One of the most interesting NCAA Conference Championships will be the conference that is on its deathbed.
For those New Orleans Saints fans who are looking past this current season and awaiting the 2024 NFL Draft, this game is a must-watch. Both teams have plenty of prospects that could be on the board for the Saints’ first and second-round draft picks.
Washington, in particular, has multiple players that could be excellent additions to a questionable 2024 Saints team. Here are three prospects to watch this Friday.
Bralen Trice - EDGE
With an aging Cam Jordan and nothing to show from Isaiah Foskey yet, the Saints may elect to beef up the line with another edge rusher. Bralen Trice would be an excellent choice.
Trice, a 6’4 275-pound junior, has recorded 21 solo tackles and five sacks. As a sophomore, he recorded 23 solo tackles and 10 sacks. He came into the season as a Preseason All-American and has lived up to his potential. He has serious NFL-caliber abilities in both run-stopping and pass-rushing.
Trice and the Husky defense will have a tough task against Bo Nix and the Oregon Ducks. He is projected to be a mid-first-round pick but could see a significant increase or decrease in his stock after this week.
It’s been a monster 4 game stretch from #Washington EDGE Bralen Trice, who added 2.5 TFLs and a sack against Oregon State on Saturday.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) November 20, 2023
Doesn’t always get home but the pressure/chaos he creates in the backfield goes beyond the stat sheet; helped cause an INT in the 3rd quarter. pic.twitter.com/VCrDcsXB7i
Troy Fautanu - Offensive Tackle
Although we’ve seen some improvement from the offensive line throughout 2023, drafting a highly regarded tackle (and not one from Northern Iowa) is a reasonable consideration.
Fautanu has been the foundation of the Husky offensive line this entire season. The 6’4, 317-pound junior has started every game the past two seasons and has played at both left guard and left tackle. His versatility and size make for an interesting prospect that could be a massive steal as his stock rises in the postseason.
Fautanu will be integral to protecting Heisman-hopeful Michael Penix from the Oregon Duck defense. He’s projected anywhere between the second and fourth round but has incredible upside.
MICHAEL PENIX BEAUTIFUL TD PASS pic.twitter.com/b1pF7ZrPwA— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) October 14, 2023
Michael Penix - Quarterback
Yes, Jayden Daniels would be amazing, but given Mickey Loomis’ draft history, the (hopeful) Heisman winner might be gone far too soon. Penix, however, is not off the table.
Penix has been a top-tier quarterback for two straight seasons and has the arm, vision, and accuracy to be an immediate game-changer in the NFL. He currently has 3,899 yards, 32 touchdowns, and an 82.8 quarterback rating. If the Saints are out on Derek Carr, then Penix could be a very good replacement or short-term backup.
Penix has produced in every opportunity given to him this season. The Huskies would not be playoff contenders without his poise, confidence, and leadership. He has the opportunity to lift Washington to their second-ever playoff performance.
What position should the Saints draft in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft?
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