What CFB Prospects to Watch This Weekend

Some high quality DL prospects have big games this weekend, could be worth keeping an eye on these potential future Chiefs.

Boy oh boy! We have a wonderful weekend of College Football ahead of us this weekend. Two games between two top ten ranked teams with Arkansas vs Georgia and Cincinnati vs Notre Dame, another game with Alabama (1) taking on Ole Miss (13), and a Big Twelve battle between two ranked teams to wrap up the evening.

Add in some fun matchups - how about that Iowa-Maryland game from last night - coming throughout the day, this would be an excellent week to just take a “me time” Saturday and plop in front of the T.V. all day long. Let’s highlight some personal favorite prospects with fun matchups this week that could really take a big leap after this weekend!

Week 5 Prospect Watchlist

Day 1 Stud

Jordan Davis | IDL

6’6” 340lbs | Georgia | #99

Jordan Davis may be the single most physically dominant player in all of college football. The stats for a NT playing in Georgia's defensive scheme will never be gaudy - 3 TFLs and 1.5 sacks on the year - but it’s near impossible to watch their defense and not see his impact. His size and playstyle may be the closest to Vita Vea that CFB will see for a while.

His size allows him to easily eat up space and double teams in the middle of the field but that’s not where his game ends. He has the upper body power to press blockers off his frame with ease and the lower body strength to reset the line of scrimmage consistently. Where he really separates himself from prototypical NTs is his overall athleticism. His get off is exceptionally explosive allowing him to insert his large frame into gaps and then has the power and body control to drive through. His hand technique isn’t perfect but given his power, it’s more than adequate at softening angles for his pass rush.

How to watch: Georgia vs Auburn, 2:30 PM CST, CBS

Auburn may not have a premier OL prospect but they have NFL caliber bodies sprinkled throughout the OL. Add in fantastic RBs in Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter, Auburn could try to actually challenge Georgia on the ground which will let Davis showcase his best traits.

Potential Riser

Jermaine Johnson II | EDGE

6’5” 262lbs | Florida State| #11

Jermaine Johnson was one of Georgia’s leading pass rushers in 2020 but was playing off-ball and being heavily rotated in their defensive scheme. Wanting to earn a more prominent role and play as a true DE, he transferred to Florida State in 2021. Johnson is currently leading the ACC in TFLs and sacks with 7.5 and 5.5 and has already improved his draft stock significantly.

Johnson has been a shining bright spot for Florida State’s defense and his ability to dominate both the passing and running game is apparent. He’s added weight at Florida State and it’s helped him play stout on the edge vs the run and utilize his length better than ever. He has always flashed the ability to be a high quality pass rusher but has started putting it all together at FSU. He has an excellent two-hand swipe and enough bend to turn a tight corner after clearing a blocker’s hands which pairs well as a counter to his typical power rushes.

How to watch: Florida State vs North Carolina, 2:30 PM CST, ESPN

Johnson will go up against what should be a prolific ACC passing attack in Sam Howell and the North Carolina Tarheels. The UNC offense hasn’t been as potent as last year but the offensive side of the ball has multiple skill players that should get drafted as well as both players on the right side of their OL.

Local Flavor

Isaiah Thomas | DE

6’5” 267lbs | Oklahoma | #95

Thomas started out his career at Oklahoma playing DE but moved inside to a hybrid 3 and 5 technique role as the defense changed. Took him a year to get his footing but coming off a high quality 2020 season, Thomas looks to have picked up where he left off. Already recording 3.5 sacks and TFLs this season, Thomas is making his case to be a top 100 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Despite playing inside a lot of the time at OU, Thomas has a longer, linear build that most likely makes him a better fit on the outside. Whether as a strongside DE or a 34 DE, anything in which he’s lining up over the OT rather than inside of him fits his skill set better. He’s learning how to utilize his length and flashes a really strong push-pull move vs the run and pass and a good arm-over move. In 2021 he added some long arm techniques to his game which is helping elevate his potential as an outside pass rusher.

How to watch: Oklahoma vs Texas, 11:00 AM CST, ABC

Texas doesn’t have the best OL in all of CB but they have NFL caliber physical profiles which Thomas doesn’t face week in and week out. This game could be a high end test to see if he can continue to win on the outside or if his role will be limited to being a rotational DE/DL energy player in the NFL.