College football Week 5 NFL Draft prospects

nfl draft prospects

Heading into Week 5 of the college football season, there are some top NFL Draft prospects in action on Saturday with several key conference matchups taking place.

Texas A&M vs Alabama

Bobby Brown III, IDL – Texas A&M
Jaylen Waddle, WR – Alabama

Texas A&M has a history of producing NFL defensive line prospects, and Bobby Brown III will look to keep that trend alive in 2021. Brown is a stout 315 pounds along the Aggie front where he has shown excellent lower body strength and anchoring ability. He will likely be relegated to a 0 or 1 tech at the next level due to his lack of pass rush ability outside of a straight bull rush. If he can show an improved motor and even a modest improvement in his pass rush, Brown will solidify his status as a draftable prospect.

Gone are big play threats and Alabama stalwarts Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs. What will the Tide do next? With Jaylen Waddle returning, the answer is likely to be keep on rolling. Waddle’s elite quickness and playmaking ability with the ball in his hands are second to none in college football. As a receiver, Waddle is a solid route runner and eats up yards after the catch in a hurry. He also is an excellent return specialist having made house calls on both kickoffs and punts in his career. Taking on a more featured role should provide Waddle the opportunity to strengthen his draft stock and possibly solidify him as a first round pick when the 2021 draft roles around.

North Carolina vs Boston College

Dazz Newsome, WR – North Carolina
David Bailey, RB – Boston College

Dazz Newsome is one half of North Carolina‘s dynamic duo at wide receiver. Newsome along with Dyami Brown are both coming off 1,000 yard and 10 touchdown seasons in 2019. Newsome will operate mostly from the slot, but he is much more than just an underneath sticks guy. He has the explosiveness to get deep, and his best asset is tracking the ball. As a player who operates mostly from the slot in college, that is likely where Newsome will find himself at the next level. Thus far in his career, he showed strong hands and a fearlessness when going over the middle. Expanding his route tree and improving his releases are some areas he can work on, and he should get plenty of opportunities to do so with a UNC offense that looks to be one of the better units in the ACC.

Boston College has a history of producing big bruising running backs, and David Bailey fills those shoes simply fine. Playing behind second round pick AJ Dillion, Bailey was still able to amass over 800 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground in 2019. He shows solid balance and excellent power between the tackles. He consistently gains yards after contact, using his lower body strength and 240-pound frame to run threw arm tackles. Like a lot of power backs in college, Bailey is seldom used in the pass game and does not show the agility to be a threat as a route runner out of the backfield which could limit him to early down and goal line work only at the next level. Look for Bailey to garner more national attention on his way to a 1,000-yard season for what’s been a surprising BC team early on.

Memphis vs SMU

Brady White, QB – Memphis
Shane Buechele, QB – SMU

As college football’s most veteran signal caller, Brady White has complete command of the Memphis offense. He has limited athletic upside, but White understands his limitations and plays to his strengths with a ton of timing throws that take trust and touch to complete. White is an extremely productive player and has seen nearly every defensive scheme under the sun. He profiles as a career backup but someone who can provide leadership and a steady hand if a starter goes down.

Shane Buechele lost his starting job at Texas, but since transferring to SMU he has led one of the country’s most prolific passing attacks in recent years. Buechele is slightly undersized, but he throws accurately to all levels of the field from the pocket and shows decent mobility and feel of the rush. His biggest question mark comes with his release, which will have to be fixed if he has any hopes of playing at the next level. Buechele does a big wind up on intermediate and deep throws that will cause interceptions at the next level if he does not improve on it. He has put a ton of throws on tape, is a solid leader and will likely be a day three pick in next year’s draft.

Oklahoma vs Iowa State

Creed Humphrey, IOL – Oklahoma
Brock Purdy, QB – Iowa State

Creed Humphrey likely would have been with top-100 selection if he had come out last year. Instead, he chose to return to school and is atop most preseason lists as the nation’s top center. Humphrey has been a steady presence along an Oklahoma line that put multiple players into the NFL the past few seasons. His leadership is evident with how he commands and communicates with the offensive line consistently getting them on the same page. Humphrey has all the physical tools to be a top-level center in the league and potentially a first round pick in next year’s draft.

Some quarterbacks can be program elevators, and that is what Brock Purdy has been for Iowa State. Purdy is a smooth operator in the pocket where he stands tall and shows the ability to work through progressions and throws with accuracy to on short and intermediate routes. While he has decent mobility, Purdy sometimes leaves the pocket prematurely and will feel pressure that is not really there. His arm strength is adequate, and with a smooth repeatable delivery, there is a lot for NFL quarterback coaches to work with. He’s had a poor start to the season, but a big game against Oklahoma would be huge for solidifying him as someone with starter potential.

Auburn vs Georgia

KJ Britt, LB – Auburn
Tyson Campbell, CB – Georgia

KJ Bitt is always front and center in the action. Britt is excellent at reading and reacting to plays specifically getting downhill and shooting gaps in the run game. He has shown the ability to drop into coverage and has adequate movement skills to drop into coverage when asked. Britt plays aggressive because he has to given his size and inability to stack linemen in the run game. Likely a late round draft prospect, Britt can solidify his status as a draftable player if he can show improved play strength at the point of attack.

At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, Tyson Campbell is a prototypical build for a perimeter corner in today’s NFL. Campbell’s combination of length and size is magnified by his athleticism specifically his speed which allows him to press speed receivers at the line while also locking them up on deep routes. His quickness is evident on tape especially in the run game where he closes quickly and shows a willingness to attack the ball carrier. Campbell is one of the best athletic prospects at the corner position in college football, but if he hopes to solidify himself as a first round prospect he must show more consistency and improvement his technique over the course of the year.

Photo by Hannah Saad | The Crimson White