2021 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 2

Want to get to know the draft prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft? This weekly column breaks down the best matchups to watch each week in college football.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
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Syracuse vs. North Carolina; Thursday, Sept. 12, 12:00 PM ET ACCN

The Prospects:
  • Syracuse S Andre Cisco, No. 7
  • Syracuse CB Trill Williams, No.6
  • North Carolina WR Chazz Surratt, No. 21
  • North Carolina WR Dazz Newsome, No. 5
  • North Carolina CB Patrice Rene, No. 5
  • North Carolina OLB Tomon Fox, No. 12
The Matchups: The top prospect in this game is Cisco, who has first-round potential for the 2021 NFL Draft. Syracuse moves Cisco around with where he lines up, but he has mostly executed strong safety responsibilities in the short to intermediate portion of coverage. Hopefully, Cisco will get challenged and lined up against Surratt and Newsome in some man situations to gauge Cisco’s man-coverage skills. Williams will see a good test with the Tar Heels duo. Rene was injured in 2019, so it will be important for his draft status to show evaluators that he’s healthy and back to his pre-injury form this fall.

Georgia Tech vs. Florida State; Saturday, Sept. 12, 3:30 PM ESPN

The Prospects:
  • Florida State DT Marvin Wilson, No. 21
  • Florida State DT Corey Durden, No. 16
  • Florida State DE Joshua Kaindoh, No. 13
  • Florida State DE Janarius Robinson, No. 11
  • Florida State S Hamsah Nasirildeen, No. 5
  • Florida State CB Asante Samuel, No. 26
  • Florida State WR Tamorrion Terry, No. 5
The Matchups: Georgia Tech did not have players that the NFL team’s preseason watch list, but I’ve heard from some team sources that the Yellow Jackets have some young talent and they are a program that is making improvements. Thus, it will be interesting to see how the Seminoles perform against them under a new coaching staff. The top players on Florida State to focus on are Wilson and Terry, as those two enter the year with early-round projections.

Clemson vs. Wake Forest; Monday, Sept. 12, 7:30 PM ET ABC

The Prospects:
  • Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, No. 16
  • Clemson RB Travis Etienne, No. 9
  • Clemson WR Amari Rodgers, No. 3
  • Clemson G Jackson Carman, No. 79
  • Clemson DE Xavier Thomas, No. 3
  • Clemson CB Deion Kendrick, No. 1
  • Wake Forest DE Carlos Basham, No. 9
  • Wake Forest OLB Ja’Cquez Williams, No. 8
The Matchups: Wake Forest defensive end Carlos Basham has first-round potential, and Week 1 could provide his toughest test given that Clemson is the No. 1-ranked team in the nation. Basham’s pass rush will be a challenge for Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and Basham is a tough run defender who will be challenged by Tigers speedster back Travis Etienne. Those three are the top prospects to watch.

Lawrence is the heavy favorite to be the No. 1-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and has the potential to be the best quarterback prospect for the NFL in the last decade or two. Etienne could be a first- or second-round pick next April.

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