Wednesday, November 7, 2007

One Game to try to Watch

Slim pickings for 1 game to watch this week. Sure there are some great match ups, but for it seems that most of the country won't get to see the best match ups due to regional coverage. My 1st choice was going to be USC vs. Cal. And if I could truly choose 1 game to watch this weekend, that would be the choice.

But since I don't live on the West coast I'll be getting the Kansas Oklahoma St. game. Now this will be interesting to see if Kansas can remain undefeated, but for my purposes Adarius Bowman and Dantrell Savage are the only two guys who meet the criteria of who to watch.

I thought about a number of other games, but they all seemed so lopsided in talent, or were relegated to regional coverage that I dismissed them all.

So I'm going to direct you to grab some beer and a pizza Thursday night and tune into the misleader and watch Louisville at West Virginia.

If the preseason polls were right, this game would have national championship implications. But both of these teams are currently behind UConn in the big east standings. If you are behind UConn in your college football standings, chances are you aren't having a good year.

Now before I get started I'm throwing out one of my rules that established for writing this series. We will be looking at Juniors this week, not just seniors.

Enough babbling, lets get to the players.


Brian Brohm (QB,6-3,225) If Brohm had come out in last years draft he would have competed for honor of being the 1st QB selected. He will compete for that honor again this year, but some of the bloom is off that rose. There are draftnics out in the internet who believe that struggling as a Senior, after proving yourself as a junior, is a good thing. I find this line of thinking convoluted. And truth be told, Brohm hasn't struggled as much as the Louisville defense has disintegrated around him. He has passed for 3,229 yards and 26 touchdowns with just 7 interceptions. Damn fine numbers there.

He has run a pro style offense, can make all the throws, he is a sure fire 1st round pick. I think that his drop in draft rankings is more due to the inability of the team compete for the national title.

Once the season is over, and the draft hype machine kicks into full gear, Brohm will be one of the faces plastered all over your TV again.

Harry Douglas (WR,5-11,176) This draft is going to be well stocked with smaller, fast WR. Douglas will be one of them trying to raise above the pack. Injuries slowed him earlier this year. But a strong finish to the year along with a solid draft season will keep him as a late 1st early 2nd round prospect. He should have no trouble finding holes in WV's porous secondary.

Malik Jackson (OLB, 6-2, 232) Last season it looked like Jackson was poised to breakout as a playmaking OLB for the Cardinals. This season Jackson has been lost in the shuffle and has seen his draft stock take a huge hit. Coming into the year he looked like a late 2nd round prospect, now he looks like he can go fishing until late day two. He needs to really come on strong to finish the year and post some great numbers in the draft season to re-establish himself as a top prospect. Could the coaching change have really effected his play this much, or did Louisville's losses along the D-line leave him too open to getting blocked.

Watch to see how he fights through blockers. Can he shed the blocks, or does he run around and make the play down field.

Mario Urrutia (WR, 6-6, 225) Mario has the prototypical size that NFL teams look for. His reported 40 time isn't ideal, but with the way he exploded in the opening game this year, it looked like Mario was looking to cement himself as one of the top receivers coming into this years draft. Since then Mario has been hampered by turf toe, and his attitude has raised a red flag with multiple personal foul penalties.

Mario needs to get healthy and keep his head on straight for the rest of the year if he wants to go on the 1st day. Many will look at him as a T.O. type player, complete with the baggage.

Others to watch:
Art Carmody (K, doesn't matter) top college kicker this year
Gary Barnidge (TE, 6-6, 235) late round TE prospect
Breno Giacomini (OT, 6-7,305) athletic tackle, watch if your team employs a zone scheme

West Virginia

Steve Slayton (RB, 5-10, 195) One of the most exciting players to watch in College football. Slayton is looking like a late 1st round pick if he comes out this year. Slayton running style and size leads to questions whether he can be an every down back at the pro level. However, with more teams featuring two backs in the NFL, he could easily find himself sharing time in an NFL backfield next season.

West Virginia's offense and embarrassment of riches in the backfield may actually be hurting Slaytons stock, as NFL teams will have questions about how he will fit into a pro style offense and if he can handle the full load if asked. IMO, whatever team picks him up will be happy to have him.

Pat White (QB/RB, 6-2, 188) White is listed as a QB on West Virginia's roster, however due to his style of play many sites see him as a RB prospect in the NFL. Personally, I would like to see him work out as a WR come draft season. And there is the problem for White, what do you do with him?

Rich Rodriguez's offense provides match up problems for his college football opponents and scouting problems for NFL teams. White is obviously a talent. How highly you rank him depends on how you see that talent translating.

My thinking of moving him to WR ties into the success that teams have had with Ward, Curry and Randell-El. For some reason I have my doubts about his ability to hold up to the pounding of being an NFL running back.

Owen Schmitt (FB,6-3,248) Fullback, a thankless position which has been significantly devalued on NFL draft boards. However Schmitt looks to be either option 1 or 1a for a team looking for a FB this year. So he can expect to hear his name called sometime around round 5 or 6.

Helping Schmitt is his ability to effectively run the ball and provide an outlet out of the backfield to compliment his excellent blocking. He has also lined up at TE at times and is a contributor on special teams. His versatility will earn him a spot on an NFL roster.

Others to watch:

Ryan Stanchek (OT, 6-4, 302) Junior who projects to guard in NFL, could use another year in college.
Keilen Dykes (DT, 6-4, 295) has shown versatility moving around the line due to injuries.
Darius Reynaud (WR, 5-10, 205) WV leading receiver, doesn't mean much in Rodriguez's system.

Hmmm, I didn't even try to be funny with anything this week, must have something to do with 13 hour work days. I need a nap.

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