As the temperature drops, and the rivalries heat up in the December portion of the College Football schedule, NFL teams and the DallasCowboys.com Draft Show continue to look at the 2021 class of prospects.
Each week for the rest of the College Football season, the DallasCowboys.com Draft Show will highlight at least three games full of potential draft talent to supplement their weekly podcast episodes. The list will focus on positions of need first before moving on to overall prospects that will be big names come next April.
Here are the games and prospects to watch for the week of December 5th.
Texas A&M at Auburn, 11:00am CT, ESPN
One of the newfound rivalries in the SEC adds a whole new chapter as the top-5 Aggies travel to meet Bo Nix and the scrappy Auburn Tigers. Each of these teams have produced a healthy number of draft prospects over the last couple of seasons and both have had a number one overall pick within the last decade. While the prospects may not be as highly rated as they have been in the past, both of these squads contain late round gems that could make impacts on day two or three of April's draft.
- Leon O'Neal Jr., TAMU (Safety) – Stop me if you've heard this before… a Texas A&M safety who is built well for the position, plays with an aggressiveness, and has some foundational flaws that with time can be eliminated to produce a solid NFL player? No, I'm not talking about Donovan Wilson, I'm referring to O'Neal Jr. who carries many of the same traits that Wilson did out of college. A fiery player that plays with tenacity and wreck less abandon that sometimes gets him in trouble, but that's what scouting, and projecting are all about, right?
- Bobby Brown, TAMU (Interior Defender) – Another big bodied defensive lineman in College Station is not surprising to see at Jimbo Fisher has always had a knack for recruiting impressive athletes. Brown is no different at 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds in the middle of the defense and replaced the presence that Baltimore's Justin Madubuike left behind when he was a draftee last season. The biggest knock against his game has to be his motor from play to play, but the way that he can move the line of scrimmage and using his massive strength at the point of attack has him as high as a day two pick that could cause problems at the next level.
- K.J. Britt, Auburn (Linebacker) – The first of a trio of SEC linebackers showcased this weekend may not be the biggest name or prospect, but one that is doing his best in 2020 to climb draft boards. Britt has been the leader of the Tigers defense for a couple of seasons and it shows on the field with his knowledge of the game and reads of an offense. While he is a borderline day-three prospect with underwhelming size and inability to get off of blocks, he makes up for it with sure tackling and good angles to the football. If there was a player that could leap-frog a couple rounds because of a good Senior Bowl and combine, my money would be on Britt to be that guy.
- Seth Williams, Auburn (Wide Receiver) – Arguably a top-three talented receiver in the conference, Williams is as good as they come in high-pointing the football and finding the way to make a catch in traffic. He has had to bail out Bo Nix on multiple occasions to not only make a catch but avoid extra turnovers this season. His speed is a big question mark, but his separation doesn't come from his feet, but rather his 6-foot-2 frame and hands above a defender.
Clemson at Virginia Tech, 6:30pm CT, ABC
Playing a primetime game at Virginia Tech is not as scary in 2020 as it normally would be any other season. There's no sea of pom-poms, no 70,000-plus jamming out to 'Enter Sandman', but playing against Virginia Tech remains tough for any ACC opponent. The easy summary of this game would talk about the consensus number one pick in Trevor Lawrence and how he is lucky he doesn't have to face 2020 opt-out corner Caleb Farley. Instead, let's focus on two crucial positions of need according to The Draft Show's Dane Brugler and address a pair of corners and offensive tackles that will be in action.
- Derion Kendrick, Clemson (Cornerback) – Much like current Cowboys corner Trevon Diggs, Kendrick was recruited to a blue-blood football program to play wide receiver after playing multiple positions in high school. Then, out of necessity transitioned over to the cornerback spot and stuck there after becoming a starter. While he's relatively new to the position, his ball skills are still superb, and he is able to recognize the routes of receivers quickly while staying close in coverage. Tackling and physicality are both a step behind but overall, he has done himself a lot of favors already this season.
- Jackson Carman, Clemson (Tackle) – Caught right in the middle of the second wave of day-two offensive tackles is Clemson's outside anchor in Carman. The former five-star prospect plays with an edge and is quick on his release and even quicker moving to the second level. Part of the reason that Travis Etienne has been so successful running the football has been the ability of Carmon to hold down the offensive line against some of the better pass rushers in the country. His agility and footwork suggest that he'll transition well to the tackle spot at the next level but watch Saturday to see if he struggles against a good Hokie defensive line.
- Christian Darrisaw, VT (Tackle) – Behind Oregon's Penei Sewell, Darrisaw may be the second-best tackle in the entire 2021 draft class, and possibly the best in the country actually playing this season. He's extremely long and athletic with his big 6-foot-5 frame and is smooth at the line of scrimmage in both pass protection and run blocking down field. Heavy hands at the point of attack and because of that rarely loses a block at the college level. This weekend will be a true test going up against some impressive pass rushers from Clemson and finding a way to manufacture time for the Hokies offense to find a rhythm.
- Divine Deablo, VT (Safety) – With no Caleb Farley in the secondary for Virginia Tech this season, it has allowed the experience of Deablo to shine. A big-framed safety that has played both in coverage and as a corner as well this season. Much of the pressure of limiting the big play against this Clemson offense falls on his ability to read Trevor Lawrence and keep the Tigers defenders in front of him. Currently, the four-year letterman is tabbed as a borderline day two selection, but could easily rise or fall depending on his performance against Clemson. Not to mention, he possibly has the best name in the 2021 class, Diablo was named 'Divine' to offset the Spanish meaning of his last name that stands for Devil.
Alabama at LSU, 7:00pm CT, CBS
Any time the Crimson Tide and the Tigers face off, no matter if one team is in a down year, it is still much watch television in primetime. It's also a field day for scouts around the nation because of the professional talent showcased. These two powerhouse programs produced a total of 23 NFL draft picks from last year's game, including nine in the first round alone. There are five players on the Cowboys roster who were a part of these schools such as Amari Cooper, La'el Collins, and Trevon Diggs. There's not nearly as much talent in this year's meeting, but a couple prospects stick out as realistic targets for Dallas in the first round and beyond.
- Patrick Surtain III, Alabama (Cornerback) – One of the frontrunners for the highest-rated cornerback in the 2021 class, Surtain is the definition of a lockdown corner that can immediately have success at the NFL level. His father had a ten-year NFL career for the Dolphins and Chiefs. He does a fantastic job of reading receivers and using his IQ to win battles against all styles of receiver. His tackling and consistency are each in question on film but overall has an opportunity to be a long-time impact player.
- Dylan Moses, Alabama (Linebacker) – The Draft Show's Kevin Turner called Moses a "blue chip special" from Alabama as the former 5-star recruit has worked his way on the cusp of being a first-round pick. Last season Moses, a Louisiana native, had to sit on the sideline while LSU torched the Bama defense to the tune of 46 points and 559 yards. This season, the linebacker not only has a chance to shut down his hometown team but cement himself in the conversation as a first-round lock.
- Jabril Cox, LSU (Linebacker) – While he may share a position and a field with Dylan Moses, the Tiger linebacker could not have had a more different journey. Cox started his collegiate career at North Dakota State after being named just a two-star recruit out of high school. But the 6-foot-4 linebacker worked his way to being a two-time FCS All-American for the Bison before transferring to be a part of LSU. In his only season in Baton Rouge, he continues to impress NFL scouts and climb draft boards as a long and lengthy linebacker with some explosiveness on that side of the football. He has already accepted his invitation to the Senior Bowl, so this will not be the final time you hear his name throughout the draft process.
- Ali Gaye, LSU (Edge Rusher) – Another stout junior college transfer for the Tigers this season. He certainly looks the part of an elite pass rusher standing at a lean 6-foot-6 and has blended in as a weak side defensive end in Orgeron's system. He has some stiffness off the edge for sure, but with a little bit of time turn into a mammoth off the edge and a weapon in pass protection. Gaye has just one sack this season but six pass deflections, expect him to put pressure on Mac Jones and that Bama offense. If you think it's out of the question that Gaye could end up a Cowboy, just remember how close Dallas was to taking another LSU edge rusher just one season ago in K'Lavon Chaisson.