While the 2021 NFL Draft is still far off in the distance, players that will be drafted early are on the field now. Each week presents unique matchups for draft prospects and this week is no different. Here are NFL Draft prospects to watch in college football week 4.
1. Landon Young, OT, Kentucky Wildcats
The offensive tackle class for 2021 is expected to be good and deep. One of the players who could really move up boards this season is Kentucky offensive tackle Landon Young. He could’ve gone pro after last season, but decided to return to Kentucky for one more season.
This week, Young and the Kentucky offensive line will be facing a tough task. They will have to go up against a talented Auburn defensive line. If Young can have a good game against a solid pass rusher like Big Kat Bryant, his stock could go up.
2. Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati Bearcats
One of the ranked matchups this week pits Cincinnati against Army. Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder will have the spotlight on him, as he leads the Bearcats. He has been starting since he was a freshman and is currently considered a late-round prospect.
Army will run the ball and eat clock, so Ridder will have to be efficient with his opportunities on Saturday. He has proven to be mobile and to have a strong arm, but he will need to be accurate this weekend. Ridder needs to prove he can be accurate and read the whole field before getting a chance to move up draft boards.
3. Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh Panthers
Pittsburgh is 2-0 and is now set to take on Louisville. It will be another good game to watch this week and safety Paris Ford will be a player to watch for the Panthers. The safety has a chance to be a very early-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft with a good season.
Ford had a good interception against Syracuse in week 3 and has two on the season. He also racks up tackles, as he had 90 last season. Against Louisville, he will have to stop playmakers Malik Cunningham and TuTu Atwell. If he plays well, Pittsburgh could be 3-0 after a good start to the season and he could jockey for position with some of the other talented safeties in the draft class.
4. Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State Seminoles
Another safety in the class to watch out for this weekend is Hamsah Nasirildeen out of Florida State. The 6-foot-4 and 220-pound player is different than a lot of other safeties in this class because of his size and physicality. He will be a key to stop Miami’s passing attack that was very effective in week 3.
He is still recovering from a torn ACL last season and is questionable for the game against Miami. So he won’t just have to prove he can cover great players like tight end Brevin Jordan, but he’ll also have to prove that he is healthy. It is a big chance for Nasirildeen to help his draft stock with a good game.
5. Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri Tigers
One of the linebackers that is creating some buzz in the draft community is Missouri’s Nick Bolton. He had over 100 tackles last season and showed he could defend the run and the pass. While he may not be a first round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, he does have the skillset to be drafted before the second day of the draft is over.
This week, Bolton will be helping the Tigers against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama will be breaking in a new quarterback, but they still have one of the most talented rosters in college football. Bolton will have a chance to show what he can do against the run and pass this weekend against the Crimson Tide.
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