Our Ones to Watch rolls on into week 3 of the college season. But who should you have your eye on this week?
Week 3 brings 4 live televised games to the UK. They are; Navy at Tulane (18:00 UK Time, Game likely to be joined while in progress), UCF at Georgia Tech (20:30) and Miami at Louisville (00:00). All are available to watch in the UK on BT Sport ESPN.
Week 3 also sees a game being broadcast on Sky Sports NFL. USF at Notre Dame (7:30) is the first live college game to be broadcast on the new channel.
Here are your Ones to Watch in Week 3.
ONES TO WATCH
Tutu Atwell – WR – Louisville
Tutu Atwell is the main attacking weapon for the Louisville Cardinals. He is a short receiver at 5’9” and 165 lbs, but what even is the prototypical NFL receiver these days?
One thing Atwell brings is speed. When I say speed, I mean, raw, unadulterated speed. One of Atwell’s coaches timed him running the 40 yard dash in 4.27 seconds! To put that into context, only 11 players have run the 40 in less than 4.30 seconds since 2013 and it’s the exact time that Henry Ruggs ran at the last annual combine.
Atwell’s pace means he can be a mismatch all over the field. Not many will keep up with him on deep go routes and he has proven to be the key to unlocking defences for the Cardinals in motion routes.
Atwell is by far the finished product though. He has had some hand issues, he has had some drops when unopposed and due to his size doesn’t offer much in contested catch situations. This season he will be looking to put in big performances to be considered among the top of this wide receiver class.
Due to his size and speed he will draw comparisons to Tyreek Hill as the draft process moves on. He is an exciting watch and one for you to watch this weekend.
Brevin Jordan – TE – Miami
Brevin Jordan is amongst the top tight ends in the 2021 draft class. He is possibly the best player on this Miami Hurricanes offence. Jordan is a true athlete who creates all sorts of problems for opposing defences.
He is a threat on all three levels of the field. As he is an incredible athlete he provides a wide catch radius and is also great after the catch. Whether Jordan is running inside or outside the hashes he uses his strength at the catch point to beat his opponent.
It’s his movement skills making him a great route runner that proves difficult for defences.
Jordan does have some work to do to improve his blocking ability however. Yes, he is more than willing to do the dirty work and get stuck in and has some good moments on tape, but it’s the consistency of the tape that’s the issue. The effort is always there it’s his hands and blocking skills that are lacking.
Jordan will be hoping with a productive season he can force himself into first round discussion
Patrick Johnson – DE – Tulane
Johnson is a player going under the radar. He is a raw, speed rusher who has good burst of the line of scrimmage. Johnson prefers to turn round the outside to make plays. He can also drop back into zone coverage and can disrupt routes such as slants and in-routes.
For sure Johnson has plenty of versatility. He should be listed as a defensive end but in a 3-4 scheme he will be able to play outside linebacker especially in a 5 technique set up. This flexibility is what NFL scouts will love about Johnson, he is a diverse player who can be used in a variety of different ways.
His size will go against him as he is smaller than other defensive ends in this class, being listed at 6’3” 255. He can occasionally rely too much upon his speed, and he will be looking to work on different ways of beating his man to showcase what he can do to onlooking scouts.
He currently projects in the top 10 in his position but Johnson will of course be hoping to climb up draft boards. Unfortunately, Tulane won’t be playing many games against top opposition due to the pandemic. He is also a player that would benefit from the NFL combine going ahead which there is uncertainty around.
Richie Grant – S – UCF
Grant plays all over the field for UCF. He doesn’t have much choice, they don’t have much else on defence.
Grant is a traditional free safety but will also be able to play Nickel in the NFL. He is a player who has great natural instincts, he tracks the ball well and closes space with his mobility and flowing footwork.
Despite this, it is unlikely Grant will be in the first round discussion. He does have some missed interceptions and can be too focused on the quarterback at times. With improved field vision and better tackling Grant is likely to be considered in the top 100 category.
Teams and coaches will love his versatility and adaptability. Being able to drop Grant into any play and being able to line him up all over the field has only improved his draft stock. Grant will get his opportunity, he just needs to take it.
Liam Eichenberg – OT – Notre Dame
For the first time, Sky Sports NFL are showing a college football game. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish feature and offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg is one of the stars.
There is no doubt that Eichenberg will be featuring on Sundays come next season. What is unknown is what round the left tackle will be drafted in. He has the measurables and the size to be an NFL player. He also has quick hands and an effective initial jab. His footwork is good and so is his anchor to make him both balanced and strong.
In term of his weaknesses, Eichenberg can struggle to generate power when on the move. When plays breakdown he can struggle to react and can be caught flat footed when the play does develop the way he expects.
Eichenberg will be an early round pick. How early will depend on how well he can adapt and cut out the penalties he commits.
Feature Image Credit: /www.stateoftheu.com