2024 Senior Bowl CFB Week 3 Preview: Why Scouts Are Watching Georgia, Penn State, and Kansas State

CFB Week 3 has no shortage of top-notch matchups to watch. Here are the games and 2024 NFL Draft prospects the Senior Bowl will keep an eye on.

The 2024 Senior Bowl has its collective scouting group scouring the college football grid entering Week 3. Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy was kind enough to provide PFN with the games the Senior Bowl scouts will focus on in Week 3.

The PFN Scouting Team projected who the Senior Bowl is focused on this week, and we’re diving into our thoughts on the key senior 2024 NFL Draft prospects in each matchup.

Top Senior Bowl Prospects in Week 3

Illinois vs. Penn State

The Illinois defense is loaded with talent and is outstanding along the defensive line. The Fighting Illini now get a matchup against a top-10 team in Penn State.

Jer’Zhan Newton is the headline act for Illinois and is one of the most exciting defensive prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft. Newton has early first-round potential with his special playmaking ability and violent play style.

Defensive tackle Keith Randolph Jr. has also gathered some early-round attention and has been spoken of as a potential top-100 prospect. Randolph plays with great speed and physicality up front, making this interior defensive line duo a much watch.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Big Board

Olu Fashanu leads all 2024 Penn State NFL Draft Prospects and is the default OT1 in the 2024 NFL Draft and Senior Bowl eligible. Fashanu would have easily been a top-10 pick in last year’s draft had he decided to declare. Instead, Fashanu returns to school, and his rare size, strength, and athleticism make him an extraordinary talent who will go early.

On the other side of the ball, Nittany Lions edge rusher Adisa Isaac is a man to watch. Chop Robinson rightly takes all the plaudits in this Penn State defensive front, but Issac has masses of potential and is Senior Bowl-eligible. Owain Jones

Arkansas vs. BYU

This is a matchup between two quarterbacks, Arkansas’ KJ Jefferson and BYU’s Kedon Slovis, who will fight to be late-round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. A spot on the Senior Bowl roster would go a long way to bolstering their credentials.

Jefferson is a unique dual-threat talent for Arkansas who offers fantastic playmaking ability in the Razorbacks’ RPO offense. But Jefferson has never really shown he can correct some mechanical deficiencies and lacks NFL decision-making.

The All-Star circuit will show interest, especially with his huge size at 6’3″ and 250 pounds, but he needs to show development in his senior year to get attention from Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy and his staff.

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Slovis is looking to revive his career at BYU after becoming a journeyman in college football and never really living up to the promise he showed in the early part of his career at USC. The Senior Bowl and All-Star circuit will be huge for either player if they get a spot.

BYU also has Ben Bywater, one of the top senior linebackers in the nation. Bywater has smooth athleticism, fluid movement skills, and explosiveness to be extremely versatile. He also offers strong awareness and intelligence to be a potential Day 2 player. Owain Jones

Missouri vs. Kansas State

The Kansas State 2024 NFL Draft prospects list is led by offensive talent. Interior offensive lineman Cooper Beebe leads all Wildcat draft prospects and makes a case for being the top guard in the 2024 class. Ben Sinnott is also a name to watch as an under-the-radar player in the tight end class. His ability to be effective as both a receiver and a blocker makes him TE2 in PFN’s early 2024 tight end rankings.

For Missouri, they are void of top-end notable draftable talent, but they do have some intriguing prospects in later rounds. Cornerback Kris Abrams-Draine has nice athletic traits as an off-man outside corner, while linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper is a physical prospect with good intelligence and instincts. As a smaller prospect, he doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher, but his physical, tough playstyle has a place on an NFL roster, even if it is just on special teams. Owain Jones

This is low-key a great prospect game. Missouri has a couple of prospects who look like top-60 talents in linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper and cornerback Kris Abrams-Draine. And they’re going against a strong pocket passer in quarterback Will Howard.

Missouri has the speed advantage, and edge prospect Darius Robinson is part of that athletic core that will challenge Kansas State. But we can’t underestimate the power of the Wildcats, who have arguably the best guard in the nation in Cooper Beebe.

A number of these players should end up in the All-Star circuit. We’re also looking at Missouri defensive back Jaylon Carlies, Kansas State rusher Treshaun Ward, tight end Ben Sinnott, and offensive tackle KT Leveston. – Ian Valentino

Georgia vs. South Carolina

We don’t have to go too deep into the Georgia roster to find intriguing senior talent. It starts with their offensive playmakers, as wide receiver Ladd McConkey and running back Kendall Milton are likely 2024 draft picks. McConkey is the bigger talent of the two thanks to his solid speed and crisp route-running to go with his 6’0 “, 185-pound frame.

Milton is more of a power back who projects as a depth piece at the next level. He has to show a higher gear and more ability to catch passes out of the backfield to raise his stock. This week is a good chance for him to show more explosiveness than we’ve seen him produce in two games thus far.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Watchlist

However, these aren’t the only two with room to grow their profile. The Bulldogs have a few trench players who are considered solid but not yet finished products. Namely, we’ll be looking at center Sedrick Van Pran, offensive tackle Xavier Truss, and defensive tackles Nazir Stackhouse and Warren Brinson.

The talent for South Carolina might be more impressive because they have more experienced playmakers. Quarterback Spencer Rattler is fighting to land within our top-10 QB rankings, and star receiver Antwane Wells Jr. is a potential top-50 pick.

Wells has only one catch on the season as he’s dealt with a lower-body injury. If he can go in this one, the 6’1 “, 208-pounder has the opportunity to establish himself as one of the premier pass catchers in the class against a powerful Georgia secondary. Wells has great speed at his best and can easily create after the catch. – Ian Valentino

Other Games the Senior Bowl Is At

  • Maryland vs. Virginia
  • Auburn vs. Samford
  • Monmouth vs. Campbell
  • Ohio vs. Iowa State
  • West Virginia vs. Pittsburgh
  • Oregon State vs. San Diego State
  • Yale vs. Holy Cross

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