Scout's Eye: Top NFL Prospects to Watch in Week 4

Alabama running back Damien Harris runs for a touchdown last week against Mississippi.Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama-Texas A&M is among the biggest games this weekend

Texas A&M (2-1) at Alabama (3-0)

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EST (CBS), Bryant-Denny Stadium (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)

In a matchup that will produce plenty of future pro prospects, the showdown between Texas A&M and Alabama features two legendary coaches. Nick Saban, with his six national championships is a man who needs no introduction. The Crimson Tide has had 77 players selected in the NFL Draft during the past decade, including 12 in 2018 (an SEC record). Jimbo Fisher is three games into his SEC career, but his impact has already been felt as the Aggies nearly pulled off the upset against then-No. 2 Clemson a couple of weeks ago. The $75 million dollar man was lured from Florida State during the offseason, where he cultivated a football factory, producing 48 NFL draft picks and winning one national title. A win over Alabama would prove the money was well worth it.

Five draft-eligible prospects to focus on:

OLB Anfernee Jennings, Alabama, JR. (6-2, 265, 4.79, #33): After suffering a gruesome leg injury during last season's College Football Playoff semifinal, Jennings rehabbed vigorously during the offseason and returned to action just nine months later, a remarkable feat. He suffered a torn PCL, which caused artery damage and a blood clot that almost caused him to have his leg amputated. The Alabama native seems to be regaining his form as the games roll on with seven tackles and a sack thus far.

An athletic, smart, instinctive player who inspires teammates, Jennings possesses a well-rounded skill-set but is sure to be poked and prodded at the NFL Scouting Combine. How he checks out medically could ultimately dictate where he is selected whenever the talented junior decides to opt for the draft.

ILB Mack Wilson, Alabama, JR. (6-1, 231, 4.73, #30): The quarterback of the Alabama defense, Wilson bided his time behind multiple players who eventually went on to the NFL before stepping into the starting MIKE role this season. He led the Crimson Tide with four interceptions in a backup role last year, which was a small sampling of his elite instincts and athleticism.

Wilson possesses prototypical size and speed, takes excellent pursuit angles and does a phenomenal job fighting through the trash and shedding blockers. While Wilson has missed a few pre-snap reads and adjustments, Saban is confident he'll improve with experience; the coach also has heaped praise on his work ethic. Wilson is expected to test extremely well and is yet another Alabama first-round pick in the making.

RB Damien Harris, Alabama, SR. (5-10, 216, 4.55, #34): A complete back with a proven resume, Harris has gotten it done against fierce competition. What makes the senior so remarkable is his powerful running style combined with his vision and cutback ability. Harris is also a threat out of the backfield and showcases the speed necessary to gash defenses for big chunks of yardage.

He fights through contact and bulldozes his way for extra yardage, but his balance and burst might be two of his most desirable traits. After back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Harris somewhat surprisingly returned to a backfield-by-committee situation. Although his usage has been limited (178 yards on 24 carries), he owns an astounding 6.8 yards per carry and is arguably the top draft-eligible running back.

ILB Otaro Alaka, Texas A&M, rSR. (6-2, 240, 4.78, #42): A three-year starter who endured a torn labrum as a freshman, Alaka has since been a steady presence in the middle of the Aggies defense. He was ejected during Week 1 due to a targeting call, but he played a key role against Clemson with 10 tackles, adding to his career total of 197 tackles, including 24.5 for loss. The Houston native is considered to be the pulse of the Texas A&M defense and currently projects as a Day 3 selection.

DE Landis Durham, Texas A&M, SR. (6-3, 246, 4.79, #46): Coming off a double-digit sack season (10.5), scouts know they need to pay attention to Durham, who slimmed down nine pounds this season to 246, in order to help boost his quickness. He takes pride in stopping the run and has been asked to drop back in coverage this season, which should help prepare him for the next level. Durham will have his hands full this week against one of the top offensive lines in college football, but a strong performance will certainly help boost his draft stock.

Other Texas A&M prospects to watch:

DT Kingsley Keke, SR. (6-3, 285, 5.23, #8)

RB Trayveon Williams, JR. (5-09, 200, 4.47, #5)

FS Larry Pryor, rJR. (5-11, 205, n/a, #11)

OG Colton Prater, JR. (6-3, 300, 5.08, #76)

C Erik McCoy, rJR. (6-3, 315, n/a, #64)

DT Daylon Mack, SR. (6-0, 320, 5.04, #5)

P Daniel LaCamera, SR. (6-3, 230, n/a, #36)

Other Alabama prospects to watch:

OT Jonah Williams, JR. (6-5, 301, 5.02, #73)

DE Raekwon Davis, JR. (6-6, 303, 5.07, #99)

DE Isaiah Buggs, SR. (6-4, 292, 4.94, #49)

OLB Christian Miller, SR, (6-3,240,4.76, #47)

OG Lester Cotton, SR. (6-3, 324, 5.32, #66)

RB Josh Jacobs, JR. (5-9, 209, 4.49, #8)

QB Jalen Hurts, JR. (6-1, 214, 4.62, #2)

Stanford (3-0) at Oregon (3-0)

Saturday, 8:00pm, ET (ABC), Autzen Stadium (Eugene, Ore.)

Three draft-eligible prospects to focus on:

QB Justin Herbert, Oregon, JR. (6-5, 225, 4.81, #10): A smart decision-maker with mobility in the pocket, high velocity on his fastball and prototypical size, Herbert is in the running to be the No. 1 overall pick. He got off to a hot start but was streaky against San Jose this past week. In his defense, he has been airing it out more this year with an increased emphasis on the deep ball. A broken collarbone last season could raise concerns about his frame and durability at the next level, but Herbert is sure to have teams champing at the bit for his services.

RB Bryce Love, Stanford, SR. (5-9, 196, 4.36, #20): It's been a bumpy road for Love, who struggled during the opener with just 29 rushing yards on 18 carries against San Jose State. He bounced back with a big performance against USC but was held out last week due to an undisclosed injury. Love has showed the propensity to bounce it to the outside and while he possesses the speed to do it, he'll need to prove he can be a much more effective inside runner if he wants to be considered a first-rounder.

OG Nate Herbig, Stanford, JR. (6-3, 348, 5.47, #63): A mammoth, wide-bodied run mauler, Herbig is nicknamed "Big Island" and for very good reason. At 350 pounds, the Hawaii native shows fancy footwork and surprising athleticism, as observed in the way he trots down the line on pull blocks and seals off oncoming defenders. Coaches love the fact that he is rarely flagged and makes few mental errors.

Other Stanford prospects to watch:

OLB Joey Alfieri, rSR (6-2, 241, 4.72, #32)

P Jake Bailey, SR (6-1, 193, 4.90, #14)

OT A.T. Hall, rSR (6-5, 297, 5.06, #75)

CB Alijah Holder, rSR (6-1, 191, 4.56, #13)

OG Brandon Fanaika, rSR (6-2, 315, 5.37, #71)

WR Trenton Irwin, SR (6-1, 205, 4.47, #2)

QB K.J. Costello, rJR (6-4, 217, 4.84, #3)

Other Oregon prospects to watch:

TE Jake Breeland JR (6-5, 241, 4.84, #27)

ILB Troy Dye, JR (6-3, 224, 4.79, #35)

OLB Justin Hollins, rSR. (6-4, 238, 4.80, #11)

Wisconsin (2-1) at Iowa (3-0)

Saturday, 8:30pm, ET (FOX), Kinnick Stadium (Iowa City, Iowa)

Three draft-eligible prospects to focus on:

TE Noah Fant, Iowa, JR. (6-4, 241, 4.78, #87): A rare athlete at his position, Fant is a big play waiting to happen and often ignites the Hawkeyes' offense with a momentum-changing catch. He has scored 14 touchdowns during his career, and Iowa has capitalized on using an up-tempo offense this season when they see a mismatch in Fant's favor. One big negative, he continues to be benched for long periods of time due to his poor run blocking, but overall, his size and tantalizing athleticism, along with his 40-inch vertical, will have NFL talent evaluators salivating.

Michael Deiter Wisconsin rSR. (6-5, 328, 5.36, #63): A four-year starter, Deiter has double-digit starts each at left tackle, left guard and center. His experience (he has played 95 percent of his team's snaps during his career, according to PFF), and versatility only enhances his draft stock. Deiter isn't likely to wow at the Combine, but he possesses the skill-set to be an immediate plug-and-play starter at the next level.

D'Cota Dixon Wisconsin rSR. (5-10, 204, 4.56, #14): A cerebral thinker on the field and a workout warrior in the gym, Dixon can squat 515 pounds, bench 390 and has a 36-inch vertical. He has been praised for his leadership by coach Jim Leonard. However, NFL teams will be sure to poke and prod the Badger in Indy after he suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery last year and a season-ending injury as a freshman.

Other Wisconsin prospects to watch:

ILB T.J. Edwards, rSR (6-1, 244, 4.79, #53)

OG Beau Benzschawel, rSR. (6-5, 317, 5.28, #66)

DT Olive Sagapolu, SR. (6-2, 346, 5.47, #99)

OLB Andrew Van Ginkel, SR. (6-3, 236, 4.79, #17)

ILB Ryan Connelly, rSR. (6-2, 228, 4.72, #43)

Other Iowa prospects to watch:

QB Nate Stanley, Iowa, JR (6-4, 212, 4.86, #4)

DE Brady Reiff, Iowa, rJR (6-3, 260, 4.66, #91)

Arizona State (2-1) at Washington (2-1)

Saturday, 10:30pm, ET (ESPN), Husky Stadium (Seattle)

Three draft-eligible prospects to focus on:

WR N'Keal Harry, Arizona State, JR. (6-3, 216, 4.52, #1): The human highlight reel has a knack for making the big play and owns a drawer full of evasive open-field moves that he can pull out at any time. A tall, agile receiver, Harry is a big target who's highly competitive and tough to bring down -- he serves as a nightmare one-on-one matchup. His route tree consists of various short-to-intermediate routes, but he can also win deep.

OT Kaleb McGary, Washington, SR. (6-6, 318, 5.27, #58): Originally a defensive lineman, McGary made the switch to offense upon the arrival of head coach Chris Peterson and has started at right tackle for the past four seasons. He boasts tremendous athleticism and agility; he was recorded to have a 35-inch vertical at Huskies combine day. However, his previous diagnosis of AFIB (irregular heartbeat) could be a medical concern for some teams, which may cause him to slide in the draft, depending on what the league doctors in Indianapolis find.

DT Greg Gaines, Washington, SR. (6-1, 322, 5.34, #99): An anchor on the Huskies defensive line as a four-year starter, Gaines is tough, physical and holds his ground well at the point of attack. He utilizes his strength to control the leverage battle and does a fantastic job shedding blocks. He has even flashed a variety of pass-rush moves and takes great pride in his technique and attention to detail. His hand placement and hand combat is top-notch.

Other Arizona State prospects to watch:

OLB Koron Crump, SR (6-2, 222, 4.67, #4)

QB Manny Wilkins, rSR (6-2, 200, 4.67, #5)

Other Washington prospects to watch:

SS Taylor Rapp, JR (6-0, 204, 4.59, #7)

RB Myles Gaskin, SR (5-9, 191, 4.50, #9)

TE Drew Sample, SR (6-4, 259, 4.86, #88)

SS JoJo McIntosh, SR. (6-0, 219, 4.59, #14)

QB Jake Browning, SR. (6-1, 210, 4.78, #3)



Frank Cooney


Rob Rang

NFL Draft Scout