Week nine of the 2017 college football season is here! Today features a good slate of games and always with good games comes great opportunities for NFL Draft prospects to boost their profile. Who should Eagles fans keep an eye on today?
- Al-Rasheed Benton, Linebacker, West Virginia: The Mountaineers game against Oklahoma State (12 PM ET on ABC) will likely not have a lot of people thinking about defense. However, it will be the better defense that decides this ranked match up. West Virginia’s senior linebacker, Al-Rasheed Benton is enjoying a breakout season and is coming off a week in which he had 4.5 tackles for a loss in a win. The 6’1”, 238 pound linebacker is rangy, athletic and has an aggressive mindset coming downhill. A big game today could really put him on the map.
- Jerome Baker, Linebacker, Ohio State: In a game where a lot of people will rightfully focus on Saquon Barkley; Ohio State will need their defensive impact players today to defeat Penn State (3:30 PM ET on Fox). The speedy linebacker will be needed to come downhill to limit Barkley on the ground and it is more than likely he will be depended on to slow Barkley as a pass threat. It is a massive task for the athletic junior defender, but also a great opportunity to raise his profile and help his team get a key win.
- Allen Lazard, Wide Receiver, Iowa Sate: Iowa Sate is a surprise five win team at this point in the season and is currently sitting pretty: ranked #25 in the country. Their success can be due, in part, to the efforts of their senior wide out Allen Lazard. The massive, 6’5”, 225 pound receiver decided to stay in school after a successful junior year that saw him catch 69 passes (nice) for 1018 yards and seven touchdowns. While this year he has not been leading the passing game in the same fashion; he still affects the game by creating opportunities for his teammates. Despite not leading the team in catches or yards, he has the team lead for touchdowns with five. Iowa State has a huge game today against the #4 TCU Horned Frogs and their playmaking defense (3:30 PM ET on ABC). While Iowa Sate has already pulled off a few upsets this season; TCU is going to be their tallest task. Lazard will need a big game against this stingy unit to give their team a chance and a few big plays against top competition will get a conversation going about him.
- Bradley Chubb, Edge Defender, NC State: One of the most disruptive players in the country and arguably among the top senior prospects, there is no denying how good Bradley Chubb has been this year. The 6’4”, 275 pound defender has a relentless motor, strong technique and is incredibly physical. Today Chubb will have to get through Notre Dame and one of the best offensive lines in the country (3:30 PM ET on NBC). The Irish have a deadly offense, starting with their running game. Chubb will need another one of his monster games despite going up one of the better blocking units he has faced. Watching him dictate the game for the Wolfpack will be a hell of a show if he gets going.
- Christian Wilkins, Interior Defender, Clemson: Christian Wilkins had a ton of hype around his name going into this season but the talk has somewhat tapered off in the last few weeks. The 300 pound junior is still very much an impact player, however, and has a chance to help himself and team massively tonight against Georgia Tech (8 PM ET on ABC). Unsurprisingly, Georgia Tech has one of the best running games in the country and they remain an absolute pain in the ass to defend. For a player like Wilkins, being disruptive against the run couldn’t be more important than against an opponent like the Yellow Jackets. After last week’s major upset, Clemson will need to bounce back in a big way. Wilkins commanding the line of scrimmage would go a long way to help Clemson get back on track.