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 cancelled 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.
#1 Alabama @ Arkansas
Saturday, 12/12 | 12:00 PM ET, ESPN
Mac Jones #10, QB 2021 (6’3, 214)
The early matchup with the most players I’ll be watching is the Alabama/Arkansas game. You’re probably familiar with the players on the Alabama side of the ball, but in case you aren’t, the first name to know is QB Mac Jones. He’s gone from a bit of an afterthought to a Heisman frontrunner. It looks like he’s positioned himself to potentially become a first-round pick in the upcoming draft. I’ve seen a lot of talk suggesting Jones as a good fit for the Patriots offense, but there’s plenty of time to look into those things in the future.
Najee Harris #22, RB 2021 (6’2, 230)
The next player I’ll be watching is RB Najee Harris. He’s still the top Alabama player in my rankings. I’ve seen a lot of love lately for DeVonta Smith, and while I certainly am a fan of his, I think the player I want most from this Crimson Tide team is Harris, by a significant margin. Harris is my RB2 and could end up being my top RB based on landing spots or combine numbers. Harris does everything you want in a three-down back, and I expect him to have a monster day.
DeVonta Smith #6, WR 2021 (6’1, 175)
The final name of note is DeVonta Smith. Smith is currently in my second tier of WRs for the 2021 class. My top-tier consists of Ja’Marr Chase, Rondale Moore, and Rashod Bateman. I have seen DeVonta ranked as high as WR1 in this class, but I am not ready to go that high on him. I am a bit concerned about his size and how it’ll translate at the next level, so right now, I have him a bit below the top-tier.
Trelon Smith #22, RB 2021 (5’9, 185)
There are two players I’ll be watching for the Razorbacks. The first is RB Trelon Smith. Smith is coming off a monster game against Missouri where he ran for 172 yards and three TDs on 26 carries. He has shown an impressive amount of toughness for an undersized back while having the burst to get to the second level. As a junior, he probably should return for his senior season, but he’s someone to watch against this tough Bama defense.
Treylon Burks #16, WR 2022 (6’3, 232)
The other player to watch is sophomore WR Treylon Burks. He is having an incredible second season for the Hogs, leading the team in all receiving categories. Burks is a big-bodied WR that has displayed the ability to use his frame to his advantage. He’s made some incredibly acrobatic catches and is someone that should have a bright future ahead of him. If he continues this developmental trajectory, Burks could be a big name next year.
#17 North Carolina @ #10 Miami
Saturday, 12/12 | 3:30 PM ET, ABC
#17 North Carolina
Sam Howell #7, QB 2022 (6’1, 225)
There are a few big name prospects for the Tar Heels. First, we have sophomore QB, Sam Howell. He came into the season as my top 2022 QB and hasn’t done anything to drop in my rankings. So far, he has thrown for 3129 yards, 26 TDs with six INTs, and has completed 68.8% of his passes. Howell has done nothing but produce since he got to Chapel Hill. He’ll be a big name next year, so you may as well be familiar with him now.
Javonte Williams #25, RB 2021 (5’10, 220)
The next name to know is RB Javonte Williams. He is in the midst of a monster junior year where he’s already scored 16 TDs. Williams’ breakout year has vaulted him up RB rankings. I’ve seen Williams ranked as high as RB2 for the 2021 class. I don’t have him quite that high, but he’s absolutely someone that is worth knowing and could keep moving up draft boards.
Dyami Brown #2, WR 2021 (6’1, 185)
The final name for the Tar Heels is WR Dyami Brown. He’s been Sam Howell’s favorite target this year, and when you watch him play, it’s easy to see why. Brown is only a junior, so he has the option of returning for another season, but I expect to see him declare for the draft and be a mid-round selection. I think that if Brown gets into the right system, he could be a valuable slot WR in the NFL.
D’Eriq King #1, QB 2021 (5’11, 202)
The first player to know for the Hurricanes is their signal-caller, D’Eriq King. King is having an impressive first year in Coral Gables, with over 2300 yards passing, 24 total TDs, and nearly 500 more yards on the ground. It’s tough to tell if the NFL will give King a chance at QB, he certainly has the athleticism to succeed in the NFL, but I’m not sure he has the passing ability to succeed at QB. I think his future is a slot WR that can win with his quickness.
Brevin Jordan #9, TE 2021 (6’3, 245)
My top player on Miami’s roster is TE Brevin Jordan. He came into the year as my TE3 for 2021, and as of now, he is still there. However, the gap between him and the top-two (Pitts and Freiermuth) has certainly widened. I believe Jordan has a chance to succeed in the NFL, but he doesn’t quite possess the athletic ability that the other two do. I think Jordan can be a value pick if he drops into the third round of rookie drafts.
Cam’Ron Harris #23, RB 2021 (5’10, 210)
Cam’Ron Harris is the final name to know for Miami. He had a big game against Duke last week, which was much needed after struggling of late. Harris started the season with a couple of big performances and had some hype surrounding him, but after he’s sputtered, I wouldn’t be surprised if he chooses to come back for his senior year. Whenever he does declare, I think Harris could be one of the mid-late round NFL RBs that finds a role in the NFL.
Wisconsin @ #16 Iowa
Saturday, 12/12 | 3:30 PM ET, FS1
Jake Ferguson #84, TE 2021 (6’5, 246)
The two players to know for the Badgers are Jake Ferguson and Jalen Berger. Like many of these prospects, Ferguson could choose to come back for his senior year. If he does choose to declare, he has the frame and skill to be a dynamic TE in the NFL. He doesn’t have the elite athleticism of someone like Kyle Pitts, but he absolutely is a name to know.
Jalen Berger #8, RB 2023 (6’0, 210)
The other player to know on this roster is freshman RB Jalen Berger. He looks like he’s going to be the next in line of dominant Wisconsin RBs. He’s looked impressive so far in his first year. We obviously have a long time to continue to watch Berger develop, but he’ll be a name for the future.
Ihmir Smith-Marsette #6, WR 2021 (6’1, 179)
The only player of note for the Hawkeyes is senior WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette. He is one of the most versatile playmakers in college football. He is dealing with some off the field issues, but he is extremely exciting to watch with the ball in his hands. I expect this game to be a bit of a low-scoring slugfest, but hopefully, Smith-Marsette can bring some electricity to the field.
LSU @ #6 Florida
Saturday, 12/12 | 7:00 PM ET, ESPN
Terrace Marshall Jr #6, WR 2021 (6’3, 200) ***OPT-OUT***
It’s not a controversial statement to say that things are not going anywhere near as well for LSU this year as they were last year. The names to know on the LSU side of the ball for this game all happen to be players that have opted out of the season. The first one I will mention is Terrace Marshall. He recently announced that he has decided to prepare for the NFL draft. I expect him to be an impressive prospect and am excited to see where he ends up.
Arik Gilbert #2, TE 2023 (6’5, 249) ***OPT-OUT***
The is TE Arik Gilbert. He announced this week that he would be leaving LSU. He hasn’t announced where he will end up, it has been reported that one of the top landing spots for him is Georgia, but until anything is official, it’s not worth speculating. The important thing to know is that he is an elite prospect and will make any team better.
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.
Kyle Trask #11, QB 2021 (6’5, 240)
The names on Florida’s roster worth remembering have remained the same all year. The first is Heisman favorite, Kyle Trask. Trask is having one of the best seasons ever for a Florida QB. He’s currently on pace to break the school’s record for passing TDs in a single season. I have seen Trask ranked as high as QB3 and as low as QB6 in this class, but the gap between those slots isn’t as big as most years.
Kyle Pitts #84, TE 2021 (6’6, 246)
The next player for Florida is Kyle Pitts. Pitts has continually moved up draft rankings this season and has gotten to the point where he’s going to be hard to draft. His combination of size, speed, and athletic ability have everyone excited, myself included. The issue I have with Pitts is that he’s going to go so high in drafts that it will mean passing up on elite prospects at other positions.
Kadarius Toney #1, WR 2021 (6’0, 193)
The final name I will mention is speedy WR Kadarius Toney. He’s someone that has been rising up my draft board throughout the season. He has continually improved throughout the season and will be one of the more exciting players in the draft. He is absolutely electric with the ball in his hands but has struggled with consistency.
#15 USC @ UCLA
Saturday, 12/12 | 7:30 PM ET, ABC
Amon-Ra St. Brown #8, WR 2021 (6’1, 195)
There are two names to know for the Trojans. First is junior WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. He’s someone that has been a hyped prospect for a couple of years now. I’ve seen several comparisons for him, but one that stuck with me was from @RayGQue, who compared St. Brown to Terry McLaurin. I like Amon-Ra as a prospect and expect him to be a borderline first-round rookie pick at this point.
Kedon Slovis #9, QB 2022 (6’2, 200)
The other name to know for USC is their sophomore QB Kedon Slovis. Slovis has built on his strong freshman season and looks like he could very well be one of the top QBs in next year’s class. I still have him behind UNC’s Sam Howell, but Slovis is rapidly moving up draft boards. I’m excited to see him continue to develop.
Demetric Felton #10, RB 2021 (5’10, 200)
The name to know on the UCLA side of the ball is their RB, Demetric Felton. He has been their best offensive weapon this year. Felton should be the focal point of UCLA’s offense against USC, so while he may struggle, he’ll likely be heavily involved.
San Diego State @ #18 BYU
Saturday, 12/12 | 10:00 PM ET, ESPN 2
San Diego State
Greg Bell #6, RB 2021 (5’10, 217)
The player to watch for the Aztecs is former Cornhuskers RB Greg Bell. Bell struggled in his last two games, only rushing for 32 yards on 12 carries. He’ll be looking to have a bounce-back game against BYU this week. Bell had a freak eye injury that almost caused him to lose his sight, but after making a full recovery, it’s easy to root for him.
Zach Wilson #1, QB 2021 (6’3, 210)
The main player to watch in this game is on the BYU side of the ball. That is junior QB, Zach Wilson. Wilson is in the midst of a breakout year that has seen him complete 73% of his passes, for 27 TDs and nearly 3,000 yards. Wilson, like many of the QBs in this class, has been ranked up and down the QB board. I’ve seen him mocked as high as the mid-1st round of NFL mocks.
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 ( @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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