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College football preview: 5 NFL Draft prospects to watch in Week 9

Ball State v Georgia Photo by Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images

Week 9 of the college football is bound to be another exciting slate of games. Here are the NFL Draft prospects I am eyeing throughout Saturday’s schedule. All listed times are EST.

  • Kamari Lassiter, Cornerback, Georgia v. Florida (3:30 PM on CBS): Kamari Lassiter has stepped up as Georgia’s top cover man this year after the Bulldogs lost so much defensive talent to the NFL draft. Lassiter is an athletic, physical, and smart player who can take away a team’s top receiver. Florida has some speed on offense and will need big plays to challenge Georgia. Lassiter will have to lock up the Gators’ playmakers to avoid a close game.
  • Jonah Ellis, Edge Defender, Utah v. Oregon (3:30 PM on FOX): Jonah Ellis is the star of another tough Utah defense. Ellis has ten sacks this season and seven of them came in the last five weeks. He is playing dominant football when it comes to rushing the passer and he’ll need to stay hot against Oregon. The Ducks field a balanced offense, but it still heavily depends on Bo Nix to manage the game. If Ellis and company can frustrate Bo Nix, Utah has a great shot at an upset.
  • Jamari Thrash, Wide Receiver, Louisville v. Duke (3:30 PM on ESPN): This highly anticipated showdown between Duke and Louisville will be missing some key players. While Duke might without heir quarterback, Louisville could be without their top offensive playmaker, running Jawhar Jordan. In Jordan’s absence, they might need to lean on breakout receiver Jamari Thrash who is averaging over 16 yards a catch in his senior season. Thrash has the speed to stretch Duke’s defense and should turn in a big game if he is relied on.
  • Tyler Baron, Edge Defender, Tennessee v. Kentucky (7 PM on ESPN): While underclassman James Pearce gets a lot of (deserved) shine on the Vols defense, Tyler Baron is another impressive player on the other end of the defensive line. Baron is a strong, high motor defender who already has five sacks this season. Baron will need to be on his best for all three downs against a Kentucky offense that loves running the ball. Not only will a great showing keep Tennessee in the Top 25, but it could also help separate Baron from his talented teammate.
  • Braelon Allen, Running Back, Wisconsin v. Ohio State (7:30 PM on NBC): In the year of the quarterback, not many running backs are getting much press this season. Despite the lack of chatter, Braelon Allen is still turning in an impressive year. The third year back is averaging over 100 rushing yards a game, almost six yards a carry, and has scored eight times in seven contests. Allen is a physically impressive runner standing at 6’2” and nearly 240 pounds. Despite his size, he has great long speed and can make guys miss early in a run. It is eerily reminiscent of Derrick Henry at Alabama. Allen has a great opportunity to show out against Ohio State’s excellent defense. How a college running back does in games like this is a great indicator of if they’re skills translate to the NFL.

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