabama nose tackle Da’Ron Payne is a potential first-rounder. Linebackers Rashaan Evans and Shaun Dion Hamilton are prospects as well. Alabama free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is a possible top-16 pick, while strong safety Ronnie Harrison could be a first-rounder as well. If Guice can run well against this front, that could help his draft grade a lot.

Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley is one of the top wideout prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft. He will see a cornerback prospect in Kevin Toliver. Toliver has disappointed this year, so he could really help himself by covering Ridley well. Alabama cornerbacks Anthony Averett and Tony Brown are pro prospects who will be challenged by a future NFL receiver in LSU’s D.J. Chark.

LSU defensive end Arden Key was injured and didn’t impress early in the season, but he is rounding into form. Sources say they still see him as a first-rounder and potential high pick. Key will see a good offensive line with Alabama.

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