/Kiper & McShay: NFL draft prospects to know in each conference title game
Kiper & McShay: NFL draft prospects to know in each conference title game

Kiper & McShay: NFL draft prospects to know in each conference title game

  • Mel Kiper Jr.

    Football analyst
      Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.
  • Todd McShay

    ESPN Senior Writer
    • ESPN College Football and NFL Draft Analyst
    • Joined ESPN in 2006
    • Played quarterback in high school and was a backup QB for the University of Richmond.
College football’s conference championship weekend is here, and multiple exciting matchups are on deck. And with the best teams in the nation hitting the gridiron, there will of course be plenty of 2020 NFL draft prospects to get a good look at with conference titles on the line.
We asked our draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay to identify the most interesting draft-eligible player to watch for each team in every conference championship, starting with the Pac-12 showdown between Utah and Oregon on Friday night. Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean the best draft prospect, but rather the player our analysts are excited to watch:
Jump to:
Pac-12 | Big 12 | SEC
ACC | Big Ten | Sun Belt
Top risers | Under the radar
Power 5 title games
8 p.m. ET, Friday on ABC & ESPN App
Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah: Johnson, a 6-foot, 195-pound corner, excels in man-to-man coverage. He’s a tough kid who supports well in the running game and attacks ball carriers from the secondary. I’m excited to see Johnson go head-to-head with Oregon’s Johnny Johnson III and Jaylon Redd on the outside. He has two interceptions, 10 pass breakups and 33 tackles this season. I have a second-round grade on him as of now. — McShay
Shane Lemieux, G, Oregon: This is really all about the best matchup in this game, because I’m excited to see how Lemieux fares against 335-pound defensive tackle Leki Fotu, who could be a second-round pick in April. Lemieux, my fourth-ranked guard in the class, is a really solid player who has had a great year. At 6-foot-4, 315 pounds, he’ll have his hands full with a stout Utah defensive line that ranks No. 1 against in the run in the FBS, giving up only 56.3 yards per game. How Lemieux and the interior line fare in keeping Justin Herbert clean and opening up holes for Travis Dye and CJ Verdell will go a long way in deciding this game. — Kiper

Noon ET, Saturday on ABC & ESPN App

2 Related

Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor: Mims has been the go-to guy in this passing offense all season. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior has 61 catches for 945 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 15.5 yards per reception. He has a chance to be a really good No. 3 receiver in the NFL, and I think he ends up as an early Day 3 pick. Baylor defensive tackle James Lynch is also someone to watch; he’s an absolute beast on that line (10.5 sacks) and could really be a top-two-round pick if he decides to enter the 2020 draft. — McShay
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