2019 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 5

Want to get to know the draft prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft? This weekly column breaks down the best matchups to watch each week in college football.

By Charlie Campbell.
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Michigan vs. Northwestern; Saturday, Sept. 29, 4:30 PM ET FOX

There are two quarterback prospects in this game to watch with Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson and Michigan’s Shea Patterson. Both of them have good skill sets and need to show improved accuracy this season. Thorson has a weak supporting cast, and his mobility coming off a knee injury last year is sure to be tested in this game. Michigan edge rushers Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich could go in the first round next April. They should eat up the weak Wildcats offensive line. This could be a tough game for Thorson to impress, but if he does, it could be very helpful to his draft stock.

Florida vs. Mississippi State; Saturday, Sept. 29, 6:00 PM ET ESPN

The Gators have two offensive tackle prospects for the NFL in left tackle Martez Ivey and right tackle Jawaan Taylor. Ivey got dominated and embarrassed versus Kentucky, so this is an opportunity for him to show he is not a late-round or undrafted free agent by playing well against Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat. Sweat is dynamic edge rusher with speed. Taylor should give Sweat more of a challenge than Ivey will.

The top player on either team is Bulldogs defensive tackle Jeff Simmons. He is a top-10 talent who should dominate against Florida. Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram could be one of the top safeties in the 2019 NFL Draft, as multiple team sources have told me that Abram has impressed them. The Gators’ Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is another top safety candidate.

Bulldogs center Elgton Jenkins is in the running to be the top center in the 2019 NFL Draft. Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and cornerback Jamal Peters are third-day prospects. Florida has some edge rushers to watch in Jabari Zuniga, CeCe Jefferson and Jachai Polite.

Ohio State vs. Penn State; Saturday, Sept. 29, 7:30 PM ET ABC

This game lost the best prospect in college football with Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa out indefinitely after having surgery on a core muscle injury. Still, the Buckeyes have a potential first-round pick on their defensive line with tackle Dre’Mont Jones. He will see a quality Penn State offensive line.

There is a really good draft matchup with Penn State cornerback Amani Oruwariye taking on Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell. Oruwariye has size and ball skills, but his speed will be tested by the explosive Campbell. If Oruwariye can run with Campbell, that would really help the corner’s grade.

The Buckeyes have two cornerback prospects to watch in Kendall Sheffield and Damon Arnette. Ohio State also has two future NFL competitors on the offensive line with center Michael Jordan and tackle Isaiah Prince. Buckeyes running back Mike Weber could be a second-day pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Stanford vs. Notre Dame; Saturday, Sep. 29, 7:30 PM ET NBC

Cardinal superstar running back Bryce Love is going to see a front seven loaded with NFL talent in this contest. Fighting Irish defensive tackle Jerry Tillery is a potential first-rounder and is a disruptor at the point of attack. Edge rusher Daelin Hayes and linebacker Te’Von Coney also have early-round potential. If Love runs hard and successfully against Notre Dame, that will help his chances of being a first-round pick.

BYU vs. Washington; Saturday, Sept. 29, 8:30 PM ET FOX

A couple of weeks ago, BYU running back Squally Canada broke out to help the Cougars in a big road upset over Wisconsin. Against Washington, he will see a tough defense led by nose tackle Greg Gaines. Gaines is a tough run defender as are safeties JoJo McIntosh and Taylor Rapp. That trio of Huskies, along with cornerback Justin Miller will be playing in the NFL.

Of course, Washington has its own future NFL back in Myles Gaskin, but BYU has a tough defense that will test him. Cougars defensive end Corbin Kaufusi had a great game against Wisconsin and got the better of hyped Badgers tackle prospect David Edwards. Kaufusi will see another NFL tackle prospect in Kaleb McCary versus Washington. If Kaufusi plays like he did against Wisconsin, his stock is going to really rise.

Ole Miss vs. LSU; Saturday, Sept. 29, 9:15 PM ET ESPN

There is a great matchup in this game with Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown taking on LSU cornerback Greedy Williams. They could be the top prospects at their positions for the 2019 NFL Draft, with each going as top-20 picks. Williams will also be tested by some other good receivers in Damarkus Lodge and D.K. Metcalf. All three are a challenge in man coverage.

Two other good prospects to watch in this game are LSU inside linebacker Devin White and Ole Miss left tackle Greg Little. Both of them could also be the top players at their positions for the 2019 NFL Draft. Little needs to play better and show more consistency.

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