There's a great slate of college football games for the weekend and it's going to be a nice opportunity to see some of the top draft prospects in the country play against elite competition.
#2 Baylor versus West Virginia (12pm ET, FOX)
Baylor: DT Andrew Billings, WR Corey Coleman
Now that we've seen the Falcons play six games, it's fair to declare the strengths and weaknesses of the team. Defensive line depth and an explosive presence at wide receiver would be tremendous additions to a budding roster.
Billings offers much more than defensive line depth, he has the look of a potential Pro Bowler with his combination of size, strength, and athleticism. His technique is still somewhat of a work in progress, but he offers moments off explosive brilliance that the Falcons really only have with Jonathan Babineaux right now. Ben Natan of Bleeding Green Nation has compared Billings to Bills All-Pro defensive tackle Marcell Dareus; that's high praise, but it's deserving. Combining Billings with Ra'Shede Hageman, Vic Beasley, and Grady Jarrett would give Atlanta a hellacious, dynamic defensive line core.
Corey Coleman is arguably the best receiver in all of college football right now. He's not a big target (5'10", 190) but he's one of the most athletic players in the country. His athleticism allows him to win in the "big game" that his size might not suggest he can do. Coleman is aggressive attacking the ball down the field and is extremely dangerous after the catch. He has a staggering 13 touchdown catches on 31 receptions for the season. With Roddy White aging and Hankerson's future with the team unclear, a strong number two option is definitely in play this offseason.
#9 Texas A&M versus #10 Alabama (3:30pm ET, CBS)
Alabama: DT/DE Jonathan Allen, TE O.J. Howard
Texas A&M: WR Ricky Seals-Jones
This is arguably the biggest game of the day and for Falcons' fans there's some high quality draft talent from both squads. Dan Quinn favors athletes on defense and Jonathan Allen is one of the better athletes at his position when you factor in his size (6'3", 283) with his ability to move. Justis Mosqueda, one of the premier defensive line evaluators, has an athleticism metric that's been great with predicting the success of pass rushing prospects entering the NFL. Jonathan Allen, based on pre-combine measurements, has the best chance of any defensive linemen in the country on passing through that metric.
Allen has the ability to play inside and on the edge; he excels in both areas. HIs teammate O.J. Howard is one of the most athletic tight ends in the country. He hasn't produced much, but that's mainly due to Lane Kiffin's offensive scheme not relying too heavily on the tight end. When Howard does get the ball, he has the ability to produce some breathtaking plays for a big man.
#14 Notre Dame versus USC (7:00pm ET, NBC)
Notre Dame: LB Jaylon Smith, WR Will Fuller
USC: LB Su'a Cravens
This game features two of the best linebacker prospects in the country in Su'a Cravens and Jaylon Smith. Both would be excellent fits in the Falcons defense. Cravens, a former safety, has the speed that this defense is currently lacking in the middle of the field. Jaylon Smith is also an athletic freak who can cover running backs out of the backfield and matchup with tight ends down the seam. The linebacking corp in Atlanta needs an injection of youth and athleticism; both of these players would be excellent fits.
Atlanta's offense can take off to another level with a dynamic speed presence across from Julio Jones and Will Fuller is one of the fastest receivers in the nation. He's drawn comparisons to Washington receiver DeSean Jackson and the comparison becomes evidently clear when you turn on the tape. He's a slender receiver (6'0", 172), but he has game changing speed. Fuller is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball.
Other Big Names to Watch
#20 Northwestern versus #17 Iowa (12pm ET, ABC/ESPN2)
Northwestern: LB Anthony Walker
Iowa: DB Desmond King
Memphis versus #13 Ole Miss (12pm ET, ABC/ESPN2)
Ole Miss: DL Robert Nkemdiche, WR Laquon Treadwell, S Tony Conner, TE/WR Evan Engram
#11 Florida State versus Louisville (12pm ET, ESPN)
Florida State: DB Jalen Ramsey
Louisville: S Josh-Harvey Clemson, DT Sheldon Rankins, DE Devonte Fields
#12 Michigan versus #7 Michigan State (3:30pm ET, ESPN)
Michigan: TE Jake Butt, DL Chris Wormley
Michigan State: DE Shilique Calhoun
#6 LSU versus #8 Florida (7:00pm ET, ESPN)
LSU: G Vadal Alexander, S Jalen Mills, DB Tre'Davious White
Florida: WR DeMarcus Robinson, DE/DT Jonathan Bullard
#1 Ohio State versus Penn State (8:00pm ET, ABC)
Ohio State: LB Darron Lee, S Vonn Bell, DT Adolphus Washington, G Pat Elfein
Penn State: DL Anthony Zettel, DT Austin Johnson, DE Carl Nassib