Even with COVID forcing the postponement of games, there are several big matchups this weekend in college football. Many of them include matchups that will draw the attention of NFL scouts. Here are some players to keep an eye on.
Penn State DE Jayson Oweh
vs. Michigan OT Jalen Mayfield
It has been a tough season so far for both of these historic programs. Penn State comes into the game with an 0-5 record and Michigan comes in hot at 2-3. Regardless of their records, both programs have talent on their roster that will be selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. Penn State’s redshirt sophomore DE Jason Oweh is one of the most athletic prospects that could declare, running a 4.33 40-yard dash at 6-5 and 256 pounds. He is still raw as a prospect, but his athleticism and bend are exceptional. He doesn’t have a sack yet this season, but still has 12 hurries. A big game this weekend against touted OT Jaylen Mayfield could go a long way for his draft stock.
Mayfield originally opted out of the season until the Big Ten announced its return, and the massive lineman has been one of the few bright spots for Michigan this year. At 6-5, 319 pounds, he has NFL size and shows NFL power on tape. He has the ability to create movement in the run game and stymy a bull rush, but struggles with speed off the edge. If he can show the ability to limit the effectiveness of Oweh, it will answer some questions about how he matches up with rare athletes coming at him.
Auburn WR Seth Williams
vs. Alabama CB Patrick Surtain Jr.
One of the best rivalries in the nation is set to be played this weekend, even though Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban won’t be on the sideline due to COVID-19. This matchup has the potential to decide the game, as Williams has consistently shown the ability to win at the catch point and keep the chains moving for the Auburn offense. He is a big-bodied athlete that shows the ability to high-point the football and play with a physical edge. The 6-3, 211-pound receiver has 563 yards and 3 TDs on 33 catches, and will be Bo Nix’s go-to target on third down.
Alabama junior CB Patrick Surtain Jr. will likely shadow him throughout the day, and is one of the few guys with the tools to shut down a player like Williams. He has ideal size at 6-1, 203 pounds, shows the ability to stay in the hip pocket and can flip his hips and run down field. He has no issues matching up with bigger receivers, and is actually better against receivers like Williams. Winning this matchup would help solidify his status as one of the best corners in this year’s draft class if he declares.
LSU LB Jabril Cox
vs. Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond
LSU has taken a step back on the field this season after winning the National Championship last year, largely due to a large graduating class and the losses of key members on the coaching staff. Nonetheless, they still have NFL talent on this roster including North Dakota State transfer LB Jabril Cox. The 6-4, 231-pound linebacker is second on the team in tackles (34) and interceptions (2) while having the ability to run sideline to sideline and make plays all over the field. He will likely be tasked with keeping Kellen Mond’s legs in check and forcing him to beat them through the air.
Texas A&M has been a pleasant surprise this season, cashing in on an experienced team full of seniors on their way to a 5-1 record, including an upset over No. 6 Florida. Mond has been solid this season, completing 64% of his passes for 1,468 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. He also has the athleticism to create and extend plays, and can pick up yards with his legs to move the chains. He shows the traits you need in a quarterback, but needs to do so with more consistency. Although this is not the LSU of last year, a shining performance against their talented corners will be a check on his resume for the upcoming draft.