4 Potential 2024 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in Week 13 of the College Football Season

Oct 21, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jermaine Burton (3) celebrates amid Tennessee players after making a first down at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama defeated Tennessee 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend marks the end of the 2023 college football season.

That means we are moving ever closer to the official beginning of bowl season, and then, 2024 NFL Draft season. As we conclude the regular season in the NCAA, here is a look at four more potential draft prospects to keep an eye on this weekend.

Ohio State LB Tommy Eichenberg

Nov 4, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Tommy Eichenberg (35) lines up for a play during the NCAA football game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium. Ohio State won 35-16.

The Minnesota Vikings could be in need at the linebacker spot this offseason with Jordan Hicks heading to free agency. Ivan Pace is a great story this season, but especially if the Vikings continue utilizing Brian Flores’ defense, it remains to be seen if Pace can hold up as a player in pass coverage and as a run stopper.

As a result, linebacker could be on the Vikings’ minds again come draft time. Tommy Eichenberg has missed two games for Ohio State in recent weeks, but he is back for the biggest game of the season between the Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines. Typically, the linebacker is a high-flying player capable of racking up tackles, and his 2022 season was remarkable.

During the year, he put together 120 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 3 passes defended, and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown. At 6’2″ and nearly 240 pounds, he offers some terrific size in the middle of a defense, allowing him to wreak havoc up front while still being quick enough to hang in pass coverage.

Michigan G Zak Zinter

Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Zak Zinter (65) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We haven’t talked about the offensive line much during this series simply because Minnesota has the majority of their line locked up for the next few years. However, there is one spot that could be set to change: left guard.

Dalton Risner is a free agent next spring, and if the Vikings want to get even more youth to completely solidify their o-line, Zak Zinter out of Michigan could prove to be a strong selection in the second day of the draft.

Zinter has played at right guard throughout his career with the Wolverines, but if the transition over the left side is a difficult one, Ed Ingram played at that left guard spot during his time at LSU. The Michigan offensive lineman has been a fierce pass protector throughout his career, and he is a typical Big 10 offensive lineman with massive size at 6’6″ and over 320 pounds.

Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell

Dec 3, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Ohio University tight end Will Kacmarek (87) runs upfield after catching a pass as Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell (27) closes in the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s talk about a smaller program next. The Vikings have some promising young options at the cornerback spot right now, but it can never hurt to add more depth to the secondary.

Quinyon Mitchell of Toledo has emerged as one of the best ballhawking CBs in the country over the past two seasons since he became a full-time starter for the Rockets, and as a result, Toledo’s defense has helped propel them into the AP ranking this year for the first time since 2015.

Over the past two seasons, Mitchell has recorded 79 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 35 passes defended, and 6 interceptions. Today, Toledo will play against Miami (OH) as they continue their bid to move up the rankings at the end of the season.

Alabama WR Jermaine Burton

2024 NFL Draft
Nov 4, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jermaine Burton (3) gets away from LSU Tigers safety Andre’ Sam (14) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama defeated LSU 42-28. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have one of the most promising WR groups in the league with Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison leading the way. Even still, they could still get better. It probably shouldn’t lead to a first-round pick being used on another receiver, but Jermaine Burton out of Alabama could be an interesting target.

The Crimson Tide receiver has blistering speed and should run well under 4.4 at the combine in March. Burton has caught 29 passes for 642 yards and 6 TDs this season, averaging a ridiculous 22.1 yards per reception. He is impossible to keep up with in the open field and would be a terrific deep threat for the Vikings to add this spring.

Burton and Alabama are set to take on Auburn in the Iron Bowl later this afternoon, and it should prove to be another opportunity for the wide receiver to put his skills on full display.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.