While the three days of the practice session make up the lions share of the on field evaluation, game day is still valuable for NFL teams. We’ve seen players like Dak Prescott, Ziggy Ansah and Dee Ford have “average” weeks but break out in the game. Here are 10 players (5 from each team), who didn’t have the strongest weeks but could still have an impressive showing in the game.
Jackson came into the week with a good bit of hype as a long corner who could match-up with bigger receivers. With some top corners pulling out of the game the expectation was that Jackson could really separate himself from the pack. While he’s been okay this week, he has been far from the top corner down in Mobile. A big game today could help put some shine back on his draft stock.
Peart has good size and great footwork, but he’s still fairly raw as a prospect. There were definitely times he looked like a starting caliber tackle in the NFL and then other times where he looked a bit lost. A big game could help him show he’s ready to contribute early in his career and not a project.
Bredeson had an up-and-down week in 1-on-1 and team drills, and saw a lot more buzz directed to many of the other interior OL down here. He faces a tough challenge against a strong South defensive line.
Weaver will benefit by the game being full contact and tackling, which is his strong suit. In practice you could see how he would react to running plays, but he wasn’t able to finish them. Today he can show case his tackling ability. Teams will also be watching how he is in coverage.
Willekes actually had a pretty decent week of practice, but he could use a big game to separate himself from some of the better athletes in the EDGE group. Willekes wins with technique and his non-stop motor, that is more likely to be on display in a game than in practice sessions.
Hurts is the 3rd QB down here this week, but there became a pretty clear gulf between the top two (Herbert and Love) and number 3. Hurts will be able to showcase his mobility more in the game setting. Also Hurts typically did better in full team practice sessions than 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 drills so perhaps that will translate to the game as well.
Brown is a big athletic linebacker, but he was pretty invisible throughout the practice week. The ability to fully tackle should help him and hopefully he will be put in better situations in the game where his size might come into play.
Gibson is a playmaker who is still learning how to be a running back. He was mainly a receiver the past two years after transferring to Memphis and he has only 33 career rushing attempts at the FBS level. There is no question he’s a dynamic athlete the question is where teams will put him. If he has a good game it could make that question moot.
Jennings was a 3 year starter at Alabama as an EDGE linebacker and led the team in sacks this past year. He’s being utilized as more of an off the ball-linebacker this week so it was tough to get a feel for how well he did. He could use a strong game to show where NFL teams should look at him at the next level.
Pinkney came into the year as one of the higher rated TEs, but had just an okay season. He hoped to establish himself back atop draft boards with a big week here, but he really didn’t flash and saw some other tight ends look better. A big game could get him back on track and still turn this into a positive week.