NFL Draft: Prospect Preview – Week 1 (Fri. Games)
Welcome to Prospect Preview. A first hand guide of who to keep an eye on when your watching this weekend’s game. For now I’m focusing on seniors, especially early in the season, because while Juniors are usually the bulk of first round selections, we just don’t know who will declare.
Click here for Player Rankings for information on some of the prospects.
North Carolina State vs. Tennessee - 7:30 PM EST ESPNU
When North Carolina State has the ball:
Keep an eye on QB Mike Glennon. He has NFL size and is very experienced QB who show leadership qualities and ahigh football IQ. He has a solid arm, but you want to see more consistency with him. I think he could work himself into a mif round selection in April. Protecting Glennon will be two vetern lineman in OT RJ Mattes and C Camden Wentz. Mattes is a four-year starter for the Wolfpack and has played at both OG and OT. Keep an eye if he’s plays with same tenacity as he did last season. Mattes is coming off a foot injury that limited him this spring. C Camden Wentz has good size for a center and could be a late round pick in the draft.
For the Volunteers defensive back Prentiss Waggner will most likely standout. He may line up as a CB, but many feel he will make the transition to Safety to the NFL. He played Safety most of his career but is making the transition to CB, and has shown excellent playmaking skills and to knack to always be in the right place at the right time. OLB Herman Lathers is also one to watch, he missed last season so he needs a big year to earn a draftable grade.
Others to watch: NC State’s OG Zach Allen and Tennessee CB Marsalis Teague
When Tennessee has the ball:
G/T Dallas Thomas is the best senior prospect in this draft. He’s moved inside to OG for the year, but he is a legit LT prospect. Thomas has the lenght, size, and athleticism to be a potential franchise LT at the next level. The move to LG could be beneficial as it shows his versatility to scouts.
NC State has a very underrated secondary led by junior David Amerson, but they also have a solid duo at Safety with Earl Wolff and Brandon Bishop. Last season they combined for 212 tackles and 8 interceptions. Bishop does a good job in coverage and rearley gets lost, while Wolff is solid run-supporting safety.
Others to watch: Tennessee’s TE Mychal Rivera and NC State’s ILB Sterling Lucas and CB CJ Wilson
Boise State vs. Michigan State – 8:00 EST ESPN
When Boise State has the ball:
With Doug Martin now in the NFL, DJ Harper will have his chance to shine at RB. While he’s not on Martin’s level, Harper is a solid back in his own right. Good in-between the tackles with underrated speed on the edge. Harper doesn’t go down on first contact and has shown to be a willing blocker in pass protection.OG Joe Kellogg will be in charge of creating running lanes and is a borderline draftable prospect. With no Kellen Moore, WR Mitch Burroughs will be asked to create plays after the catch. He’s small, but very shifty in open-space and shows solid hands.
DT Anthony Rashad White could have a chance to shine with DE William Gholston getting plenty of double teams. Rashad White at 320 lbs, could appeal to 3-4 team looking for a NT late in the draft. Potential first rounder CB Johnny Adams will be in charge of slowing down the Broncos passing attack. Adams is a tick smaller than you would like, but he has a great blend of long speed, quickness, and ball skills. Very physical as well.
Others to Watch: DE/DT Tyler Hoover and OLB Chris Norman for Michigan State and C Cory Yriarte for Boise State
When Michigan State has the ball:
Junior RB Le’Veon Bell will get the majority of the carries, but Larry Casper shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s a big back who doesn’t go down easily. After suffering from concussion last season, Bell must stay healthy to get a shot at the next level. OT Fou Fonoti and OG Chris McDonald are both solid run blockers who also could get looks by NFL teams.
As of now, Boise State CB’s Jamar Taylor and Jerrell Gavins are fringe prospects, but Taylor as some potential with his size and ability to play the ball in the air.
Jeremy Cabler covers the NFL Draft and College Football for Rant Sports. Check out his Scouting Reports