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Draft Quack: Slowdown Saturday Edition

A bit of a light schedule for today’s games but several intriguing games are on the docket.

NCAA Football: Sacramento State at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State at #18 Michigan State 4 PM / 1 PM FOX

  • A rematch from last season where the Sun Devils beat Sparty. Can the Spartans return the favor in East Lansing? MSU is surprisingly effective at offense this season to go along with a fearsome defensive unit. Can freshman QB Jayden Daniels guide ASU to a win on the road over the senior Brian Lewerke?

Arizona State prospects to watch

1. Eno Benjamin 5’10 205 RB Junior

  • Benjamin has been one of the best running backs in the conference the past two years (a title not lightly given the RB depth in the Pac-12). He won’t break the game wide open but has enough speed to get to where he needs to go. Gets a little lost in between the tackles at times. Improved vision and IQ. He should be drafted relatively high should he elect to go pro after this season.

Michigan State prospects to watch

1. Brian Lewerke 6’3 213 QB RS Senior

  • He had a ton of health issues in 2018, which led to sloppy play mechanically. Above average athlete that can run when necessary. Arm talent is a plus. Consistency has been huge issue. One play, he can look like Joe Montana, the next he looks like Joe Mantegna.

2. Kenny Willekes 6’4 239 EDGE RS Senior

  • The Spartans’ best pass rusher has increased his production every year in his career. A plus athlete with an equal work ethic to match. Has developed into a fearsome pass rusher as a junior. Run defense is good. He reportedly lost some weight and he looks significantly quicker this season when I watched him. One of the best EDGE prospects in this class. He looks like he hasn’t lost a step since his unfortunate leg injury against the Ducks.

3. Mike Panasiuk 6’3 312 DL Senior

  • A force in the middle for Sparty as the Ducks saw last season in the bowl game. He needs to develop some pass rush moves to go along with his fierce run stop game. The anchor that Willekes uses to get free to make plays.

#19 Iowa at Iowa State 4 PM / 1 PM FS1

  • The Cy-Hawk trophy is in tow along with College GameDay. Can the Hawkeyes beat the up and coming Cyclones? Can the Cyclones upset hated rival Iowa in Ames?

Iowa prospects to watch

1. Tristan Wirfs 6’5 315 OT Junior

  • Wirfs is one of the best tackles in the nation. Unreal athleticism for a tackle. Strength is a plus as well. Footwork is a major plus as he knows how to anchor in base and move quickly very adeptly. He should dominate the Combine drills should he go pro.

2. A.J. Epenesa 6’6 280 EDGE Junior

  • It can be argued that he is the best EDGE prospect in the nation. Some have erroneously compared him to J.J. Watt. While not on Watt’s level, he’s a very strong edge prospect. Power is the name of his game, not athleticism. Position and scheme versatile.

3. Nate Stanley 6’5 212 QB Senior

  • The phrase “country strong” suits him. He’s a throwback to the old days of strong armed pocket passers. Built like a truck. He needs to harness the fastball and learn how to throw with touch. Accuracy isn’t the best because of the tendency to throw the fastball every time.

Hawaii at #23 washington 7:30 PM / 4:30 PDT Pac-12 Network

  • Unofficial 13th member of the Pac-12 Hawaii travels to the Montlake and take on the Huskies who are smarting after a last second loss to Cal. Hawaii is coming off a resounding victory over the Beavers on Facebook. Can the Rainbow Warriors make it 3-0 against the Pac-12 and further ruin the playoff hopes and dreams of the conference?

Hawaii prospects to watch

1. Cole McDonald 6’4 205 QB RS Junior

  • Think Jay Cutler and you get McDonald.

Washington prospects to watch

1. Salvon Ahmed 5’11 189 RB Junior

  • The heir apparent to Myles Gaskin finally has the job to himself. A speed demon that heavily relies on his athleticism to get by as he doesn’t have much functional strength. A weapon out of the backfield. Could be interesting if he goes pro or not after just one year of having the primary back job.

2. Myles Bryant 5’8 180 CB Senior

  • Size wise, he compares to the Rams’ standout cornerback Lamarcus Joyner. He plays a lot bigger than what he’s listed at. Due to size, he won’t be CB1 but will still play a bit as the third cornerback at the next level. Lateral agility is a plus and instincts are as well. Versatile athlete with great speed. He’s one of the top corner prospects in the conference.

3, Aaron Fuller 5’10 187 WR Senior

  • One of the better returning receivers in the conference. A great route runner that has knowledge of what depth to use in each route. Lateral quickness is a delight. Frame needs work, however as he’s slightly built.

4. Trey Adams 6’8 327 OT Senior

  • Adams went through a tough 2018 season due to injury and losing his left tackle spot to current Atlanta Falcon Kaleb McGary. He’s now fully healthy for a 2019 comeback tour. A huge mountain that’s hard to move but leverage is an issue due to height. Medical history is scary due to a 2017 ACL and the 2018 back injury.

5. Nick Harris 6’1 287 C / G Senior

  • Harris is the best center in the conference. He’s position versatile as well. Work ethic and motor are a plus. Footwork is an issue that he needs to correct. If that 287 weight is real then he needs to add a few more pounds to take on the bigger defensive linemen he’ll face at the next level.

TCU at Purdue 7:30 PM / 4:30 PM Big Ten Network

  • The Horned Frogs travel to West Lafayette to take on a Boilermaker squad that took down Vanderbilt last weekend. Should be an interesting matchup between two impact players, Rondale Moore and Jalen Raegor.

TCU prospects to watch

1. Jalen Raegor 5’11 185 WR Junior

  • He might be one of the fastest players in the country, regardless of position. He’s a devastating athlete can score from anywhere on the field and make defenders look foolish in the process. Limited route tree due to the system in Fort Worth. Development as a route runner will be needed for the next level.

2. Lucas Niang 6’6 340 OT Senior

  • If Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs can make a case for OT1, then Niang has an argument for OT2. He’s that good. A very good mix of the H/W/L that NFL teams covet in their offensive tackles. Adept at mirroring the pass rusher and moving him out of the picture. Very good athlete when moving to the second level.

Purdue prospect to watch

1. Rondale Moore 5’9 180 WR Sophomore

  • Moore had an electric debut season last year. He’s a slot monster with the ball in his hands. Has a sudden burst about him and lateral agility is really good. Is in contention for WR1 for the 2021 class if he keeps up his trajectory. He went off against Vanderbilt last week.

Bonus game to watch

Florida State at #25 Virginia 7:30 PM / 4:30 PM ACC Network

  • How Ol Willie fare in Charlottesville? Virginia has some big time players like CB Bryce Hall.