Josh Norris

Weekly Prospect Matchups

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Cotton Bowl Preview

Friday, January 04, 2013

Friday (1/4) 8:00 pm EST on Fox
Oklahoma vs Texas A&M, Cotton Bowl

The Aggies may have a Heisman Trophy winner in freshman QB Johnny Manziel, but NFL evaluators will obviously be watching their bookend tackles. Junior LT Luke Joeckel (#76/6’6/310) is already considered by many to be this class’ top prospect due to his athletic footwork and mirroring skills while keeping his arms extended. We wouldn’t be surprised to see his counterpart, junior RT Jake Matthews(#75/6’5/305), stay in school. It would be a Pouncey-like situation, and Matthews would then put a season of tape together while starting on the left side. He is more aggressive in his blocking, but Matthews can mirror just as well as anyone and has left tackle skills. Oklahoma rotates a large number of defensive linemen, but one of their top edge rushers is DE RJ Washington (#11/6’3/250). However, the Sooners best defensive player is junior S Tony Jefferson (#1/5’10/200), a rangy center fielder that isn’t afraid to get physical at the catch point. The school doesn;t have the greatest history of producing defensive backs that generate success in the NFL, but junior CB Aaron Colvin (#14/6’0/175) could change that. We’d like to see him matchup with WR Ryan Swope (#25/6’0/206), a player that thrives on broken plays and finding gaps in coverage. RB Christine Michael (#33/5’11/220) has been in the doghouse the entire season, although we think he is one of the most talented senior running backs in the country. Michael will need to get past a long list of medical injuries throughout the process, but he could impress at the East-West Shrine.

It has been a rocky career for QB Landry Jones (#12/6’4/230), a player with a talented arm but the senior consistently crumbles when faced with pressure. IN a clean pocket early in games, Jones can make some awesome vertical throws, but too often he makes poor reads when rushed and throws balls up for grabs. He’s lucky to have Fresno State junior transfer WR Jalen Saunders (#14/5’9/160) and Penn State transfer WR Justin Brown (#19/6’2/209). Saunders is one of the best receivers in the country, especially in the slot. Expect Jones to target him early and often. Junior WR Kenny Stills (#4/6’1/190) seems to have taken a backseat in some respects, but he can make plays downfield if given a chance. The Aggies have two great tackles, but don’t overlook Sooners T Lane Johnson (#69/6’6/295), who finally found a home on the outside after many changes during his career. We compare Johnson to Riley Reiff but with more length; he is very athletic to mirror and absorb and redirect with his lower body. He’ll face his toughest test of the season against junior DE Damontre Moore (#94/6’4/245). We wouldn’t be surprised if Moore ends up being this class’ top pass rusher due to his motor, length to separate, strong hands to shed, and closing speed. Moore has tape as both a defensive end in a four man front and rush linebacker in a three man front, which he played last year. His companion on the edge, LB Sean Porter (#10/6’2/230), has had difficulties adjusting to a traditional linebacker role. He’ll have to face a myriad of running backs, including RB Dominique Whaley (#8/5’10/195). The Sooners have started to use junior FB Trey Millard (#33/6’2/250) a lot more often, especially as a pass protector or receiver on third downs. he is much more than a traditional fullback. Expect ILB Jonathan Stewart (#11/6’4/237) to be around plenty of plays, but we don't like how much he hesitates to move forward against the run. But that has left personal favorite, junior RB Roy Finch (#22/5’7/165), with only nine offensive touches this season. That is criminal.


Other Prospects To Watch

junior RB Brennan Clay (#24/5’11/201)
CB Demontre Hurst (#6/5’10/180)
DT Casey Walker (#53/6’2/310)
DT JaMarkus McFarland (#97/6’2/295)
DT David King (#90/6’5/286)
junior LB Tom Wort (#21/6’0/230)
LB Joseph Ibiloye (#5/6’3/220)
LB Corey Nelson (#7/6’1/220) junior
CB Gabe Lynn (#9/6’0/195) junior
S Javon Harris (#30/5’11/210)
P Tress Way (#36/6’1/220)

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

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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