2020 NFL Draft prospects to watch: LSU at Alabama has College Football Playoff and draft ramifications
This weekend brings the matchup everyone has been waiting for and it has major draft ramifications
The entire nation will have their eyes on CBS this weekend when two top 3 teams battle in a game that certainly has College Football Playoff ramifications in addition to tons of 2020 NFL Draft prospects. LSU at Alabama is the marquee college football game in a weekend slate that includes a second contest between undefeated teams.
Let's lay it all out in a 'How to Watch' guide:
No. 4 Penn State (8-0) at No. 17 Minnesota (8-0)
12 p.m. ET on ABC
Two of the seven remaining undefeated Power Five conference teams are in this game. The Gophers do not get the same attention as other teams. The last meeting between these two teams was an overtime win for the Nittany Lions in 2016.
Minnesota wide receiver Tyler Johnson is a very talented player who may be taken on Day Two of the 2020 NFL Draft. Penn State edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos is a first-round talent. His teammate, wide receiver K.J. Hamler, shows some of that ability as well. He is a smaller but explosive receiver similar to DeSean Jackson.
No. 2 LSU (8-0) at No. 3 Alabama (8-0)
3:30 p.m. ET on CBS (stream on CBS All Access)
The Alabama-LSU series dates back to 1895 when LSU was victorious, 12-6. The Crimson Tide lead the all-time series 53-25-5. The College Football Playoff rankings took a little bit of the shine off this matchup when they elected to place Ohio State No. 1 overall ahead of both SEC teams. The Tigers and Tide had previously met as the top two teams in the country in 2011-2012.
These teams are loaded with NFL Draft prospects. Between them, there are 12 potential first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft by my count. Ed Orgeron's team has talent on each side of the ball. Quarterback Joe Burrow is the leading man on offense. He has narrowed the gap in the quarterback race. On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers have edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson, cornerback Kristian Fulton and safety Grant Delpit.
Alabama is led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa but the offense also features offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and wide receiver Henry Ruggs III. Nick Saban's defense has always been the focal point for their professional pursuits. Defensive tackle Raekwon Davis, inside linebacker Dylan Moses, cornerback Trevon Diggs and defensive back Xavier McKinney are next in line for the Tide on defense.
No. 16 Kansas State (6-2) at Texas (5-3)
3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Texas and Kansas State are still theoretically alive within the Big 12 Conference. Baylor and Oklahoma currently have a cushion for the lead, however. The winner between the Wildcats and Longhorns will keep pace while the loser will be discarded entirely. UT is protecting a two-game win streak against Kansas State.
Kansas State does not have the amount of elite talent that Texas possesses. The Longhorns have safety Brandon Jones as well as wide receivers Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson.
No. 18 Iowa (6-2) at No. 13 Wisconsin (6-2)
4 p.m. ET on Fox (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
Each half of the Big Ten Conference has three ranked teams presently. The Hawkeyes and Badgers are two of those representatives in the West. They are both trailing undefeated Minnesota. Iowa has lost its last three games against Wisconsin.
Kirk Ferentz's team boasts offensive tackles Tristan Wirfs and Alaric Jackson. Wisconsin has outside linebacker Zack Baun as well as center Tyler Biadasz and running back Jonathan Taylor. All five are expected to be taken by the end of Day Two in the draft.
Wyoming (6-2) at No. 22 Boise State (7-1)
10:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
Wyoming could even the score within the Mountain West Conference this week with a win over Boise State. The Cowboys are one of three teams -- joining Air Force and Utah State -- with one loss behind the undefeated Broncos.
Boise State edge rusher Curtis Weaver is currently projected to be taken in the first round. He has fast hands and is able to get off blocks well. Offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland and wide receiver John Hightower are two prospects that will command the attention of NFL scouts as well.
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