NFL Prospect Matchups: Mississippi St vs. Kentucky

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

The schedule for the fourth week in college football includes another important contest in the SEC. Mississippi State faces the talented and upstart Kentucky Wildcats, a team foolishly not ranked in the top 25. The game is also set to be a one of the toughest defenses Nick Fitzgerald of MSU will face this season, as the Wildcats will sprinkle defenders throughout next April’s draft.

After a promising campaign in 2016, Fitzgerald watched his game regress last season as he made too many mental errors and bad throws as a junior. He correctly returned for his senior campaign and is off to a solid start. More often than not, Fitzgerald has beaten opponents with his legs this season but he has the physical ability to make all the next-level throws. How accurately those throws reach their intended target is another question altogether.

Fitzgerald will have his work cut out for him this weekend. Kentucky has a lot of NFL talent on their defense, starting with Week 2 riser Josh Allen

Allen has the measurables and computer numbers NFL teams desire in a front-seven player and has shown a great deal of development in his game. He’s a forceful linebacker with the ability to get pressure up the field and rush the quarterback. But Allen is much more than a one-dimensional defender, as proven against Florida  He’s also a solid run defender who can make plays at the line of scrimmage or in pursuit, and his ball skills on passing downs are improving.

Presently I grade Allen in the bottom third of Round 1.

Fitzgerald must also keep a watchful eye on safety Mike Edwards, one of the most underrated players at the position. 

Edwards is a three-down player who is effective against the run and the pass. He does not possess great size but has next-level ball skills and gets it between the ears.

Linebacker Jordon Jones is another underrated commodity who plays sideline to sideline and covers tight ends or even receivers who run shallow patterns in the short or intermediate field.

NFL Prospects: Mississippi State- Kentucky

Grade

Rnd

Full Name

Pos

School

Yr

#

4.01

1st

Josh Allen

OLB

Kentucky

4Sr

41

3.83

2nd

Benny Snell Jr.

RB

Kentucky

3Jr

26

3.79

2-3

Elgton Jenkins

C

Mississippi State

5Sr

74

3.68

3rd

Johnathan Abram

S

Mississippi State

4Sr

38

3.60

3rd

Mike Edwards

S

Kentucky

5Sr

7

3.49

4-5

Montez Sweat

DE

Mississippi State

4Sr

9

3.48

5th

Jordan Jones

OLB

Kentucky

4Sr

34

3.42

5th

Cory Thomas

DT

Mississippi State

5Sr

34

3.39

5-6

Nick Fitzgerald

QB

Mississippi State

5Sr

7

3.38

6th

Landon Young

T

Kentucky

3Jr

67

3.38

6th

Gerri Green

OLB

Mississippi State

5Sr

4

3.35

6th

Jeffery Simmons

DT

Mississippi State

3Jr

94

3.33

6th

Jamal Peters

CB

Mississippi State

4Sr

2

3.32

6-7

Darryl Williams

G

Mississippi State

4Jr

 

3.32

6-7

Chris Westry

CB

Kentucky

4Sr

21

3.32

6-7

Darius West

S

Kentucky

5Sr

25

3.30

7th

Lionel Johnson

CB

Kentucky

4Sr

6

3.29

7th

George Asafo-Adjei

T

Kentucky

4Sr

64

3.28

7th

Deion Calhoun

G

Mississippi State

5Sr

61

3.27

7th

Fletcher Adams

DE

Mississippi State

4Jr

43

3.21

FA

Derrick Baity

CB

Kentucky

4Sr

8

3.20

FA

Leo Lewis

ILB

Mississippi State

4Jr

10

3.20

FA

Drake Jackson

C

Kentucky

3So

52

3.19

FA

Denzil Ware

OLB

Kentucky

5Sr

35

3.15

FA

C.J. Conrad

TE

Kentucky

4Sr

87

3.06

FA

Mark McLaurin

S

Mississippi State

4Sr

41

3.05

FA

Aeris Williams

RB

Mississippi State

5Sr

22

3.02

FA

Dorian Baker

WR

Kentucky

6Sr

2

3.00

FA

Chris Rayford

CB

Mississippi State

5Sr

24

3.00

FA

Tavin Richardson

WR

Kentucky

4Jr

11

3.00

FA

Farrod Green

TE

Mississippi State

4Jr

82

3.00

FA

Logan Stenberg

G

Kentucky

4Jr

71

2.83

FA

Jervontius Stallings

G

Kentucky

5Sr

65

2.78

FA

Braxton Hoyett

DT

Mississippi State

5Sr

95