2020 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 6

Want to get to know the draft prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft? This weekly column breaks down the best matchups to watch each week in college football.

By Charlie Campbell.
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Iowa vs. Michigan; Saturday, Oct. 5, 12:00 PM ET FOX

There are some good prospects in this game with Iowa offensive tackles Tristan Wirfs and Alaric Jackson seeing some Wolverines who will provide a bigger challenge than many Big Ten opponents. Hawkeyes quarterback Nate Stanley is a pro prospect who will get challenged by the back seven. Michigan’s defense is led by linebacker Josh Uche and safety Khaleke Hudson. Both of them received preseason projections of having the potential to be picks in the top half of the 2020 NFL Draft. Other prospects to watch in this game include Michigan guard Ben Bredeson and cornerback Lavert Hill, and they also had top-half projections. Some prospects who had back-half projections include five Wolverines consisting of safety Josh Metellus, guard Michael Onwenu, running back Chris Evans, defensive end Mike Danna, quarterback Shea Patterson and one Hawkeye in cornerback Michael Ojemudia.

Auburn vs. Florida; Saturday, Oct. 5, 3:30 PM CBS

Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown is one of the top prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft, and he could have big game against Florida, which has a young and inexperienced offensive line. Brown could have been a top-10 pick last April, but he decided to return to Auburn. Tigers defensive end Nick Coe has a great skill set and sometimes lines up inside. On the other side, Auburn end Marlon Davidson is a good technician and tough player. Coe could be an early-rounder, while Davidson has mid-round potential. Thus, the Gators’ front has a tough challenge, and Florida running back Lamical Perine could have a hard time impressing versus Auburn’s defensive line. Perine’s numbers have been down some early this year, and he could use a big game.

Other matchups to watch when the Gators have the ball are wide receivers Van Jefferson and Kadarius Toney taking on Auburn cornerback Javaris Davis.

Auburn has some future NFL offensive linemen in left tackle Prince Tega Wanogho and right tackle Jack Driscoll. Team sources have said that Wanogho could be this draft’s Greg Little, a high first-round skill set whose lack of consistency could cause him to slide in his draft grade. This will be an important tape for Wanogho because he will see two future NFL edge rushers in Jon Greenard and Jabari Zuniga. Both Greenard and Zuniga should get selected on the first two days of the 2020 NFL Draft, so they will be tough tests for Wanogho. If Wanogho shuts them down, that will help to offset concerns about his consistency.

The Gators have more pro talent for the 2020 NFL Draft, led by cornerback C.J. Henderson, a first-round talent who has been missing in action with a leg injury. Florida has not said when the cover corner is returning to the field but have not said the injury is a season-ender.

Auburn linebacker Big Kat Bryant and safety Jeremiah Dinson were also placed on NFL teams’ preseason watch list. Other draft prospects to watch on the Gators include cornerback Marco Wilson and linebacker David Reese.

Michigan State vs. Ohio State; Saturday, Oct. 5, 7:30 PM ET ABC

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young and Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah look like future Thursday night picks with high first-round potential. They have dominated to open the 2020 season and should have their way with the Spartans. Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke could have a hard time passing the ball with Young applying pressure and Okudah defending.

Ohio State has lot of other talent as well. Junior running back J.K. Dobbins could be an early-round pick and wide receiver K.J. Hill could also go in the top half of the draft. Other Buckeyes prospects to watch include cornerback Shaun Wade, tight end Rashod Berry, wide receiver Austin Mack, guard Jonah Jackson, offensive tackle Thayer Munford, safety Jordan Fuller and inside linebacker Malik Harrison.

Michigan State has a lot of pro talents who were NFL teams’ preseason watch list. The Spartans’ top prospect could be edge rusher Kenny Willekes, and they will need him to have a big game to limit star sophomore quarterback Justin Fields. Spartans linebacker Joe Bachie will see a running threat in Fields and a future pro tail back in Dobbins. Michigan State has a pair of quality defensive tackles in Naquan Jones and Raequan Williams.

Other Spartans prospects to watch include guard Kevin Jarvis, offensive tackle Jordan Reid, safety David Dowell, wide receiver Cody White and cornerback Josiah Scott.

Oregon vs. California; Saturday, Oct. 5, 8:00 PM ET FOX

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert has a great skill set, and he can rip up a defense when given time, but throwing under pressure and winning against top competition are two things that Herbert can still prove he is capable of doing for pro evaluators. California has been a tough team in 2019 and should provide some pressure on Herbert, so this could be an important tape for some NFL team’s future first-round pick.

Ducks linebacker Troy Dye, guard Shane Lemieux and guard Calvin Throckmorton are other prospects with early-round potential from Oregon.

NFL teams had three California Bears on their preseason watch list: safety Jaylinn Hawkins, safety Ashtyn Davis and linebacker Evan Weaver. Some teams had all three of them projected as prospects for the back half of the 2020 NFL Draft or being undrafted free agents.

Washington vs. Stanford; Saturday, Oct. 5, 10:30 PM ET ESPN

NFL teams like to see quarterback prospects going head-to-head as it can reveal which one has a killer instinct with the ability to push their team to a win. Thus, there will be plenty of eyes watching this game because Washington’s and Stanford’s K.J. Costello are pro prospects. Two players have been going in the opposite direction, as Eason is elevating his stock while Costello has struggled thus far this season. Both players need good performances.

Eason will see the challenge of going against one of the best defensive players in college football with Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo. Adebo has top-10 potential and tremendous ball skills. Throwing his way is very dangerous, so it will be interesting to see how Eason does if he targets Adebo. Huskies wide receiver Aaron Fuller is a prospect who will be a test for Adebo.

Washington has other good prospects to watch in left tackle Trey Adams, right tackle Jared Hilbers and center Nick Harris. Adams and/or Hilbers will go against a dangerous edge rusher in Stanford linebacker Casey Toohill, who is having a breakout season.

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