Saturday’s Week 4 slate of college football brings you plenty of action between ranked opponents, and the matchup to keep a close eye on is Michigan vs. Wisconsin at noon p.m. ET on FOX. The game will be played in Madison, where the Badgers look to exact their revenge upon Michigan, who got the best of them in 2018 in a blowout 38-13 win. You can expect Lions scouts will likely be in attendance for this one.
Here are five prospects to watch during Saturday’s games that the Lions could target in next year’s draft.
RB, Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (Junior)
This year’s running back class is extremely stacked, especially towards the top. We’re talking about at least three guys that have a chance at being first-round picks, and Taylor makes quite an argument at being the best of the bunch.
If you’ve followed my draft takes in the past, then you may have noticed I have a type when it comes to running backs. Contact balance, patience, vision and burst are all traits that I value to the highest degree. Taylor has all of that and more and is quickly becoming one of my favorite players to watch right now.
Taylor is off to a hot start averaging 6.8 yards per carry on 35 attempts for 237 yards and five touchdowns.
WR, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan (Junior)
After missing the first two games of the season, there is a chance that Peoples-Jones plays against Wisconsin today. He had been sporting a walking boot at the beginning of the season, but did not have it on during the Army game while on the sideline.
If Peoples-Jones is able to go, then that would be big for the Wolverines, who would be getting their most dynamic receiver back into the fold.
Though he doesn’t have elite speed, Peoples-Jones is very smooth off the line of scrimmage and does well to create separation and pick apart zone defenses. He is as versatile as they come and can line up at any receiver position, if need be. At 6-foot-2, 208 pounds, you would like to see him be a little more physical with defenders and at the catch point.
EDGE, Joshua Uche, Michigan (Senior)
The senior edge rusher is more of an under-the-radar type prospect to those who don’t follow the Michigan program closely, but he has a serious chance to rise up draft boards as time goes by mostly due to his impressive flexibility and athleticism as a stand-up pass rusher.
Uche tallied seven sacks last year as a situational pass rusher and is looking to top that total in 2019 now that he’s solidified a starting job. Wisconsin seemingly is able to have one of the best offensive lines in the country no matter who they put out there, so today’s game should be a nice test for Uche to show what he’s got.
OT, Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn (RS Senior)
The top two OT spots seem to be temporarily settled between Andrew Thomas and Tristan Wirfs, but there are plenty of talented OTs behind them that have the chance to challenge them.
Tega Wanogho is your typical athletically gifted OT that is as raw as can be. There’s at least a few of them each year and it’s a risk that teams will continue to take. He is a natural mover and does a nice job of exploding out of his pass set and mirroring pass rushers on the edge, but he will need to get stronger, especially in his lower half.
Wanogho’s athleticism was very apparent early in his athletic career. He had aspirations of playing in the NBA but ultimately made the switch to football. Though Wanogho is being hyped up as a top-50 prospect currently, he is still relatively new to football and it will likely take some time before he’s starting in the NFL, but the sky is the limit for him if he can put it all together.
Wanogho is considered day-to-day and could be a game-time decision for today’s game.
OT, Jack Driscoll, Auburn (RS Senior)
On the opposite side of Wanogho is Driscoll, the starting right tackle for the Tigers. If Wanogho is unable to play against TAMU, then it’s likely Driscoll that takes his place at left tackle.
Jack Driscoll was one of the best pass-blocking offensive tackles a season ago. pic.twitter.com/tQj9CEJ5U1— PFF College (@PFF_College) July 5, 2019
Driscoll does not have the fluidity of Wanogho and is more labored with his movements, but he has performed well after transferring from UMass into the SEC. In two seasons with UMass, Driscoll played both tackle and left guard, but his best position in the NFL may be at guard, as he tends to struggle against pass rushers that can get an early step on him around the edge.