2020 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 12

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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Florida vs. Missouri; Saturday, Nov. 16, 12:00 PM ET CBS

This game has a number of prospects who need strong games to help their draft stock. Missouri tight end Albert Okwuegbunam has dealt with a decrease in targets with Kelly Bryant at quarterback after having Drew Lock during the previous two seasons. Okwuegbunam has a good skill set, but needs more good tape to go in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The same could be said for Gators cornerback C.J. Henderson, who has had a disappointing season with soft coverage and poor tackling. Henderson needs to finish the season on a strong note.

Gators edge rushers Jon Greenard and Jabari Zuniga were slowed by injuries before getting shut down by the Georgia offensive line. They need to get after the quarterback in their final college games to help their standing.

Alabama vs. Mississippi State; Saturday, Nov. 16, 12:00 PM ESPN

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the favorite to be the No. 1-overall pick next April, and he has been dealing with an ankle injury. Tagovailoa will see a defense that has a lot of NFL talent, and he could use a bounce-back game after losing to LSU last week.

Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy could go high in the first round next April, and he will see a secondary some future pro contributors, led by cornerback Cameron Dantzler. Jeudy’s fellow receivers Henry Ruggs and DeVonta Smith are future NFL starters as well.

Mississippi State wide receiver Stephen Guidry could be an early-rounder next April, and he will face a good cornerback test with Alabama’s Trevon Diggs. Crimson Tide cornerback Shyheim Carter is also a potential mid-rounder. Behind those defenders, Alabama safety Xavier McKinney will get tested on the ground and through the air. Mississippi State running Kylin Hill is an early-round talent who will be a challenge for McKinney as a runner and receiver.

Other prospects to watch include Alabama defensive tackle Raekwon Davis and Alabama edge rusher Terrell Lewis. Both of them could be early-rounders next April. Junior left tackle Alex Leatherwood and running back Najee Harris are other Crimson Tide prospects with early-round potential to watch.

Mississippi State has other prospects to keep an eye on, including linebacker Erroll Thompson, defensive end Chauncey Rivers, linebacker Willie Gay, safety JaQuarius Landrews, safety Brian Cole, center Darryl Williams, wide receiver Deddrick Thomas and inside linebacker Leo Lewis.

Wake Forest vs. Clemson; Saturday, Nov. 16, 3:30 PM ABC

Wake Forest junior quarterback Jamie Newman has broken out this season and turned himself into a pro prospect. He will see his toughest test of the season with the defending National Champions. Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons could have been a contender to go in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but he returned to school and is on his way to being a top-20 pick next April. Newman is a dual-threat quarterback and will test Simmons.

Clemson speedster running back Travis Etienne is another early-round prospect to watch. Tigers wide receivers Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers are also on pro radars, with Higgins having early-round potential. Other Clemson players on NFL teams’ preseason watch list include guard John Simpson, cornerback A.J. Terrell and safety Tanner Muse.

Georgia vs. Auburn; Saturday, Nov. 16, 3:30 PM ET CBS

In the trenches, this game has one of the best draft matchups of the 2019 college football season with Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown taking on a Georgia line led by left tackle Andrew Thomas and guard Solomon Kindley. Brown and Thomas are likely top-10 picks next April, with Kindley being a possible late first-round or early second-round pick. Georgia has future NFL starters at center, right guard and right tackle – Isaiah Wilson – as well. Auburn defensive end Marlon Davidson is another prospect to watch.

The Tigers have some offensive line prospects of their own 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 player with a high first-round skill set whose lack of consistency could cause his draft grade to slide.

This is an important game for Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm as he will see a talented defense. Fromm has been a good game manager in his collegiate career, but he had a terrible performance in the Bulldogs’ upset loss to South Carolina. Fromm bounced back against Florida, dominating on third down to lead Georgia to the win.

Bulldogs running back D’Andre Swift is the favorite to be the top running back prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft, and they will need to lean on him becauase their wide receivers have been inconsistent, injured, and/or disappointing this season. Auburn cornerback Javaris Davis is another prospect to watch when Georgia has the ball.

UCLA vs. Utah; Saturday, Nov. 16, 8:00 PM ET FOX

This game features two quality running back prospects for the NFL with UCLA’s Joshua Kelley and Utah’s Zack Moss. Both have been tough runners for their teams and could contribute quickly at the pro level. The Utes’ defense is loaded with mid- and late-round picks for the NFL draft and will provide a good test for Kelley. Defensive end Bradley Anae and nose tackle Leki Foot could be mid-round picks from Utah next April. Utes cornerback Jaylon Johnson could be a second-day pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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