I’ve got last night’s Texas A&M vs Oklahoma State game saved and ready to watch. I’ll have some thoughts on Aggies QB Jerrod Johnson and DE Von Miller tomorrow. Johnson is a strange one, because there are things I like about his play but there’s some pretty basic technical issues which will keep him in mid/late round consideration. Von Miller isn’t a first round pick for me, despite his 17 sack season in 2009. He went into last night’s game looking for his first sack this year, but has been struggling with an injury recently. What about tomorrow’s games? This is what I’ll be watching…
Miami at Clemson
From a Seahawks perspective, it’s another chance to watch Allen Bailey (DE, Miami) and Brandon Harris (CB, Miami). Both players would fill holes on the Seahawks defense, with Bailey a more athletic alternative to Red Bryant at five technique. However, he was largely unimpressive against Pittsburgh last week and spent a lot of time on the sidelines. I’m not convinced he’s a first round pick. Harris passes the eyeball test as a 5’11”, 195lbs corner. Seattle won’t draft anyone shorter at the position. DeAndre McDaniel (S, Clemson) is a highly talented safety who got eight interceptions last year. He’s an unlikely choice for Seattle after taking Earl Thomas last year, but he’s worth watching. He could be a first rounder, although off the field issues need to be explained.
Texas vs Oklahoma
Watch Jeremy Beal (DE, Oklahoma) in this one. He’s a 6’3″, 263lbs sack artist who could fit at the LEO position. He’s got to the QB five times already this year to add to his eleven sacks totalled in 2009. Beal isn’t an elite speed rusher and he doesn’t carry a relentless motor, but he just finds ways to get to the quarterback. I’d give him an early second round grade right now but if he keeps getting sacks, he could be a late first rounder. Travis Lewis (OLB, Oklahoma) is one of the best players in the country and a candidate to go in the top-15 picks. He put on a clinic against Florida State and should be easily noticeable on the Sooners defense in this one. Texas have a talented secondary which will be well tested in this game, watch Aaron Williams (CB) and Curtis Brown (CB) – two six foot corner’s.
Florida at Alabama
It’ll be pretty difficult to concentrate on anything other than another big 100+ yard performance from Mark Ingram – probably the surest thing in the 2011 draft. He’ll put on a typically brilliant display and lead ‘Bama’s offense to another victory. There are other prospects to watch, such as Florida’s excellent corner Janoris Jenkins (CB). He could go as high as the top ten and has two picks and a TD already this year. He’s another corner who passes Seattle’s size test (5’11”, 184lbs). Jenkins could line up against Alabama’s top wide out Julio Jones who himself is a potential high pick next April. Marcell Dareus (DT, Alabama) needs a performance after suspension and injury has stalled his start to 2010. He has top-ten potential, but needs to bring it.
Stanford at Oregon
I discussed the importance of this game for Andrew Luck earlier in the week. This is the game with the most intrigue for me on Saturday. Can Luck keep up with Oregon’s high scoring offense? Can he win a game with his arm in a difficult environment? Is Luck isn’t a bit over rated? Are we waiting for his game that matches Locker vs Nebraska or Ponder vs Oklahoma? He’s had games in the past where he’s struggled with accuracy and missed a lot of throws. If he can prove doubters wrong this weekend, the road to the #1 overall pick next year is clear. If he struggles, it could be another weekend spent discussing disappointing quarterback play.
What else to watch?
Jake Locker (QB) vs USC – can he bounce back from a fortnight ago and get another key win over the Trojans?
Akeem Ayers (DE/OLB) vs Washington State – this should be a pretty comfortable win for the in-form Bruins, so can Ayers stand out and continue to make big plays?
Michael Floyd (WR) vs Boston College – Floyd is getting into his stride and starting to improve under Notre Dame’s new coaching staff. He needs to keep going.
A.J. Green (WR) vs Colorado – returns from suspension, but will stuttering Georgia hurt his stock? He’s got elite potential.