2019 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 12

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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Boston College vs. Florida State; Saturday, Nov. 17, 3:30 PM ET ESPN2

Unfortunately, Week 12 in college football has a dearth of draft matchups. A lot of the prominent teams scheduled a non-conference cupcake opponent for this week to serve as essentially a bye before rivalry weekend. The teams can play their backups and still win easily while giving them experience and resting banged-up starters. For example, Alabama is playing The Citadel, Florida is playing Idaho, Georgia is playing UMass, Auburn is playing Liberty, Kentucky is playing Middle Tennessee, and LSU is playing Rice. Even power-five conference games feature bad draft matchups like Michigan versus Indiana, Oklahoma versus Kansas, Ohio State versus Maryland, Penn State versus Rutgers, Iowa versus Illinois, etc. As a result of this scheduling, Week 12 in college football is similar to what one would expect for Week 2 or 3 in college football.

It tells you how rough the matchups are when a bad Florida State team is in one of the better games of the week. Boston College defensive end Zach Allen is putting together his second straight impressive season, and while he does not get the hype of other players, he could be one of the most well-rounded defensive lineman who goes in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Allen should dominate a bad Florida State offensive line.

Seminoles edge rusher Brian Burns is a skilled quarterback hunter who will be taking on one of the best offensive lines he will go against all year. Burns has issues in run defense, and this outing will be an opportunity for him to show improvement as Boston College likes to run the ball all day with star sophomore A.J. Dillon. The big pounding back Dillon will be a test for the Seminoles if an ankle injury doesn’t hold him out.

There will be a good draft matchup in the trenches, where Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom could be one of the top guard prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. He will see a future NFL defender in Florida State defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas. If Christmas has success against Lindstrom, that would help the former’s draft stock.

Arizona State vs. Oregon; Saturday, Nov. 17, 10:30 PM ET PAC12

This game features a couple of NFL prospects to watch. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is a potential top-10 pick if he enters the 2019 NFL Draft. He had a strong start to the season before some underwhelming games midway through, and he needs a strong finish to the year.

Arizona State wide receiver K’Neal Harry is another prospect to watch. Some team sources have told me they have graded Harry on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Another prospect to watch is Oregon edge rusher Jalen Jelks. He has had a disappointing season and could use a strong finish to help his draft grade.

Duke vs. Clemson; Saturday, Nov. 17, 7:00 PM ET ESPN

Duke quarterback Daniel Jones has early-round potential for the 2019 or 2020 NFL Draft. He will be seeing a defense loaded with NFL talent, and pro evaluators like to see quarterbacks who are overmatched elevate their levels of play and the play of those around them when taking on better teams. Thus, this will be an important tape for Jones and a big opportunity.

Clemson’s defensive line is comprised of future NFL starters. Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell has become a more well-rounded lineman since returning to school for 2018. He has been a consistent speed rusher over the past two years but has really improved his run defense in 2018. Tigers defensive tackles Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence are also likely future first-round picks.

Other prospects Tigers to watch include left tackle Mitch Hyatt, linebacker Tre Lamar and cornerback Travon Mullen. Mullen could be a first-round pick next April, and Lamar could go in the top half of the 2019 NFL Draft.

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