#9 UCLA at #16 Arizona - 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC
OLB/ILB Myles Jack, 6-foot-1, 245 pounds (#30, Junior)
I know this is called a "NFL Draft Watch" piece and the whole reason for this is so that you can watch these players for yourselves. Unfortunately, Myles Jack had his season cut short due to a torn meniscus suffered during a non-contact drill earlier this week. I had to bring his name up because there is still a high probability that Jack will enter the 2016 NFL Draft, and he may still be the top off-ball linebacker in this year's class.
Myles Jack has a $5MM insurance policy. I'm told the policy pays out if he's not a 1st round pick. Would make declaring for 2016 easier.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) September 23, 2015
This guy really is a "Jack-of-all-trades" type linebacker... He is the perfect player for what the Detroit Lions need right now: a young, athletic, three-down linebacker that can stuff the run and drop back into coverage. Against UNLV this year, the Rebels made it a point to keep the ball away from Jack all game long. He was glued to his assignment when playing man-coverage as a nickel corner. Whichever side of the ball Jack was on, UNLV was running to the opposite side of the field.
If and when Myles Jack declares for the 2016 NFL Draft, the Lions should be seriously considering him as an eventual, or even immediate replacement for Stephen Tulloch at Mike linebacker.
DT Kenny Clark, 6-foot-3, 310 pounds (#97, Junior)
Many draftniks are already claiming that next year's draft is going to be one of the deepest we've seen at defensive tackle in recent years. Clark is a guy that hasn't been talked about enough, and has the sort of talent that could demand first-round consideration. He's shown that he can line up almost anywhere along the defensive line; Clark has the versatility to be a 1-gap penetrator from the 1 or 3-technique, or even play as a 2-gap specialist in the 5-technique.
Clark is a great athlete, but for now he's more of a gap-filler than a premier pass rusher. His large frame allows him to plug holes and often draw double teams that allow his teammates to go to work 1-on-1. His ability to dominate at the point of attack and stuff the run makes him the perfect candidate to either replace Haloti Ngata, or serve as his backup depending on whether or not the Lions decide to re-sign Ngata this off-season.
Other players to watch:
RB Paul Perkins, 5-foot-11, 210 pounds (#24, RS Junior)
WR Jordan Payton, 6-foot-1, 212 pounds (#9, Senior)
WR Thomas Duarte, 6-foot-3, 225 pounds (#18, Junior)
ILB Scooby Wright III, 6-foot-1, 246 pounds (#33, Junior)
Scooby Wright's 2014 stats are ridiculous. No, really, they're almost unfathomable. Wright led the NCAA in total tackles (164), tackles for a loss (31) and forced fumbles (5) last year. He also finished third in the NCAA with 15 sacks. So why hasn't everyone hopped onto the Scooby Wright bandwagon -- or Mystery Machine -- yet? Well, Wright's style of play can tend to be a bit reckless on the field. For every ten tackles, you have at least a couple that he'll miss in between.
On this play, Wright does a solid job of weaving his way into the backfield, but ultimately ends up putting himself out of position and completely whiffs on the tackle. This play went from a four-yard loss to a seven-yard gain for ASU.
Once again, Wright is too overzealous on bursting his way into the backfield, but doesn't consider where the run may be going. Instead of taking a direct line to the ball carrier, he's forced to take a wide turn and watch the ball carrier run 30 yards up the field.
Wright is a bit undersized and appears to be an average athlete, so I don't see a ton of upside with him. However, there are people that will swear to you that he's a first-round talent. Others will tell you he's a sixth or seventh-round talent. I tend to believe he's somewhere in the middle. Regardless of where others speculate about where Wright will land in the draft, he's worth keeping an eye on this Saturday and going forward.
Other players to watch:
S Will Parks, 6-foot-1, 194 pounds (#11, Senior)
WR Cayleb Jones, 6-foot-3, 215 pounds (#1, RS Junior)
DE Reggie Gilbert, 6-foot-4, 262 pounds (#8, RS Senior)
Mississippi State at Auburn - 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Auburn WR D'haquille 'Duke' Williams vs. Miss. St. CB Will Redmond
We talked briefly about Duke Williams last week, who's had a pretty mediocre start to the year -- only seven catches for 81 yards in three games. He'll have his hands full once again with yet another talented cornerback in Mississippi State's Will Redmond. The senior CB has garnered a lot of praise from scouts and has been widely considered as possibly a first or second-round talent heading into next year's draft.