Written: Joseph Yun
As we continue on this weird 2020 college football journey, it’s time to take a look at some of the top prospects within the top games of the week.
Welcome to the series called Blitzing the NFL Draft! Let’s get the show started!!
Note: all game times will be listed within the Eastern time zone.
Houston at Baylor NOON EDT FOX
- Houston and Baylor finally get to kick off their respective seasons after COVID19 postponements. What’s interesting is that this game will have two Mike Leach Air Raid pupils in Houston HC Dana Holgerson and Baylor OC Larry Fedora. Baylor will have a first-time head coach in defensive guru Dave Aranda. Last year was not kind to the Cougars as they struggled to a 4-8 record and the eventual transfer of star QB D’Eriq King to Miami. Baylor finished up with an 11-3 record that featured a losing sweep to Oklahoma and a loss to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. HC Matt Rhule parlayed his Bears success into the head coaching job with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. What’s crazy is that the game wasn’t even scheduled until this past Sunday!
Houston prospect to watch
1. Marquez Stevenson 6’0 190 WR RS Senior
- Pure unadulterated speed. He has legitimate sub 4.5 speed and might run a high 4.3 to low 4.4 at the Combine if he’s healthy. Houston has used him in a variety of formations and roles such as on toss sweeps and both in and outside receiver roles. Versatility is a major plus.
Baylor prospects to watch
1. Raleigh Texada 5’10 188 CB Senior
- If the last name is familiar, he’s the younger brother of former TCU corner Ranthony II. This Texada might be the slightly better sibling. He’s a track star so he’ll probably end up covering the aforementioned Stevenson a majority of the time. Probably the best cornerback on Baylor’s roster and with Aranda guiding him, expect a big year if he stays healthy.
2. William Bradley-King 6’4 248 EDGE RS Senior
- Undersized EDGE prospect but that can be said for a lot of guys so it’s not a knock against him. A “toolsy” kind of asset who transferred in from Arkansas State this summer so the upgrade in competition will be interesting to watch for him. Has been seen in a variety of stances and he drops back into coverage really well.
Boston College at Duke NOON EDT ESPN+
- The Blue Devils return home to host the Golden Eagles after a stinging loss to the Irish on the road last week. BC debuts its 2020 campaign under a new coach, former Ohio State DC Jeff Hafley. Can the Dukies recover after last week?
BC prospects to watch
1. Tyler Vrabel 6’5 310 OT RS Sophomore
- One of the better offensive tackle prospects in the class. He’s the son of current Tennessee Titans head coach and veteran player Mike Vrabel so he grew up in NFL locker rooms and knows the life of a player. Vrabel has only one year of starting so he needs more tape. Excellent fundamentals as expected in both the run and pass game. Mobility isn’t an issue. Improved under former head coach Steve Addazio.
2. Alec Lindstrom 6’4 290 OL RS Junior
- The younger brother of current Falcons right guard Chris Lindstrom. Versatility is seen as he can play both guard spots and some center. Another guy who improved under Addazio. Brute strength is the name of his game.
3. Max Richardson 6’0 230 LB Senior
- The speed on tape is very evident. He’s a bit undersized at a listed 230 but possesses great instincts and tackling fundamentals as pretty much every BC defender does. A tackling machine that blew up in 2019 with over 100 tackles and 3.5 sacks after a decent 2018. Instantly aware of his surroundings in the short passing game and is often the first to the ball. Compares to Tennessee Titans linebacker Jayon Brown.
Duke prospects to watch
1. Chris Rumph II 6’3 225 EDGE RS Junior
- Rumph has been an outstanding utility piece for the Blue Devils that has earned a starting gig in 2020 after two years of solid development. The son of a longtime defensive assistant coach Chris so you just know he has a solid base of fundamentals to work with that athleticism. Undersized and crazy athletic in a similar vein to K’Lavon Chaisson.
2. Victor Dimukeje 6’3 265 EDGE Senior
- The “other” edge rusher is plenty good himself. Dimukeje seems more built for the run game but has plenty in the pass rush department when he has to. Development has been a long climb. Can he put it together for one last hurrah? Could be best used as a hybrid defensive tackle/end type like a Jack Crawford.
USF at #7 Notre Dame 2:30 PM USA
- USF, fresh off a nothing to see here win over the Citadel, which included a hilarious punt return touchdown, travel to South Bend. The Irish won’t be a laughing matter for Bulls new head coach Jeff Scott to deal with. Expect ND big.
USF prospects to watch
1. Mike Hampton 6’1 180 CB RS Senior
- Hampton is a corner who has good instincts but isn’t quite good enough physically to match up. Still, he’s one of the best draft prospects that the Bulls have after graduations and years of interesting recruiting.
Notre Dame prospects to watch
1. Daelin Hayes 6’4 266 EDGE RS Senior
- The heir apparent to Julian Okwara has had some medical issues but appears to be finally healthy for a resurgent 2020 campaign that started with an impressive showing against Duke. He’s fast for a guy his size and knows how to ”get skinny” against blockers to penetrate the gap. A bigger Harold Landry if you will.
2. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah 6’2 216 LB RS Junior
- A more disciplined Michigan era Jabrill Peppers. He’s been used all over the place in the Irish defense as a slot cover safety, box linebacker, and blitzer. Undersized in an off-ball linebacker role at his listed measurements but can he succeed in a smaller Isaiah Simmons type of role?
#17 Miami at #18 Louisville 7:30 PM ABC
- The Canes and Cardinals are set to do battle in primetime after opening their 2020 accounts with victories over lesser opponents. It will also be a battle between two of the most fun and entertaining quarterbacks on the college level.
Miami prospects to watch
1. Quincy Roche 6’4 235 EDGE RS Senior
- Roche was one of the best EDGE prospects at Temple before he transferred to Miami. The explosive off the snap quickness is very apparent off the tape. He also has a developing pass rush arsenal but has an effective chop move to bait blockers.
2. Brevin Jordan 6’3 245 TE Junior
- The latest in a long line of Hurricane tight ends at a legacy position. Uber athletic and could be stuck in between tight end and receiver due to it. Miami has used him in a variety of routes so he’s a weapon all over the field. Has an argument for being the best tight end in the class.
3. Al Blades, Jr 6’1 186 CB Junior
- Notice the last name? This Blades is the latest in a true blue Canes legacy family. Let’s just say that the Blades name rings in a synonymous tone such as the Manning name does for the NFL. As a prospect, he’s quicker than fast but has developed nicely until this point. A willing competitor even if he’s outmatched physically at times.
Louisville prospects to watch
1. Micale Cunningham 6’1 200 QB RS Junior
- Cunningham just barely missed cracking my top 10 quarterback list. While he isn’t Lamar Jackson, he’s plenty mobile. Possesses a good enough arm but needs to improve it in order to make it to the next level. Deep ball is a thing of beauty. Somewhat unconventional motion but it’s not Rivers or anything funky like that. Has a decent ability to throw on the run. He should test well if he declares for the draft.
2. Tutu Atwell 5’9 165 WR Junior
- Simply put, he’s 2020’s version of K.J. Hamler. Undersized, athletic as you know what, and a versatile chess piece for an explosive offense. The speed is just breathtaking.
Bonus games to watch
Wake Forest at NC State 8 PM ACC Network
- Not a whole lot going on here but do watch for Wake EDGE Carlos Basham, Jr going off against a ridiculously young Wolfpack OL.
Syracuse at Pittsburgh NOON ACC Network
- One defensive prospect for Cuse and two for the Panthers to keep an eye on. Syracuse S Andre Cisco is considered to be one of the better at his position and Pitt's Paris Ford is underrated. Pitt also features EDGE Patrick Jones II.