Week Ten 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?
- Mike Gesicki, Tight End, Penn State: While all the focus is rightly on Saquon Barkley when Penn State’s offense is on the field; Mike Gesicki is a hell of a player in his own right. At 6’6” and 250 pounds, Gesicki has a strong build that helps him as a blocker and catching tough passes to keep the chains moving. While he only has 30 catches at this point in the season, he remains a big part of the Penn State offense in the red zone and as a blocker. Today’s match up against Michigan State’s stingy defense (12 PM ET on Fox) will likely mean Gesicki will have a huge role. He will be asked to help push the run game against stacked boxes and will likely need to make some tough catches when downfield options aren't available. He could be a big determinant in whether or not Penn State can come away with a win.
- Jeff Holland, Edge Defender, Auburn: Auburn is enjoying a strong season and their defense has played a large role in that. Jeff Holland is in his first year starting after playing behind Carl Lawson and he is taking off with eight sacks and 10 TFLs already on the season. The 6’2”, 250 pound end has good physicality and burst, already playing dynamically as a pass rusher. Against Texas A&M today, (12 PM ET on ESPN), Holland’s pass rush will be pivotal in defending an explosive Aggie defense but he will also need to stay strong against a dynamic run game. Holland is flying under the radar n draft circles but this could be his break out game.
- Skai Moore, Linebacker, South Carolina: South Carolina is quietly enjoying their first good season in a few years due to strong defensive play and young offensive playmakers. One of their seniors, Skai Moore, is enjoying the best season of his career. The small, speedy linebacker is rangy in coverage and shows off explosive ability downhill. The only real question is how much a 218 pound linebacker can hold up against the most physical of football teams. Well, today should give us an idea when Georgia is on offense (3:30 PM ET on CBS). Georgia’s run game is among the best in the country and Moore will need to play the game of his life to give South Carolina a chance. Can he do it?
- Mitch Hyatt, Offensive Tackle, Clemson: The offensive line crop in college football should be encouraging for NFL teams and fans that know that their trenches need rebooting. Mitch Hyatt is just one of many names who could be potential replacements for Jason Peters after the season. Hyatt is a big bodied, physical player and he will need his A-Game today against Bradley Chubb and the NC State Wolfpack (3:30 PM ET on ESPN). Bradley Chubb and Kentavius Street form a formidable duo and Hyatt will need to stay on point regardless of who is across from him. NC State is a good team this year and keeping Kelly Bryant upright will be key in beating them.
- Da’Ron Payne, Defensive Tackle, Alabama: Alabama’s defense is once again among the best in the country and one of its unsung heroes is Da’Ron Payne. Payne isn’t filling up the stat sheet, but the 6’2”, 305 pounder eats up space and makes running the ball a tall task. Payne’s run stopping ability will be important against Derrius Guice and LSU (8 PM ET on CBS). The only way LSU wins is if Guice gets going and Payne will be a key in making sure that does not happen.