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NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in College Football Week 11

It was another crazy week of college football that included another upset at the hands of the Purdue Boilermakers. After defeating second-ranked Iowa several weeks ago, Purdue put down third-ranked Michigan State last Saturday.

Elsewhere, Oklahoma got a gift from the College Football Playoff Committee when they only dropped Baylor a spot after their shocking loss to the Gary Patterson-less TCU Horned Frogs. The two teams meet this week, giving the Sooners the chance to play a ranked opponent for only the second time this year.

Let’s have a look at which college football games and NFL Draft prospects scouts will be keeping a close eye on this week.

college football betting picks georgia
Credit: Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports

Game of the Week: Georgia vs Tennessee

Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee, Saturday, November 13, 2:30 p.m. (CT) on CBS

Georgia Football:

The Bulldogs have seen little go wrong this fall, but the recent suspension of Adam Anderson is a big blow. He’s my 14th-ranked prospect, but this defense is still loaded with talent.

Nakobe Dean is my sixth-ranked prospect and impacts the game in so many ways. His energy is infectious on that unit. Of course, it helps to be playing behind big Jordan Davis, my 10th-ranked prospect. He’s an amazing athlete for his size, and his pad level has vastly improved from a year ago. Playing next to Davis are Devonte Wyatt, my 75th-ranked player, and fifth-ranked college football defensive tackle, as well as Travon Walker, my 94th-ranked player.

Wyatt is a squatty player with a good motor and quickness, while Walker is a versatile lineman that can impact all three downs. Despite missing one of the top pass rushers in the country in Anderson, Georgia still has Nolan Smith. He reminds me of Jamie Collins because of his versatility as an edge player.

Lewis Cine ranks 47th on my board as a hard-hitting safety, and Derion Kendrick is a long-armed corner that narrowly missed out on making my top 100. Several players could also move onto that list before the season is up in the physical Quay Walker and Channing Tindall, one of the fastest linebackers in the country.

On offense, George Pickens looks less and less like he will return to the field after suffering an ACL injury in spring practices. However, Zamir White and James Cook are two of my top six running backs in the country. White is a powerful runner that shows up most grinding out the clock in late-game scenarios. Cook is a big-play threat no matter where he lines up, though he sometimes gets lost in the numbers for the Bulldogs.

Tennessee Football:

Tennessee isn’t as loaded as the rival Bulldogs, but they still have some intriguing NFL Draft prospects to keep an eye on. Right tackle Cade Mays has missed some time with an injury but will be available against his former team. Mays is a big physical player that will likely slide inside in the NFL due to some athletic limitations. He is not easy to go through, as he typically does a great job absorbing power. His balance can betray him at times, but it will be easier for him to take a more patient approach at guard instead of lunging at his opponents.

One player who has opened my eyes is quarterback Hendon Hooker. The Va. Tech transfer is a strong-armed player that can drive the ball downfield on a line. He may not be getting national recognition, but he’s got a 21-2 TD-INT ratio and is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes.

In addition, Hooker is averaging 10.2 yards per pass attempt which is second in college football. That means he is routinely throwing the ball downfield, making that 69.4 completions percentage all the more impressive. He still needs to develop more touch on his throws and has a bit of a wind-up in his motion. Hooker also needs to learn to anticipate passing windows and receivers breaks a bit better, but he’s got a solid day-three grade on my board. His performance last week against Kentucky was phenomenal.

A couple of defenders to keep an eye on are Matthew Butler and Alontae Taylor. Butler is a high-motor defensive lineman with a tweener-build that allows him to have some position flexibility. Taylor is a physical, long-armed corner who may fit best at safety in the NFL. Still, he’s been having a strong year in a tough conference.

My two cents on the game:

Tennessee has not been an easy team to beat this year, with their only lopsided defeat coming against Alabama in a game where the Crimson Tide pulled away late. Still, it’s going to take an impressive performance to beat Georgia.

This defense is insanely good, and the offense doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. It will take an uncharacteristic showing from the Bulldogs to give Tennessee a chance.

Hooker has only thrown the ball more than 25 times on two occasions this year, but if the Vols get behind early, he may have to do so. Still, I think Georgia wins easily to remain unbeaten.

Matchup of the Week: #19 Purdue’s George Karlaftis vs # 4 Ohio State’s Nicholas Petit-Frere

Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, November 13, 2:30 p.m. (CT) on ABC

George Karlaftis DE, Purdue, Third-Year Junior, 6’4”, 275:

An instant starter at Purdue, George Karlaftis was a Freshman All-American thanks to 17 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. His numbers haven’t been quite as impressive this season, but that doesn’t mean he’s not having a significant impact. Karlaftis combines outstanding strength with a non-stop motor to routinely create chaos in the backfield. He’s explosive off the snap and receives a lot of double teams and chip blocks from running backs.

While he’s lauded as a weight-room warrior, I’d actually like to see him trim down just a bit. He appears to be a little stiffer than he was as a freshman, and while the power is excellent, I’d rather see him maximize his athleticism. I love his pad level at the point of attack. He can dip under the hands of pass protectors in order to turn the corner, and when Karlaftis gets into his opponent’s chest, his leverage and strength get easy movement.

Still, he has been a nightmare to block at Purdue, and his leadership on the defense has helped the Boilermakers knock off a pair of top-ranked college football teams.

Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State, Fourth-Year Junior, 6’5”, 315:

Once a top-ranked college football recruit, Nicholas Petit-Frere is starting to show the combination of size and mobility that wowed coaches from across the country. In his first season at left tackle, Petit-Frere is having a tremendous showing. He’s a terrific run-blocker, and his athleticism really shines at the second level. I think he’d be a tremendous fit in a zone-blocking scheme, but he’s also got some power in his lower half that helps him shine in gap concepts too.

I’d like to see him play with better posture and patience in pass protection. He can sometimes let his weight get out in front of him with a hunched-over approach, leading to defenders anticipating his lunge.

His arm length may not be exceptional, and that could lead to the more aggressive approach. Still, his athleticism is too good for him to compromise his balance because he wants to get his hands on the defender first. Karlaftis eats up players that are routinely off balance, and while the pair may not always go head-to-head, scouts will relish the reps where they square off. It will be fun to watch them compete when they do because both love to play to the whistle.

Chad Muma college football nfl draft prospects
Credit: AP Photo

Player of the Week: Wyoming’s Chad Muma vs. Boise State

Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho, Friday, November 12, 8 p.m. (CT) on FS1

Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming, Fourth-Year Senior, 6’3”, 242:

Chad Muma is one of my favorite prospects to watch in this draft. He ranks 13th in the country with 89 tackles and third with 58 solo stops. He’s also got three interceptions. His combination of size and athleticism remind me of Leighton Vander Esch coming out of Boise State. Guys his size shouldn’t be able to accelerate or elevate as Muma can, and it makes him a three-down player that will likely turn heads in the pre-draft process.

Muma is not a liability in coverage and can be dangerous as a zone defender that can cover quite a bit of ground. Outside of a three-tackle performance against UConn, he’s had double-digit tackles in every contest this year.

Possibly my favorite part about him is his feel for the game. He locates running lanes well and attacks them with no hesitation. Muma is a terrific wrap-up tackler with a violent streak to finish. More importantly, he doesn’t run around traffic. He plays through it and takes on those that get in his way with the mindset of attacking and shedding to get back into pursuit. Don’t be shocked if his name comes up in first-round conversations before April gets here.

Against Boise State, he will need to be a factor in stopping both the run and the pass. George Holani is back healthy and coming off his first 100-yard game of the year and a big win over Fresno State. He was one of my top 15 running backs to keep an eye on entering the season before struggling with an injury.

Khalil Shakir is also a dangerous receiver who does a lot of his damage over the middle and in the screen game. Muma will have to be active to help limit both.

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