New 2024 NFL Draft prospects pop up weekly, while some fly under the radar. Each week, I’ll highlight a few prospects that need more attention. As we continue through the conference schedule, we’ll see iron sharpening iron more often.
In this edition of Scouting the Nation, we take a look at an underrated wide receiver at Purdue, one of the best players in the country, and a cornerback who had the matchup of the week against Keon Coleman.
Top Underrated 2024 NFL Draft Prospects To Watch in CFB Week 10
Deion Burks, WR, Purdue
After producing 152 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 against Fresno State, Deion Burks looked like the next great Purdue receiver.
Fast forward nine weeks, and Burks has now recorded 29 receptions for 426 yards and five touchdowns. The receiver brings major speed and can take the top off the defense at will. He does an excellent job of stacking cornerbacks and has the ball-tracking ability to come down with the football.
MORE: Top WRs in the 2024 NFL Draft
Burks’ traits were on full display against Illinois’ tough secondary. He was winning at the catch point and creating separation. He also gains speed further downfield, and the vertical burst he possesses is noticeable. Burks can run a full route tree at the next level and should be an immediate contributor.
He is only a redshirt sophomore, so there is no guarantee he will declare, but whenever he does, the Boilermaker will be a hot commodity.
Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa
The argument for the best player in the country comes down to Cooper DeJean and Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr.
DeJean is the definition of a playmaker, excelling as a punt returner and any position on defense. His 2022 tape was phenomenal, and he has been even better this season. DeJean can play outside cornerback or in the slot, but his best position could be safety at the next level, where he has perennial All-Pro potential.
His physicality, consistency, and impressive technique continually stand out on film. He is a freak athlete too, and he should test off the charts at the combine. DeJean’s ball skills and ability with the ball in his hands are special — there isn’t a more complete defender in the draft than DeJean.
He is on the same level as Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derwin James, and Kyle Hamilton as a prospect, and it wouldn’t be shocking if he became the best safety in the NFL one day. DeJean is a blue-chip prospect and should hear his name called early in the first round.
Caelen Carson, CB, Wake Forest
The biggest one-on-one matchup from this past weekend was Caelen Carson against Florida State WR Keon Coleman. They battled all game, and each won their fair share of reps.
Coleman, a projected top-15 pick, has looked unstoppable for most of the year, but Carson didn’t back down from the challenge. He traveled with Coleman all game, contesting catches and making things difficult for the Seminoles’ wideout.
MORE: Top CBs in the 2024 NFL Draft
Carson is incredibly explosive coming downhill and is great from off-coverage. He has high-level route recognition and does a good job breaking on the ball. His height, weight, and length are perfect for an outside cornerback, too.
He is a fluid athlete for his size and a willing run defender. Going into the Florida State game, Carson hadn’t been tested much. The matchup against Coleman was the biggest of the season for Carson, and he held his own. Even when Coleman made a play, Carson wasn’t phased, and he showed that he had the right mentality to be an NFL cornerback.
Carson will be a very high draft pick and should be a Day 1 starting cornerback.
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