NFL Draft

5 prospects Redskins and Ravens fans should watch in Auburn vs. Alabama

5 prospects Redskins and Ravens fans should watch in Auburn vs. Alabama

The Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama is one of the most heated rivalries in college sports. It is also one that will have a lot of NFL talent.

Here are the five players Redskins and Ravens fans should be watching Saturday in Auburn vs. Alabama.

WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

This is someone who should be on the Redskins' radar as the top receiver prospect.

Henry Ruggs, Justin Jefferson and DeVonta Smith are all top receiver prospects, but Jeudy is the best of the bunch as the top receiving prospect in the nation. He looks like the next great Alabama receiver with 66 catches, 933 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He is incredibly fast with breakaway speed which he uses well with his quick feet and fantastic route running. He is a game-changing receiver who can get open and break off big plays.

Don't be surprised if Jeudy's stock goes down at the combine. He is not the biggest receiver and could use some more muscle. There will be those who downgrade him because of size and durability concerns in the NFL and will call CeeDee Lamb from Oklahoma as the top receiver prospect. Lamb is great, but any concerns over Jeudy are foolish. This guy is going to be a great receiver who could upgrade any offense he's in.

See here where Jeudy lands in our Mock Draft.

DL Derrick Brown, Auburn

The interior defensive line would be more of a target for Baltimore than Washington which has several other needs to address. Brown may not be available to the Ravens as he is considered a high pick, but if he is, he is a must-take for the Ravens.

In an age where everyone is obsessed with edge rushers, Brown is the star of Auburn’s defensive line from the interior. He is an absolute beast and effective against double teams. You need an interior lineman who can draw double teams and still get to the ball in the NFL.

See where Brown lands in our Mock Draft.

OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama

Offensive tackle is one of the most important positions in football and Leatherwood is among the best.

Leatherwood has the athleticism to be an NFL tackle and is versatile enough to play left or right. He needs to work on his technique, but some good NFL coaching should turn him into a great starting lineman.

See where Leatherwood lands in our Mock Draft.

Edge Terrell Lewis, Alabama

Lewis is one of the best edge rushers in the nation and also one of the most fun to watch because of how frantic it all looks. Disruption is definitely his game. He has good burst to build momentum which he uses to his advantage. He is not afraid to fight off blocks as well as shed them. He is an explosive player who is hard to battle against every single play.

Lewis needs to refine his skills as the way he sheds blocks is more frantic than technical as he just throws whatever moves he can think of at his blockers. He can get away with that in college, but in the NFL he needs to know when and how to use whatever tools are in his arsenal to shed a blocker instead of just making it up as he goes along.

Lewis' stock may fall a bit due to injury concerns in college. If he falls to either Washington or Baltimore he would be a great pickup for either.

See where Lewis lands in our mock draft.

CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama

Like receivers, this game boasts several first and second-round cornerback prospects. Xavier McKinney is the top CB prospect in this game, but let's look at someone most Redskins and Ravens fans will recognize.

Diggs, a native of Maryland, converted from wide receiver to cornerback in his sophomore year. He was previously the punt and kick returner for the Tide showing off his tremendous athleticism and speed. He is great at finding the ball in the air and diagnosing when to jump to get his hand to it at the highest point. Diggs can sometimes give up space when transitioning from the back-pedal, but he has shown great ability to close gaps, especially when the ball is in the air and the receiver has to readjust to it. Diggs can close that gap, then beat his receiver to the ball and force the incompletion.

Cornerback is definitely a position of need for Washington and Diggs is someone who should be on their radar if he falls to them in the second round.

See here where Diggs lands in our Mock Draft.

Other potential NFL prospects to watch:

OLB Big Kat Bryant, Auburn
DB Shyheim Carter, Alabama
Edge Nick Coe, Auburn
DE Marlon Davidson, Auburn
CB Javaris Davis, Auburn
DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama
S Jeremiah Dinson, Auburn
OT Jack Driscoll, Auburn
RB Najee Harris, Alabama
OLB Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
CB Xavier McKinney, Alabama
LB Dylan Moses, Alabama
DT LaBryan Ray, Alabama
WR Henry Ruggs III
WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn
S Daniel Thomas, Auburn
OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama


5 prospects Redskins and Ravens fans should be watching in Ohio State vs. Penn State

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5 prospects Redskins and Ravens fans should be watching in Ohio State vs. Penn State

The Big Ten East will likely be decided on Saturday as Ohio State hosts Penn State (12 p.m., FOX). The Buckeyes look like one of if not the best team in the nation and are projected to have a non-stop ticket to the College Football Playoff. The Nittany Lions have one loss, but an upset over Ohio State will jump them right back into playoff contention.

As two of the top teams in the nation, both boast a boatload of NFL talent on their rosters. 

Here are the players you should be watching in Saturday's matchup.

DE Chase Young, Ohio State

Young returns from a two-game suspension which means the most dominant player in college football is going to be well-rested and angry. He already has 13.5 sacks and ranks second in the nation despite being suspended the past two games. Those two games were against Maryland and Rutgers so you can bet he would have padded his stats quite a bit in those two games. This season, he has 29 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss,  five forced fumbles and even a blocked kick.

Young is the best pass rusher in the draft and will go in the top-five, probably top-two. He is a real possibility for the Redskins given how high they will likely be drafting.

See where Young is projected to go in the latest NFL Mock Draft.

CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State

In addition to the draft's best pass rusher, Saturday's game will also feature its top cornerback in Okudah. Okudah is the total package for a cornerback. He is a true shutdown corner who almost looks like he is running a receiver's routes with him, not simply reacting to their movements.

Okudah can completely change a secondary and seems like a lock to go in the top10 of the draft. The Redskins will be too high to get Okudah and the Ravens will likely be too low. If either has a chance to take him, whether it's the Ravens with their first pick or the Redskins with their second, they should absolutely jump at the chance, especially the Redskins given that their secondary is atrocious.

See where Okudah is projected to go in the latest NFL Mock Draft.

DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State

Gross-Matos has been climbing the draft boards after a breakout sophomore season in which he blew apart opposing lines with a whopping 54 tackles, 20 for a loss and eight sacks. He has really good size at 6-foot-5 which comes with some big arms which he uses to initiate contact and work blockers. He has more penetration skills than a lot of edge rushers and sometimes comes from the interior at Penn State.  He is not the kind of lineman who needs to get a good jump and get around a block, he can go around you or through you.

Gross-Matos is projected to be a late first-round pick. He could fall to the Ravens or perhaps even fall to the start of the second round and be possible for Washington. If they already have Young at that point, it is unlikely they take a second pass-rusher, but if the Redskins lose out on Young and Gross-Matos is still on the board, this looks like a real possibility.

See where Gross-Matos is projected to go in the latest NFL Mock Draft.

WR K.J. Hill, Ohio State

Terry McLaurin sure steems to have worked out for the Redskins so why not look for another Buckeye receiver as another weapon for Dwayne Haskins or for Lamar Jackson in Baltimore?

In terms of catching the ball, there may not be a better receiver in the draft. Hill knows how to haul in tough catches and can be a very dependable receiver. That doesn't mean quarterbacks can give him too many jump balls, however. While he could certainly go up and make those grabs, at 6 feet tall he gives the height advantage to most of the cornerbacks he plays against. Still, his hands are second to none and his speed is outstanding.

RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

Dobbins is one of the most dominant running backs in the country and is averaging 7.04 yards per carry. That's against Big Ten competition, where defense still matters.

Mark Ingram has had a great season for Baltimore, but he turns 30 in December so his shelf life may be limited. The Redskins, meanwhile are led by the 34-year-old Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice who has already suffered two significant injuries in his short NFL career. 

The quality of running back Dobbins appears to be would make him hard for either the Ravens or Redskins to pass up if he is available to them.

Other potential NFL prospects to watch:

CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State
TE Rashod Berry, Ohio State
OL Brandon Bowen, Ohio State
P Drue Chrisman, Ohio State
RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State
TE Luke Farrell, Ohio State
S Jordan Fuller, Ohio State
P Blake Gillikin, Penn State
WR K.J. Hamler, Penn State
G Jonah Jackson, Ohio State
WR Juwan Johnson, Penn State
CB John Reid, Penn State
WR Binjimen Victor, Ohio State
DT Robert Windsor, Penn State


5 prospects Redskins and Ravens fans should be watching in Oklahoma vs. Baylor

5 prospects Redskins and Ravens fans should be watching in Oklahoma vs. Baylor

One week after the "game of the century" in Tuscaloosa, attention now goes to the Big 12 where Oklahoma travels to play undefeated Baylor. The Sooners are a tradition power team and so the team is loaded with potential NFL talent. Baylor also boasts a few potential NFL stars who are fueling that teams' surprising rise this season.

Here are the players Redskins and Ravens fans should be watching.

WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

Lamb is a high first-round talent who does not seem to generate as much buzz as you would think for a player of his caliber at his position. Lamb was overshadowed by Marquise Brown last year despite averaging more yards per catch and catching 11 touchdowns. His playing style is not flashy and he does not possess the type of breakaway speed that lends itself to big highlight plays, but he is a high-end NFL talent.

What Lamb does have is solid size and quickness. That combined with his precise routes allows him to still create separation. He is completely dependable without being flashy, the kind of guy who can always get open, make plays and move an offense.

After using a first-round draft pick on Lamb's teammate Brown last year, he is an unlikely target for the Ravens who are unlikely to use another first-round pick at the same position. Lamb could absolutely be a target for the Redskins, however, who need more weapons for quarterback Dwayne Haskins to play with.

See where Lamb is projected to go in the latest NFL Mock Draft.

ILB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

When you send Murray after the quarterback, he takes after him like he is shot out of a cannon. He has very good vision and is able to find holes in the blocking to chase down ball carriers. He is also great at keeping contain and forcing the ball to the outside or bringing down the ball-carrier whenever they try to cut back in.  You almost never see him get caught over-pursuing.

When it comes to pass defense, Murray is average at best. His strengths are definitely on the blitz and in pursuit of the ball carrier. What I really like about him is that he is a very good tackler. In this day and age when everyone tries to lower the shoulder and no one wraps up, Murray stands out. If you are anywhere within arm's reach, he is going to bring you down.

The Redskins have so many holes on the roster, they should focus on taking the best available player. With Lamb likely to go in the mid to late first round, he will probably slip outside of Washington's draft window. He could be a real target for Baltimore, however,  and a Ravens defense in need of inside linebackers.

See where Murray is projected to go in the latest NFL Mock Draft.

C Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma

Humphrey's wrestling background is evident when you watch him play. Despite being 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, he always seems to gain good leverage when blocking and maintains his center of gravity. Run-blocking is his specialty as he loves to take it to the defense and you can often find him at the second and third levels of the field wreaking havoc with his blocks. His pass blocking is not as strong, but still very good and he never gives up on a play. He runs through the whistle each and every time he snaps the ball.

Get Humphrey in an NFL training camp and by the end of it he will be an upgrade at center over Chase Roullier.

WR Denzel Mims, Baylor

While Oklahoma has the Big 12's second-leading receiver in Lamb, Baylor has the conference's fourth-leading receiver with Denzel Mims.  Mims has 44 catches in nine games and eight touchdowns.

As a former track and field athlete, speed is definitely Mims' strength. It's not just that he is fast, it's how he uses it. Mims' ability to change pace allows him to elude defenders as he slows down, then uses a burst to create separation. He is an average route runner so he relies on this technique a bit too much.

Mims projects to be a mid-round pick so definitely a possibility for either the Redskins or Ravens to bolster their passing offense.

DT Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma

Last year, Gallimore looked like he could be an average NFL nose tackle. He could stuff up the middle and take blocks, but he was not going to contribute much else.

That is not the case this season.

Gallimore shed some fat and gained some muscle in the offseason and it is evident in his play. He suddenly is much quicker off the snap and does not just stuff up the middle anymore, he can penetrate. This is a much more versatile player than originally projected and would certainly be an asset in the middle of the defense which is a definite area of need for the Ravens.

Other potential NFL prospects to watch:

WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
TE Grant Calcaterra, Oklahoma
RB JaMycal Hasty, Baylor
QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
RB Trey Sermon, Oklahoma