Utah-Washington and Florida-Georgia lead the way in this week’s 2020 NFL Draft Spotlight.
For most college football and NFL Draft fans, the big game (LSU-Alabama) is marked for next week on the schedule, and this week is just a filler until then. When it comes to the 2020 NFL Draft, that game is loaded.
This week is not barren though. Two games headline this week’s slate, one of which is dubbed “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”. A couple of quarterbacks face big tests this week, while plenty of running backs make the watch list as well.
Let’s get into the games and prospects to watch!
Utah vs. Washington
We always have an SEC game leading the way, and with next week’s matchup likely to get a ton of attention, we’re switching it up this week. Utah-Washington will be a very good game and features more top prospects facing off than you might think.
First off, Utah’s defense is gelling well here towards the end of the season, and so is Huskies quarterback Jacob Eason. He outplayed Justin Herbert in their matchup a couple of weeks ago, and now he gets a big test. Eason will need to make sound reads, show poise in the pocket, and keep building on his strong season to pull off the upset.
There are a couple of matchups in the trenches that will be very fun in this game. Trey Adams, who’s had a very good season at left tackle for the Huskies. Adams will line up against Bradlee Anae, a pass rusher with plenty of moves. Anae can win cornering on the edge, has a nice inside move, and can win with a spin on the inside. Adams will have his hands full this week. Also, Nick Harris has had a nice season for the Huskies. Harris is a very good processor with quickness off the snap and good athleticism, but his struggles with pure power will make this enticing because Utah’s Leki Fotu is a dynamic presence inside with plenty of pass-rushing upside for the position.
Utah’s Zack Moss has been up near the top of the running back group this season and has cemented himself as the top senior running back in the 2020 NFL Draft right now. The Washington defense has talent on it, and he could be in for a tough afternoon. With Levi Onwuzurike on the defensive line, and Myles Bryant playing well at the safety position, Moss will need to be patient and show his power to move the chains. It would help if Utah targets him in the passing game as well.
Another name to note is Huskies’ tight end Hunter Bryant. He’s been a great inline tight end this year, but he’s also shown the ability to make plays in the passing game.
Florida vs. Georgia
This game not only puts the SEC East division on the line, but it also features some great matchups.
This is the chance for Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm to reset the narratives surrounding his junior season. We’ve seen the physical limitations, and his lack of mobility hurts him in the pocket when pressure comes his way. The Gators are going to bring pressure this week and Fromm needs to make quick decisions. Georgia needs to play to his strengths this week and dial up plays with intermediate crossers and out routes, where Fromm dominates.
Andrew Thomas is the best tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft class right now, and he gets a big test this week. Jonathan Greenard has upside as a pass rusher with a quick get off and strong hands. It’s also possible that Jabari Zuniga could line up on the edge as well. Zuniga brings some speed and quickness to the table as well. If there are any weaknesses to Thomas’ game, it’s handling speed rushers around the edge. This will be a fun test.
It will be an important game for D’Andre Swift as well. The Florida defense is a top unit, so if Swift can create space and make defenders miss within the first five yards, Swift should have a big day. He should also be a tough draw in the passing game.
On the other side, Florida running back Lamical Perine is a fun name to watch when it comes to the running back class. He has the big-play ability in open space and is a tough runner. Seeing how Georgia linebacker Monty Rice and safeties J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte match up with him near the line of scrimmage should be fun to watch.
Vanderbilt and South Carolina is another great matchup in the SEC this week when it comes to draft prospects. Commodores running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn has had a good second half of the season so far after a tough stretch at the beginning, but he will have to deal with one of the fastest risers, Javon Kinlaw, this week. Gamecocks wide receiver Bryan Edwards is another one to watch in this one.
Miami and Florida State isn’t a big game playoff wise, but it will have plenty of draft matchups to watch. Hurricanes’ Jeff Thomas goes up against Levonta Taylor and Hamsah Nisirildeen in the Seminoles secondary. Thomas is a very fluid route runner with the speed and quickness to dominate after the catch. Nisirildeen is a physical player in the secondary who has risen up boards this season. On the flip side, Tamorrion Terry has the height-weight-speed combo and he could thrive in his matchup against Trajan Bandy this week.
Also, both running backs, Cam Akers and DeeJay Dallas, should be fun to watch this week. Akers goes up against Miami linebackers Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pinckney, while Dallas has to deal with Florida State lineman Marvin Wilson.
Let’s also not forget that Oregon and USC battle this week. Justin Herbert had a good game last week, leading a game-winning drive for the Ducks. USC’s defense gives Herbert a chance to have a big week. USC wide receiver Michael Pittman goes against Oregon corner Deommodore Lenoir in the secondary as well.