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Weekly Watch: Championship Week

Championship Week is here… #DraftSZN is just around the corner… Who is your sleeper? Come check out the Weekly Watch as @THEtristancook breaks down the players to know in the biggest games of the week!

Hello and welcome back! It’s hard to believe it’s already Conference Championship Week, but here we are! If you’re new to this article, the goal is to bring you the top upcoming dynasty prospects to watch in nationally televised college football games. It’s never too early to take a look forward. Who will be the sleepers of upcoming rookie drafts? Check back here every week for my ‘Weekly Watch’ series before you head into the weekend. Use this article each week as a place to refer back to as you get ready to watch each game.

How this article works:

I’ll give you the network, time, and teams playing in nationally televised games. Below that, I’ll list the respective schools’ prospects that are, in my opinion, worth mentioning, their position, the year they are eligible to enter the NFL Draft, and their listed heights and weights.

Feel free to reach out on Twitter (@THEtristancook) if you have players you think deserve to be mentioned in next week’s article.

#18 Oklahoma State @ #7 Texas

Saturday, 12/2 | 12:00 PM ET, ABC

#18 Oklahoma State

Ollie Gordon II #0, RB 2025 (6’1”, 211) 

The main player to know when Oklahoma State has the ball is their junior running back, Ollie Gordon II. He has had an outstanding second year, rushing for nearly 1,600 yards with 20 scores. Gordon has also demonstrated the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, tallying 33 receptions on the year. I expect to see Gordon be the focal point of this offense, and he deserves NFL Draft consideration heading into the 2024 season.

#7 Texas

Quinn Ewers #3, QB 2024 (6’2”, 195)

The players to know on the Texas side of the ball remain the same. First off, we have third-year quarterback Quinn Ewers. It’s a bit hard to predict whether or not Ewers will declare for the 2024 NFL Draft. He’s shown flashes of what made him such a highly-touted recruit. But he followed it up with performances that make you scratch your head. Barring a stellar showing en route to a National Championship Game appearance, we’ll likely see Ewers return for 2024. If so, he will likely be a candidate for the top spot in the 2025 NFL Draft.

Xavier Worthy #1, WR 2024 (6’1”, 172)

One of Ewers’ favorite targets this year has been the speedy junior receiver Xavier Worthy. He overcame a couple of injury scares last week in the blowout victory over Texas Tech and looks ready to make an impact in this game. Xavier Worthy is a much smaller, quicker, fast-twitch type of receiver than many of the other top guys in this class. I am interested in seeing just how fast he is during the pre-draft process. If he can test well, I think he might surprise some people with how highly he gets drafted. 

Adonai Mitchell #5, WR 2024 (6’4”, 196)

AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 30: Texas Longhorns wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (5) leaps for a touchdown catch in the corner of the endzone during the Big 12 football game between Texas Longhorns and Kansas Jayhawks on September 30, 2023, at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, TX. (Photo by David Buono/Icon Sportswire)

Adonai Mitchell is a very different type of receiver than Worthy. At 6’4” tall, Mitchell is an absolute beast of a matchup for opposing defenders. He’s been rather quiet since the game against Kansas State, totaling only 8 catches for 128 yards and one score. Mitchell has garnered some serious draft buzz and will likely declare after this season. As a receiver with not much production prior to the 2023 season, the pre-draft process will be extra important for Mitchell.

Ja’Tavion Sanders #0, TE 2024 (6’4”, 243)

The final player to note for Texas is their tight end, Ja’Tavion Sanders. I have said it many times, but the college tight end position is one of the hardest to project to the NFL level. The lack of productivity for most tight ends leaves a lot of uncertainty when players go to the NFL. Despite only 31 catches and a relatively quiet year, I have Sanders as my TE2 behind Georgia’s Brock Bowers. I anticipate he will become much more widely known leading up to the NFL Draft.

#1 Georgia @ #8 Alabama

Saturday, 12/2 | 4:00 PM ET, CBS

#1 Georgia

Brock Bowers #19, TE 2024 (6’5”, 240) 

Speaking of Bowers, the main player to know in this game is Georgia’s superstar TE, Brock Bowers. He made a triumphant and somewhat unexpected return to the field against Ole Miss a few weeks ago. After a quiet game against Ole Miss, Bowers put up a nice stat line of 7 catches, 60 yards receiving, and one score against Tennessee. There isn’t a debate about the TE1 position in this class; the only question is how early he will go in rookie drafts. I expect to see Bowers heavily targeted in this one and presumably the College Football Playoff. My only concern for Bowers is health. If he makes it through the rest of the year clean, he should be a mid-first-round rookie pick in nearly every format.

Carson Beck #15, QB 2024 (6’4”, 220)

Another name to note is the man throwing Bowers the ball, junior quarterback Carson Beck. He has played incredibly well in his first year as the starter for Georgia. So well, in fact, he has generated some NFL Draft buzz. Beck still has eligibility remaining, and I believe he will return to Athens for another year. But, whenever he declares, he’s a name worth knowing.

#8 Alabama

Jase McClellan #2, RB 2024 (5’11”, 212)

On the other side of the ball, the only player of note is Jase McClellan. He has continuously been a reliable option for Alabama but certainly has been far from spectacular or special. I know some people had high hopes for Jase coming into the 2023 season, but at this point, he’s looking like a Day 3 NFL pick, at best. I believe he does have one more year of eligibility, so we could also see him return for one more year.

SMU @ #22 Tulane

Saturday, 12/2 | 4:00 PM ET, ABC

#22 Tulane

Michael Pratt #7, QB 2024 (6’3”, 220)

This game may not be as riveting as the SEC Championship, but if you are watching this game, there is an exciting player at the quarterback position. Tulane’s Michael Pratt has quietly put up a strong season for the 11-1 Tulane Green Wave. Pratt has continually improved throughout his tenure, and could very easily hear his name called during the second day of the NFL Draft.

@2 Michigan @ #16 Iowa

Saturday, 12/2 | 8:00 PM ET, FOX

#2 Michigan

Blake Corum #2, RB 2024 (5’8”, 213)

ANN ARBOR, MI – SEPTEMBER 24: Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) runs with the ball during the second quarter of a Big Ten Conference regular season college football game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Michigan Wolverines on September 24, 2022 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

The first player to know in this game for the Wolverines is their star running back, Blake Corum. He has been a workhorse for Michigan during his time in Ann Arbor, tallying nearly 700 touches since he stepped on campus. I don’t think that Corum will “wow” anyone with his testing numbers, but he has the talent to carve out a role on your fantasy team and could be a value pick in the second or potentially even third round of rookie drafts.

JJ McCarthy #9, QB 2024 (6’3”, 202)

The other player to note is JJ McCarthy. He stepped up nicely last week against Ohio State. JJ completed 80% of his passes and did not turn the ball over. However, he was not asked to do very much, only throwing the ball 20 times. At this point, I really don’t know what to expect regarding declaring for the NFL for McCarthy. I keep waiting for him to step up and lead his team to victory, but that hasn’t happened. If he does declare, it will likely be due to a big performance in this game and the College Football Playoff.

#16 Iowa

Erick All #83, TE 2024 (6’5”, 250) 

There aren’t many players to be excited about on the offensive side of the ball for Iowa. But the player I’ll be watching is tight end Erick All. I know you’re probably shocked to hear that Iowa has another potential NFL tight end. He’s not on the level of some of the other former Iowa stars. But, in the right system, All could be a contributor.

#14 Louisville @ #4 Florida State

Saturday, 12/2 | 8:00 PM ET, ABC

#14 Louisville

Jamari Thrash #1, WR 2024 (6’1”, 185)

The final game of the night I’ll be watching is Louisville taking on Florida State for the ACC title. When the Cardinals have the ball, I’ll be watching fifth-year junior receiver Jamari Thrash. Thrash has taken a small step backward from his 2022 season but has still looked very good throughout the year. Despite having one more year of eligibility, I think it is pretty likely that Thrash will declare for the NFL and should be a mid-round draft pick. Thrash has the skills to play in the NFL but is more of a late-round dart throw in rookie drafts. If he does decide to return for another year, it could help his NFL potential. 

#5 Florida State

Trey Benson #3, RB 2024 (6’1”, 223)

The first player to know for FSU is their junior running back, Trey Benson. Coming into the 2023 season, Benson had quite a lot of attention from the NFL Draft community. He had a big breakout year in 2022 and was looking to jump into the discussion as one of the top RBs in the 2024 class. Unfortunately, he’s been rather underwhelming in 2023. However, after the injury to their star quarterback, Jordan Travis, I expect Benson to see a more significant role in this offense. 

Keon Coleman #4, WR 2024 (6’4”, 215)

ORLANDO, FL – SEPTEMBER 03:Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Keon Coleman (4) makes a touchdown reception over LSU Tigers cornerback Duce Chestnut (22) in the second half during the Camping World Kickoff game between the LSU Tigers and the Florida State Seminoles, on Sunday, September 3, 2023 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire)

The other player to note is Keon Coleman. I’ve been seeing Coleman’s name rise higher and higher in mock drafts as the year has progressed. At this point, it looks like he could get drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. If that happens, he will also be a first-round dynasty rookie pick. The potential ceiling for Coleman is as high as nearly anyone in this class, so it wouldn’t shock me to see him get picked early.

That’s it for this week’s games. As I previously mentioned, if there is anyone you’d like me to take a look at, or want to share your thoughts on anything dynasty related, hit me up on Twitter ( @THEtristancook ). Also, check out tape on some of these guys in the Dynasty Nerds Film Room. It’s an amazing tool that I plan to take full advantage of. You can use the code “tcook” for 15% off a membership of any kind! 

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