Every week during the college football season, NFL clubs deploy scouts to campuses all over the country to make in-person evaluations on draft prospects. Naturally, the bigger games featuring more top prospects tend to draw larger contingents of scouts. Each week, College Football 24/7 brings you a look at the teams credentialed to attend three of the biggest games in college football. This week's glance includes analysis from NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter.
Florida at Tennessee
11 clubs attending:Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders.
Details: Saturday, Sept. 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Three top players:Florida (CB Teez Tabor, LB Jarrad Davis, DL Caleb Brantley); Tennessee (RB Jalen Hurd, DE Derek Barnett, WR Josh Malone).
Reuter's matchup to watch:Tennessee WR Josh Malone vs. Florida CB Teez Tabor. The road to the SEC East championship begins with this game. Volunteers coach Butch Jones hopes his running game works against Florida, but if it doesn't, he's going to need QB Joshua Dobbs to find Malone for big plays to loosen up the Gators' defenses. Malone already has twice as many touchdowns (four) in three games than he had all of last year. Tabor, however, presents a major challenge to Malone's ability to free himself downfield. Malone has a height advantage (6-foot-3 to 6-0), but the Gators' latest cornerback prospect will mix it up and possesses the footwork to stay in phase throughout the route. It won't be surprising if Tabor gets a couple of pass interference calls, but if he keeps Malone out of the end zone, they might be worth it.
LSU at Auburn
10 clubs attending:Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles.
Details: Saturday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Three top players:LSU (RB Leonard Fournette, DL Davon Godchaux, S Jamal Adams); Auburn (DE Carl Lawson, DL Montravius Adams, OG Alex Kozan).
Reuter's matchup to watch:LSU DLs Davon Godchaux/Lewis Neal vs. Auburn OGs Alex Kozan/Braden Smith. NFL scouts are quite interested in checking out the battle in the trenches in this game. Auburn's most experienced prospects are on the offensive line, where both Kozan and Smith are considered future pro starters. They'll get all they can handle, however, from Godchaux and Neal. Last weekend, those two Bayou Bengals used their quick first steps to penetrate into the backfield against Mississippi State, combining for 14 tackles (three for loss, including 2.5 sacks). Kozan has the toughness to handle Neal, and Smith the athleticism to take on Godchaux, but he had two sacks against Auburn last year. If the 6-6, 300-pound Smith proves he can anchor against the LSU defenders' bull rushes, he'll meet the lofty expectations accompanying him as a top-50 high school recruit.
Wisconsin at Michigan State
4 clubs attending:Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions.
Details: Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12 p.m. ET (BTN)
Three top players:Wisconsin (RB Corey Clement, CB Sojourn Shelton, LB Vince Biegel); Michigan State (DL Malik McDowell, LB Riley Bullough, OL Brian Allen).
Reuter's matchup to watch:Wisconsin RB Corey Clement vs. Michigan State DT Malik McDowell. Clement has missed the last game and a half with an ankle injury, but hopes to play against the Spartans this weekend to get back on track as an elite college back. Even if he's ready to go, however, one of the top five defenders in college football will be waiting for him. McDowell's ability to knife between interior linemen as well as stack-and-shed makes him a dangerous player vs. the run and pass. He'll also line up outside on occasion. The Badgers line up four sophomores and a junior on the line, so Clement might have to make McDowell and others miss through the line by keeping those feet active and churning through contact. Oh, and if Clement gets by McDowell, he'll have hard-nosed linebacker Riley Bullough to avoid at the second level -- not an easy task.