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 6.
1. Marlon Davidson, Edge, Auburn Tigers
Auburn has played several big games already, so their prospects are getting close looks from a lot of NFL scouts. With already having looked at defensive tackle Derrick Brown this season on Auburn, who is playing well, this week the prospect to watch is Marlon Davidson. So far this season 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss.
This week the Tigers travel to take on Florida, who is a top 10 team. The Gators are on a backup quarterback in Kyle Trask, so the Tigers will want to get pressure. With Brown taking up double teams in the middle of the defense, Davidson and others should be able to win some of their matchups and get to Trask. Doing so will increase the odds that Auburn wins the game, which are already decently high given the situation.
2. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
Florida hasn’t had too many chances to be in the spotlight this season, but they do have some NFL Draft prospects worth noting. C.J. Henderson was once thought to be one of the best corners in the class, but may have been passed over by other talented players. What makes matters worse is that Henderson has been out for three weeks and has only totaled three tackles and two passes defended on the season.
For Florida to have a chance in this game, their defense is going to have to pitch a near shutout. That means if Henderson plays, he’ll need to provide run support, but also limit plays downfield to Auburn’s talented wide receivers. In the event that Henderson can’t go in this game, it is worth watching the Florida receiving corps, which features some NFL-level talent.
*Henderson is questionable with an ankle injury.
3. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa Hawkeyes
The Iowa Hawkeyes are undefeated and playing well, even if not too many people are talking about them. Physicality is the main reason why the Hawkeyes have emerged from the first five weeks of the season unscathed. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa’s offensive tackle, is a main reason why the Hawkeyes are able to succeed on offense.
This week the Hawkeyes will play Michigan with a chance to really assert their dominance. Michigan has been criticized for lacking physicality, so Wirfs has a chance to have a big day. If he can clear holes in the running game and keep quarterback C.J. Beathard upright, Iowa can win the game and stay unbeaten. Playing well could confirm Wirfs’ status as a first-round pick.
4. Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State Buckeyes
Okudah is one of, if not the best cornerbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft class, His play on the field this season has backed that up. In five games this season, Okudah has 16 tackles, five passes defended and three interceptions. Last week against Nebraska, Okudah had two highlight-reel interceptions, displaying good ball skills on each.
Surprisingly, Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke is leading the Big Ten in passing yards this season and the Spartans are no strangers to upsetting Ohio State. Okudah will help prevent the upset and has a chance to shut down Lewerke. His stock is already rising, so another good game, could send it through the roof.
5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon Ducks
The quarterback class has a lot of solid prospects in it. Justin Herbert is in the running to be the first quarterback selected along with Tua Tagovailoa. He had one chance already to play a great defense in Auburn and he passed for 243 yards and one touchdown. On the season so far, Herbert has 1,127 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions on 74.4 percent completion.
Oregon will play Cal this weekend in another chance for Herbert to play a good defense. The Golden Bears allow just 18.6 points per game and have a few talented prospects in their own right on that side of the ball. Herbert won’t have many chances to play great defenses in the Pac-12, so he’ll want to take advantage of this game and produce.