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 9.
1. Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn Tigers
At some point or another, each member of the Auburn defensive line will appear on this list. That is how talented they are this season. Davidson is another talented player who will need to step up in a big game. So far this season, seven tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in seven games.
Auburn’s defensive line will need to feed off of each other, as they can’t be double-teamed due to their talent across the board. Against LSU this week, the defensive line, in particular, will need to play well to stop Joe Burrow’s high-powered offense. If Davidson can make some game-changing plays, his stock will go up.
2. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU Tigers
A lot of praise has been given to LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, and rightfully so. He is a Heisman Trophy favorite and looks to be one of the many talented quarterback prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. Jefferson has been his main target and has produced. On the year, Jefferson has posted 48 catches for 749 yards and nine touchdowns.
This is a loaded wide receiver class, so Jefferson is fighting his way into first-round consideration, but it will be tough. A good game against a solid Auburn defense could be another reason why he continues to climb up draft boards. Jefferson will have to come up huge in the next several weeks to help LSU keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.
3. Tommy Kraemer, OG, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Kraemer is one of the many players who could’ve entered the draft last season, but rather elected to go back to college for one more season. He started his career as a tackle, but has since moved to guard. Kraemer has excelled at his new role and the Notre Dame offense has played well.
This is Notre Dame’s last big game of the regular season, so Kraemer will need to play well. If Kraemer and the offensive line can protect Ian Book and clear holes in the running game, the Fighting Irish should be able to beat Michigan.
4. Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan Wolverines
Patterson’s draft stock has steadily fallen over the first several weeks of the season. Michigan’s offense has not been what they had hoped it would be and Patterson hasn’t played well. He has been banged up with minor injuries, but he still should be playing better. Patterson has thrown for 1,522 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions on 57.4 percent completion.
He was once a regarded high school prospect and before the season many thought he could be a mid-round pick. The way he has played this season, he will be lucky to be drafted. A good showing against Notre Dame could go a little ways to restoring some of his draft stock.
5. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State Buckeyes
A lot has been said about Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor. J.K. Dobbins hasn’t received the same hype, but has had a great season for Ohio State. On the year, Dobbins has rushed for 947 yards and seven touchdowns. He has added 10 receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns.
The running back matchup will be one to watch in this game. Dobbins will want to prove that he can be a better back than Jonathan Taylor. He will go up against a tough Wisconsin defense that allows 7.6 points per game. Dobbins will be tested, but should prove his draft stock in this game.