Week 9 of the college football schedule is littered with potential resume-defining games for the 2024 NFL Draft class. The highlight of the weekend sees No. 8 Oregon land in a prime bounce-back opportunity versus No. 13 Utah.
Elsewhere, Caleb Williams and his freefalling 24th-ranked USC Trojans will attempt to get back on track versus California. Williams is facing rare adversity after back-to-back nightmarish performances. Drake Maye and the 17th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels are multi-score favorites over Georgia Tech. The race for QB1 continues.
NFL Draft-eligible talents must continue putting forth outstanding performances in order to boost their draft stock. Scouts will be watching closely. We’ve identified three ascending talents that could improve their 2024 NFL Draft stock this weekend.
PRINCELY UMANMIELEN EDGE, Florida
The unranked Florida Gators aren’t expected to realistically keep pace with the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. It still presents itself as an opportunity for Florida’s top-ranking prospects to prove themselves against the best competition in the nation. Gators EDGE Prince Umanmielen could improve his draft stock by enjoying an eye-popping performance.
The No. 62 overall prospect in our latest TDN100 update, Umanmielen has recorded 3.0 sacks this season. He had a sack in Florida’s last game, a 41-39 victory over South Carolina. Umanmielen should receive an opportunity to square off with Georgia tackle Armarius Mims, who is one of the best quarterback protectors in college football. Umanmielen’s name will continue buzzing in scouting circles if the Manor, Texas native stacks quality reps versus Mims.
KINGSLEY SUAMATAIA OT, BYU
BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia is among the best offensive tackle prospects in the country. A former Oregon transfer, Suamataia has been downright dominant for the Cougars this season. He’ll receive an opportunity to test his progress against the seventh-ranked Texas Longhorns this weekend.
The Longhorns have amassed 17 sacks as a team this season. The biggest threat is posed by defensive end Ethan Burke, who has a team-high 3.0 sacks. Burke and Suamataia could square off on a snap-by-snap basis. If Suamataia is his usual steady self, the underrated BYU blocker could continue garnering first-round draft buzz.
CAELEN CARSON CB, WAKE FOREST
Wake Forest cornerback Caelen Carson and his Demon Deacons defense face a stiff test against the fourth-ranked Florida State Seminoles this weekend. The approximate 6-foot, 195-pound Carson will likely be tasked with covering FSU go-to receiver Keon Coleman. Carson must prepare for the challenge accordingly.
Carson has been outstanding throughout 2023, although he’s still searching for his first interception of the season. Carson has amassed ball production through five passes defensed. He matched a season-high two pass breakups in last weekend’s 21-17 win over Pittsburgh. Carson forced and recovered a fumble versus Virginia Tech the weekend prior.
Our No. 91 overall prospect, Carson barely cracked the recent TDN100 update. Carson possesses an opportunity to climb up draft rankings with a good showing versus Coleman and FSU’s high-flying offense. Carson will have his hands full with Coleman, who has multiple 100-yard performances under his belt this season.