clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Draft Watch: Week 8 (Texas A&M at Ole Miss)

This week, we take a look at some of the most highly regarded draft prospects in a star-studded SEC matchup between Texas A&M and Ole Miss.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

#15 Texas A&M at #24 Ole Miss - 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

Texas A&M

OT Germain Ifedi, 6-foot-5, 325 pounds (#74, RS Junior)

Ifedi turned heads years ago as an offensive guard and received a ton of praise heading into last season. After making the switch to right tackle, he looked even better and has some scouts believing that he can play either tackle position in the pros. I tend to believe that he's much better suited for the right side, but his movement skills are magnificent for his size.

My primary concern with Ifedi is his hands. We know how well he can move around and mirror his opponent's movements, but it was the inconsistent hand placement and timing that turned me off slightly from his 2014 tape. His performance against Alabama was arguably the worst film I've seen from a highly regarded OT.

Still, there are a few OTs being labeled as first-rounders and I believe Ifedi is a bonafide first-round talent that deserves some of that love. He can play all over the O-line with success and may continue Texas A&M's streak of having their OTs getting drafted in the first round. I really like the idea of Ifedi playing RT for the Lions. It's not all that uncommon to draft your RT of the future in the first round, especially with teams pitting their best D-linemen against RTs more often now.

Other players to watch:

DE/EDGE Myles Garrett, 6-foot-5, 262 pounds (#15, Sophomore) -- Not draft eligible, but remember the name.

WR Ricky Seals-Jones, 6-foot-5, 235 pounds (#9, RS Sophomore)

OC Mike Matthews, 6-foot-2, 290 pounds (#56, Senior)

WR Josh Reynolds, 6-foot-4, 195 pounds (#11, Junior)

OLB Shaan Washington, 6-foot-3, 235 pounds (#33, Junior)

RB Tra Carson, 6-foot-0, 235 pounds (#5, RS Senior)

CB De'Vante Harris, 5-foot-11, 185 pounds (#1, Senior)

OG Joseph Cheek, 6-foot-7, 305 pounds (#79, RS Senior)

Ole Miss

OT Laremy Tunsil, 6-foot-5, 305 pounds (#78, Junior)

I had Laremy Tunsil as my No. 1 OT heading into this year. Recently, I moved Ronnie Stanley ahead of him, but that's only because we haven't seen Tunsil play a game this year. He will return to face Texas A&M after serving a seven-game suspension, due to receiving improper benefits. Most importantly, he'll return to face Sophomore phenom Myles Garrett, who will prove to be a huge test for Tunsil. If he looks anything like he did in 2014, he will remain my top OT. Laremy Tunsil is the real deal.

Tunsil is the best pure left tackle prospect I've seen in a while and his ability to pass protect is something to marvel at. He moves incredibly well for his size, has great knee bend and foot quickness to keep himself in front of his assignments at all times.

Tunsil's fluidity in getting out to the second level and sustaining blocks also adds a huge plus to his game. Watch as he kicks out to the second level and drives his man nearly 20 yards down the field before burying him into the ground:

Where Tunsil needs to improve this year is in the run game. His heavy hands allows him to latch on and control his opponents, but he needs to do a better job of keeping his legs underneath him and sustain his blocks for a little longer. He also seems to get lost from time to time out in the second level and doesn't always find someone to block like we saw in the GIF above.

Drafting Tunsil would give the Lions a true LT prospect, which could allow them to move Reiff to the right side. Or they could move Tunsil to the right side and have Reiff stay pat. Either way, adding Tunsil would drastically improve the O-line moving forward.

DT Robert Nkemdiche, 6-foot-4, 296 pounds (#5, Junior)

If you're a Lions fan and a fan of college football, you may have heard the name Robert Nkemdiche as a perfect fit for the Lions next year. People are already pouring out their mock drafts and I don't like it, but most of what I've seen so far is everyone mocking Nkemdiche to the Lions. I do like that scenario a lot more than I did Malcom Brown to the Lions last year.

Nkemdiche is a freak athlete that moves around like a tight end playing defensive tackle.

Is that...? Yes, that's defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche scoring a touchdown as the primary on a hybrid Spider 2 Y Banana call.

Nkemdiche has a variety of pass rushing moves that he wins with and can beat you with spin move, swim move and with his strength. He can do it all, he just needs to do a better job of knowing the right time to use the right moves. Here is Nkemdiche creating pressure using a spin move.

A 300-pound DT shouldn't be allowed to do these things.

Nkemdiche also has a weird habit of turning his back to the O-line and getting smothered out of the play. The tenacity and effort from Nkemdiche can be a little inconsistent and that's definitely something you hate to see on tape.

Nkemdiche is very raw, but has an unlimited ceiling. Should the Lions pick him in the first round, it may prove to be a very risky pick. I'm not so sure that current management would be willing to risk the pick considering their situation, but Mayhew has done it in the past. Only time will tell.

Other players to watch:

WR Laquon Treadwell, 6-foot-2, 212 pounds (#1, Junior)

S Tony Connor, 6-foot-0, 215 pounds (#12, Junior)

TE Evan Engram, 6-foot-3, 223 pounds (#17, Junior)

OG Aaron Morris, 6-foot-5, 315 pounds (#72, Senior)

DE Fadol Brown, 6-foot-4, 280 pounds (#90, RS Junior)

OT Fahn Cooper, 6-foot-5, 306 pounds (#74, RS Senior)

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.