#18 Auburn at #13 LSU - 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS
WR D'haquille 'Duke' Williams, 6-foot-2, 224 pounds (#1, Senior)
Duke Williams is a fun player to watch when he's got everything figured out. He's got just as many positives to his game as he does negatives, but the overall talent and athleticism is clearly there. Williams sports a large frame and does a solid job of catching passes away from his body. You'd just like to see him consistently haul in the easy ones. I counted two drops alone in his game vs. Kansas State, and also fumbled the ball against Mississippi State.
Williams also tends to look completely lethargic when the play isn't going his way, especially on run plays and screens.
C'MON, MAN! Who taught you how to block, Duke?
With the negatives out of the way, let's talk about how great of a route runner Duke is.
In the play above, Williams absolutely embarrasses the CB and sells a double-move to perfection. He makes a quick break inside to fake the slant, looks back at his QB and the CB buys it. His transition into his second break to complete the double-move is seamless and there's no stopping it. That's an easy touchdown on a better throw from the QB.
Other players to watch:
OT Shon Coleman, 6-foot-6, 313 pounds (#72, Junior)
S Johnathan 'Rudy' Ford, 6-foot-0, 203 pounds (#23, Junior)
ILB Cassanova McKinzy, 6-foot-3, 253 pounds (#8, Senior)
OLB Kris Frost, 6-foot-2, 240 pounds (#17, Senior)
DT Montravious Adams, 6-foot-4, 296 pounds (#1, Junior)
CB Jonathan Jones, 5-foot-10, 181 pounds (#3, Senior)
CB Tre'Davious White, 5-foot-11, 191 pounds (#18, Junior)
White will have his hands full once again with Duke Williams after a tough matchup last week against De'Runnya Wilson. He's a solid cover corner and did a wonderful job of shutting down Corey Robinson in his tape vs. Notre Dame last year. He stays low in his stance, does a good job of jamming at the line of scrimmage and consistently sticks with his assignment.
There are a few kinks he'll need to work out from a technique standpoint, such as his tendency of opening his hips too early and taking a few false steps in coverage, but these things can be easy fixes with the right coaching. My main concerns with White show up in defending the run. He is absolutely terrible at shedding blocks and tends to be a little too pusillanimous against the run. Mind you, I've only watched a few games of White's, so this is just something to keep your eye on throughout the year and see if he can make some improvements.
This is just a pathetic attempt at making any sort of play by filling the gaping hole or slowing the QB down. I mean at least do something.
But then he'll make an extraordinary play like the one below, all while doing his best Dikembrius Slaytumbo impression.
S Jalen Mills, 6-foot-0, 196 pounds (#28, Senior)
Mills plays safety for LSU. That is not the position I envision him playing in the NFL, however. He has more desirable traits as a CB than a safety. As a deep safety, Mills looks very timid versus the run and often catches the ball carrier rather than attacking him. He's also not very explosive when he runs downhill to meet the ball carrier and is prone to taking poor angles in pursuit. When he does put himself in a position to make the play, he shows poor form as a tackler.
When lining up against three (or more) WR sets, Mills was often given the opportunity to play as a slot corner last year and actually showed a lot of promise in coverage, often forcing the QB to check his other progressions. Keep an eye out for Mills, he could end up being a mid-late round S/CB prospect.
Other players to watch:
ILB Kendell Beckwith, 6-foot-2, 252 pounds (#52, Junior)
OT Vadal Alexander, 6-foot-6, 329 pounds (#74, Senior)
OT Jerald Hawkins, 6-foot-6, 305 pounds (#65, Junior)
DT Chris LaCouture, 6-foot-5, 307 pounds (#91, Junior)
WR Travin Dural, 6-foot-2, 203 pounds (#83, Junior)
#15 Ole Miss at #2 Alabama - 9:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
Alabama RB Derrick Henry vs. DT Robert Nkemdiche and the rest of Ole Miss' front-seven
I mean, these two teams could probably fill half of an NFL team with the amount of talent they have between them, so I could name a ton of other matchups to look out for, but I'll save these two teams for another day. Derrick Henry is a beast and is incredibly hard to bring down, but he's also an extremely polarizing prospect that has been labeled anywhere from a first-round pick to a late-round selection. Regardless, the Rebels' front-seven will have their hands full, and don't be surprised to see Nkemdiche play a little bit of offense himself.