Vikings Draft 2020: Four college games to watch in Week 1

(Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Justin Herbert
(Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Justin Herbert /
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(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) Cam Akers
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) Cam Akers /

Boise State at Florida State

  • When: Saturday, August 31st at 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL
  • TV: ESPN

With all of the games set to hit the stage on Saturday, perhaps none will be as fun to watch as Boise State and Florida State.

The Broncos of Boise State are one of the best Group of Five programs in the country while the Seminoles are an iconic program residing the ACC. Both teams will trot out a handful of NFL-caliber talents and several of these prospects should be on the Vikings’ radar.

Boise State

The Broncos are loaded offensively. The offensive line has three studs with draft hopes. Left tackle Ezra Cleveland is entering his redshirt junior campaign and he is the prototypical size for the NFL at 6-foot-6 and 311 pounds. Boise State’s guards, John Molchon and Eric Quevedo, are also both enormous movers up front.

Minnesota has struggled to find capable starters on the offensive line recently. Perhaps these young Broncos blockers could catch their eye.

Boise State’s offense is brought to life by wide receiver John Hightower. He is a burner with ridiculous speed and a remarkable ability to create plays with the ball in his hands. As the Vikings continue to search for wide receiver depth, Hightower might be the perfect gadget piece to add to their roster.

The Broncos’ defense has a few studs, too. Curtis Weaver is widely regarded as one of the best edge rushers in the nation. He has 20.5 career sacks in two seasons with Boise State and he will likely have the highest stock on the school’s roster for the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Broncos’ secondary boasts two solid safeties as well in Kekoa Nawahine and DeAndre Pierce and both will be on NFL draft boards come season’s end. A strong performance against the Seminoles on Saturday will bode well for prospects on Boise State’s defense.

Florida State

Undeniably, the prized prospect out of Florida State is running back Cam Akers. Akers is one of the best backs in college football as his rare combination of power and speed is incredible. He absorbs contact well and has the potential for a big play every time he touches the ball. Given Dalvin Cook’s injury concerns, the Vikings still need to keep tabs on running backs for 2020.

Seminoles redshirt sophomore quarterback James Blackman is a longshot to enter the 2020 NFL Draft as of right now. However, he is a name to watch for the future. The 6-foot-5 signal-caller stands strong in the pocket and he possesses a cannon of an arm. If Blackman puts on some muscle mass and stays healthy, his draft stock could see a huge increase.

Now, stop me if you’ve heard this before; the Florida State secondary is loaded. In fact, they have four starters who will probably play on Sundays.

Asante Samuel Jr. is the only member of the group who is ineligible for the 2020 draft as he is entering his sophomore season. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because his father was a four-time Pro Bowl cornerback in the NFL. He recorded 51 interceptions across an 11-year career in the pros. His son will now man the outside of one of the best secondaries in the country.

The Seminoles have another son of a pro in Stanford Samuels III and the junior is set to play the other cornerback spot this season.

Florida State junior safety Hamsah Nasirildeen is my favorite of the group right now. Nasirildeen is a long, rangy safety with a high ceiling. He often wins with length on the back end and he measures in at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds.

Finally, we have senior safety Levonta Taylor and he can play pretty much anywhere in the secondary, so his value is immense. Minnesota and head coach Mike Zimmer love defensive backs and Florida State is the perfect place to look for more.