Breakdowns

3 Matchups NFL Scouts Will Be Watching In Week 11

3 Matchups NFL Scouts Will Be Watching In Week 11

Every weekend college football showcases intriguing matchups between future professional players battling in one-on-one situations. The result of these matchups will have implications in the 2022 NFL Draft order. Although the draft is still months away, NFL teams have their sights on players to preemptively stack their boards and assign grades to players. All of these prospects are eligible for the draft and some even have the opportunity to be drafted early. These matchups will allow NFL front offices to see how they produce against the best competition. NFL scouts will have their eyes on these upcoming matchups in Week 10 to help answer questions throughout the draft process.

Oregon DE Kayvon Tibodeaux vs. Washington State OT Abraham Lucas 

Saturday 10:30 PM

Oregon’s defense has arguably the best player in the country and a potential first overall pick on their defensive line. Kayvon Thibodeaux is a 6-foot-5, 258-pound junior who has been a menace his entire career with first team All Pac-12 and All-American accolades since his freshman year.

Thibodeaux has an extremely strong and quick first step that allows him to play every snap in the offense’s backfield. He has the ability to create knock back against in-line and zone blocks to then shed and make plays himself.

Thibodeaux commands a strong presence on the edge and alters offensive protection plans every week. He uses violent and quick hands to be as disruptive as possible. Thibodeaux has great potential at the next level and NFL teams use him as a measuring stick when studying offensive tackles he goes against. 

Washington State will be counting on Abraham Lucas to stave off Thibodaux this weekend when they battle in this Pac-12 matchup. Lucas is a 6-foot-7, 319-pound redshirt-senior who has started 39 games at right tackle for the Cougars.

Lucas has earned multiple first and second All Pac-12 honors and been a key piece to their offensive success. Lucas is a strong and decently athletic tackle who is a mauler in the run game. He shows good power out of his stance with the ability to in-line and zone block well. He displays a consistent foot churn along with strong hands to stay engaged with defenders to open up gaps.

Lucas shows solid pass protection ability when quick setting at the line of scrimmage. He is strong enough to stun defenders then sustain his block to allow quick passes to get off. Lucas is athletic enough to vertical set or at a 45-degree angle to bubble outside rushers using his length. He can sometimes struggle against inside counter moves but shows a decent power step to reset his block. \

This weekend will be a big matchup to gage how Lucas handles top tier NFL talent when facing Oregon’s pass rush.

Baylor LB Terrel Bernard vs. Oklahoma RB Kennedy Brooks 

Saturday 12:00 PM 

The defensive side of this matchup will feature Baylor’s Terrel Bernard, who will be looking to make Oklahoma one dimensional. Bernard is a 6-foot-1, 222-pound senior who has started 20 games in his career.

Bernard is an athletic space-eating linebacker who flies around the field making plays. He earned 2n -team All Big-12 in each of his last two seasons and has continued his great play this year. He shows the agility to avoid blocks and still maintain good pursuit angles against both inside and outside runs. He shows range that allows him to carry motion across the field and attack bubble screens behind the line of scrimmage.

Bernard is missing some mass to play stout against NFL offensive lines but shows the athleticism and coverage skills to be a good weakside ‘backer at the next level. NFL scouts will be seeing how he fairs against one of the best teams in the Big-12 this weekend. 

Oklahoma will be counting on Kennedy Brooks to continue to lead the rushing attack of this Sooner offense. Brooks is 5-foot-11, 215-pound redshirt junior who was 2nd team All Big-12 in 2019 before he sat out in 2020.

He is a violent running back who has the contact balance to roll off arm and shoulder tackles. He provides a stable production and gritty running style that churns out extra yards after contact. He has good speed but is missing some home run hitting ability. An area of improvement that would help his draft stock is his pass protection in the backfield. He tends to catch defenders rather than be the hammer when initiating contact.

NFL scouts will be looking to see how Brooks produces and handles an athletic Baylor front seven.  

Nevada WR Romeo Doubs vs. San Diego State CB Tayler Hawkins 

Saturday 10:30 PM 

Two of the top teams from the Mountain West conference square off in this weekend’s game between Nevada and San Diego State. Romeo Doubs has been a major contributor to Wolf Pack’s success this year and has developed into a solid NFL prospect for the 2022 draft.

Doubs is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior who was first team All-Mountain West in 2020. Doubs has a unique combination of size and athleticism that make him an interesting prospect. He shows good sudden movement on routes for a larger receiver and has reliable hands that extend away from his body at the catch point. Doubs can also be explosive after the catch due to his moderate long speed and physicality with the ball in his hands.

This weekend will be a matchup between two of the top group of five players at their positions and NFL scouts will be intrigued to see how this matchup goes. 

San Diego State’s great season so far has been led by their stout defense that can keep them in a lot of games. Tayler Hawkins has been a big part of their defense’s success with his ability to lock down one side of the field. Hawkins is a 6-foot-1, 205-pound redshirt senior who was an All-Mountain West honorable mention in 2020.

This year he has shown a lot of improvement in his underneath zone coverage and ability to man-up receivers on the outside. Hawkins has good length for an outside corner and shows fluid hips when transitioning out of his backpedal. He is physical with his hands at the line of scrimmage as well as tackling in the open field. He can plant a foot in the ground and transition into good closing speed to be disruptive at the catch point or generate force on tackles. This weekend has a great scheduled matchup between these two bigger bodied players for their position.

NFL scouts will be watching to see how these prospects stack up against NFL caliber talent.