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. 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.
#1 Clemson @ Georgia Tech
Saturday, 10/17 | 12:00 PM ET, ABC
Trevor Lawrence #16, QB 2021 (6’6, 220)
Once again, a Clemson game on national TV means watching Trevor Lawrence. It looks like the Jets are the favorite to land the 1st pick right now, and Trevor Lawrence is the favorite to be that pick. He will be the 1st pick in Super Flex and 2QB rookie drafts. And, he’s still the best QB prospect to come to the NFL since Andrew Luck.
Travis Etienne #9, RB 2021 (5’10, 205)
Travis Etienne is a favorite to be the first player not named Trevor Lawrence to be picked in rookie drafts. He showed his big-play potential on a long 72 yard TD run against Miami last week. Etienne has also displayed the ability as a receiver out of the backfield. He is second on the team in both receptions and receiving yards. There is a lot to like about his game, and he should be one of the first two RBs drafted at worst.
Amari Rodgers #3, WR 2021 (5’10, 210)
Amari Rodgers is still leading the Clemson passing attack in all receiving categories. He’s not quite the prototypical Clemson WR, but Rodgers is still a very talented WR that has the potential to make an impact at the NFL level as a slot WR. he should have a good day against Georgia Tech.
Jahmyr Gibbs #21, RB 2023 (5’11, 200)
The name to watch on the Tech side of the ball is Jahmyr Gibbs. I have mentioned him several times before, and while he won’t be eligible until at least 2023, he is the most talented player on this Georgia Tech team. It will be fun to watch him develop over the next few seasons.
#15 Auburn vs South Carolina
Saturday, 10/17 | 12:00 PM ET, ESPN
Seth Williams #18, WR 2021 (6’3, 211)
The main name to watch for the Tigers is junior WR Seth Williams. He hasn’t quite been as dominant this year as I had hoped but has a chance for a big week against South Carolina. He’s probably in the second tier of WRs for the 2021 class for me, but this is projected to be an incredibly deep class. Williams does a great job winning contested catches and knows how to use his size to his advantage. His biggest area for improvement is route running. If he cleans that up and runs well at the combine/pro day, he will be moving up my rankings.
Anthony Schwartz #1, WR 2021 (6’0, 179)
The next player to watch on the Auburn side of the ball is #1, Anthony Schwartz. He has garnered some draft buzz of late, and while I admittedly need to watch more of his tape, he has one thing that you can’t coach, and that is speed. Schwartz is the fastest player on the Tigers roster and might be one of the fastest players in all of college football.
Tank Bigsby #4, RB 2023 (6’0, 204)
The final name that I will mention for Auburn is freshman RB Tank Bigsby. Being a freshman, there will be plenty of games to watch over the next few years. But, I am putting his name here because I think he has a chance to be a special running back, and you will undoubtedly hear his name mentioned many times.
Shi Smith #13, WR 2021 (5’10, 190)
For the Gamecocks, the main name to know is Shi Smith. Shi is a tough slot WR who isn’t afraid to go over the middle and is also good after the catch. Smith is leading South Carolina in receptions, yards, and TDs. It will be good to see him face off against a tough defense this week. If Smith goes to the right situation in the NFL, he could be a solid pick.
Louisville @ #4 Notre Dame
Saturday, 10/17 | 2:30 PM ET, NBC
Tutu Atwell #1, WR 2021 (5’9, 165)
The main player to watch for the Cardinals is WR Tutu Atwell. Listed at 5’9 and 165 lbs., Atwell is far from your prototypical WR size. But what he lacks in size, he makes up for in speed and toughness. Tutu is a mismatch wherever he’s lined up. He’s leading Louisville in receptions, yards, and TDs this year. Atwell is another player that I need to study closer. But I have seen him ranked very high in this year’s WR class.
Dez Fitzpatrick #7, WR 2021 (6’2, 210)
The other name to keep on your radar is WR Dez Fitzpatrick. He’s much more of a traditional WR. He’s had a bit of an up-and-down career for the Cardinals, but if he can post a solid season and test reasonably well, he could be someone that goes in the later rounds of the NFL draft and might be able to make an impact.
#4 Notre Dame
Kyren Williams #23, RB 2022 (5’9, 204)
The main player to watch for Notre Dame is still RB Kyren Williams. He has easily been the best offensive weapon this season. He’s leading the team in both rushing and receiving yards. Unfortunately, Williams is a 2022 draft prospect, but be familiar with his name because he’ll likely be heavily involved.
Javon McKinley #88, WR 2021 (6’2, 215)
The other name you can watch is WR Javon McKinley. He’s tied with Williams for the lead in receiving yards, but their passing game hasn’t exactly been prolific. McKinley came to Notre Dame as a highly-touted prospect but has struggled to this point in his career. He might finally be breaking out in his 5th year. If you hear someone other than Kyren Williams mentioned, it will likely be him.
UCF @ Memphis
Saturday, 10/17 | 3:30 PM ET, ABC
Jaylon Robinson #1, WR 2021 (5’9, 163)
The name to keep in mind here is speedster Jaylon ‘Flash’ Robinson. Robinson is a transfer from Oklahoma, where he struggled to get on the field amongst a loaded WR group. He is another slightly built WR who uses his speed to create separation against defenders. He still is a bit of a longshot at this point for the NFL and will likely come back for 2021, but he’s fun to watch.
Damonte Coxie #10, WR 2021 (6’3, 200)
There are two players for Memphis. The first is senior WR Damonte Coxie. He’s a big, physical player that uses his size to his advantage. Coxie isn’t quite in the tier of the top WRs, but he’s an intriguing player. I suspect he’ll be a later round pick in the NFL, and subsequently in rookie drafts. But, he’s likely to be someone I’m going to target.
Brady White #3, QB 2021 (6’3, 210)
The other name to note is QB Brady White. He’s not a top-tier guy, but he’s someone who has shown enough ability to garner some attention. White is a former Arizona State QB who transferred down to Memphis to prolong his playing career. In doing so, he’s grabbed the attention of some people around college football. I’m not trying to put his name anywhere near the top names, but there’s a chance he could be a mid-round success story.
Kenneth Gainwell #19, RB 2021 (5’11, 191) ***OPT-OUT***
The player that I like the most on Memphis chose to opt-out of the 2020 season. So, while we won’t get to see him play, I want to make sure you’re aware of Kenneth Gainwell. He’s preparing for the NFL Draft, and I can’t wait to see how he tests in the pre-draft process. I think he’ll be a name that rises up draft boards before the 2021 draft.
#11 Texas A&M @ Mississippi State
Saturday, 10/17 | 4:00 PM ET, ESPN
#11 Texas A&M
Isaiah Spiller #28, RB 2022 (6’1, 225)
Isaiah Spiller is someone that I have talked about several times so far this year. He still has one year of eligibility after this year and will likely use it, but he has displayed several traits that look promising. Spiller has the size to be a powerful back but needs to keep developing if he’s going to succeed at the next level.
Jhamon Ausbon #2, WR 2021 (6’2, 209) ***OPT-OUT***
Ausbon is another player that I was very excited to see play this year. Instead, I am very excited to watch him throughout the pre-draft process. He has the prototypical size of a WR in the NFL and has displayed plenty of potential. I am interested to see how well he runs at the combine and his pro day because that will likely have a big impact on how he is viewed.
Kylin Hill #8, RB 2021 (5’11, 208)
On the other side of the field, the main name to watch is Kylin Hill. Mike Leach’s offensive scheme hasn’t done much for Hill’s rushing numbers, but he has already eclipsed his previous career-high in receptions for a season (22), and he’s only played 3 games. I am a big fan of Kylin Hill and was a little surprised when he chose to return for the 2020 season. But if his poor rushing numbers continue and hurt his draft value, I’ll likely be picking him up in rookie drafts because I am a big fan.
Osirus Mitchell #5, WR 2021 (6’5, 210)
For any potential harm that Mike Leach and his passing game has done to Kylin Hill’s draft value, it has equally helped Osirus Mitchell. Mitchell is a monstrosity of a target at 6’5 and leads the team in yards and TDs on only 14 receptions. He is an incredible mismatch who can exploit any DB. Expect to see KJ Costello throw the ball his way early and often.
#5 North Carolina @ Florida State
Saturday, 10/17 | 7:30 PM ET, ABC
#5 North Carolina
Sam Howell #7, QB 2022 (6’1, 225)
The main man to watch in this game for UNC is QB Sam Howell. He’s a leading candidate to be the top QB pick in the 2022 draft. He has at least another year to continue developing, but he has all the traits you want in a QB. He has a chance to showcase his skills this week in a primetime game against a Florida State team that has been struggling. I’m expecting him to tear it up.
Dyami Brown #2, WR 2021 (6’1, 185)
Howell’s main target this season is Dyami Brown. He leads the team in all receiving categories and has developed a very good connection with Howell. He’s continued to post strong performances this season and is elevating his draft stock. If Sam Howell has a big day, that means that it’s likely that Dyami Brown has also gone off. Keep your eyes on #2.
Michael Carter #8, RB 2021 (5’8, 199)
The final name of note is RB Michael Carter. Carter is coming off a monster game against VA Tech, where he tallied 217 yards and 2 TDs on the ground while only rushing the ball 17 times. If Carter continues to post big numbers, he will undoubtedly gain draft buzz. He’s someone I’ll be watching this week.
Tamorrion Terry #6, WR 2021 (6’4, 210)
The only name of relevance for the Seminoles is Tamorrion Terry. He has been their best player all season, and despite some struggles with concentration drops, he remains a top WR talent in the 2021 class. To be clear, he certainly needs to address that issue, but there’s no denying his talent. He’ll likely slip a bit in rookie drafts, but I expect that to turn him into a value pick.
#3 Georgia @ #2 Alabama
Saturday, 10/17 | 8:00 PM ET, CBS
Zamir White #3, RB 2022 (6’0, 215)
The Georgia side of the ball has three 2022 prospects that are worth mentioning. First, we have Zamir White, aka Zeus. He has dominated the Bulldogs’ backfield, and more importantly, his knees look to be fully healthy. White has long been one of my favorite prospects, but he’s showing why he was so highly ranked as a freshman.
George Pickens #1, WR 2022 (6’3, 190)
The next name is one you hear more and more, and that is of WR George Pickens. You probably have seen or heard of the incident last week where he sprayed water into the face of Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano, who was tackled into the bench area of Georgia. Some people have thought it was funny, some people found it rather appalling, but regardless of your opinion, I think it’s fair to say that people would like to see him making highlights on the field rather than for sideline antics. Pickens is an incredibly talented WR but needs to turn that talent into production.
Kearis Jackson #10, WR 2022 (6’0, 200)
Someone who isn’t lacking production is WR Kearis Jackson. He is dominating the receiving game. He has double the catches than Pickens and more than three times the receiving yards. Jackson is a different type of WR than Pickens, but if he continues to post good numbers, he has a chance to be a name to watch in 2021.
Najee Harris #22, RB 2021 (6’2, 230)
On the Alabama side of the ball, the names haven’t changed. There are many people I could list here, but I’ll stick with the big 2021 eligible guys. The first name that falls under that category is Najee Harris. He is coming off a big 23/206/5 rushing line against Ole Miss. No, you didn’t read that wrong. Harris tallied 5 TDs last week. If you want a chance to draft Harris, you will likely need one of the first couple picks in your rookie draft. He looks like the real deal.
Jaylen Waddle #17, WR 2021 (5’10, 182)
The next player to watch is Jaylen Waddle. Waddle posted a 6/120/0 game against Ole Miss, but with performances like we saw from Harris and Smith, he went rather unnoticed. Waddle is incredibly quick and twitchy. It’s hard to know in any given week which WR will go off, but what I do know is that they are both very good. This could be a year similar to last, where Alabama has two WRs drafted in the first round.
DeVonta Smith #6, WR 2021 (6’1, 175)
Finally, the last name I’ll mention for the Crimson Tide is WR DeVonta Smith. Like Harris, Smith is coming off a big game. He didn’t score 5 times, but he did catch 13 passes for 164 yards and a TD. He also ran for a touchdown. Smith is the smoother of the two ‘Bama WRs. They both will likely go early in drafts, but Smith probably has a higher ranking in NFL circles right now.
That’s it for this week’s games. I will be previewing a handful of players each week going forward. 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.