Nebraska (4-3) at Baylor (3-4)
Saturday, October 31st at 12:30 p.m.
Suh is a dominant interior presence and is the top senior in the country.
Ndamukong Suh is an explosive interior lineman who plays with a relentless motor and usually dominates in the trenches. He’s quick off the snap, uses his hands to his advantage, possesses a wide-array of moves and is able to bull rush opponents off the line. He has a rare combination of athleticism and strength, and, in addition to his ability to disrupt at the line of scrimmage and in the backfield, he’s able to shed blocks cleanly in pursuit of a ballcarrier. He moves well laterally, redirects to the action and is rarely off his feet. He’s extremely versatile and can play inside or outside depending on the defensive structure (3-4 or 4-3) of an NFL team.
Draft Projection: 1st Round
J.D. Walton is a tough, durable blocker that controls the line of scrimmage. He’s an intelligent lineman who possesses great leadership qualities and a passion for the game. He’s quick off the snap, uses his quick hands to get in on the opposition and works well with his linemates to stall the progression of a defender. He’s strong at the point of attack, plays with good pad level, uses his strength to shield defenders and creates openings in running situations. He has great balance and is rarely off his feet. He plays with a high motor and gives maximum effort on every play. He has a nasty streak, finishes blocks and doesn’t stop until the whistle is blown. He’s not a great athlete and has to improve his quickness to get to the second level. He plays a bit stiff and doesn’t possess great blocking range.
Draft Projection: 2nd Round
HEAD 2 HEAD WITH WALTON
Chris Steuber: On Saturday, you have a tough matchup with my No. 1 prospect in the country, Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh. How do you feel about going up against the most dominant interior threat in the country?
J.D. Walton: I’m really looking forward to it. It is a good chance for me to get my name out there a little more.
CS: I’m sure you’ve done a lot of film study this week on Suh. What did you see, and how tough is he to match up against?
Walton: He’s a strong, physical cat. He’s always on the move, always around the ball, just hustling. It will be good to try to get into him and slow him down a little bit. He’s a big effort guy, but sometimes he sits back and reads. And when he reads a play, I’ll try to get after him. I’m just going to stay after him and not let him make the plays he’s been making.
Walton is currently the No. 2 rated center by Scout.com.
CS: Playing in the Big 12, you’ve gone up against two of the premier defensive tackles in the country, Suh and Oklahoma junior DT Gerald McCoy. How would you compare the two?
Walton: I think McCoy is more of the athletic type, where Suh is more of a motor guy, a stronger, more physical guy. Suh is always looking for someone to hit and is always around the pile, while McCoy is a finesse player. McCoy is strong, but Suh shows his strength more on the field. They’re both great players, great defensive tackles. This will be my second time going up against Suh; it’s going to be a lot of fun butting heads with him again.
CS: How did you fair against Suh in your first matchup?
Walton: I don’t think he was as dominant of a player the first time as he is now, because we got after him and took him out of the game. He didn’t have one of those better games against us, and that’s what we’re going to try to have happen on Saturday. Were going to try to mix things up and keep him on his heels, so he can’t be around the ball all the time making plays.
CS: There’s going to be a lot of scouts at Saturday’s game, and Suh will most likely be the main attraction, but as they’re watching Suh it also gives them a chance to observe you. Do you have any thoughts on this being a game that could improve your draft stock?
Walton: It will be nice to have all of those scouts there watching and looking. I hope after Saturday they all have me on their boards, because I’m planning on having a really good game. I’m going to bust my butt, and I hope they see that I’m a player and that I can play with anyone in the nation.
Scout.com has confirmed that representatives from the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks will travel to Waco, Texas to witness a head-to-head battle between two top prospects at their respective positions – defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and center J.D. Walton.
In addition to Suh and Walton, here’s a list of prospects – in ranked order – from each team that scouts will focus on during Saturday’s game:
1. Larry Asante, SS
2. Jacob Hickman, C
3. Phillip Dillard, LB
4. Barry Turner, DE
5. Matt O’Hanlon, FS
1. Mike McNeill, TE
2. Eric Hagg, SS
3. Roy Helu, RB
4. Alex Henery, K
5. Zac Lee, QB
6. Pierre Allen, DE
7. Niles Paul, WR
1. Joe Pawelek, LB
2. Jordan Lake, FS
3. David Gettis, WR
4. Justin Akers, TE
1. Phil Taylor, DT
2. Derek Epperson, P
3. Tim Atchison, FS
4. Danny Watkins, OT
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.