College Football Week 8: 2024 NFL Draft prospects to watch, including Marvin Harrison Jr. vs. Kalen King

2T2D827 Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) runs during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in West Lafayette, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

• A battle of elites in Ohio State-Penn State: Wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and cornerback Kalen King face off in the most intriguing WR-CB matchup of the week.

• CB D.J. James could boost his stock with big game: The 165-pound Auburn cornerback will do battle with the 205-pound Tre Harris from Ole Miss this week.

• Check out PFF's 2024 NFL Draft big board: Click here to see 150 of the top draft prospects that college football has to offer.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes


Another week of conference play in college football means it’s another week to get a good look at some of the best 2024 NFL Draft prospects going head-to-head.

Here are the top prospect matchups to watch in Week 8.


WR MARVIN HARRISON JR., OHIO STATE vs. CB KALEN KING, PENN STATE

There will be plenty of future NFL draft talent in this contest, but the top matchup for us is a battle between two top-20 players on the PFF big board: wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. versus cornerback Kalen King.

Harrison would have been WR1 if he was eligible to declare after his true sophomore season. For this draft cycle, he maintains that title. His season started off slow, but he has recorded more than 100 yards in four of his six games. He also has seven explosive plays in the past two weeks. He’ll face off against King, who isn’t having as good of a season in coverage as last year — sporting a 64.4 coverage grade in 2023 compared to a 90.6 mark in 2022 — but is still regarded as one of the top coverage players in this class.


EDGEs J.T. TUIMOLOAU, JACK SAWYER, OHIO STATE vs. OT OLU FASHANU, PENN STATE

Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu could have very likely been the first tackle drafted last year if he had declared. He decided to return to the Nittany Lions for another season and still looks just as good, if not better, as a pass-protector. His 93.3 pass-blocking grade this year ranks second in the FBS.

This week, Fashanu faces J.T. Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer, two former five-star pass-rushers. Both are having career-best seasons in terms of pass-rush production, with 16.8% and 15.4% pass-rush win rates, respectively.


EDGE JARED VERSE, FLORIDA STATE vs. OT GRAHAM BARTON, DUKE

It’s to be determined whether the Duke Blue Devils can keep up with the Florida State Seminoles, as a whole. However, regardless of the scoreboard, there’s going to be a war raging in the trenches.

Duke left tackle Graham Barton and Florida State edge defender Jared Verse are both top 30 players on the 2024 PFF big board. Barton probably doesn’t have the overall length to play tackle at the NFL level, but he is a damn-good offensive lineman whose grip strength is some of the best I've seen. Verse will be quite the test for Barton, as the Noles’ top pass-rusher wins with power. Verse has 19 total pressures and a 15.1% pass-rush win percentage this season.


WR XAVIER LEGETTE, SOUTH CAROLINA vs. CB KRIS-ABRAMS-DRAINE, MISSOURI

Gamecocks receiver Xavier Legette ranks third in the country with 119.3 receiving yards per game, and his 84.5 receiving grade is a top-five mark among SEC receivers who have played at least 100 snaps. He also has the third-most contested catches in the conference (eight).

On the other side, Abrams-Draine has yielded only 119 receiving yards and 12 catches all season across 244 coverage snaps. He also has seven forced incompletions, the second most in the conference.


WR TROY FRANKLIN, OREGON vs. CB CHAU SMITH-WADE, WASHINGTON STATE

There’s no time to look back at the loss to Washington for Oregon receiver Troy Franklin, who will once again need to be the focal point of the Ducks’ passing attack. He’s been up to that task this season, boasting an 85.8 receiving grade in 2023. He already has 18 explosive plays and eight missed tackles forced after the catch, solidifying himself as one of the top deep threats in college football.

He’ll go up against Chau Smith-Wade, the Cougars' top coverage man with an 81.5 coverage grade this season. He has forced eight incompletions on the season and has yet to give up a touchdown.


WR TRE HARRIS, OLE MISS vs. CBs D.J. JAMES, NEHEMIAH PRITCHETT, AUBURN

James and Pritchett have faced a gauntlet of teams over the past three weeks in Texas A&M, Georgia and LSU. James has the better coverage grade of the two through that tough test, an 81.6 mark, but both are top-100-caliber players in this year’s draft.

As for Harris, his 88.2 receiving grade is the best on the team, and his 181 yards after catch is still a top-15 mark in the conference despite his missing time this year. If there’s a critique of James, it’s that he’s on the slender side at 165 pounds. How he fares against the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Harris could mean a lot for his scouting report.

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