Tuls' Takes: Top 2020 WR/CB Matchups of Week 7

Photo: Jesse Johnson - USA TODAY Sports

We are the midpoint of the 2020 college football season, which means we’re about to see a ton of excellent individual matchups between conference rivals. Specifically, there are a lot of wide receiver and cornerback battles this week that will have the full attention of NFL scouts. With that being said, here are the individual WR/CB matchups of prospects eligible for the 2020 draft that I’m most excited for this weekend.

Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU vs CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

This matchup will be a huge test for both prospects. Justin Jefferson has had a monster year with senior quarterback Joe Burrow, but he hasn’t faced a man coverage cornerback that’s as good as Florida’s CJ Henderson. At the same time, Henderson, seen as a potential first round pick by many, has yet to face a receiver this season with Jefferson’s skill set. Jefferson is a big play waiting to happen, as he’s averaging 18 yards per catch with seven touchdowns so far this season. Meanwhile, CJ Henderson is arguably the best cover corner in the SEC. Something has to give — this will be a must-watch scouting matchup.

Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota vs Lamar Jackson, CB, Nebraska

While neither team is ranked, I believe this one-on-one matchup between Minnesota senior WR and Nebraska senior CB Lamar Jackson is the best duel we will see all weekend. These are two players who are playing as good as anyone in the country at their respective positions. They are both virtual locks to be in Mobile for the 2020 Senior Bowl. What’s not to love about this matchup? Tyler Johnson is one college football’s best route runners and catch point winners, while Lamar Jackson has improved leaps and bounds with his route recognition in man coverage. I can’t wait for this battle between two future draft picks.

Tamorrion Terry, WR, FSU vs AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson

This is my sneaky wide receiver-cornerback matchup of the week. Florida State’s Tamorrion Terry is only a redshirt sophomore, but he’s proven this season that he has as much talent as some of the top guys eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft. He beat Virginia senior cornerback Bryce Hall multiple times in their matchup last month. Now, he gets the chance to do the same against another top cornerback prospect in AJ Terrell. Clemson’s 6’1 junior cornerback is a gambler at heart, so it will be interesting to see if Terry can break away for a couple big plays. I expect Clemson to be leading for most of this game, so hopefully that will allow for more chances for these two go to battle against each other.

Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC vs Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame

This is another great matchup between two senior prospects who will likely be in Mobile for the 2020 Senior Bowl. I’m fascinated to see how this duel shakes out because of the different skill sets involved here. The 6’4 Michael Pittman reminds me a little bit of JJ Arcega-Whiteside coming out of last year’s draft in that he uses his big body so well and thrives at the catch point. But the big question about his projection to the next level is his ability to separate against man coverage. He gets a big test against senior cornerback Troy Pride Jr., who is one of the fastest players in the entire country. At the same time, one of the biggest knocks on Pride’s game is his lack of production and efficiency as a playmaker. Both players have had solid seasons to this point, but they each have something to prove in this matchup as well.

Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State vs Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

Oregon State wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins is riding a hot streak heading into this huge matchup against Utah. You want to talk about production? In the last two games, Hodgins has racked up 20 catches for 285 yards and four touchdowns. He’s improved his stock as much as any wide receiver prospect this year, in my opinion. Meanwhile, for Jaylon Johnson, he isn’t enjoying the same type of production he had in 2018, but he has a prime opportunity to turn that around against one of the PAC 12’s very best. This could turn into a statement game for either one of these players.