All eyes on the college football world will be on Athens as the Georgia Bulldogs host the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and no one is more excited than the NFL scouts. This is the type of matchup that has scouts licking their lips in anticipation given all the NFL prospects on the field. With the Washington Redskins' season already teetering on the brink of disaster, you could argue Notre Dame-Georgia is the more important game for Redskins fans this week. The team is going nowhere this season, but the future could be playing on the field in Athens.
Here are the player's Redskins fans should be watching.
OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Ever hear of a guy named Trent Williams? Well, we are now into Week 3 of the NFL season and he still is not back with the team. At some point, the Redskins have to accept that he is not coming back. His departure instantly makes offensive tackle a position of need for them.
Thomas is going to be one of if not the best tackles in the draft and will be a high first-round pick. He started at right tackle for Georgia as a true freshman and has only improved since then. He will face his toughest test this season against Notre Dame's NFL caliber pass rushers. More on them later.
The NBC Sports Washington Mock Draft 2.0 has the New York Jets selecting Thomas with the No. 7 overall pick.
RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia
Jay Gruden does not seem to have much faith in Adrian Peterson anymore and Derrius Guice just suffered the second significant injury of his short career. If the Redskins want a reset at running back, Swift would be a good candidate.
Georgia is a running back factory and Swift is averaging a stunning 9.4 yards per carry through three games this season. Granted, the competition has not been fierce, but that is still impressive.
If Swift goes in the first round, which he might, that's too high for the Redskins. This is a team with too many holes to fill to use a first-round draft pick on a running back when you still don't really know what you have in Guice. If he falls to the second round, however, then this looks like a much more attractive pick.
DE Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame
You can never have enough edge rushers in today's NFL. Kareem started all 13 games last season tying the team lead for sacks and finishing second in tackles for loss.
Kareem is good at using his speed to turn the corner on the pass rush, but I am not sure he has many other tools in his toolbox and I wonder how he performs against NFL-caliber tackles. He is good against the run, however, and wreaking havoc in the interior.
G Solomon Kindley, Georgia
Kindley is likely the top guard in the nation. At 6-foot-4, 335 pounds, he has NFL size and perhaps the skill to walk into the NFL and start right away. He's got the size, but he is also more mobile than you would expect for a player of his size. That has helped him be a dominant force in the run game which is important in Georgia's pro-style offense.
Brandon Scherff is on the final year of his deal and if he is on his way out, Kindley could be a good replacement.
WR Chase Claypool, Notre Dame
Terry McLaurin is a stud, but the Redskins are in need of more weapons for the passing attack. Claypool did little in 2017, but that had more to do with quarterback Brandon Wimbush not being able to get receivers the ball than it did Claypool. In 2018, Claypool caught 50 passes for 639 yards and four touchdowns and his 2019 season has gotten off to a great start. In just two games, he has nine catches for 190 yards and a touchdown.
Claypool has good size at 6-foot-4 to go with his speed.
Other potential NFL prospects to watch:
QB Jake Fromm, Georgia
OLB Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
CB Troy Pride Jr., Notre Dame
S J.R. Reed, Georgia
S Jalen Elliott, Notre Dame
G Ben Cleveland, Georgia
TE Charlie Woerner, Georgia
OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
DE/OLB Daelin Hayes, Notre Dame
S Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame
K Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia
DT Tyler Clark, Georgia
WR Chris Finke, Notre Dame
OT Robert Hainsey, Notre Dame
ILB Tae Crowder, Georgia
OL Tommy Kraemer, Notre Dame
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