While the 2020 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 five NFL Draft prospects to watch in college football week 10.
1. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia Bulldogs
Fromm’s draft value has slipped a little bit since the start of the season. At times he has looked like a game manager, while at others he plays slightly better. He has thrown for 1,406 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions on 70.7 percent completion. The Bulldogs are still in the College Football Playoff (CFP) race, but will have to get past a tough Florida team to keep their hopes alive.
Florida has some great secondary players including C.J. Henderson, who will test Fromm. He will have to protect the ball while still making plays downfield. A good showing in this game could restore some of the draft hype that Fromm had coming into this season.
2. Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame got punched in the mouth against Michigan and didn’t respond well. The team needs a bounce-back game against Virginia Tech. They’ll also need a good game from their leader on defense Alohi Gilman. Gilman is one of a few talented safeties in this class, but he could elect to return to Notre Dame for one more season if he doesn’t play well down the stretch.
Gilman will be tasked with keeping everything in front of him against the Hokies. Virginia Tech averages 30 points a game, but the Fighting Irish should be able to hold them. Patrolling the backend of the defense well in this game will help his draft stock and will help Notre Dame get back on track.
3. Cam Akers, RB, Florida State Seminoles
The Seminoles have had an up and down season and now sit at 4-4. One of the bright spots of the team has been Cam Akers. The talented junior has over 1,000 all-purpose yards and 15 total touchdowns. He is averaging 5.1 yards per carry even though Florida State’s offensive line isn’t the strongest. Now, Akers will be going up against a solid linebacking core in a rivalry game.
Florida State hosts Miami this week and the Seminoles will likely need Akers to play well to win. In their last game, Akers scored four touchdowns against Syracuse. A similar effort may be needed from him this week even though he is battling a knee injury.
*Akers is questionable this week with a knee injury.
4. Shane Buechele, QB, SMU
Texas elected to start Sam Ehlinger the last few years, so Shane Buechele graduated and transferred to SMU. The move has seemingly worked out, as the Mustangs are undefeated and Buechele leads a passing attack that ranks 17th in the country. This season, he has thrown for 2,325 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He’ll be involved in a shootout against Memphis for a chance to keep the Mustangs unbeaten.
There won’t be a lot of defensive resistance in this game, so Buechele will need to put up a lot of points. He will have a lot of eyes on him, as SMU vs. Memphis is the primetime game on ABC this Saturday night. Buechele is likely going to be a late-round pick at best, but this is a chance to shine and he could have more if his team continues to win.
5. Michael Pittman, WR, USC
Michael Pittman has had a solid USC career and this year is his best yet. He has caught 50 passes for 755 yards and seven touchdowns in the Trojans’ new air raid offense. This has been impressive because of the turnover at the quarterback position for USC due to injury. On Saturday, Pittman and the Trojans will go up against a good Oregon defense.
For USC to pull off the upset, they’ll need Pittman and the other receivers to help them constantly move the chains. That is easier said than done against Oregon. Pittman is one of many talented receivers in this draft class and is likely to be a mid-round pick. Every game matters as these players jockey for draft position week in and week out.