Week 3 College Football Scouting Guide

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Week 3 College Football Scouting Guide
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Week 3 of the college football season brings marquee matchups sure to affect the rankings, but which games are NFL scouts focused on?

Here are the 10 games every NFL front office will be watching this weekend.

 

TCU @ Texas Tech
TCU offense TCU defense Texas Tech offense Texas Tech defense
No ranked players in top 300 CB Jason Verrett

TE Jace Amaro

WR Eric Ward

DE Kerry Hyder

FS Tre Porter

OLB Terrance Bullitt

TCU heads to Texas Tech in an in-state showdown, but the players to watch here are tight end Jace Amaro and cornerback Jason Verrett. While the two aren't likely to match up head-to-head, Verrett's physical style of play could bring him in contact with the athletic tight end.

 

Louisville @ Kentucky
Louisville offense Louisville defense Kentucky offense Kentucky defense

QB Teddy Bridgewater

RB Michael Dyer

WR DeVonte Parker

ILB Preston Brown

SS Hakeem Smith

No ranked players in top 300 ILB Avery Williamson

Louisville and Kentucky are bitter rivals, but that hasn't bled over to the football field as much as the basketball courts. This game is likely to be a one-sided battle, but watching quarterback Teddy Bridgewater against Mark Stoops' defense will make this one appointment viewing.

 

UCLA @ Nebraska
UCLA offense

UCLA

defense

Nebraska offense Nebraska defense

QB Brett Hundley

OG Xavier Su'a-Filo

WR Shaq Evans

DE Cassius Marsh

ILB Jordan Zumwalt

OLB Anthony Barr

FB C.J. Zimmerer

OG Andrew Rodriguez

OG Spencer Long

OT Jeremiah Sirles

TE Jake Long

CB Ciante Evans

DE Jason Ankrah

It might be surprising to see so many draft prospects on the map for UCLA vs. Nebraska, but both teams have talent. UCLA has two top-tier players in outside linebacker Anthony Barr and quarterback Brett Hundley. The two will shine under the national spotlight.

 

Alabama @ Texas A&M
Alabama offense Alabama defense Texas A&M offense Texas A&M defense

RG Anthony Steen

LT Cyrus Kouandjio

QB A.J. McCarron

WR Kevin Norwood

CB Deion Belue

CB John Fulton

DE Ed Stinson

FS HaHa Clinton-Dix

ILB C.J. Mosley

OLB Adrian Hubbard

RT Cedric Ogbuehi

LT Jake Matthews

QB Johnny Manziel

RB Ben Malena

TE Nehemiah Hicks

WR Derel Walker

WR Mike Evans

No ranked players in top 300

Between the two college football powers, 17 of my top 300 draft prospects are playing this weekend. All eyes will be on quarterback Johnny Manziel against this loaded Alabama defense. How well linebacker C.J. Mosley spies Manziel will be the story, but a future NFL player worth watching is playing at nearly every position.

 

Tennessee @ Oregon
Tennessee offense Tennessee defense Oregon offense Oregon defense

C James Stone

OG Zach Fulton

RT JaWuan James

LT Antonio Richardson

RB Rajion Neal

DE Corey Miller

DT Daniel McCullers

ILB A.J. Johnson

OLB Dontavis Sapp

SS Byron Moore

C Hroniss Grasu

QB Marcus Mariota

OW De'Anthony Thomas

TE Colt Lyerla

WR Josh Huff

CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

DE Taylor Hart

DT Wade Keliikipi

OLB Boseko Lokombo

Tennessee and Oregon meet in Eugene, Ore. Between them, they have 20 of my top 300 players for the 2014 NFL draft. Marcus Mariota at quarterback could have his coming-out party to the national audience in this afternoon game. He's currently my No. 3 overall player.

 

UCF @ Penn State
UCF offense UCF defense Penn State offense Penn State defense
QB Blake Bortles No ranked players in top 300

OG John Urschel

WR Allen Robinson

DT DaQuan Jones

FS Malcolm Willis

ILB Glenn Carson

Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles is getting some buzz in the draft community. Here is his chance to prove his value against a top-tier team. Defensive tackle DaQuan Jones will be in his face all day.

 

Ohio State @ California
Ohio State offense Ohio State defense California offense California defense

OC Corey Linsley

OG Andrew Norwell

LT Jack Mewhort

QB Braxton Miller

RB Carlos Hyde

WR Philly Brown

CB Bradley Roby

FS C.J. Barnett

OLB Ryan Shazier

SS Christian Bryant

K Vincenzo D'Amato DT Deandre Coleman

Ohio State is once again loaded. If healthy, quarterback Braxton Miller will be tested. I'll be focusing on the Ohio State defense against a pro-style offense. Ryan Shazier and Bradley Roby are top-20 talents.

 

Vanderbilt @ South Carolina
Vanderbilt offense Vanderbilt defense S. Carolina offense S. Carolina defense

OT Wesley Johnson

WR Jordan Matthews

CB Andre Hall

FS Kenny Ladler

QB Connor Shaw

DE Jadeveon Clowney

DE Chaz Sutton

CB Jimmy Legree

Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina should be an exciting game. All eyes will be on defensive end Jadeveon Clowney as everyone waits for his next big play. I'll be counting his snaps and tracking plays made that don't include helmet-popping backfield hits. Jordan Matthews will be the celebrity of the Vandy offense. He's a legit first-rounder.

 

Wisconsin @ Arizona State
Wisconsin offense Wisconsin defense Arizona St. offense Arizona St. defense

OT Ryan Groy

RB James White

TE Jacob Pedersen

WR Jared Abbrederis

DT Beau Allen

ILB Chris Borland

FB Chris Coyle

RB Marion Grice

DT Will Sutton

OLB Junior Onyeali

OLB Carl Bradford

SS Alden Darby

If you like running backs, this game is for you. Arizona State's Marion Grice is my No. 2 running back. Wisconsin has a talented backfield duo, but James White is the one to watch for the upcoming draft. Will Sutton against the Badgers' talented offensive line is a must-see too.

 

Notre Dame @ Purdue
Notre Dame offense Notre Dame defense Purdue offense Purdue defense

OG Chris Watt

OG Zack Martin

RB George Atkinson

WR TJ Jones

CB Bennett Jackson

DE Stephon Tuitt

DT Louis Nix

ILB Dan Fox

OLB Prince Shembo

TE Gabe Holmes

P Cody Webster

CB Ricardo Allen

DT Bruce Gaston

Notre Dame fans will want a victory following a loss at Michigan, but I want to see how well the defensive line rebounds. Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt are potential top-15 picks in next year's draft. They should dominate the Purdue offense.

 

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