The Big Ten East will likely be decided on Saturday as Ohio State hosts Penn State (12 p.m., FOX). The Buckeyes look like one of if not the best team in the nation and are projected to have a non-stop ticket to the College Football Playoff. The Nittany Lions have one loss, but an upset over Ohio State will jump them right back into playoff contention.
As two of the top teams in the nation, both boast a boatload of NFL talent on their rosters.
Here are the players you should be watching in Saturday's matchup.
DE Chase Young, Ohio State
Young returns from a two-game suspension which means the most dominant player in college football is going to be well-rested and angry. He already has 13.5 sacks and ranks second in the nation despite being suspended the past two games. Those two games were against Maryland and Rutgers so you can bet he would have padded his stats quite a bit in those two games. This season, he has 29 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and even a blocked kick.
Young is the best pass rusher in the draft and will go in the top-five, probably top-two. He is a real possibility for the Redskins given how high they will likely be drafting.
CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State
In addition to the draft's best pass rusher, Saturday's game will also feature its top cornerback in Okudah. Okudah is the total package for a cornerback. He is a true shutdown corner who almost looks like he is running a receiver's routes with him, not simply reacting to their movements.
Okudah can completely change a secondary and seems like a lock to go in the top10 of the draft. The Redskins will be too high to get Okudah and the Ravens will likely be too low. If either has a chance to take him, whether it's the Ravens with their first pick or the Redskins with their second, they should absolutely jump at the chance, especially the Redskins given that their secondary is atrocious.
DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
Gross-Matos has been climbing the draft boards after a breakout sophomore season in which he blew apart opposing lines with a whopping 54 tackles, 20 for a loss and eight sacks. He has really good size at 6-foot-5 which comes with some big arms which he uses to initiate contact and work blockers. He has more penetration skills than a lot of edge rushers and sometimes comes from the interior at Penn State. He is not the kind of lineman who needs to get a good jump and get around a block, he can go around you or through you.
Gross-Matos is projected to be a late first-round pick. He could fall to the Ravens or perhaps even fall to the start of the second round and be possible for Washington. If they already have Young at that point, it is unlikely they take a second pass-rusher, but if the Redskins lose out on Young and Gross-Matos is still on the board, this looks like a real possibility.
WR K.J. Hill, Ohio State
In terms of catching the ball, there may not be a better receiver in the draft. Hill knows how to haul in tough catches and can be a very dependable receiver. That doesn't mean quarterbacks can give him too many jump balls, however. While he could certainly go up and make those grabs, at 6 feet tall he gives the height advantage to most of the cornerbacks he plays against. Still, his hands are second to none and his speed is outstanding.
RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State
Dobbins is one of the most dominant running backs in the country and is averaging 7.04 yards per carry. That's against Big Ten competition, where defense still matters.
Mark Ingram has had a great season for Baltimore, but he turns 30 in December so his shelf life may be limited. The Redskins, meanwhile are led by the 34-year-old Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice who has already suffered two significant injuries in his short NFL career.
The quality of running back Dobbins appears to be would make him hard for either the Ravens or Redskins to pass up if he is available to them.
Other potential NFL prospects to watch:
CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State
TE Rashod Berry, Ohio State
OL Brandon Bowen, Ohio State
P Drue Chrisman, Ohio State
RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State
TE Luke Farrell, Ohio State
S Jordan Fuller, Ohio State
P Blake Gillikin, Penn State
WR K.J. Hamler, Penn State
G Jonah Jackson, Ohio State
WR Juwan Johnson, Penn State
CB John Reid, Penn State
WR Binjimen Victor, Ohio State
DT Robert Windsor, Penn State
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