Week 10 NFL Draft prospects to watch

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There are some top NFL Draft prospects in action this week with several key conference matchups taking place, specifically in the ACC and Pac-12. Here’s a look at the game within the game.

Arizona State vs. USC

Chase Lucas, CB – Arizona State
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR – USC

Likely a Day 3 pick last year, Chase Lucas made the choice to return to school and hone his craft at the corner position for Arizona State. He is going to face arguably his greatest challenge of the season matching up with USC’s dynamic duo of Tyler Vaughns and Amon-Ra St. Brown. As a veteran with great instincts, Lucas should be able to hold his own and will likely be placed on an island. He has solid length and does well with his route recognition and drive on the football in zone coverage. Deep speed is not his best asset, and he needs to add strength, but Lucas is a smart and versatile player who likely will not see too many targets is way in 2020.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, who’s oldest brother Equanimeous plays for the Packers, and other brother Osiris plays at Stanford, is the probably the most dynamic receiver of them all. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark in 2019 and returns in 2020 as arguably the Pac-12’s best receiver. St. Brown is a crisp route runner with excellent change of direction with the ball in his hands. He needs to add strength if he hopes to defeat press coverage at the next level, but he has all the tools evaluators look for. Operating in the air-raid offense at USC will give St. Brown plenty of opportunities to put his skills on display.

North Carolina vs. Duke

Dyami Brown, WR – North Carolina
Victor Dimuleje, Edge – Duke

Dyami Brown came out of nowhere in 2019 averaging over 20 yards per catch on his way to over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is not a true burner, but Brown is springy and a smooth accelerator through his routes. He absolutely kills corners on double moves and shows great body control using his frame to shield off defenders at the catch point. Brown has a limited route tree in the North Carolina offense and often sees free release off the line of scrimmage because teams respect his deep threat capabilities. He will need to improve his releases and route running, but if he chooses to enter his name into the NFL Draft, a good combine showing could vault him into Day 2 consideration.

Duke has had a tough season this year with few bright spots outside of edge rusher Victor Dimuleje. Dimuleje came into the season with 14 sacks in his career and is looking to break double digits for the first time. He is a bit undersized, but his explosiveness and quick first step allow him convert speed to power and get offensive linemen on their heels. Dimuleje plays with a high motor and as a veteran player, he understands his run responsibility and plays a two-way game. While he has shown a dip and rip and has decent hands, Dimuleje relies too much on his pure athleticism to beat the man across from him, which will not work in the NFL. He will need to develop some secondary pass rush moves to become anything more than a situational pass rusher.

Florida vs. Georgia

Kyle Trask, QB – Florida
Monty Rice, ILB – Georgia

From unknown to likely NFL Draft pick, Kyle Trask’s intangibles and resilience alone make him one of the best feel-good stories likely to emerge in the 2021 draft cycle. As a prospect, Trask profiles as a typical pocket passer with a big frame and smooth, repeatable delivery. He does a great job with his eyes both working through his progressions and manipulating safeties and zone defenders to open up passing lanes. While he is a big guy, Trask has merely adequate arm strength and can sometimes lose both pace and accuracy on his throws due to poor footwork. With only two years of starting experience under his belt, he will likely need some time to both refine his footwork and learn an NFL system before taking over as a starter.

The SEC used to be all about ground and pound football but now has pretty much exclusively gone to spread systems in a new wave of college football. Monty Rice is the defensive answer at linebacker for a modern spread. At 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, Rice is a bit undersized but plays with excellent quickness and speed. He is excellent in man coverage with running backs and tight ends, shows excellent lateral mobility and loose hips to turn and drop with depth in zone. He will need to add strength to stack and shed offensive linemen at the next level. However, Rice is an explosive athlete and assists in passing downs that could work his way into the top 100 picks with a solid combine performance.

Stanford vs. Oregon

Thomas Booker, IDL – Stanford
Jordon Scott, NT – Oregon

Through two seasons at Stanford, Thomas Booker has racked up 7.5 sacks playing primarily as a part-time starter and will get his shot as a full-time player in 2020. Booker is listed a hair under 300 pounds and holds the weight well in a rocked up muscular frame. He has excellent mobility and uses his length to stack blocker and reset the line scrimmage. However, Booker is not going to go anywhere if he does not improve his pad level. Far too often he loses the leverage game and gets moved out of his spot in the run game. It also shows up in in his pass rush where he will sometimes stand straight up out of his stance. If he can improve his pad level and consistently play with leverage, Booker could become one of the Pac-12’s best interior defenders.

Jordon Scott likely is not a first rounder or even a second or third rounder. However, he will make an NFL roster and immediately be thrown into the early down defensive line rotation as a run stuffing tackle. Scott is 320 pounds of immovable object who plays with natural leverage and power. He will never be a pass rushing threat but with his strength and pad level, he shows the ability collapse the pocket. He will likely be relegated to a 0 or 1-tech at the next, due to his immobility and heavy feet. If he can show a bit more mobility in his game, Scott could hear his name called on Day 3 in the NFL Draft.

Clemson vs. Notre Dame

Jackson Carman, OT – Clemson
Tommy Tremble, TE – Notre Dame

Clemson has been a powerhouse in recent years when it comes to putting players into the NFL at nearly every position apart from offensive linemen. Jackson Carman will look to buck that trend and hear is name called early in 2020. Simply put, Carman is a tank who absolutely demolishes people in the run game. He has excellent hands that strike with precision placement and violence. He anchors well in pass pro, but he has heavy feet, which can get him in trouble with speed rushers. Carman’s best position might be right tackle at the next level, but he has done nothing other than solidify his status as a top-50 player in the next NFL Draft class.

Tommy Tremble has been a revelation at tight end for Notre Dame, which seems to always have a next-level player at that position on the roster. Tremble is a bit more of an H-back than a true inline guy, but that should not diminish his potential value to an offense. He is a top-notch athlete who reportedly ran 4.63 in the 40-yard dash in high school and looks like he has only gotten faster since coming to Notre Dame. Tremble is a physical player who can hold up at the point of attack against linebackers and secondary players although he may struggle against a defensive end if he is asked to sustain a pass block. However, keeping him in to block on pass plays would be a mistake because he is such a mismatch in coverage for linebackers and safeties with his combination of size, speed and soft hands. Tremble is climbing his way up NFL Draft boards, and it would not be a surprise to see him leave school early.

Photo by Tal Volk/Daily Trojan

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