2019 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 6

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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Texas vs. Oklahoma; Saturday, Oct. 6, 12:00 PM ET FOX

Last year’s Red River Rivalry featured more NFL talent headlined by future Heisman Trophy and No. 1-overall pick in Baker Mayfield, but this year’s game still has some quality prospects. The best prospect in the game could be Oklahoma right tackle Cody Ford, who could be the top guard for the 2019 NFL Draft. There are three good wide receiver prospects in this game with Texas’ Collin Johnson, Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown and Texas’ Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Brown will be a challenge for Longhorns cornerback prospect Kris Boyd, who is a bit of a love/hate prospect in the scouting community.

Northwestern vs. Michigan State; Saturday, Oct. 6, 12:00 PM ET FS1

Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson is coming off an impressive performance against Michigan, and once again, Thorson will be challenged by a defense that is far more talented than the weak offensive line and below-average wide receivers who Thorson has to work with. Michigan State running back L.J. Scott is banged up, but if he plays, he is worth watching because some in the scouting community are very high on him. Spartans safety David Dowell and quarterback Brian Lewerke are worth watching as well.

Boston College vs. N.C. State; Saturday, Oct. 6, 12:30 PM ET ACCN

N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley is currently the top-rated quarterback prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft according to ESPN’s Todd McShay, but most in the scouting community have Oregon’s Justin Herbert as the top signal-caller. Still, Finley is a good prospect in his own right. His ability to pass under pressure is going to be challenged by some talented pass-rushers from Boston College, led by defensive end Zach Allen. Allen could be a top-16 pick next April. Eagles safety Lukas Denis is another pro prospect who will challenge Finley as a ball hawk on the back end.

The Wolfpack have two other quality prospects to watch in wide receiver Kelvin Harmon and linebacker Germaine Pratt. Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom could be a second-day pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

LSU vs. Florida; Saturday, Oct. 6, 3:30 PM ET CBS

There is a good matchup in this game with some Florida wide receivers taking on LSU cornerback Greedy Williams. Gators wideouts Tyrie Cleveland and Freddie Swain have flashed at times this year. Williams could be the top cornerback for the 2019 NFL Draft, and the Florida duo has the ability to challenge cornerbacks downfield with his speed and length.

LSU inside linebacker Devin White could be the top inside linebacker for the 2019 NFL Draft, and he is seeing a Florida rushing attack led by an NFL-level talent in Jordan Scarlett.

Gators safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is a quality safety prospect for 2019. Florida has some edge rushers to watch in Jabari Zuniga, CeCe Jefferson and Jachai Polite. Polite made two sacks against Mississippi State to help the Gators to a road upset.

Florida State vs. Miami; Saturday, Sept. 29, 3:30 PM ET ABC

Like the Florida-Tennessee game, this rivalry game used to have a ton of NFL talent going head-to-head and also had a huge impact on the college National Championship race. Unfortunately both the Seminoles and Hurricanes are not what they used to be, but there are still a few prospects to watch. Perhaps the best player on either team is Miami defensive end Joe Jackson. He had a rough start to the year, but has caught fire in recent weeks. He should have his way with a bad Seminoles offensive line, and if Jackson doesn’t produce a good game, that could be an ugly indictment for him as a prospect.

There are two defensive tackle prospects to watch in Florida State’s Demarcus Christmas and Miami’s Gerald Willis. The talented Willis is finally having a breakout year after off-the-field issues derailed the early years of his collegiate career. Willis, the younger brother of New York Giants safety Landon Collins, needs to stay consistent throughout this season.

Other prospects to watch include Hurricanes wide receiver Ahmmon Richards. He is an early-round talent but often injured. Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois is coming off leading a comeback win over Louisville. He will see some NFL defensive backs with Miami safety Jaquan Johnson and cornerback Michael Jackson. Johnson has mid-round potential, and Jackson is more of a late-rounder.

Auburn vs. Mississippi State; Saturday, Oct. 6, 7:30 PM ET ESPN2

The top player on each team is a defensive tackle. Auburn’s Derrick Brown and the Bulldogs’ Jeff Simmons are top-10 talents. Brown could go as a top-5 pick next April, while Simmons will have off-the-field issues that make his draft stock more fluid. Both are tremendous talents for the next level.

Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham could be an early-rounder, and he could use a good performance against Mississippi State to help his draft grade. Along with Simmons, Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat is going to test Stidham’s composure and ability to handle a pass rush. Sweat is dynamic edge rusher with speed who will challenge the Auburn offensive line.

Other early-round prospects to watch include Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean and Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram. Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and cornerback Jamal Peters are third-day prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech; Saturday, Oct. 6, 8:00 PM ET NBC

This is the year of the defensive lineman in college football, and this game will fit that. Fighting Irish defensive tackle Jerry Tillery is a potential first-rounder and a disruptor at the point of attack. Virginia Tech has its own tackle with early-round potential in Ricky Walker. Notre Dame has other good players to watch in edge rusher Daelin Hayes, linebacker Te’Von Coney, cornerback Julian Love, wide receiver Chase Claypool and tight end AlizĂ© Mack. All of them have early-round potential.

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