Josh Norris

Weekly Prospect Matchups

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Week Two Matchup Preview

Friday, September 07, 2012

Saturday 3:30 EST on ESPNU
Michigan State at Central Michigan

In one of the best singular position matchups, powerful Spartan junior DE William Gholston (#2/6'6/278) will battle one of the few true senior blindside prospects in LT Eric Fisher (#79/6'7/305). If Fisher continues to improve, especially in this difficult competition, he will likely be a top-64 selection. Gholston could also see snaps over RT Jake Olson (#73/6'8/300) a draftable prospect in his own right. Michigan State offers even more defensive talent in DT Anthony Rashad White (#98/6'2/330), undersized but tough LB Denicos Allen (#28/5'11/232), and highly projected but unproven CB Johnny Adams (#5/5'11/178). Two powerful Spartan prospects lead the young offense, with junior TE Dion Sims (#80/6'5/285) and junior RB Le'Veon Bell (#24/6'2/244). Sims is one of the few thick tight end prospects that can get physical with linemen while blocking or with defenders at the second level. Bell is a better, tougher, and more agile version of LeGarrette Blount and may carry this offense due to an unproven passing game.

Other Michigan State
CB Darqueze Dennard (#31/5'11/190) junior
MLB Max Bullough (#40/6'3/252) junior

Other Central Michigan Prospects
SS Jahleel Addae (#4/5'10/195)
CB Lorenzo White (#2/6'0/180)
WR Cody Wilson (#11/5'10/190)
QB Ryan Radcliff (#8/6'3/222)
DE Joe Kinville (#93/6'4/263)

Saturday 3:30 EST on ABC
Syracuse vs USC (East Rutherford, NJ)

After an outstanding debut where he looked in full command of a multiple set offense, Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib (#12/6'2/229) could show evaluators even more with a controlled performance against USC. Despite having adequate targets in WR Marcus Sales (#5/6'0/185) and Alec Lemon (#15/6'2/202), USC may deploy some overpowering talent. First, overly aggressive S T.J. McDonald (#7/6'2/205) could command the middle of the field, with junior CB Nickell Robey (#21/5'8/172) on the outside. Athletic but uncoordinated DE Wes Horton (#96/6'5/265) missed the Trojans' opening game, but he would have been a nice measuring stick for excellent junior LT Justin Pugh (#67/6'5/292), who will miss his second straight contest while recovering form offseason shoulder surgery. On offense, the Trojans are obviously led by QB Matt Barkley (#7/6'2/218), who has faced questions about his arm strength, but his command and execution of the offense is undeniable. Barkley is fairly lucky to have WR Robert Woods (#2/6'1/184), who can dominate the underneath throws and screen game, while sophomore Marqise Lee takes the top off of defenses. Lee may very well be the best receiver prospect in the country. Future zone blocking C Khaled Holmes (#78/6'3/310) will pave the way for RB Curtis McNeal (#22/5'7/182) and top Penn State transfer junior RB Silas Redd (#25/5'10/209).

Other Syracuse Prospects
SS Shamarko Thomas (#21/5'10/208)
DE Brandon Sharpe (#91/6'2/245)

Other USC Prospects
SS Jawanza Starling (#29/6'1/195)
FS Drew McAllister (#19/6'1/205)

Saturday 3:30 on NBC
Purdue at Notre Dame

The Boilermakers will attempt to spoil the Irish's welcome home party, specifically by deploying highly touted DT Kawann Short (#93/6'3/315). For the hype surrounding him, I do not feel that the senior impacts games consistently enough, especially when moved to an end spot where he was entirely ineffective. Short will be matched up with C Braxston Cave (#52/6'3/305), who has shown the toughness and consistency throughout his collegiate career to garner a draftable grade. Cave will attempt to give a young Notre Dame quarterback enough time to find Greg Olsen-esque TE Tyler Eifert (#80/6'5/252). In the opener against Navy, Eifert displayed the leaping ability to high point passes in traffic, but he needs more targets. The Irish actually sport a better prospect in junior/redshirt sophomore DT Louis Nix (#9/6'3/326), who helps keep blockers off of straight-line missile ILB Manti Te'o (#5/6'2/255). The senior linebacker struggled to fight through second level cut blocks and misdirection last week, but his willingness to fill running lanes with power and technique is loved by evaluators.

Other Purdue Prospects
CB Josh Johnson (#28/5'11/195)

Other Notre Dame Prospects
DE Kapron Lewis-Moore (#89/6'4/306)
S Jamoris Slaughter (#26/6'0/200)
RB/WR Theo Riddick (6'0/510/200)
S Zeke Motta (#17/6'2/215)

Saturday 7:00 EST on ESPN
Washington at LSU

Other than CB Desmond Trufant (#6/6'0/186) and SS Sean Parker (#1/5'10/200), the Huskies likely do not have a hope against LSU's offense, led by junior QB Zach Mettenberger (#8/6'5/230). The new starter's arm talent is excellent, but he struggles under pressure specifically because his feet appear to be stuck in quicksand. With junior LT Chris Faulk (#76/6'5/323) out for the season with a major knee injury, the Tigers could move heavy RT Alex Hurst (#72/6'6/332) to the blind side. Either way, LSU will use a committee approach at the running back position, headlined by junior Alfred Blue (#4/6'1/220). Washington sports some offensive talent of their own, specifically with junior QB Keith Price (#17/6'1/195), who could be far more mobile this season after being held back by knee injuries last year. Along with an outstanding sophomore tight end, Price will be targeting WR James Johnson (#3/6'1/197). Price will certainly have to evade and step up in the pocket due to the edge rush junior DEs Sam Montgomery (#99/6'5/260) and Barkevious Mingo (#49/6'4/240) produce. However, C Drew Schaefer (#73/6'4/295) and junior G Erik Kohler (#75/6'5/296) will have their hands full inside with junior DT Bennie Logan (#18/6'3/295).

Other LSU prospects
FS Eric Reid (#1/6'2/212) junior
ILB Kevin Minter (#46/6'1/245) junior
WR Russell Shepard (#10/6'0/195)
RB Spencer Ware (#11/5'11/225) junior

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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