2020 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 11

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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Penn State vs. Minnesota; Saturday, Nov. 9, 12:00 PM ET ABC

Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos will see a passing attack that can hurt defenses, so the Nittany Lions will need him to get after the quarterback. Gross-Matos could be a first-round pick next April. Other Nittany Lions who were on teams’ preseason watch list for the 2020 NFL Draft include defensive tackle Robert Windsor, cornerback John Reid and linebacker Cam Brown. Reid will see a future NFL receiver in Minnesota’s Tyler Johnson. Johnson has been a productive and consistent player over the past few seasons.

Stanford vs. Colorado; Saturday, Nov. 9, 3:00 PM ET PACN

This game has an excellent draft matchup with Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo taking on Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault. Both of them could be first-round picks next April due to their good skill sets. If Adebo can blanket Shenault, that would help Adebo to make up for a bad tape against Central Florida earlier this season.

Colorado quarterback Steven Montez is a pro prospect who needs to produce some good tapes to close out the season. Montez has been very inconsistent and has hurt his standing with pro evaluators. This is an important game for him because Stanford has some quality defensive talent in Adebo and outside linebacker Casey Toohill.

LSU vs. Alabama; Saturday, Nov. 9, 3:30 PM CBS

The best game in college football this season features a ton of NFL talent going head-to-head. The highest profile prospects in this game are the quarterbacks, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and LSU’s Joe Burrow. Tagovailoa is a favorite to be the No. 1-overall pick next April, and he missed Alabama’s last game with an injury. It will be interesting to see how Tagovailoa performs while being less than 100 percent. Some team sources think Burrow could be a second-day pick in the 2020 NFL Draft because they believe his skill set is similar to other second-day quarterbacks like Derek Carr and Andy Dalton. NFL teams will be watching this tape closely for both quarterback prospects.

Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy could go high in the first round next April, and he will see the Tigers’ superb secondary. LSU safety Grant Delpit and LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton are going to be challenged by Jeudy and other future NFL receivers from Alabama in Henry Ruggs, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith. Delpit was injured in LSU’s last game, so his status is worth monitoring.

LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson could be an early-rounder next April, and he will see a good cornerback test with Alabama’s Trevon Diggs. Diggs’ speed will be challenged by Jefferson and star LSU sophomore wideout Ja’Marr Chase. Crimson Tide cornerback Shyheim Carter is a potential mid-rounder who will need to play well against the Tigers. Alabama safety Xavier McKinney needs to play well to keep the potent LSU offense from making big plays downfield.

Other prospects to watch from Alabama include defensive tackle Raekwon Davis and edge rusher Terrell Lewis. Both of them could be early-rounders next April during the 2020 NFL Draft. Alabama junior left tackle Alex Leatherwood and Alabama running back Najee Harris are other prospects to watch.

Iowa vs. Wisconsin; Saturday, Nov. 9, 4:00 PM ET FOX

Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa could be a first-rounder next April, and he will see a challenge to his run defense with Wisconsin. Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor ran roughshod over the competition this year before getting shut down by Ohio State. Taylor could use a bounce-back performance.

There are some good offensive linemen for the NFL in this game, and that isn’t surprising considering Iowa and Wisconsin have been factories for pro linemen. Iowa right tackle Tristan Wirfs could use a good game after an ugly contest versus Michigan earlier this season. Ditto for Iowa left tackle Alaric Jackson. Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz is coming off a bad game against Ohio State, and he will see a quality interior taking on the Hawkeyes. Thus, this group of offensive line prospects could all use get-right performances.

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