Michigan State vs. Pittsburgh 12PM EST ESPN2
A pair of first round players will compete
against each other to start the day. Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton is off to a hot start, completing 70% of his passes. And while
against marginal competition, Stanton will be tested Saturday.
Many consider Darrelle Revis as the
nation's top cornerback. It is widely known the junior will enter the
draft after this season. Thus far in Pittsburgh's first two games Revis
has picked off a pair of passes, returning both for touchdowns. He has
desirable size/speed numbers for the next level and the cover skills to match.
On his behalf Stanton also has the physical
skills to be selected during the draft's initial 20 selections. In fact
Stanton was given an early first round grade by BLESTO scouting, one of two
services used by the NFL, coming into the season. With the ability to make
all the throws, Stanton masterfully commands Michigan State's west coast offense
and also has the skills to run a conventional system at the next level.
Stanton has a pair of quality receivers at his disposal. Spartan's Jerramy Scott and Matt Trannon project as late round choices in next April's
LSU vs. Auburn 3:30PM EST
A huge early season SEC contest from the
western division highlights the afternoon. Several big battles between
good prospects on both sides of the ball.
Auburn running back Kenny Irons is off
to a hot start and swiftly zooming up draft boards. With the injury to
Michael Bush during the season's first weekend, Irons now stands as the nation's
top senior ball carrier prospect for the NFL. In two games he's totaled
252-rushing yards while adding four receptions. What excites scouts most
about Irons is his improvement on almost a weekly basis since taking over the
starting duties from Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams. Irons is likely
to be drafted in the top half of round one.
Considering LSU lost a trio of solid defensive
tackles to the NFL last April, stopping Irons could be a chore. Those
duties will partially fall on the shoulders of safety LaRon Landry.
Offering terrific computer numbers, Landry entertained thoughts of entering last
April's draft before deciding to return to Baton Rouge. A
complete defender in centerfield, Landry will be drafted in round
Miami (Fl) vs. Louisville 3:30PM EST
A rematch two years in the making after
Louisville lost a heartbreaker to the Hurricanes in 2004. This contest
could set the tempo for the rest of the season for both teams.
Cardinal quarterback Brian Brohm has
sliced up the opposition this year. Completing 58.3% of his throws, Brohm
is averaging 280-yards passing during the first two games.
junior now faces his stiffest defensive competition of the year. Miami's
duo of Baraka Atkins and Kareem Brown will both be pushing the
pocket from their defensive tackle positions while Bryan Pata will offer
pressure off the edge. If that wasn't bad enough Brohm must locate
Hurricane safety Brandon Meriweather all four quarters.
Meriweather offers outstanding cover skills and
the ball hawk could slide into the draft's first round next April. For their
part Atkins is likely to be drafted early in round two with Brown not far behind
in the third frame.
This will be an excellent test for Brohm, who
many feel is first round material if the junior enters next April's draft.
Clemson vs. Florida State 7:45PM ESPN
Another tough ACC test for the Clemson Tigers,
who soundly defeated Florida State a year ago.
The going has been tough recently for Gaines Adams, Clemson's pass rush specialist. Uninspired play coupled with a
recent shoulder injury has made Adams the whipping boy in a number of scouting
circles. The fact he's tallied just six tackles without recording a sack
in the team's initial two games has helped bolster the criticism.
If Adams shoulder is healthy he faces off
against one of the most underrated offensive tackles in the nation. A
large specimen, (6'6"/303lbs) Mario Henderson is a terrific athlete
with the footwork necessary for the left tackle spot. Seeing spot duty for
the Seminoles in the past, Henderson has a chance to make a name for himself
FSU senior linebacker Buster Davis is on
the rise. Looking like the best defensive player in the conference thus
far, he is drawing comparisons to former All Pro London Fletcher. Davis
will be responsible for stopping Clemson's potent running game and future NFL
star James Davis. Many feel Davis is moving towards the draft's first day
Nebraska vs. USC 8PM ABC
Are the Trojans ripe to be upset at home?
That is the prevailing thought about this nationally televised contest. In
what should be a high scoring affair, several outstanding one-on-one match-ups
must be monitored.
The highlight of the evening could be the
showdown between USC junior tackle Sam Baker and
Nebraska defensive end Adam Carriker. Opinions are varied as to
where Baker, a terrific pass blocker, will play at the next level. Some
feel he offers to 15 potential as a blind-side tackle while others are turned
off by his lack of height and feel he's best suited for guard.
Carriker terrorizes opponents off the edge and
constantly disrupts the opposition in their backfield. Looking almost thin
at 6-feet-6-inches and 290-pounds, Carriker can be a liability against the
run. Yet to his credit he seems to have improved his run-defending skills
in the early part of '06. Carriker projects as
a top 20 pick in next April's draft.
The Carriker/Baker match-up is a good one
between two quality NFL prospects who play priority positions NFL teams look to
on draft day.
We would be remiss not to mention one of the
hidden gems in this game.
Since returning to the field after a
year-and-a-half layoff, tight end Matt Herian looks like he has not
missed a beat. Averaging 14.1 yards on seven receptions, two which have
resulted in touchdowns, Herian is once again establishing himself as a downfield
Trying to stop Herian on Saturday could be the
best linebackers no one is paying attention to. Junior Keith Rivers
is a terrific athlete who makes plays in all directions of the field.
Offering outstanding range, the speedy prospect projects well to the weak-side
at the next level. Already considered top 60 material, a good showing
against one of the nations best pass catching tight ends will only enhance