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Week 5- Players to Watch

by J.T. Toth

Photo courtesy of Burnt Orange Nation.

Draft 412 is ready for Saturday’s games and wants to make sure you are as well. Each week, we will go through the games and the players to watch, on our way to the draft in April 2024.

Here is our preview for - Week 5:

#24 Kansas (4-0) at #3 Texas (4-0) 3:30 pm ESPN (SATURDAY)

Line- Texas (-17)

Draft 412 Prediction - Texas 38 Kansas 13

Kansas has started back to back seasons at 4-0 under Head Coach Lance Leipold and are about to possibly play the biggest game in the University’s history. The Jayhawks have one of the top running games in the country and a quarterback who is not making mistakes in Jalon Daniels. The Texas Longhorns are back, ranked #3 in the country and have weapons all over the field on both offense and defense. Draft 412 expects Longhorns signal caller Quinn Ewers to get the best of Kansas in this tilt.

Texas - Quarterback - Quinn Ewers

The transfer from Ohio State has found his game at Texas and has done a great job leading the Longhorns in 2023. Against Alabama, Ewers was fantastic, throwing for 349 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Longhorns 34-24 victory.

As a prospect, he has improved his pre-snap reads and target progressions in the early going and has 9 touchdowns without throwing an interception. Ewers was profiled earlier in the year by Draft 412 as a 2nd-3rd round pick and is still in that range, but now with a stronger chance of sneaking into the end of round one.

To see Draft 412’s profile on Quinn Ewers…

Kansas - Running Back - Devin Neal

If Kansas has any shot in this game with Texas, they will need to be able to run the ball and win the time of possession. Neal is one of the top Big 12 running backs and is having a productive season not only running the ball but catching the ball out of the backfield.

On the season, Neal has rushed for 394 yards and also has hauled in 11 passes for 145 yards and has scored a total of 6 touchdowns. He is rising up draft boards and with his speed can be a weapon in the NFL. A big game against a good Texas defense will be huge for his draft prospects.

To see Draft 412’s profile on Devin Neal…

Texas - Wide Receiver - Xavier Worthy

Xavier Worthy is looking to break out against the Jayhawks this weekend. Worthy, one of the top wide receiver prospects in the 2024 draft, has not had that “big game” yet in 2023. He still has solid numbers, hauling in 19 passes for 252 yards and 3 touchdowns but needs a big game to keep up with Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze to be considered a first round pick.

Draft 412 graded Worthy as a late first to second round talent this offseason, but now sees him as a 2nd rounder unless his game improves.

To see Draft 412’s profile on Xavier Worthy…

Kansas - Quarterback - Jalon Daniels

Daniels has seen it all at Kansas. In his freshman year, he started 6 games in an 0-9 season. Now he’s the savior of the Kansas program, leading them to back to back 4-0 starts to start a season.

Daniels is a 6’0” dual-threat quarterback who most likely will have to change positions in the NFL or hook on as an undrafted free agent (UDFA). He is a high end college quarterback, but his skills won’t translate to the NFL.

Texas - Tight End - Ja’Tavion Sanders

Sanders, not Xavier Worthy, has been the Longhorns big play receiver so far in 2023. The 6’4” tight end is averaging 22.3 yards per catch and leads the team in receiving yards with 268. After Brock Bowers, Sanders has a chance to be the second tight end selected in round one of the 2024 NFL Draft.

To see Draft 412’s profile on Ja’Tavion Sanders…

Others to Watch

Texas - LB - Jaylan Ford

Kansas - CB - Cobee Bryant

Texas - DE - Barryn Sorrell

Texas - RB - Jonathon Brooks

#10 Utah (4-0) at #19 Oregon State (3-1) 9:00 pm Fox Sports (Friday)

Line- Oregon State (-3.5)

Draft 412 Prediction - Utah 20 Oregon State 14

Utah’s 4th ranked run defense goes up against the nation’s 9th ranked run offense of Oregon State in a big Pac 12 clash. The Beavers are coming off a 38-35 loss to Washington State while the Utes are coming off a defensive victory over UCLA 14-7.

Oregon State - Quarterback - D.J. Uiagalelei

Uiagalelei was at Clemson for 3 seasons and went 22-6 as a starter before transferring to Oregon State. The 6’4”, 250 lbs. quarterback is starting to make some noise in a deep quarterback class.

In 4 games for the Beavers, he has thrown 7 touchdowns and run for 5. He is almost impossible to arm tackle and he has the arm to make NFL throws. He is a quarterback worthy of looking at this weekend.

Utah - Defensive End - Jonah Elliss

Jonah Elliss is having a stellar season and Draft 412 is taking notice. He has already twice made Draft 412’s six-pack and is coming off a 3.5 sack game against UCLA. He will have his hands full against an explosive Oregon State offense, and it will be fun to see what he can do against Uiagalelei.

Utah - Safety - Cole Bishop

Bishop is one of the best run stopping safeties in the country and his skills will be needed against this Beaver run offense. Oregon State uses several running backs and quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, so Bishop will have to be active all over the field on Friday night. He is still holding a 3rd round grade and should stay a second day selection.

To see Draft 412’s profile on Cole Bishop…

Oregon State - Running Backs - Damien Martinez & Deshaun Fenwick

The duo of Martinez and Fenwick have already combined for 685 yards and 5 touchdowns in the first 4 games of the Beavers' season. Both backs are over 200 lbs. and have speed. Mix that talent in with a 250 lbs. quarterback who can run, and the Beavers offense will give any defense a lot to think about.

Martinez is just a sophomore and at 6’0” 232 lbs. he leads Oregon State in rushing yards with 432 yards and a 7.6 yards per carry. Deshaun Fenwick is a senior back at 6’2” 222 lbs. and is averaging 6.8 yards an attempt.

Draft 412 looks forward to seeing them go up against a solid Utah defense.

Others to Watch

Oregon State - S -Kitan Oladipo

Utah- TE - Thomas Yassmin

Utah- DE - Logan Fano

#13 LSU (3-1) at. #20 Ole Miss (3-1) 6:00 pm ESPN (Saturday)

Line- LSU (-3)

Draft 412 Prediction - LSU 27 Ole Miss 22

Two teams with SEC aspirations will battle Saturday evening in Oxford. LSU has won 3 in a row after their opening week loss to Florida State and Ole Miss won their first 3 but lost a close one last week to Alabama. The last 3 games between these teams have come down to a field goal, so look for a close one.

LSU - Quarterback - Jayden Daniels

Jayden Daniels has thrown for over 300 yards in three of his four games and has improved on his pre snap reads. He looks more comfortable in the pocket and has one of the best wide receivers in the county in Malik Nabers to open up a game. Daniels has the ability to run too in the modern day NFL, and is currently holding a mid-round grade.

To see Draft 412’s profile on Jayden Daniels…

LSU - Wide Receiver - Malik Nabers

Malik Nabers has been phenomenal to start the 2023 season and is 3rd in the country in receiving yards with 523 yards. A big play receiver who is creative and runs dynamite routes, Nabers is on the shortlist with Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. and Washington Huskie Rome Odunze to be first round selections in the 2024 wide receiver class.

To see Draft 412’s profile on Malik Nabers…

Ole Miss - Quarterback - Jaxson Dart

Jaxson Dart is a good college quarterback who excels throwing on the run but struggles when being confined to the pocket. He is a draft prospect on the fringe of the 7th round who could open up some eyes against a good LSU defense.

Ole Miss - Running Back - Quinshon Judkins

After running for 1,567 yards and 15 touchdowns as a freshman in 2022, Judkins was a Draft 412 preseason 2nd team All-American.

In his first four games he has yet to find the holes like he did as a freshman, only averaging 3.5 yards per carry. His 201 yards doesn’t even lead the team in rushing. He is second to quarterback Jaxson Dart.

LSU - Defensive Tackle - Mekhi Wingo

LSU will look to put pressure on Jaxson Dart and keep him uncomfortable in the pocket. Big defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo should be able to do just that. He has 1.5 sacks on the year to go along with 14 tackles and does an excellent job of disrupting plays all day long. Wingo has the talent to be a late first or early second round selection in the draft.

To see Draft 412’s profile on Mekhi Wingo…

Others to Watch

LSU - LB - Harold Perkins Jr.

LSU - S - Major Burns

Ole Miss - WR - Jordan Watkins

Ole Miss - WR - Tre Harris

Ole Miss - S - Trey Washington

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