Each week 5 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch will be published. After the week is over, each of the players will be evaluated to see how they did. Here is the recap for the five NFL Draft Prospects to watch in week 8.
1. Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan Wolverines
Michigan lost to Penn State this weekend, which has likely ended Michigan’s hopes for a great season and a Big Ten Championship Game appearance. Donovan Peoples-Jones was going up against a great defense and had a little bit of production. He finished with five catches for 42 yards. As a punt returner, he averaged 2.4 yards per return on five tries.
Peoples-Jones certainly didn’t help his stock, but maybe didn’t hurt it either. Scouts should know that Michigan’s offense has struggled over the last few years. Michigan has a few talented receivers and the ball gets spread around a decent amount when there is actually some positive production. Peoples-Jones may be a player that impresses more with his athletic testing rather than his production because of these circumstances.
2. Calvin Throckmorton, OT, Oregon Ducks
The Ducks needed to control the line of scrimmage in their game against Washington. They were able to do so and win a big game on the road. Throckmorton was a huge part of the offensive line that allowed no sacks. Quarterback Justin Herbert used the time he was given to throw for 280 yards and four touchdowns. Oregon was also able to rush for 154 yards on 4.1 yards per carry.
Throckmorton played well and was able to stand out on a veteran offensive line. He likely won’t be the first tackle selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, but could be a steal in the middle rounds. The Ducks will have some bigger games down the stretch if they keep winning, which they have done a lot of lately.
3. Joe Gaziano, Edge, Northwestern Wildcats
Northwestern had no shot to beat Ohio State on Friday night and lost 52-3. Gaziano was one of the players who stood out in this game for the Wildcats. He finished the game with five total tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss. It is hard for Northwestern to take too many positives away from this game, but Gaziano playing well helps.
Gaziano is likely going to be a mid-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He won’t be on national television much more this season, but will have chances to improve his draft stock as Northwestern plays some good teams down the stretch.
4. Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina Gamecocks
The Gamecocks were unable to pull off a second-straight upset this week against Florida, but Kinlaw played well again. On the broadcast, they called Kinlaw a “game-wrecker”, which is a perfect way to describe him. He only had four total tackles and no sacks, but he was double-teamed and still wreaked havoc.
Kinlaw has moved his way up draft boards with his play this season. He is now projected to be a first-round pick. His versatility and ability to get interior pressure will make him a highly-sought-after prospect for the draft in April.
5. Julian Blackmon, S, Utah Utes
Blackmon was able to help Utah to a big win over Arizona State. The defense specifically helped the Utes win, as they allowed just three points. Blackmon made an impact with five total tackles, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble.
There are a few players who will be drafted out of the Utah secondary, including Blackmon and Jaylon Johnson. Both will get more opportunities to prove themselves, as they play NFL Draft prospect Jacob Eason in a few weeks and potentially Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship.