The ACC and Big 12 open fall competition this weekend with the SEC joining them later this month. College football fans will be familiar with the Trevor Lawrences and Ja’Marr Chases of the world, but there are several other players who have been patiently waiting to make their own names. In an effort to provide some of those potential breakout stars with some early exposure, CBS Sports examined the NFL Draft prospects with the most to gain from the upcoming season. 

LSU wide receiver Racey McMath

McMath has just 19 receptions for 327 yards and three touchdowns coming into 2020, but the wide receiver unit was loaded last season. With Justin Jefferson gone, McMath should take on a larger role. Sources within the program consistently mention the New Orleans native as a prospect who could break out this fall. At 6-foot-3, 224 pounds, he is a physical talent with tremendous athleticism. The Tigers’ quarterback situation is a bit unknown following the departure of Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow but, again, sources in the program believe they have the players to get the job done. 

Linebacker Jabril Cox was also featured on our list of transfers who could improve their stock. Cox transferred into Ed Orgeron’s program from North Dakota State and has been handed a huge opportunity as Patrick Queen and Jacob Phillips have both moved on to the NFL.

Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson

The Sooners featured a crowded backfield with Trey Sermon, Kennedy Brooks and Stevenson. Sermon has since transferred to Ohio State, which should mean more touches for Stevenson. His opportunities in 2019 were few and far between, but the glimpse shown was impressive. He is a bigger back with good patience and burst. His break down and change of direction looks a bit clunky, which may lower his ceiling. The Las Vegas native accumulated over 600 yards of offense on 74 touches. He is a physical runner who holds up well in pass protection and looks comfortable catching passes out of the backfield. 

Oklahoma opens its season Saturday at 7 p.m. ET at home against Missouri State. 

Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore

Barmore is already on the NFL’s radar despite having a limited workload in 2019. The Crimson Tide were stuffed to the brim with defensive line talent, which makes it difficult for younger players to get any extended action. Barmore is a quick twitch athlete who shows high level of activity and a good understanding of how to use his hands. At 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, he moves really well and consistently drew double teams to free up the linebackers behind him. 

The Philadelphia native is a staple in most first-round projections already, but the hype will match the name recognition for fans when the season finally begins. 

Duke edge rusher Chris Rumph II

Rumph is a high-motor edge rusher who moves really well for his size. He is able to get skinny and split the gaps to make a good form tackle in the backfield. He is also able to stalk the running back into a route, but needs more coverage reps for teams to truly feel comfortable with that possibility. The Florida native is listed as a lean 225 pounds. In an ideal world, he would add some weight and be able to use that newfound strength to his advantage. Rumph recorded 6.5 sacks last season, which is not a lot compared to other elite college edge rushers. If he puts it all together and has the production to match, Rumph should easily find himself in the first-round conversation. 

Duke squares off against Notre Dame Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Pittsburgh edge rusher Patrick Jones II

Jones has the size that Rumph lacks. He knows that he needs to use his hands, but they get sporadic at times, lashing aimlessly rather than effectively. The Virginia native is able to stack and shed blocks. He is quick off the snap and shows an ability to dip his shoulder around the edge. His footwork could use some improvement and coverage is not a strength. With defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman opting out of the season, Jones has a unique opportunity to be the face of that defensive front seven. He was a disruptor last season, recording 8.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.

Pittsburgh welcomes Austin Peay Saturday for their season opener at 4 p.m. ET on the ACC Network. 

Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell

The SEC East program has been loaded with cornerbacks in recent years and that makes it difficult to divvy up snaps to each. Campbell’s time on the field was not extended, but the former 5-star recruit made the most of those opportunities. He did a good job of mirroring star LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase last season and few are able to make that claim. Campbell can do a better job of getting his head around to find the football in the air but there are a lot of reasons to be excited about this junior. 

Clemson offensive guard Matt Bockhorst

Dabo Swinney’s team lost nearly all of its interior offensive line from last year’s team. Clemson did a great job of cross-training those players and getting its backups some repetitions. One of the backups who kept flashing was Bockhorst. He is a strong player who could drastically improve his stock with more exposure. 

The Tigers begin play Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET against Wake Forest on ABC. 

Other prospects who could have made more of an impact

Penn State has a pair of edge rushers that the world will not get to see in 2020: Jayson Oweh and Shaka Toney. They each possess unique traits and could have improved their draft stock. Ohio State’s Baron Browning is a free range linebacker who does a good job reading the play and bursting toward the action. Malik Harrison was drafted by the Ravens, so Browning was going to get more exposure. Oregon State edge rusher Hamilcar Rashed Jr. is another fun prospect to watch. He is really athletic and would be well-known by college football fans in the east if his games were more easily viewed. 


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