We have made it to another weekend with football! We might even be seeing more conferences playing games in the near future! If you’re new to this article, the goal is to bring you the top dynasty prospects to watch in nationally televised college football games. It’s never too early to take a look forward. Who are going to 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 (@tristancook_) if you have players you think deserve to be mentioned in next week’s article. This year will be a little different than last because of all the unknowns we face. Some of the games may be postponed or canceled by the time this article is posted, but that is just a reality of the situation we are currently navigating. I will still be trying to highlight the players to watch, but we will likely be digging a little bit deeper with fewer games. Hopefully, this will give you a few names to monitor throughout the year.
Kentucky @ #6 Florida
Saturday, 11/28 | 12:00 PM ET, ESPN
Kyle Trask #11, QB 2021 (6’5, 240)
The players to watch in this game are all on the Florida side of the ball. And, the names haven’t changed. First is senior QB Kyle Trask. Trask has had an incredible year so far. He has completed 70.7% of his passes for 2554 yards, 31 TDs, and only three INTs. Trask has potentially done enough to put his name above Trey Lance as the third QB in this draft. I still have him slightly behind Lance, but I expect him to have a big day against the Wildcats and put his name at the forefront of the Heisman race.
Kyle Pitts #84, TE 2021 (6’6, 246)
The next player to watch is a name that you’re probably very familiar with by now. TE Kyle Pitts is set to make his return to the Florida lineup after suffering a head injury a few weeks ago. Despite not playing since 11/7, he is still leading the team in TDs and is second in both receptions and receiving yards. Pitts has surpassed Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth as my top TE for 2021, and I’m excited to watch him back on the field.
Kadarius Toney #1, WR 2021 (6’0, 193)
The final name I will mention is speedy WR Kadarius Toney. Toney had a big game last week against Vandy catching six passes for 107 yards and a TD. He is elusive and fun to watch with the ball in his hand, so it’ll be exciting to see how the NFL views him as we progress through this upcoming process.
Texas Tech @ #23 Oklahoma State
Saturday, 11/28 | 12:00 PM ET, FOX
#23 Oklahoma State
Chuba Hubbard #30, RB 2021 (6’0, 208)
The two Cowboys players to know are still the same. First, we have senior RB Chuba Hubbard. Chuba’s return for his senior year hasn’t helped his draft stock very much. He was projected as one of the better backs had he come out in 2020, but he has had a mediocre season this year, and his draft stock has suffered. I’m still a firm believer in Hubbard, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name slide a bit leading up to the combine and/or draft.
Tylan Wallace #2, WR 2021 (6’0, 190)
The other player to know is Tylan Wallace. Wallace is possibly the best contested-catch WR in all of college football, which is an even more impressive statement considering he’s only 6’0 and 190 lbs. He has calmed any concerns about his recovery from the ACL injury and has looked really good this year. I think he will be a value pick this year.
Penn State @ Michigan
Saturday, 11/28 | 12:00 PM ET, ABC
Pat Freiermuth #87, TE 2021 (6’5, 258) ***INJURED***
As I have previously mentioned, Kyle Pitts is now my top TE in the 2021 class, but it is still incredibly close. It was recently announced that Freiermuth would miss the remainder of the 2020 season, so it’s possible that he’s played his final down for Penn State. He is still projected to be an early pick in both the NFL draft and rookie drafts, but Pitts’ astonishing season has bumped him slightly ahead of Freiermuth.
Jahan Dotson #5, WR 2021 (5’11, 182)
Both Penn State and Michigan are off to very disappointing starts to the COVID-shortened season. Penn State has yet to win a game, and the Wolverines are only 2-3. Now, without Freiermuth, the player to watch for the Nittany Lions is Jahan Dotson. He has been the best player on the field for Penn State this season and has already surpassed his 2019 season totals in only five games. I’m a big fan of Dotson’s game, and I’m interested to see if he declares after this season.
Ronnie Bell #8, WR 2021 (6’0, 190)
For Michigan, the player to watch is Ronnie Bell. He has been the best offensive player for the underwhelming Wolverines team. He has shown the ability to win in multiple ways as a receiver and is leading the team in catches and receiving yards. He is only a junior, so may not be declaring this season, but I believe he has the talent to make it as an NFL WR.
Nico Collins #4, WR 2021 (6’4, 216) ***OPT-OUT***
The other name I will mention is Nico Collins. He opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL draft, so he won’t be playing, but he’s a name you should know for rookie drafts. I expect him to be a player that gets more and more hype as the draft gets closer. It will likely come down to what he runs in the 40-yard dash, but I expect it to be a good time for someone who is 6’4.
#22 Auburn @ #1 Alabama
Saturday, 11/28 | 3:30 PM ET, CBS
Seth Williams #18, WR 2021 (6’3, 211)
It’s Iron Bowl week, and despite being ranked, the Tigers are more than three-touchdown underdogs. As far as the names to know from Auburn, there are really only two. For this upcoming draft, it is WR Seth Williams. I’ve talked about him for a couple of years now, and he’s been exactly what I expected. Williams is a big-bodied WR that thrives in contested catch situations. He’s physical and tough to bring down after the catch as well. He doesn’t quite have the same level of hype as some of the top WRs in this class, but I think he is one of my favorite prospects this year.
Tank Bigsby #4, RB 2023 (6’0, 204)
The other name to know on this offense is Tank Bigsby. Tank is only a freshman, so it’s important to remember that there is a lot of time before we could see him playing on Sundays. But, he has shown everything you want out of an RB prospect. Bigsby is powerful and elusive. He’s caught the ball out of the backfield and has good speed. He’ll likely be a top name in 2023 if this continues.
Mac Jones #10, QB 2021 (6’3, 214)
On the Crimson Tide side of the ball, there are several players that will likely be making plays on offense, but the one that will likely be at the center of it all is junior Mac Jones. If it weren’t for Kyle Trask’s incredible season, we’d likely be hearing a lot more Heisman talk about Mac Jones. He has thrown for 2426 yards with 18 TDs and only three INTs while completing an astonishing 77.1% of his passes. Jones’ draft stock has steadily increased this year, and if he continues this, he could throw his name in the discussion for QB3.
Najee Harris #22, RB 2021 (6’2, 230)
The other two names for Alabama should not be new to you. First, we have RB Najee Harris. He seems to have fallen to the RB2 in the 2021 class, but that is more of a compliment to Travis Etienne than it is an indictment of Harris. Harris should be in for a big day against the Tigers and should be near the top of all draft formats.
DeVonta Smith #6, WR 2021 (6’1, 175)
The final name of note is DeVonta Smith. Smith is currently firmly in my second tier of WRs for the 2021 class. I have Ja’Marr Chase, Rondale Moore, and Rashod Bateman as my top-tier in no particular order. The second tier is not far behind them and has several names in it. Smith will probably end up at the top of the second tier or break into a tier between the current two. He could come down to his landing spot, but that’s a debate for much later in the draft process.
Pittsburgh @ #3 Clemson
Saturday, 11/28 | 3:30 PM ET, ABC
Trevor Lawrence #16, QB 2021 (6’6, 220)
After last week’s Clemson/FSU game was canceled, we had to wait another week to see the much-anticipated return of Trevor Lawrence to the field. There isn’t much to say about Trevor Lawrence other than he’s really good, and it’s really fun to watch him play. He’ll likely be the 1st pick in the NFL draft, and the only thing that can spoil that excitement is if somehow Adam Gase is still the Jets coach come draft day. I don’t expect there to be much rust, but it is something worth noting. He should be the first pick in every Superflex draft this coming year.
Amari Rodgers #3, WR 2021 (5’10, 210)
The next name for Clemson is their leading WR, senior Amari Rodgers. He has bounced back nicely this year. His junior year was a bit of a disappointment, but considering he tore his ACL in March of 2019 and was playing football in September of 2019, I’d say it was still impressive. Rodgers is a much smaller, quicker WR than most of the recent Clemson pass catchers, but I think he still has a promising future in the NFL as a slot WR.
Travis Etienne #9, RB 2021 (5’10, 205)
The final name for Clemson is RB Travis Etienne. The biggest question that remains for Etienne is if he can put his name firmly on the top of the RB draft board the same way that Lawrence has done so at the QB position. I think he certainly has a chance to, but the margin between him and Najee Harris is very close, with some people preferring Harris. As of now, I have Etienne higher than Harris, but it’s razor-thin.
Rutgers @ Purdue
Saturday, 11/28 | 4:00 PM ET, FS1
Rondale Moore #4, WR 2021 (5’9, 180)
There are really only two players to watch in this game. The first is Boilermakers’ junior WR Rondale Moore. As I previously mentioned, Moore is one of three WRs in my top tier. Unlike the other two, Moore is very much not the prototypical WR. At 5’9 and 180 lbs, he doesn’t look like an elite WR. But, looks can be deceiving. Moore is an incredibly dynamic prospect that is tough with the ball in his hands and a threat to take any touch to the house. I’m glad he’s opted back into this season because he’s very fun to see play.
David Bell #3, WR 2022 (6’2, 205)
The other name to know here is sophomore WR David Bell. In the absence of Rondale Moore, Bell has been the best offensive player for Purdue this season. He has 39 catches for 425 yards and 6 TDs on the season. Bell’s 8/104/2 game was overshadowed by Moore’s return, who had 15 catches for 116 yards. Bell is a very good prospect that should shine next season when he’s the main guy.
LSU @ #5 Texas A&M
Saturday, 11/28 | 7:00 PM ET, ESPN
Terrace Marshall Jr #6, WR 2021 (6’3, 200)
Like many of these teams, the names to know for LSU have remained relatively the same all season. First, we have junior WR Terrace Marshall. Like the aforementioned David Bell, Terrace Marshall has relished the increased role he has this season with the absence of his team’s top receiver. Marshall leads the Tigers in all receiving categories and has hauled in a ridiculous nine TDs in the team’s first four games.
Arik Gilbert #2, TE 2023 (6’5, 249)
The next name to know for LSU is freshman TE Arik Gilbert. Obviously, since he is a freshman, he has a long time until he’ll hear his name called in a draft, but it’s a name worth knowing. Gilbert has been impressive in his first collegiate season, and it’s easy to see why he was so highly rated coming out of high school. Gilbert looks like he has everything to be an elite offensive weapon at both the NCAA and NFL levels.
Ja’Marr Chase #1, WR 2021 (6’0, 207) ***OPT-OUT***
The final name to note is Ja’Marr Chase. He opted out of the 2020 season and is preparing for the NFL draft. He is still my WR1 for this class, but it’s very close with Rondale Moore and Rashod Bateman. It’ll likely come down to how well he tests at the combine and the LSU pro day, but assuming those numbers resemble what I anticipate, he should stay the WR1.
#5 Texas A&M
Ainias Smith #0, RB 2022 (5’10, 190)
On the Aggies side of the ball, there are a couple of players to watch, both of which are sophomore RBs. The first is Ainias Smith, who has played more of a hybrid WR/RB role in the offense. Smith has been the best receiver for A&M and is the second leading rusher. He will likely be heavily involved in the game, so expect to hear his name often.
Isaiah Spiller #28, RB 2022 (6’1, 225)
The other name to know on this offense is Isaiah Spiller. Spiller is a bigger back that has run well when given the opportunity. I have mentioned him a few times before, he is someone who has displayed flashes of NFL potential, but I still have plenty of reservations. I’ll be watching his development over this season and next.
Jhamon Ausbon #2, WR 2021 (6’2, 209) ***OPT-OUT***
The final person to know is another opt-out. WR Jhamon Ausbon opted out of the season back in September and has been preparing for the NFL since. He will likely be a mid-late round WR come draft day unless he posts surprising testing numbers. Ausbon won’t be at the top of any draft boards, but he could be someone to provide value later in a draft.
That’s it for this week’s games. Next week brings the return of the PAC 12, so we’ll have even more games to preview. 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 ( @tristancook_ ). 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.
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