Every Friday, we take a look at the games within the games of college football and try to shine a spotlight on some of the elite positional matchups for the upcoming weekend.
This week’s episode features a premier skill position battle in the SEC.
WR DEEBO SAMUEL VS CB DEANDRE BAKER
Still unsure whether or not Baker will be sticking with Samuel or also taking on the other Gamecocks talented receiver Bryan Edwards, but either way, the eighth overall prospect on our Big Board will have his hands full. Samuel missed the majority of last season with an ankle injury but picked up right where he left off last week with a nice outing against Coastal Carolina (7 catches 56 yards 1 TD). The winner of this battle will get a nice boost to their draft stock, and both Edwards and Deebo have second round grades from us at this time.
DE GERRI GREEN VS OT DALTON RISNER
A wiry edge rusher who was on the precipice of entering the draft last year, Green will have his hands full with Kansas State tackle Dalton Risner. Risner’s stock is all over the place right now (Pauline had him as a sixth rounder, other outlets have him in day two, etc.), but having watched him all last season, Risner enters the week as the 58th prospect on our Big Board. Risner’s versatility to play all five positions along the offensive line and enigmatic intelligence separates him from some of the other linemen in the class, but he will have to prove his agility and athleticism to stave off the whirling dervish Green.
RB JAMAURI BOGAN VS LB DEVIN BUSH
A shorter linebacker in the mold of Denzel Perryman, Devin Bush and the Michigan defense had a rough outing last week, losing to Brandon Wimbush and Notre Dame. The Wolverines will try to heal quickly and bounce back with a cupcake match up this week in Western Michigan, but in order to find success, they’ll need to contain water bug running back Jamauri Bogan. Bogan (5’7” 192 pounds) went down last November with a foot injury, but the redshirt senior has a big stage this week to turn some heads in the scouting community.
QB KHALIL TATE VS DT ED OLIVER
A sneaky good match up between the most dominant player in college football (Oliver) and perhaps the most electric post-Lamar Jackson quarterback (Tate) bolsters the credibility of an otherwise fairly placid game. Oliver has already declared for the draft and can really force Tate to escape the pocket early with interior penetration and keep him running for his life all game. He’s our early pick for top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to the Colts at the moment.
RB TRAYVEON WILLIAMS VS CLEMSON DL
Site of College Football Gameday this week, Williams will need a good game day to get some notice. Williams is one of our most underrated running backs, but faces a daunting defensive line of Austin Bryant/Dexter Lawrence/Christian Wilkins/Clelin Ferrell. If Williams can break a few long runs loose against these four horsemen, people around the country will have no choice but to take notice of the Aggie and could push him up in what looks to be a crowded RB class.
WR N’KEAL HARRY VS CB JOSIAH SCOTT
We all saw what N’Keal Harry did last week, but he won’t be able to juke seven players out of their shoes this week against Sparty. Scott isn’t draft eligible (true sophomore) but is already firmly circled, highlight, and asterisked in many scouts’ notes starting last year as a freshman. The former Rivals three star recruit is extremely sleight in frame (listed at 5’10” 175 pounds), so he will need to show some toughness, technique, and timing this week in order to neutralize the monstrous Harry (6’3” 216 pounds).