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 11.
1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama Crimson
Despite being the best quarterback in the class, Tagovailoa has not appeared on any of these lists yet. That is because he hasn’t played the best competition so far this season. He has 2,166 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions on 74.7 percent completion this season. Now, he will get his chance against the top-ranked team in the country.
Tagovailoa has a sprained ankle that was surgically repaired a few weeks ago. He sat out the Arkansas game and had the bye week to get ready to play against LSU. The injury will likely hamper him, but if he makes the correct reads and good throws, Alabama can win the game and Tagovailoa can cement his status as the number one quarterback in the class over the upstart Joe Burrow.
2. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU Tigers
Although this isn’t something that people would’ve imagined for years, this game may be more about offense than defense. LSU has Joe Burrow at quarterback, who could be the second one (or even first) selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He has vastly improved his game this season. Burrow has thrown for 2,805 yards, 30 touchdowns and four interceptions on 78.8 percent completion.
LSU has looked good before the Alabama game, but they don’t always have the fire-power to get the job done. Burrow will give them their best chance in a long time. He has jumped way up draft boards this season and with a win over Alabama, could further improve his how he is viewed by NFL executives.
3. Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota has their biggest game in recent memory on Saturday against Penn State. The Nittany Lions have a tough defense, so the Golden Gophers will have to stretch the field and make plays on offense to win. Tyler Johnson has made highlight-reel worthy catches this season and has also produced a lot. On the season, he has 43 receptions for 626 yards and seven touchdowns.
Johnson is a very talented receiver, but this 2020 is a very deep class at wide receiver. He currently projects as a mid-round pick. The star receiver can improve his stock with a good showing against Penn State. With so many players who are good in this class, every game matters more.
4. Tyler Biadasz, OG/C, Wisconsin Badgers
The Badgers have had two disappointing losses in a row and need to get back on track. Wisconsin has had a bye week to get ready for their Big Ten West matchup against Iowa. For the Badgers to win the game, they will need to clear running room for Jonathan Taylor, something they didn’t do against Ohio State.
Tyler Biadasz is one of the best interior linemen in this draft class. He’ll need to be at his best, as Taylor has to get back on track and Iowa has a very tough defense with a good front. Biadasz is currently battling with Creed Humphrey for best center in the class and playing well down the stretch could make his case.
5. Anthony McFarland, RB, Maryland Terrapins
Maryland has had a rough season and they still have hard games ahead of them. This week they get Ohio State, who just shut down Taylor when they played Wisconsin. McFarland is a bright spot on a team that will not likely make a bowl game. He has run for 438 yards and seven touchdowns. The running back has also helped out in the passing game with 13 catches for 116 yards and one touchdown.
The Terrapins may not be able to beat Ohio State, but McFarland can show what he can do against the defense. He had a good game against them last season, but this is a different Buckeye defense. McFarland is a shifty back and can cause problems in open space, so Maryland will likely try to get him in areas with lots of green in front of him. He currently projects as a day two pick, but could find himself in a good situation next season if he decides to leave after his redshirt sophomore season.