Primetime Prospects to Watch: Week 3

NEPD Staff Writer CJ Sousa 

Week 3 offers up three SEC tilts with an interesting late game in Los Angeles.  This prospect preview will save you the in-game googling and highlight the top NFL Draft prospects in each game.

#18 Auburn vs #13 LSU 3:30 CBS

Always one of my favorite games of the year.  Auburn survived the scare of all scares last week with an overtime win over FCS Jacksonville State, while LSU won in hostile Starkville by the skin of their teeth. I get it with Auburn, and although that game shouldn’t have been that close – there is something to be said for battling back to win when nothing is going right.  Should Jeremy Johnson be the Jeremy Johnson we all expected to see, Auburn could easily walk out of Baton Rouge with a victory.

LSU running back Leonard Fournette (Soph) got 28 carries last week, and can expect a similar workload this week.  The potential offensive explosion leads me to pick Auburn, but I don’t bet against LSU at home.  I’ll take LSU 21-17.

LSU prospects

OG/OT Vadal Alexander: Has been pretty solid so far in 2015, and remains one of the top overall prospects in 2015.

CB TreDavious White: Confident kid with good technique, White had a big time pass breakup late in the Tigers’ close win last Saturday in Starkville.  Could be a fast riser up boards this fall.

ILB Kendell Beckwith: Played nearly every defensive snap in Starkville, and could do it again vs Auburn.  He was active in all aspects of the game, and will be put to the ultimate test against Gus Malzahn and his power-spread scheme.

Other prospects: FS Jalen Mills (questionable), WR Travin Dural, TE Dillon Gordon, P Jamie Keehn, OLB Lamar Louis
Auburn prospects

QB Jeremy Johnson: My predicted Heisman winner has looked anything but so far in 2015.  His reads have been slow, he’s stared down his receivers and is slow in his progressions.  Johnson must be better, point blank.

WR Duke Williams: Was temporally knocked out of the Jacksonville State game but came back to have a big catch later on.  He remains Auburn’s best threat, but his production has been hampered by the poor play of Jeremy Johnson.

DE/OLB Carl Lawson:  A major question mark for this game.  Gus Malzahn said he is ‘day-to-day’ with a hip flexor.  Auburn’s pass rush was flat out poor against Jacksonville State, and will struggle again in his absence in Baton Rouge.

Other prospects: ILB Cassanova McKinzy, OLB Kris Frost,RB Jovon Robinson, DT Montravius Adams, OT Avery Young

South Carolina vs #7 Georgia ESPN 6:00

On first glance, this should be a blowout.  Georgia is significantly more talented in essentially every aspect of the game.  Georgia is favored by 3 scores, yet has fallen to the Gamecocks 4 of the last 5 seasons.  I expect South Carolina to pull out all the tricks out of the closet Saturday night, with a heavy dose of Brandon Wilds. Nick Chubb will get all of the attention, but I’m eager to see Wilds and Cooper vs the Georgia defense as all eyes should be on them.  I think this will be closer than expected, but Georgia should win.

South Carolina Prospects

WR Pharoh Cooper: After being forced to essentially play running back for a half vs North Carolina, Cooper settled into his more conventional role last week catching 9 passes for 100 yards.  Must make some big plays to keep Georgia in the game.

ILB Skai Moore : Between Chubb, Sony Michel and Keith Marshall and a huge lack of quarterback play, it is safe to say Moore will be in the spotlight as Georgia may run the ball 40+ times.

RB Brandon Wilds: He got going last week with 6.6 yards a pop last week and will need to continue the solid play to keep the time of possession in USC’s favor.  Huge opportunity for Wilds to help his stock in Athens.

Other prospects: OT Brandon Shell, TE Jerell Adams, DT Phillip Dukes, DT Gerald Dixon, SS TJ Gurley

Georgia prospects

OLB Leonard Floyd: Could be the best pass rusher Georgia has had in many years.  Long, explosive and relentless.  A potential elite level draft prospect.

OLB Jordan Jenkins: Versatile, but lacks the elite level speed and agility that his teammate Floyd possess.  Nonetheless, Jenkins is one of the top senior prospects in the country.  Good power for his size and doesn’t get overmatched by bigger lineman often

WR Malcolm Mitchell: Georgia’s most experienced threat on the perimeter, he is vital to the “improving” Georgia pass attack.  When Georgia gets in must pass situations, Mitchell is their go-to guy.

Other prospects: OT John Theus, OG Greg Oyke, FB Quayvon Hicks, RB Keith Marshall, LS Nathan Theus

#15 Ole Miss vs #2 Alabama 9:15 ESPN

SEC West championship implications in September.  The Rebels (although against cupcakes) have averaged over 70 ppg in their first two games.  Alabama, however, is a completely different animal.  The Bama front is as good as any, and could face the Rebels down their top pass protector, Laremy Tunsil.  I don’t believe Tunsil will be the end all be all for Ole Miss, but his loss could be devastating.  WR Laquon Treadwell always shows up in big games, and he better if they plan to keep up with the bruising Crimson Tide.  Prospects galore in this one, and I’ll take the Tide to roll (assuming Tunsil won’t play) 33-17.

DT A’Shawn Robinson: Was tough to contain as is, and Robinson looks slightly quicker than last season.  We have a treat with two of the best in the business Saturday night (Nkemdiche)

RB Derrick Henry: He’s been everything we could have expected and then some thus far.  Defenders seem less than interested in tackling the best junior, who is averaging just south of 8 yards per carry.  He has scored three touchdowns in each of his first two contests.

RB Kenyan Drake: Has been explosive as a dual threat, currently ranking second in the SEC in all-purpose yardage.  He’s the perfect complement to Henry, as Drake is as fluid catching the ball as he is in the ground game.

TE O.J. Howard: Gasp, we’ve had some O.J. Howard sightings so far.  Howard seems to be more involved in the Alabama passing game this year, which is a welcome sign.  After just 31 catches in two seasons, he has already snagged 7 in his first two games.

DE Jonathan Allen OLB Ryan Anderson, CB Cyrus Jones, ILB Reggie Ragland, DL Jarran Reed, C Ryan Kelly

Ole Miss prospects

DT Robert Nkemdiche: He’ll line up all along the front vs Bama and who knows, maybe catch a pass here and there as well.  He’s wreaked havoc so far in 2015 on special teams as well, look for Ole Miss to get the absolute most out of Nkemdiche.

OT Laremy Tunsil: Is he going to play or not?  He’s been held out of Ole Miss’ first two outings due to a pending NCAA inquiry.  His absence will be brutally missed vs one of the most talented front lines in the country if he is held out again.

WR Laquon Treadwell: The 6’2 210lbs receiver seems back and healthy, which is a welcome sign.  He’s been active in the first two cupcake games snagging 9 passes.  Treadwell will likely get the ball thrown his way early and often.

SS Tony Conner: An in the box safety more often than not, Conner will be put to the test vs Bama.  I’m mainly looking for any improvement as a rusher off the edge as well as handling the likes of an O.J. Howard or other bigger bodies.

TE Evan Engram, OG Aaron Morris, ILB CJ Johnson

#19 BYU vs #10 UCLA 10:30 Fox Sports 1

Interesting late game in Los Angeles.  BYU has the horses on defense to make things interesting, but will they keep up offensively? Unsung guys like NT Logan Taele, S Kai Nacua and LB Harvey Langi have stepped up and alongside DE Bronson Kaufusi BYU could give UCLA QB Josh Rosen his toughest challenge yet.  The prospect matchup to watch will be the UCLA front led by Kenny Clark, Myles Jack, Deon Hollins and Takkarist McKinley vs the talented BYU front which has allowed just two sacks in their last seven games. I’ll take UCLA to eventually outlast BYU, close. 28-23.

BYU Prospects

DE Bronson Kaufusi : A basketball player as well, this 6’7 285 DE is a unique athlete for the position.  He possess the ability to drop in coverage as well as an above average pass rusher, making him a legitimate prospect to keep your eye on.

WR Mitch Mathews: He lacks the ideal speed and burst, but with the size of Mathews (6’6 215lbs) he is worth a look.  Has been productive this season, reeling in two touchdowns.

Other prospects: OT Ryker Mathews, WR Devon Blackmon

UCLA Prospects

OLB Myles Jack: Already a two-way standout with return ability, Jack has immense athleticism highlighted by his rare speed and awareness for the position.  He won’t knock your chinstrap off consistently, but has pass rush ability.

DT Kenny Clark: Will play huge vs BYU.  He is critical to the run defense as he anchors double teams and allows the playmakers behind to do their job. Can play end or nose as well, which should make Clark a hot commodity come spring time.

CB Fabian Moreau: BYU may not give the best intel on Moreau, but nonetheless is the premier player to watch in the secondary.  A solid run defender with some length on the outside, Moreau is in the range of a mid-round prospect at the moment.

WR Jordan Payton, WR Devin Fuller, C Jake Brendel

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14 Responses to “Primetime Prospects to Watch: Week 3”

  1. steve earle says:

    Once again our O-line did a good job. I’m really pleased with our rookie OC Anderson. I would not have been that surprised to see him have trouble with Bills DTs but he was solid. This kid could have a future. Our D-line was fierce for three quarters but seemed to run out of steam in the fourth. Hope that doesn’t become a pattern. By half time Bills “Loud and Proud” had become Quiet and ashamed. Too much big talk, kind of like the Jets when Ryan took over there. Looks like he gets his guys so hyped up they can’t handle adversity given the number of cheep shots penalties they got.

    • Kevan says:

      Rookie center Andrews has saved the pats for sure, especially with Wendell not able to go yet. I mean where did this kid come from? How was he not drafted? Oline is lookin good, Stork being a bit injury prone it’s good to have Wendell, Andrews on the squad. Very interested to see who starts when all is healthy. This front 7 is special 100%. There gonna lead the league in sacks, we haven’t even seen Trey flowers yet, watch that kid come on strong towards the end of the year. If the pats are to make their annual in season trade it’s gotta be for a corner, fletcher has to go. He gets burned on the outside and isn’t quick enough for the slot. Russell was right I’d take Swanson over Fletcher all day.

      • GM-in-Training says:

        Maybe they already made that trade/waiver pickup. Justin Coleman is tailor-made for playing slot. He just needs the coaching and experience.

        That said, if the Pats were to trade someone before midseason, who could they do without and still get good value for? They might not even trade for a player, they might trade for picks, because LaFell will come back and need a roster spot.

        • Kevan says:

          Yea I’m high on Coleman too, I think he’s perfect for the slot. I don’t know if he is an outside corner, maybe with time and development. Hypothetically if the pats were to make a trade, it would be a draft pick for a player, and fletcher would be the player released. I’m just a little worried if Butler or Brown goes down, the pats don’t have anyone the can step up at this point. Ryan is another slot type guy who’s more quick than fast. Pats just need a longer more outside guy, fletcher ain’t cuttin it. Really sucks Darryl Roberts went down, 6’1 top end speed with quickness and a vertical, he might not be a TO maker, but he’s really good at defending passes. Owell that’s for next year.

  2. Kevan says:

    Is that official Russell, did daxton get cut?

  3. Russell says:

    If I’m Dallas I get QB Mike Kafka to back-up Weeden!

    • steve earle says:

      Probably a good idea for Dallas to get someone Russell just not sure they have much hope after loosing starter. Agree the Like Butler and Roberts just haven’t seen that much of Coleman yet. Hope you guys are right about him. I did like what we had seen of Swanson too and would not like loosing him.

  4. Ryan says:

    How about Aaron Dobson today? 1 bad drop but 7 catches for 87 yards was quite the performance. Definitely not a number 1 option but he played like a second weapon today, even if he was the third- or fourth-most productive offensive weapon. I’m glad we kept him around and I think he still has a future with this organization.

    • Russell says:

      Dobson did play well, I’m not a big fan, I like Thompkins better, but lets hope he stays healthy.
      The Oline did VERY WELL, hats off to David Andrews another Belichick undrafted gem.

    • Jeff says:

      There were a couple of plays where Brady threw deep to tight coverage on Edelman. I’m not sure why if he’s just chucking it, he doesn’t chuck it towards Dobson – his skills might make a reception more likely.

  5. Russell says:

    Why is Belichick cutting Daxton Swanson off the P-Squad??? Is CB Coleman that far ahead of Swanson??

  6. Kevan says:

    If Malcolm butler can step up for the pats, their actually looking pretty good for the future. I like Darryl Roberts as the #2 outside guy, and Justin Coleman as the slot guy. That’s a young trio with some upside and athleticism. I know that’s a conversation for next season but I like it. Maybe Terrell brown or logan Ryan stick around for one more season and they draft another stud to fill out the 5 spots.

    • Ryan says:

      Yeah I like where that trio is heading. Hopefully Tarell Brown sticks around to teach Roberts some stuff; it’s really too bad that Roberts missed his rookie season. In 2-3 years we could have an effective, homegrown secondary.

  7. Russell says:

    Check my article on Andy Reid on Football Nation, Thanks!!

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