Josh Norris

Weekly Prospect Matchups

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Week Two Matchup Preview

Friday, September 07, 2012


Saturday 7:45 EST on ESPN2
Georgia at Missouri


In Missouri's first SEC conference game they will face a very talented Georgia team that deploys numerous future NFL players on both sides of the ball. It is an interesting matchup schematically as well, since Missouri's offense loves to spread out defenses from the gun with three receivers and a tight end out wide. The Tigers actually boast decent size on defense, but Georgia is used to pushing around or running past much larger foes. It is unclear whether S Bacarri Rambo (#18/6'0/210) and ILB Alec Ogletree (#9/6'3/234) will end up playing after being suspended for the Bulldogs' opener, since head coach Mark Richt has chosen not to disclose those decisions.

Missouri QB James Franklin vs Georgia's secondary
With dual threat junior QB James Franklin at the helm, Georgia's veteran secondary will have to rely on instincts and experience to understand when to stick with or leave their man in coverage in order to contain Franklin's running ability. All of the accolades went to S Bacarri Rambo (#18/6'0/210) last season, but we consider his safety counterpart Shawn Williams (#36/6'1/218) the better player. As an excellent open field tackler, we expect Williams to spy Franklin more often and play further in the box. With experienced CB Branden Smith (#1/5'11/182) in coverage against two tall junior WRs Marcus Lucas (#85/6'4/214) and L'Damian Washington (#2/6'3/195) and senior TJ Moe (#28/5'11/200), the Bulldogs' secondary will have many options to worry about.

Missouri's play action and screen game vs Georgia's front seven
A majority of Missouri's offensive play calls either involve play action or screens, which will force the Georgia defensive front seven to read linemen, react quickly, and close hard. Trouble is, the Bulldogs' defensive line is built more to punish rather than play a finesse game. At the front, NT Johnathan Jenkins (#6/6'3/358) leads the charge, and although he flashes dominance, the senior starts to wear down and has been known to turn into a teddy bear by choosing to absorb contact rather than deliver. Beside him, the overshadowed DE Abry Jones(#93/6'3/308) could make a name for himself this season because of the versatility to play along the entire defensive line. On the edge OLB Cornelius Washington (#83/6'4/268) and junior OLB Jarvis Jones (#29/6'2/242) will have to read the blocks of LT Elvis Fisher (#72/6'5/300). Jones broke out last season but has always been more of an athletic rusher than pocket pusher. Finally, if he plays, junior ILB Alec Ogletree(#9/6'3/234) will have to do his best to read his keys on not get sucked in on play action fakes.

Georgia QB Aaron Murray and an inexperienced OL vs Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson, DE Brad Madison, and OLB Zavier Gooden
The leader of Georgia's offense goes to junior QB Aaron Murray (#11/6'1/212), who has shown the confidence to stick to the pocket under pressure, but is known to force balls into tight situations under those circumstances. With the loss of three veteran offensive linemen, and a true freshman starter at right tackle, Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson (#34/6'3/295) and DE Brad Madison (#57/6'4/265) could really close Murray's throwing lanes and limit his ability to connect on downfield throws to WR Tavarres King (#12/6'1/200), who recorded 117 yards and a touchdown in the opener. Sideline to sideline OLB Zavier Gooden(#25/6'2/230) could really restrict underneath targets and limit the young Bulldogs' rushing attack.

Other Georgia Prospects
Sanders Cummings (#19/6'1/216)

Other Missouri Prospects
Kip Edwards (#1/6'1/200)

Saturday Noon EST on FX
Miami at Kansas State

The U has certainly fallen down a few levels in terms of producing top talent, with many of their prospects now leaving school as far less finished products compared to their predecessors. Steady RB Mike James (#5/5'11/222) only averaged 3.8 yards per carry last season, and he was outperformed by a freshman during the Hurricanes opener, but the senior is reliable. ILB Arthur Brown (#4/6'1/228), who possesses the ideal combination of speed and aggressiveness, will look to keep James average once again. With the Wildcats on offense, tough QB Collin Klein (#7/6'4/226) consistently puts the team on his back and has some viable targets in WR Chris Harper (#3/6'1/228), TE Travis Tannahill (#80/6'3/253) and junior WR Tramaine Thompson (#86/5'7/165). The Hurricanes will look to CB Brandon McGee (#21/6'0/197) and FS Vaughn Telemaque (#7/6'2/202) to stop any air attack Kansas State attempts, while OLB Ramon Buchanan (#45/6'1/228) and DT Darius Smith (#98/6'2/360) keep the ground game contained.

Other Miami Prospects
OT Seantrel Henderson (#77/6'8/340) junior

Other K-State Prospects
CB Nigel Malone (#24/5'10/185)
FB Braden Wilson (#37/6'3/254)
SS Ty Zimmerman (#12/6'1/202) junior

Saturday 3:30 EST on ESPN
Florida at Texas A&M


Just like Missouri, Texas A&M will play in their first conference game as a member of the SEC, but against a rebuilding Florida team. Still the Gators sport some talent on the defensive side of the ball, specifically with juniors DT Sharrif Floyd (#73/6'3/303), who has moved back inside this season, and DE Dominique Easley (#2/6'2/280). Easley will face stiff competition in junior LT Luke Joeckel (#76/6'6/310) and RT Jake Matthews (#75/6'5/305), potentially two future blind side protectors. Floyd's job will be to quickly penetrate the Aggies Air-Raid offense while junior LB Jelani Jenkins (#3/6'0/237) will attempt to stuff top senior RB Christine Michael (#33/5'11/220). Texas A&M did not have the benefit of playing in a warm up game last week after their first contest was postponed, so this is our first look of a healhty Michael and his role in a passing offense. Juniors CB Jaylen Watkins (#14/6'0/187) and SS Matt Elam (#22/5'10/202) will have to contain WR Ryan Swope (#25/6'0/206), who works very well from the slot and excels at cutting upfield during broken plays. The Aggies have their own defensive talent with two solid pass rushers, LB Sean Porter (#10/6'2/230) and junior DE Damontre Moore (#94/6'4/245). Texas A&M is moving to a 4-3 defense this season, but we will see if it is a true base scheme or if they incorporate different pass rushing wrinkles to include Porter. However, the defense may have to focus on an unexpected target, RB Mike Gillislee (#23/5'11/210), who rushed for 148 yards in the opener, and junior TE Jordan Reed (#11/6'3/243), who lacks refinement but boasts excellent athleticism.  

Other Florida Prospects
FB Trey Burton (#8/6'2/228) junior
K Caleb Sturgis (#19/5'10/185)
DE Lerentee McCray (#34/6'2/249)
LB Jonathan Bostic (#1/6'1/246)
Swing T Xavier Nixon (#73/6'5/314)

Other Texas A&M Prospects
CB Dustin Harris (#22/6'0/175)
WR Uzoma Nwachukwu (#7/6'0/195)
OG/C Patrick Lewis (#61/6'2/306)
ILB Kyle Mangan (#18/6'2/226)
OLB Steven Jenkins (#45/6'2/220)


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Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris



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