2021 NFL Draft Prospect Matchup Preview – Week 8

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]
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

Syracuse vs. Clemson; Saturday, Oct. 24, 12:00 PM ET ACCN

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

  • Syracuse S Andre Cisco, No. 7
  • Syracuse CB Trill Williams, No.6
The Matchups: A collision in pre-game warmups has caused Cisco to miss multiple games with a leg injury. Syracuse has been evasive about his return to the lineup, but hopefully he is back to take on Clemson. Trevor Lawrence is the future No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and Etienne is the top running back prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft. Both would be great tests for Cisco.

Georgia vs. Kentucky; Saturday, Oct. 24, 12:00 PM ET SEC

The Prospects:
  • Kentucky DE Joshua Paschal, No. 4
  • Kentucky DT Quinton Bohanna, No. 95
  • Kentucky S Yusuf Corker, No. 29
  • Kentucky CB Brandin Echols, No. 26
  • Kentucky OT Landon Young, No. 67
  • Kentucky RT Darian Kinnard, No. 70
  • Kentucky RB Asim Rose, No. 10

  • Georgia RB Zamir White, No. 3
  • Georgia LB Monty Rice, No. 32
  • Georgia LB Azeez Ojulari, No. 13
  • Georgia DT Jordan Davis, No. 99
  • Georgia S Richard LeCounte, No. 2
  • Georgia CB Tyson Campbell, No. 3
  • Georgia CB D.J. Daniel, No. 14
  • Georgia CB Eric Stokes, No. 27
The Matchups: There are a lot of good matchups in this game, as both teams are well-stocked with NFL talent. Kentucky has some young talent on offense who while challenge the gifted Bulldogs defense.

Nebraska vs. Ohio State; Saturday, Oct. 24, 12:00 PM ET FOX

The Prospects:
  • Ohio State QB Justin Fields, No. 1
  • Ohio State RB Trey Sermon, No. 8
  • Ohio State WR Chris Olave, No. 2
  • Ohio State C Josh Myers, No. 71

  • Ohio State G Wyatt Davis, No. 52
  • Ohio State OT Thayer Munford, No. 75
  • Ohio State TE Jeremy Ruckert, No. 88
  • Ohio State TE Luke Farrell, No. 89

  • Ohio State DE Tyreke Smith, No. 11
  • Ohio State LB Pete Werner, No. 20
  • Ohio State LB Tuf Borland, No. 32
  • Ohio State LB Baron Browning, No. 5
  • Ohio State CB Shaun Wade, No. 24

  • Nebraska OT Brenden Jaimes, No. 76
The Matchups: Nebraska does not have a lot of pro talent, so this won’t be a great game for matchups. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, have a ton of pro talent, so it will be interesting to see if their prospects are able to play well out of the gate or if they are rusty as some other players have been in this strange season. The best head-to-head matchup for 2021 NFL Draft evaluation will be in the trenches with Jaimes taking on Smith. This could be one of the toughest opponents Jaimes will see all year, so it would help him to have a strong debut.

Alabama vs. Tennessee; Saturday, Oct. 24, 3:30 PM ET CBS

The Prospects:
  • Alabama WR DeVonta Smith, No. 6
  • Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle, No. 17
  • Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood, No. 70
  • Alabama C Landon Dickerson, No. 69
  • Alabama RB Najee Harris, No. 22

  • Alabama DL LaBryan Ray, No. 18
  • Alabama DT Christian Barmore, No. 58
  • Alabama ILB Dylan Moses, No. 32
  • Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II, No. 2
  • Alabama CB Josh Jobe, No. 28

  • Tennessee G Trey Smith, No. 73
  • Tennessee RT Cade Mays, No. 68
The Matchups: The best matchup in this game will happen at the point of attack when Tennessee has the ball. Smith and Mays will be challenged by a talented Alabama defensive linem and hopefully Smith and Barmore will go against each other. Smith is an early-round guard talent, and Barmore is a dangerous interior pass rusher. It would be great to see if one can get the better of the other. Ray will also be a challenge for Smith and Mays. Mays is coming off an ugly game against Georgia, so he needs a good tape taking on Alabama.

Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh; Saturday, Oct. 24, 3:30 PM ET ABC

The Prospects:
  • Pittsburgh S Paris Ford, No. 12
  • Pittsburgh C Jimmy Morrissey, No. 67
  • Pittsburgh DE Rashad Weaver, No. 17
  • Pittsburgh DE Patrick Jones II, No. 91

  • Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg, No.74
  • Notre Dame G Tommy Kraemer, No.78
  • Notre Dame OLB Daelin Hayes, No.9
  • Notre Dame DE Adetokunbo Ogundeji, No.91
  • Notre Dame QB Ian Book, No.12
The Matchups: This game has the potential for a very good draft matchup in the trenches between Jones and Eichenberg. If Eichenberg gets the better of Jones, that could help push Eichenberg up boards for the 2021 NFL Draft. Ford, meanwhile, could the best player on either team. He is a dynamite safety who will be challenged by a potent Fighting Irish offense.

Michigan vs. Minnesota; Saturday, Oct. 24, 7:30 PM ET BTN

The Prospects:
  • Michigan WR Nico Collins, No. 4
  • Michigan OT Jalen Mayfield, No. 73
  • Michigan DL Kwity Paye, No. 19
  • Michigan DL Aidan Hutchison, No. 97
  • Michigan S Brad Hawkins, No. 20

  • Minnesota WR Rashad Bateman, No. 73
The Matchups: The Wolverines have a tough defense with some young talent in their secondary that will be challenged by Bateman. He is in the running as the best receiver in the Big Ten, and he could use a good game showing improved hands and quickness against a defense that has has future pros.

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