Every weekend college football showcases intriguing matchups between future professional players battling in one-on-one situations. Although the draft is still months away, NFL teams focus on these highly anticipated individual matchups 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. NFL scouts will have their eye’s on these upcoming matchups in Week 3 to help answer questions throughout the draft process.
Florida OLB Brenton Cox vs. Alabama RB Brian Robinson
Saturday 3:30 PM CBS Network
When Florida and Alabama square off this weekend it will have a lot of NFL talent clashing at every level of the field. One of the key players on Florida will be outside linebacker Brenton Cox. Cox is a 6-foot-4 and 250 pound redshirt-junior who has started 14 games for the Gators since transferring from Georgia in 2019. He had a really good 2020 season tallying up 41 tackles, 4.0 sacks and 9.5 TFLs. Cox is an athletic edge setter who can cover in space and has a good first step off the edge. He is a productive run defender with the ability to disrupt his assigned gap and stay disciplined. Some of the concerns about Cox in this year’s draft are about his flexibility along the edge. Cox has the physical tools to have position flexibility at the next level. He will have the opportunity to display his toughness and versatility when facing Alabama’s stout offensive line and powerful running back this weekend.
Alabama’s running back Brian Robinson will be looking to run through Florida defenders this upcoming weekend. Robinson is a 6-foot-1, 225 pound redshirt senior who has helped takeover the run game duties after Najee Harris’ departure. Robinson brings a combination of size, power and quickness to the Crimson Tide offense. He is deceptively fast and can make defenders miss in the open field with nimble footwork and punish them with power at points of contact. A concern for Robinson is his impact in the passing game. He is a solid blocker but he hasn’t shown he is a receiving threat yet. This matchup fe
Editor’s Note: The original version of this story listed Ventrell Miller as the key matchup against Brian Robinson. That has been changed due to Miller’s season-ending biceps injury.
South Carolina Edge Kingsley Enagbare vs. Georgia OT Jamaree Salyer
Saturday 7:00 PM ESPN
Georgia and South Carolina is another SEC matchup that will feature a lot of future NFL players. This specific matchup will start off with Kingsley Enagbare who is a 6-foot-4, 265 pound senior who plays edge for the Gamecocks. Enagbare is a twitchy, strong-handed edge player who is highly effective in both pass rush and run defense. He plays mainly out of a two-point stance from a 5-tech or wider alignment. In 2020, he was named first-team All-SEC after stacking up 6.0 sacks and 7.0 TFLs in 8 games. He will have a lot to prove this weekend when facing the number 2 team in the nation.
Georgia’s left tackle, Jamaree Salyer, will have the responsibility of keeping Enagbare locked up this week. Salyer is a 6-foot-4, 325 pound left tackle who has started 13 games for the Bulldogs. He has a really strong core that allows him to anchor down against bull rushes along with active hands to reset to fight for positioning. Salyer has somewhat quick feet for a thicker tackle. He has the athletic ability to reset with a power step down inside and carry defenders down the line of scrimmage rather than giving up his inside leverage. Salyer’s body type and abilities look to make him more of a guard at the professional level but this tough matchup will be a test for his ability to handle tackle responsibilities against NFL talent.
Auburn CB Roger McCreary vs. Penn State WR Jahan Dotson
Saturday 7:30 PM ABC Network
The first half of this matchup will take place in the secondary with Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary. McCreary is a 6-foot, 190 pound senior who has started 13 games for the Tigers. He is a sticky man-to-man corner who has greasy hips and good hands. When McCreary is lively with his feet he can almost run routes hip-to-hip with receivers. He is a technical and tenacious tackler for a cornerback. He is physical at the point of contact and brings his hips with him on attempts. One facet of improvement that would help McCreary’s draft stock is to display quicker transition to the catch point from his zone drops. He is a quick and explosive athlete but seems to be a step later than he should be when attacking space.
Penn State’s Jahan Dotson will be looking to have a big weekend when facing their only SEC-scheduled matchup of the year. Dotson had a good 2020 season that earned him third-team all Big-10. This year he is off to another hot start by hauling in 10 catches for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns in just two games. Dotson is a speedy receiver who can play in both the slot and outside. He shows good acceleration through his breaks and can turn it up another gear on routes 15+ yards downfield. Dotson’s underneath route runner is something he could improve on to boost his draft stock. He has the speed to create separation but his footwork and explosion on lateral bursts will need to improve. The Dotson and McCreary matchup should be an interesting battle to watch this weekend.