4 Potential 2024 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in Week 3 of the College Football Season

Sep 3, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) gives a thumbs up during the first half against the Florida State Seminoles at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 of the college football season is upon us.

With the Minnesota Vikings falling to 0-2 on Thursday night, fans may be growing more attentive towards fining some potential 2024 NFL Draft prospects to help the team improve next season. As the third slate of games at the college level gets going, here is a look at four potential prospects to keep an eye on today.

LSU QB Jayden Daniels

2024 NFL Draft
Sep 3, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) looks to pass the ball against pressure from Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Patrick Payton (11) at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

If the Vikings continue losing this season, the door for Kirk Cousins’ exit from Minnesota swings open. As a result, the front office will need to find their “QB of the future”. Over the first two weeks of the season, we’ve covered a few of these QB prospects already, and this week, we head down to the Bayou with LSU QB Jayden Daniels.

Daniels had a tough start to the season against Florida State, but he is a talented player who possesses the ability to deliver sharp throws downfield while also being able to scramble out of trouble. After transferring from Arizona State last season, Daniels threw for nearly 3000 yards and rushed for over 800, totaling 28 TDs.

This week, LSU gets their conference schedule started with a matchup against a tough Mississippi State defense. It should be a great test for Daniels.

Tennessee WR Bru McCoy

Sep 9, 2023; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Bru McCoy (15) warms up before the game against the Austin Peay Governors at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

K.J. Osborn’s contract with the Vikings is another that comes to end at the conclusion of the 2023 season. Perhaps this opens the door towards another draft selection at the wide receiver position for Minnesota.

Bru McCoy has a sturdy build at the position, standing 6’2″ and weighing in at 216 pounds. The Tennessee receiver has had a quiet start to the 2023 season, catching just 7 passes for 72 yards through the first two games.

However, he has proven to be a consistent receiver over the course of his collegiate career and could be in line for a Day 2 selection in the 2024 Draft. This week, he gets to match up against Florida’s defense, featuring an NFL-caliber CB in Jason Marshall.

Florida State RB Trey Benson

Sep 9, 2023; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Trey Benson (3) celebrates a touchdown during the game against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Through two games, it’s become clear that the Vikings need help in the running game. Minnesota has recorded just 69 rushing yards in the first two weeks of the season, and unless their efficiency on the ground drastically improves, RB could be another position on the draft menu.

Since transferring to Florida State last year, Benson has been as efficient an RB as any in college football. During the 2022 season, he rushed for 990 yards and 9 TDs while averaging 6.4 yards per carry. This year, he is once again averaging 6 yards per carry and has totaled 126 yards through the first two weeks of the season.

In Week 3, Florida State matches up against Boston College, so Benson could be in line for a big day on the ground.

Alabama DT Tim Smith

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Tim Smith (50) against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Not only has Minnesota’s running game been atrocious to begin the year, but their run defense was exposed against the Eagles as well. They simply don’t have enough maulers in the trenches to wreak havoc in the backfield.

Tim Smith has been gotten off to a bit of a slow start in 2023, but at 6’4 and 305 pounds he has the size and length to play at the NFL level. He has put together 9.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks over the course of his career with the Crimson Tide.

Minnesota has a few promising young pieces on their roster already (Jaquelin Roy, Khyiris Tonga), but if they want to go for another defensive lineman next spring, Smith could be a target during the later rounds. This week, Alabama faces off against South Florida.

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.