NFL Draft Prospects to Watch on CFB Week 4: Kentucky vs South Carolina

Battle of SEC Middleweights packed with plenty of beef.





"Football is a game of inches" many times have you heard that before? Does it really matter? That saying still rings true even as NFL innovators continue to make the pro game into a space race. However, it doesn't matter who you are, you can't show off your abilities without SOME blocking right? The big uglies out there still matter, and always will. 

Enter Kentucky and South Carolina, and while they may never be favorites to win the SEC, let's get one thing straight.....this IS the SEC, the best conference in all of college football. And while these two teams may be the occasional doormat for SEC heavyweights like Alabama and Florida, these two teams could absolutely demolish conference outsiders (as Texas learned last week against Arkansas). If you're looking for the proverbial "diamond in the rough" on Draft Day, I'm sure quite a few scouts have a short list of SEC athletes that they feel they can sell to their front offices with great success.


The Packers haven't been able to grab too many Wildcats in their history (8 all-time), with almost 50 years passing before the franchise's most recent selection. However, I'm sure most will agree that quality is better than quantity, as Randall Cobb currently sits at  #11 on the Packer's All-Time Receving List (he needs 765 to surpass the legendary Max McGee).


The Gamecocks have contributed a decent amount more to Packers' lore, with 19 selections total. But most are similar to the selections from Kentucky, with the majority coming before 1976. But again, when they turned to South Carolina, boy did they hit. Packers legend Sterling Sharpe was selected 7th Overall back in 1988, and he is #3 on the All-Time Receiving List. Sharpe is joined by Super Bowl Champion Robert Brooks, a 3rd Round Selection in 1992.


I guess it's safe to say if the Packers need a receving threat the SEC isn't a bad place to go eh? Despite that, most of the players that highlight this matchup presumably won't be catching many balls, but they'll be intrstumental to the passing game nonetheless. 



The players to watch for in the 33rd meeting of the Wildcats and the Gamecocks:



Dare Rosenthal, OT - Kentucky

Rosenthal transferred from LSU last year and will be the Wildcats LT. Rosenthall is STRONG, and plays with a really good base. He's got excellent length and combined with his strength, pass rushers have to try and get around him and just hope the QB is still holding the ball. Rosenthall transferred from LSU due to unnamed disciplinary issues, so he'll have a spotlight on him to see if those issues followed him to Kentucky. If he can keep himself clean all year, I imagine he'll be a Top 5 OT choice next year. Current Projection: Top-50 Pick


Darian Kinnard, OT - Kentucky

Kinnard was expected to come out in the 2021 Draft, but he decided to stay for another year. This gave Kentucky a top tier offensive line with the transfer of Rosenthal and they battled for the LT spot. Kinnard is massive at 6'5/345 and he is a total mauler; he'll just bully smaller defensive lineman. Where Kinnard lacks is his hand usage and consistency. Even as good of an athlete as he is, he can fall prey to premier pass rushers who have a good rush plan. If he can continue to refine his craft, Kinnard could be called sooner than later on Day 2. Current Projection: Top-75 Pick


Josh Paschal, DL - Kentucky

Paschal aligns at DE for the Wildcats, but he might only be a 3T or DT in a 4-3. I really need to see how he measures out at the combine. If he's 6"3 plus he could get some 4T consideration. He's very athletic for his size regardless as he caught an interception and nearly took it to the house last year against Mississippi State. Paschal could be an interesting depth piece for the Packers but he's got to get some decent production. Current Projection: 5th Round Pick



Kevin Harris, RB - South Carolina

Harris is another NFL ready RB with immediate impact regardless of scheme. He can pound the ball inside and has enough speed to make a chunk play on the outside as well. His pass-pro isn't all that bad either. He doesn't jump out to you compared to some of the better RBs in this year's class but he'll be an absolute gem for some franchise. Current Projection: 3rd Round Pick


Jordan Strachan, LB - South Carolina

Strachan is the most exciting prospect for me in this week's game. He originally committed to Georgia State as 2-star prospect as safety before transitioning to linebacker. He led the nation last year with 10.5 sacks after making the switch. Now he's with the Gamecocks, looking to make his mark on the SEC. It's just unfair for a guy who's THAT big (6"5), to be THAT fast( estimated sub 4.5 speed). If he can wreck through the Wildcats stout offensive line, he could get a major boost to his draft stock. I just can't figure out where he would play for the Packers, ILB or OLB? Just get him on the field and after the QB is what matters though. Current Projection: Top-100 Pick


Dylan Wonnum, OT -South Carolina

The Gamecocks boast their own premier offensive tackle in Wonnum, who has NFL roots with his older brother DJ, a DE for the Vikings. I don't see the younger Wonnum as a LT prospect, but he could be a swing tackle who can move from RT to RG, much like Royce Newman this year. I'm a firm believer that the Packers are still looking to bolster their offensive line after the loss of Bakhtiari for the first third of the season, and Wonnum could be a easy Day 3 selection who makes that possible. If Wonnum has a great combine and Senior Bowl however, he's probably gone by the end of the comp picks on Day 2. Current Projection: 4th Round Pick




The Wildcats travel to take on the Gamecocks Friday in Williams-Brice Stadium under the lights at 6pm CST. Check your local channel guide for listings.


Joseph has been an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers since 1997, citing an affinity for dairy products during his childhood and his favorite color, green. Born in Jacksonville, FL, Joseph currently is an Active Duty servicemember in the U.S. Armed Forces. Joseph considers himself a lifelong fan of the game of football, competing since his youth well into adulthood. When it comes to the Pack, Joseph is particularly impassioned about the NFL Draft and collegiate scouting process, and will contribute regularly on leading to that year's upcoming Draft.

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