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7 college football prospects for Chiefs fans to watch on New Year’s Day

What New Years day prospects should Chiefs fans be watching?

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Cincinnati Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

One of the best days of college football is here, as we have four games on the slate for New Year’s Day, including the first round of the college football playoff.

We won’t have a great idea where the Kansas City Chiefs will be looking in the 2021 NFL Draft until we get closer, but we can make some guesses. We have seen thin parts of the roster: offensive line, defensive end and linebacker — and we can look ahead to some positions with major impending free agents: wide receiver and safety.

With the Chiefs in mind, I’m sharing some of my favorite prospects in this New Year’s Day slate of games.

Cincinnati vs. Georgia (11 a.m. Arrowhead Time)

Cincinnati

Myjai Sanders | DE | 6’5” | 258lbs

Sanders is a lengthy, explosive EDGE prospect who has taken great leaps in this play from 2019 to 2020. Playing in the Bearcats 3-3-5 defense, Sanders doesn’t always get a chance to pin his ears back from a wide rush angle and really utilize his speed, but it’s evident when he does. Prospects with his length and ability to bend the corner usually catch the NFL’s eye, and Sanders will be no different. If he can put on good tape vs. Power 5 offensive tackles and test well (as we expect), Sanders could easily go in round one.

Other Bearcats to watch: CB Coby Bryant, S James Wiggins, WR Alec Pierce, S Darrick Forrest, LB Darrian Beavers

Georgia

Azeez Ojulari | DE | 6’3” | 240lbs

Ojulari has been one of the biggest risers in this draft season, transitioning from a pass-rush specialist in 2019 to a full time, dominant EDGE player in 2020. He still makes his most significant impact as a pass rusher and not a run defender, but he’s capable of being a three-down player. In this draft cycle, teams will be looking for the guy that shows the blend of flexibility, explosion and hand technique — and Ojulari is probably the best blend of the three.

Other Bulldogs to watch: DB DJ Daniel, LB Monty Rice, DT Jordan Davis

Northwestern vs. Auburn (Noon Arrowhead Time)

Auburn

Seth Williams | WR | 6’3” 211lbs

Williams has made a name for himself in Auburn's run-heavy offense by being a catch-point monster. At 6 feet 3 and constantly playing above the rim, he’s made a career by dominating the red zone and smaller defensive backs. There are some games in which Williams looks dominant against quality competition and others where he disappears into the background. This will be a big test against a feisty secondary to allow him to go out on a higher note.

Other Tigers to watch: S Jermain Sherwood, S Christian Tutt, CB Roger McCreary

Alabama vs. Notre Dame (3 p.m. Arrowhead Time)

Alabama

Deonte Brown | OG | 6’4” | 350lbs

With Landon Dickerson injured for the college football playoff, Brown becomes the powerhouse in the middle of the Alabama defensive line. He’s a mauler of a run blocker that still has technical improvement to make as a pass protector, but he may be the best person mover in the entire draft class. He’s not limited to working linearly but will consistently be the spear for the Alabama rushing attack.

Other Crimson Tide to watch: WR DeVonta Smith, OT Alex Leatherwood, RB Najee Harris, LB Dylan Moses, CB Josh Jobe, DT Christian Barmore, DE LeBryan Ray

Notre Dame

Daelin Hayes | DE | 6’3” 266lbs

Hayes is a well-built edge rusher that has a little burst, a little bend and a quality set of counter moves. He isn’t going to the biggest, longest or fastest rusher, but he has enough tools to get it done against good competition and has an advanced rush plan. His matchup with Alex Leatherwood of Alabama may be one of the best direct one-on-one competitions of the day.

Other Fighting Irish to watch: WR Ben Skowronek, OT Robert Hainsey, OG Tommy Kraemer, OG Aaron Banks, DE Adetokunbo Ogundeji, LB Jeremiah Owusu-Karamoah

Ohio State vs. Clemson (7 p.m. Arrowhead Time)

Ohio State

Chris Olave | WR | 6’1” | 190lbs

Olave missed Ohio State’s last game, and it was no coincidence that the offense struggled. Olave’s ability as a route runner and vertical threat change the game for Ohio State and should give us a great matchup with Clemson’s Derion Kendrick. Olave is simply one of the most dynamic receivers in the country in his ability to work all three levels of the field. This year for Ohio State, he’s been utilized much more on intermediate and shallow routes, and while it’s caused a slight dip in his efficiency, he has put a lot more “good” on tape from a traits’ perspective. A big game could really cement his ranking among the top receivers in this draft class.

Other Buckeyes to watch: OC Josh Myers, OG Wyatt Davis, RB Trey Sermon, DL Jonathan Cooper, DT Garrett Haskell, LB Baron Browning, CB Shaun Wade

Clemson

Cornell Powell | WR | 6’1” | 210lbs

Powell is a fifth-year senior wide receiver who had less than 30 career catches entering 2020. He finally earned his opportunity midway through this season and hasn’t looked back. He showcased fantastic ball skills through contact, the knowledge on how to stack defenders vertically and how to play like a big receiver — both after the catch at in the air. It should be a fun matchup with him against a big cornerback from Ohio State such as Shaun Wade (who has had a very rough year). I expect it to help him pump up his draft stock even more.

Other Tigers to watch: OT Jackson Carman, WR Amari Rodgers, CB Derion Kendrick