College Football Sunday: Seven NFL Draft prospects to watch

A long college football weekend is almost at a close. With two games today and none tomorrow, week one of the college football season is close to over. While there were a few fun games among yesterday’s smorgasbord of football, today has a much smaller sample but with some great matchups. There is a ranked contest between #22 West Virginia and #21 Virginia Tech (7:30 PM ET on ABC) and at the same time on Fox there is a math up between a promising UCLA team and the always explosive Texas A&M Aggies. With four high profile programs going at it in one night, you can imagine there will be a handful of draft prospects to keep an eye on. Here are some that will pique Eagles fans interest.

  • Terrell Edmunds, Safety/Linebacker, Virginia Tech: The Hokies always seem to have fun defensive prospects and this year is no different. Terrell Edmunds is a hybrid player on Bud Foster’s defense, functioning as a strong safety and linebacker, essentially. The 6’2″, 210 pound defender is rangy and instinctive and led the Hokies in interceptions last year with four, also adding 89 tackles and 2.5 for a loss. No doubt he will be depended on tonight to slow down West Virginia’s potent passing and running game.
  • Adonis Alexander, Cornerback, Virginia Tech: Besides having an incredibly cool name, Adonis Alexander is also a very intriguing cornerback prospect. At over 6’2″ and weighing 195 pounds, Alexander is built like the modern NFL prototype. He is a long, athletic cornerback who wins at the line of scrimmage and flashes ball skills, getting his hands on nine passes last year including two interceptions. The previous year Alexander had four interceptions, but he was playing more in the hybrid role that Terrell Edmunds currently plays. With experience at linebacker/safety, Alexander is very physical for a cornerback and be an intimidating tackler. As he continues to grow into the position, he should become an even better prospect and tonight will be a good challenge to start the season with.
  • Justin Crawford, Running Back, West Virginia: The Mountaineers lost a ton of offensive talent to the draft and graduation after last season, but luckily they return their leading rusher from a year ago. The 5’11”, 200 pound runner averaged 7.26 yards per carry on his way to 1184 yards and four touchdowns on the ground last year. He had two 200+ yard games including a 330 yard game against Oklahoma. His usage was a bit strange given how much West Virginia typically likes to throw the ball, but with their top two receivers from last year gone, Crawford should see a major uptick from his 2016 carries number (163). The shifty, game breaking back will have a test tonight in a stingy Virginia Tech defense and will be depended on to get the Mountaineers cooking early on.
  • Soso Jamabo, Running Back, UCLA: There was a time when Soso Jamabo was one of the most highly touted running back recruits in the country. Jamabo was a prized player coming out of high school and showed promise his freshman year before taking a nosedive his sophomore year. To be fair, UCLA had a weird season last year with Josh Rosen getting hurt and the offensive talent overall lacking. However, with the team looking revitalized and Josh Rosen back in the fold, the 6’3″, 220 pound running back should have a renaissance this year and reestablish himself as a playmaker among this year’s backs.
  • Christian Kirk, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M: Christian Kirk has been getting a lot of hype heading into his junior year and rightfully so. The 5’11”, 200 pound receiver totaled 928 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last year, adding another three touchdowns returning punts. Kirk is incredibly gifted at getting yards after the catch and can terrorize defenses from the slot, the outside or the backfield. With Josh Reynolds now in the NFL, Kirk likely steps into the lead receiving role in the Aggies. It will be interesting to see how he fares as a number one target, but no doubt he will continue to be electric.
  • Daylon Mack, Defensive Tackle, Texas A&M: With Myles Garrett in the NFL, there’s a new name to watch on the Aggie defensive line. A former top recruit, Mack has a short, stout build for a defensive tackle and it makes him a load to handle for offensive linemen. The 6’1″, 320 pound lineman has good quickness, leverage and lower body strength. He has yet to have a productive season, but he is a major space eater and could take the next step as a top tier defender this season.
  • , Safety, Texas A&M: On the low, Texas A&M had one of the better safety duos in the country last season. With Justin Evans off to the pros, Armani Watts decided too stay one more season to boost his stock on his own. The 5’11”, 200 pound defensive back is an instinctive player who can intimidate as a tackler and make plays in coverage. Texas A&M moved him around a lot and despite his smaller build, he thrived anywhere from playing in the box to playing deep coverage. He is a bit inconsistent, but the flashes are there and he is no doubt an exciting player. He will take the role of a leader this season with guys like Justin Evans, Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall no longer with the team. It will be fun to see him grow and become more consistent given his playmaking ability.

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