I have four games on the schedule this week. Here’s what I’m looking at:
Boston College @ Florida State
It’s another chance to watch Christian Ponder (QB, FSU). I don’t think my opinion is going to change on him now, I have him in the mid-round range. This should be a win for the Seminoles, can he dominate in the passing game for the first time this year? I’ve made no secret of how much I like Rodney Hudson (G, FSU) and this will no doubt be another masterclass from the best offensive lineman in CFB. Anthony Castonzo (OT, BC) is possibly the best of a bad bunch of tackles. He’ll have a tough job against FSU’s defensive lineman Markus White and Brandon Jennings.
Ohio State @ Wisconsin
Cameron Heyward (DE, Ohio State) is a bit over rated for me. As a pass rusher, he’s not that great. He’s just a solid not spectacular lineman. He comes up against Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin) who himself is a little over rated. I don’t think Carimi will play tackle at the next level, but this is an interesting little match-up to watch. DeVier Posey (WR, Ohio State) has seen his stock rising a little and should have another good performance. Terrelle Pryor (QB, Ohio State) doesn’t appear set to declare for the 2011 draft, but he’s having a much more improved season overall.
Arkansas @ Auburn
Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn) has five sacks and an interception so far this year and his stock is gaining momentum. This is a high profile contest where he can really put his name out there. Ryan Mallett (QB, Arkansas) has improved a lot this year – which isn’t being reported much. The numbers are a lot better, a lot more consistent. He showed his petulant side against Texas A&M last week, but he’s one quarter of bad football (vs Alabama) away from being unbeaten and a Heisman candidate. This is another big game against an unbeaten rival, so let’s see how he performs. Cam Newton is a dark horse candidate for entering the 2011 draft. He absolutely won’t – unless Auburn keep winning and he keeps performing.
Texas at Nebraska
The defense in Nebraska is packed full of talent and they should have a field day against Texas’ stumbling offense. I’m most interested to see if Jared Crick (DT, Nebraska) can step it up. He’s looked a mark less effective this year – not surprising since Ndamukong Suh is no longer part of the team. However, a lot more was expected of Crick than we’ve seen so far. Prince Amukamara (CB, Nebraska) has barely broken sweat this year. Nobody throws at him. It might be interesting to see how Texas’ secondary works out if they can force Taylor Martinez (QB, Nebraska). Keep an eye on Curtis Brown (CB, Texas) and Aaron Williams (CB, Texas).
If any of you are watching other games this weekend, feel free to let me know if anyone catches the eye, impresses or disappoints. Just send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a post using the comment form. Here’s some of the other things to watch out:
-Can Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue) continue his great start to 2010? He has six sacks in five games and it’s really helping his stock rise into good first round consideration. He faces struggling Minnesota.
-Another sack specialist is Jeremy Beal (DE, Oklahoma). He has seven sacks this season and 18 in his last 18 games. The Sooners take on Iowa State at home – a good chance to add to that total.
-It’s another big game for Jake Locker (QB, Washington). Oregon State visit Seattle and with Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford) on a bye, this is a chance for Locker to wrestle back some national attention.