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2024 NFL Draft: Players To Watch In College Football Week 8

Tommy Eichenberg Ohio State

For the second year, the Reese’s Senior Bowl scouting team will be on 10-plus college campuses around the country every week during the 2023 college football season. This year’s scouting team includes 10 former NFL scouts with more than 200 years of league experience. The Senior Bowl has had 100-plus players drafted, accounting for more than 40 percent of the past three NFL draft classes.

Follow @JimNagy_SB on Twitter on Saturday to see up-close, field-level videos on the following players:

In heights/weights, “v” denotes verified and “e” denotes estimated.

All game times are Eastern

Scouting College Football Week 8

Penn State TE Tyler Warren

Height: 6057 (v)

Weight: 256 (v)

Arm: 32 1/4 inches

Matchup: Penn State at Ohio State — Noon, FOX

When the year started, we thought Penn State and Iowa had the best pairs of senior tight ends in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, both Hawkeyes (Luke Lachey and Erick All) have suffered season-ending injuries and could return to school next fall, so the title goes to the Nittany Lions’ duo of Tyler Warren and Theo Johnson. Warren is an under-the-radar prospect for many in the draft media, but he’s a favorite of NFL scouts in the Northeast. The Buckeyes have some good coverage matchups in the secondary with safeties Lathan Ranson and Josh Proctor, so this is a game where Warren could help his draft stock if he can make some plays in the passing game. Warren's biggest strength is his ball skills. He catches everything.

Ohio State LB Tommy Eichenberg

Height: 6023 (v)

Weight: 236 (v)

Arm: 31 3/4"

Matchup: Penn State at Ohio State — Noon, FOX

There will probably be some lazy narratives during the pre-draft process about Tommy Eichenberg, revolving around him being only a two-down player. The Senior Bowl doesn’t see it that way. Not only is Eichenberg one of the most natural linebackers in the 2024 draft, he’s also got plenty of speed. People who pigeonhole Eichenberg as an old-school Mike linebacker and don't think he can play on third downs at the next level are grossly underestimating how much ground he can cover. His arm length likely will be picked apar,t as well, but he doesn’t struggle to get off blocks, either. Eichenberg is a darn good football player.

UCF LT Tylan Grable

Height: 6053 (v)

Weight: 295 (v)

Arm: 32 3/4 inches

Matchup: UCF at Oklahoma — Noon, ABC

The Knights have several players who could get drafted in the later rounds or, at minimum, be priority free agents for NFL teams (WR Javon Baker, QB John Rhys Plumlee, EDGE Tre’Mon Morris-Brash and DT Ricky Barber among them), but LT Tylan Grable is our staff’s highest-graded team prospect. We first came across Grable at a Week 0 game two years ago when he was playing for Jacksonville State. One of JSU’s coaches gave us a heads-up about the athletic former high-school-quarterback-turned-offensive-lineman, telling us Grable would likely end up at an FBS program the following year. That school turned out to be UCF. Grable is a still-developing player who has the feet and overall athleticism to play at the next level.

New Hampshire RB Dylan Laube

Height: 5100 (v)

Weight: 203 (v)

Arm: 9 1/8 inches

Matchup: New Hampshire at Stony Brook — 3:30 p.m.

This is the Senior Bowl’s first opportunity to see our Week 2 Player of the Week up close. The fact that we’re making the trip to Stony Brook this late in the season should tell you what we think of Dylan Laube’s tape. We’ve seen some off-base comparisons to Christian McCaffrey out there, and we won't go that far because it’s unfair to compare Laube to an NFL MVP–level player. A better comparison is former New England Patriots standout Danny Woodhead. Like the former small school running back from Chadron State, Laube is an excellent receiver. What will separate Laube from most running backs in this, or any, draft cycle is his unique ability to run detached routes out of the slot and make plays on the ball downfield. He is a fun player to watch on tape.

Tulane OG Prince Pines

Height: 6041 (v)

Weight: 330 (v)

Arm: 34 3/8 inches

Matchup: North Texas at Tulane — 3:30 p.m., ESPN2

We were at the Tulane season opener where one of the coaches told us the best thing about G Prince Pines is that he is “indestructible.” In a league where dependability and durability are as important as actual ability, comments such as that will go a long way in helping NFL scouts sell Pines to their offensive line coaches. When it comes to ability, Pines is a nimble and powerful 330-plus pounder who can come off the ball and displace people. He also has one of the strongest punches of any interior offensive linemen in this draft. He can be an absolute bully in the run game and when providing help in pass protection.

Ole Miss DL Cedric Johnson

Height: 6025 (v)

Weight: 264 (v)

Arm: 33 1/8 inches

Matchup: Ole Miss vs. Auburn — 7 p.m., ESPN

I’ve watched Cedric Johnson since his high school days in Mobile, Alabama, but this will be the first time I’ll see him play live this year. Johnson is a versatile player whom Ole Miss has used extensively as 3/5-techniques over his career, but he’s playing primarily more on the edge this year. He battled through injuries last season, so it makes sense that he looks more athletic on tape this year now that he’s healthy. Johnson’s athleticism rushing off the edge has NFL scouts intrigued about his upside.

Graham Barton Duke

Duke LT Graham Barton

Height: 6046 (v)

Weight: 311 (v)

Arm: 32 5/8 inches

Matchup: Duke at Florida State — 7:30 p.m., ABC

I had dinner with Duke QB Riley Leonard and LT Graham Barton over the summer, and this was the game that both players had circled on the schedule. This is a big-time matchup game for Barton because he will face one of the 2024 NFL Draft’s top pass rushers, Florida State's Jared Verse. This is a one-on-one battle every NFL scout in attendance will have their binoculars trained on. We feel like Barton’s highest ceiling will be at center, where he played early in his career at Duke, but staying in front of Verse will go a long way in proving to NFL scouts that he can stay at tackle as a pro.

Clemson EDGE Xavier Thomas

Height: 6027 (v)

Weight: 246 (v)

Arm: 32 7/8 inches

Matchup: Clemson at Miami — 8 p.m., ACCN

Xavier Thomas has overcome many obstacles during his Clemson career, including numerous injuries, and he’s playing his best ball since his true freshman season in 2018. Thomas is a physical and relentless rusher. He’ll be a handful for Miami’s offensive line, a unit that struggled last week against North Carolina.

Utah OL Sataoa Laumea

Height: 6041 (v)

Weight: 312 (v)

Arm: 33 3/8 inches

Matchup: Utah at USC — 8 p.m., FOX

The Pac-12 gets plenty of love for its quarterback play, but there are a few offensive linemen out west playing at a very high level, and Utah RT Sataoa Laumea is one of them. When it comes to evaluating players for the Senior Bowl, this guy is easy. The fifth-year senior and three-time Pac-12 all-conference player has started 38 consecutive games (19 at right tackle and 19 at right guard), and NFL teams will love that versatility and dependability. This is a quick, loose and coordinated big man who is easily athletic enough to play left tackle at the next level, so there’s true four-position flexibility here. Laumea’s game last week against Cal was one of the best OL tapes we’ve seen so far this season.

Before taking over as executive director of the Reese's Senior Bowl in 2018, Jim Nagy was an NFL scout for nearly two decades, having worked for five teams that won a combined four Super Bowls. Follow him on Twitter @JimNagy_SB.