2020 NFL Draft Spotlight: Jake Fromm ready to prove he’s a top prospect

NCAA Football, NFL Draft

This week’s 2020 NFL Draft spotlight features plenty of top prospects in ranked matchups and a big opportunity ahead of Jake Fromm.

Last week’s schedule, with no ranked matchups on the schedule, made it harder to find more high-profile 2020 NFL Draft matchups. This week, there is no shortage of top talent going up against one another.

With conference play starting in full, those match-ups will be plentiful every week. There will be SEC and Big Ten games highlighted a bunch on the spotlight series.

However, this week, one game takes center stage. Let’s get into who you should watch this weekend.

Georgia vs. Notre Dame

Georgia and Notre Dame highlight the week as a top 10 match-up, and the headliner in this game is Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm. He is near the top of most quarterback boards, but he is often the forgotten man behind Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert.

However, Fromm is a very good prospect in his own right. He is a very cerebral passer who knows where to go with the football and makes very few mistakes. Many have said he succeeds because of Georgia’s offensive scheme, but in reality, Fromm is important in making the system work. He has a much better arm than given credit for, and his accuracy continues to improve. I want to see him perform better under pressure, where his lack of mobility does hurt him. If he improves his awareness and ability to maneuver the pocket, he will be a first round pick if he declares. Notre Dame will be the toughest test he’s had this season.

Let’s also not forget that pass rusher Julian Okwara has had a rough start to his 2019 campaign, and it will be tough sledding for him once again. He will either line up opposite top tackle prospect Andrew Thomas or other star tackle Isaiah Wilson. Both are strong, heavy-handed tackles off the snap. If Okwara can rush the passer effectively against either of these two, his stock will go back up.

Oregon vs. Stanford

This game was an excellent one last season, thanks in part to the performance of Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert. He made some “wow” throws in the game to every part of the field, was effective outside of the pocket and picked up yardage on the ground when he needed. His game against Auburn was a so-so performance, mostly because the Ducks stuck to a ground and pound approach. For this game, they should let Herbert go win the game through the air.

There are two other match-ups to watch in this one with draft implications. First, Stanford corner Paulson Adebo is high on boards due to his physical nature at the line of scrimmage and top-notch ball skills. Facing Juwan Johnson will be a good test for him, as Johnson is a bigger receiver. On the flip side, Stanford tight end Colby Parkinson is a well-rounded player at the position, with a good frame to win as a pass catcher and be effective as a run blocker. He may draw Ducks linebacker Troy Dye in coverage. Dye has the speed to be an NFL linebacker, especially on passing downs. He can also be an effective blitzer and could make things difficult for Stanford in the passing game.

LSU vs. Vanderbilt

This game, while it favors LSU by a great deal, features plenty of potential one-on-ones to look at from a draft perspective.

Will Ke’Shawn Vaughn find holes against the stout LSU defensive line? He has the home run ability, but he needs to work on his vision at the first level. Rashard Lawrence could be a problem for the Vanderbilt running game with his bullish nature up front.

Commodores receiver Kalija Lipscomb is a great tracker of the football down the field and can make defenders miss after the catch. Watching him line up against one of the better cover corners in the country, Kristian Fulton (who needs to work on his ball skills down the field), will be fun.

Vanderbilt tight end Jared Pinkney is a force in the passing game, and seeing him go up against Jacob Phillips over the middle will be a good study. Can Phillips diagnose better as a linebacker and finish off plays? He will have a tough task against Pinkney. Also, can Pinkney improve as a blocker. There’s a chance we could see him help out against K’Lavon Chaisson, one of the better speed rushers in the country.

We don’t have to go into these in detail, but obviously Grant Delpit is an every week watch. Keep an eye on quarterback Riley Neal as well as Joe Burrow this week. Can Neal get a big upset win at home? Will Burrow continue his hot streak?

Florida vs. Tennessee

This game features a very good match-up in the trenches. No one has improved their stock as much as Florida defensive lineman Jabari Zuniga so far this season. He could line up sometimes against Tennessee guard Trey Smith, who packs a punch off the snap and anchors very well in pass protection. Combine that with his athleticism and you have a great challenge all game long.

Pay attention to Tennessee edge rusher Darrell Taylor as well in this one. He has some good traits as a bendy rusher who can put a hand in the dirt as well as rush standing up. I want to see if he will be less passive defending the run and can improve to be a three down defender.

Around the nation

Watching Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor go up against a much better defense in Michigan will be a fun watch. Michigan lost a lot up front to the draft this past year, but they do reload well. Can he have another big day?

SMU features some underrated receivers in James Proche and Reggie Roberson, both of whom are starting to get attention from the draft community. Can TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney hold his own in this game against these two?

There aren’t any true match-ups in this game, but watching Auburn’s Derrick Brown and Texas A&M’s Justin Madbuike and Kendrick Rogers in their first big SEC game will be an important study.

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