Each Saturday NFL Mocks will release an article discussing the top prospect match-ups of the weekend. We hope to show you what match-ups you should keep an eye on and what would help or hurt that prospects stock. We encourage you to take a look at these match-ups and watch closely on Saturday to see who comes out on top. We will discuss the results of those match-ups on Sunday.
Game: #18 Penn State vs #1 Alabama
Where to watch: Saturday September 11th 7:00pm ESPN
Prospects: Penn State G #61 Stefen Wisniewski vs Alabama LB #30 Dont’a Hightower
Thoughts: This is going to be a game where Penn State needs to rely on their running game to keep it close. In order for the running game to be successful they are going to rely on their top lineman Stefen Wisniewski to open up the running lanes. Keeping Alabama’s active linebacker Dont’a Hightower out of the holes will be a tough task. The more Wisniewskiand his fellow offensive linemen can get off their first block and to the second level the more room running back Evan Royster will have. Conversely expect Hightower and the Alabama defense to key on shutting down the run and making Freshman quarterback Rob Bolden beat them. So during the game keep an eye on the trenches and see who wins the battle.
How they raise their stock: If Wisniewski can lead the offensive line by allowing Penn State running backs to run all over the Alabama defense he will raise his stock. This will be a tough test for Wisniewski because the rest of the Penn State line has been less than spectacular so the is going to be relied on heavily. Penn State is going to run the ball and there is no questioning that so Hightower needs to shut it down. Its pretty simple if he is unable to get off of blocks and make tackles then Penn State will have a chance to win this game and Hightower’s status will take a hit.
Game: Virginia vs #16 USC
Where to watch: Saturday September 11th 10:30pm
Prospects: Virginia CB #19 Ras-I Dowling vs USC WR #83 Ronald Johnson
Thoughts: Ronald Johnson had an eventful first game putting 4 touchdowns on the board but he is going to face a tough match-up in week 2. Ras-I Dowling is argublly one of the top cornerbacks in the country and he possesses a lethal combination of size and speed. Expect Dowling to be physical with the small Johnson. How easily Johnson releases from the line of scrimmage can be a major factor on determining the outcome of this match-up. Johnson is going to rely on his speed to shake Dowling but thats going to be tough as Dowling also possesses great top end speed. Johnson is the faster of the two but not by much as Dowling boasts exceptional speed.
How they raise their stock: Dowling’s stock will stay at this highest if NFL teams see him as a cornerback and not a safety. Dowling’s size makes him a prime candidate to make the transition to safety in the NFL but this will be a good opportunity for him to show he can cover speedy wide outs. Shutting down Johnson will go a long way towards Dowling’s argument for staying at corner. This is easy for Johnson he is on the small side when compared to NFL receivers so he has to show he can play against physical corners. Dowling is big and strong and likes to press so Johnson is going to have to get quick releases off the line. Keep an eye on this because it will be fun to watch.
Game: #25 Stanford vs UCLA
Where to watch: Saturday September 11th 10:30pm ESPN
Prospects: Stanford QB #12 Andrew Luck vs. UCLA S #3 Rahim Moore
Thoughts: This is going to be a good test for the young Stanford quarterback. Luck is regarded by some as the top quarterback prospect and he is sure to get tested by Rahim Moore. Moore is a heady and athletic safety that is a true ball-hawk. Moore had 10 interceptions last season and you can bet he is looking to bring Luck down a peg. While Moore has good instincts he can be a little too aggressive so Luck has the opportunity fool him with some pump fakes and eye deception.
How they raise their stock: Moore was injured last week so he is still questionable for this week’s game and durability is a concern for NFL scouts. So just playing in the game will help Moore’s stock but the best way to move up draft boards is by not making mistakes and creating turnovers. Luck needs to do the opposite and avoid the turnovers. He would do well by not forcing any throws in the area of Moore.
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft 2011 NFL Draft Prospect Big Boards 2011 NFL Draft Prospects 2011 NFL Mock Draft AJ Green AJ Green Scouting Report Alabama Alabama Draft Prospects Andrew Luck Andrew Luck Scouting Reprot Ball-hawk Chris Culliver Chris Culliver Scouting Report Dont'a Hightower Dont'a Hightower Scouting Report ESPN Evan Royster Georgia Georgia Draft Prospects NFL NFL Draft NFL Draft Scouting Reports NFL Draft Stock NFL Mocks Penn State Penn State Draft Prospects Rahim Moore Rahim Moore Scouting Report Ras-I Dowling Ras-I Dowling Scouting Report Ronald Johnson Ronald Johnson Scouting Report South Carolina South Carolina Draft Prospects Stanford Stanford Draft Prospects Stefen Wisniewski Stefen Wisniewski Scouting Report Top Prospects Key Weekend Matchups UCLA UCLA Draft Prospects USC USC NFL Draft Prospects Virginia Virginia NFL Draft Prospects