The Demon Deacons have quietly become an underrated program for NFL talent, and despite a recent downturn in the win-loss column, the Spartans always have NFL-caliber players on their roster.
We're going game by game to let you know exactly who you should watch to get ready for the 2020 NFL Draft. You can read more about this matchup and .
How to watch
Date: Friday, Dec. 27 | Time: 3:20 p.m. ET
Location: Yankee Stadium (Bronx, New York)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Jamie Newman, QB
Newman hasn't made a decision on his NFL future yet, but he's reportedly leaning toward returning to Wake Forest for another year. But because nothing is official yet, I'm including him because he had a remarkable season for the Demon Deacons and has . At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds with a strong arm, deft pocket presence, and pinpoint downfield accuracy, Newman will be intriguing to scouts and general managers whenever he's entering the NFL. Down the stretch, after his top two receivers went down with injury, Newman took a clear step back, but that wasn't super surprising. He tossed 23 touchdowns to 10 interceptions at a 62.3% completion rate this season. He's dealing with a leg injury, so there's a chance an injury will keep him off the field in this one too.
Carlos Basham, EDGE
Only a junior, Basham is another Wake Forest player who could return for 2020, but he did tally nine sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles this season, so a jump to the NFL wouldn't be stunning. Oh, and he's listed at 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, therefore he wouldn't look out of place on the edge in the pros right now. Blessed with scary movement skills for someone that size and a decent arsenal of pass-rushing moves, Basham is an intriguing prospect. The only major knock on him is that in games against tougher competition, he was kind of invisible.
Essang Bassey, CB
After 31 combined pass breakups as a sophomore and junior, the senior corner logged just nine this year. Then again, he set the bar extremely high for himself. While Bassey wasn't as impactful and got beat more frequently this season than the past two, the high-end plays of awesome click-and-close quickness and ball skills were still on display, and he's always been authoritative on the outside in run support. Bassey is a sleek, smooth-movement corner who can thrive in man or zone. He'll be an underrated prospect during the pre-draft process.
Amari Henderson, CB
Henderson finished with three straight years of double-digit pass breakups at Wake, and at 6-foot-1, he'll draw interest from many scouts across the NFL landscape over the next few months. With Henderson, you get a tall corner with plus ball skills -- he had four picks in 2019 -- and outstanding awareness in zone to close on receivers who feel they're open in a void.
Kenny Willekes, EDGE
Willekes was probably bound to be, at worst, a second-round pick in the 2019 draft, then he suffered a serious injury in the bowl game loss to Oregon and decided to return for his senior season. Unfortunately for him, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound edge defender simply didn't look like the same player he was a year ago when he won Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. While his stats in 2019 are still impressive -- 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss -- he wasn't as dynamic around the corner. What Willekes does have going for him is a refined repertoire of pass-rushing moves; he just won't threaten NFL offensive tackles with his athleticism.
Raequan Williams, DT
Do not run in Williams' direction. Just don't do it. He's easily one of the most NFL-ready run defenders in this class. He's had 28 tackles for loss in his four seasons at Michigan State and that figure doesn't really do his run-halting skills justice. At 6-foot-4 and 303 pounds, he has great length, and he consistently defeats blocks on the interior with an array of moves and he has a large tackling radius. As a pass-rusher? Williams leaves a lot to be desired because of his lack of foot speed once he wins at the line of scrimmage, and he doesn't have a stellar get-off.