We start with a Friday night game this weekend and a highly rated but little talked about defensive lineman at Boston College. Later we finish with a terrific Big Ten/ACC battle on Saturday evening that has the interest of next level decision makers. Here are four games scouts will be keying on during week three.
Florida State vs Boston College
Friday, 8PM EST ESPN
Despite being sidelined after three games last season with a knee injury Mehdi Abdesmad was highly considered by scouts entering the 2015 campaign. Abdesmad is a well built interior lineman who plays with great quickness and makes plays up or down the line of scrimmage. He’s off to a decent start posting 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks during the first two games, albeit against IAA opponents Maine and Howard.
Boston College face an important conference battle on Friday evening when Florida State comes for a visit. The Seminoles struggled offensively against South Florida last week and their offensive line is unsettled after losing five starters to graduation. Abdesmad will line up across from a freshman, sophomore and junior college transfer who redshirted last season.
Its his opportunity to make an impact on a national level.
Temple vs UMass
This is an under the radar match-up featuring late round prospects.
Temple is on a roll during the early part of the season. During two victories against Penn State and Cincinnati they’ve allowed a combined 530 passing yards while picking off five passes against a pair of highly rated arm talents, Christian Hackenberg and Gunner Kiel.
Tavon Young is the leader of the Owls secondary and plays tough, mistake free football. Young comes with limited speed but plays within the system and finds ways to be productive. This weekend will be a letdown for Temple as they play UMass, a team yet to have a winning record since making the jump to Div-I after much success on the IAA level. And while Temple may have an easier time this weekend, Young best not relax.
Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel and receiver Tajae Sharpe are both legitimate late round picks. Frohapfel is another arm talent with the ability to get his passes through the tight windows. Sharpe is a big bodied receiver with run after the catch skill.
It’s a big contest for all three, who are working to solidify themselves as late round selections.
Auburn vs LSU
3:30 EST CBS
There are a number of terrific match-ups in this game but I’ll focus on just one.
Auburn receiver D’Haquille Williams entered the season with high expectations from scouts, some who graded him as a potential first round prospect. Williams is a physical specimen who stand over 6-feet/2-inches and tips the scale north of 220-pounds. And while he regularly beats down defenders to come away with the reception, he also drops a lot of catchable throws and shows little in the way of polish in his game.
LSU has placed a lot of talented cornerbacks into the NFL draft and Tre’Davious White is the next in line. There’s a lot to like about the juniors game; he’s fast, possesses solid ball skills and makes a lot of plays with his back to the ball. I’ve been told for weeks the word out of LSU is White will enter the 2016 draft and why not?
White’s ability to shut down a receiver like Williams, one who has a decided size advantage, will draw the interest of scouts. This is the type of receiver White will face on Sunday’s and Williams presents a great challenge. On the other hand Williams must have a productive evening, stay away from drops and makes plays away from the ball.
Pittsburgh vs Iowa
8PM EST Big 10 Network
While this game won’t receive national attention it sure has the interest of NFL scouts.
Pitt receiver Tyler Boyd is spoken of often in outside circles but evaluation of his next level potential is all over the map in the scouting community. He’s incredibly productive and sure handed but is neither big (program measurements go 6’ 2”/200lbs) nor a receiver with game breaking speed.
The Hawkeyes have three secondary prospects scouts rave about.
Senior safety Jordan Lomax came into the year highly rated and has performed reasonably well during the initial two contests. He won’t blow anyone away with his measurables but his film is outstanding. Junior Desmond King also comes up a bit shy for the tape measure but is a shut down corner with terrific ball skills. Teammate Greg Mabin is not as polished in his game but can line up as a nickel back on Sunday’s.
This is the first of back-to-back games Boyd faces outstanding next level talent in the secondary. Next up for Pittsburgh is Virginia Tech in two weeks.