College Football is officially here and the writers at NFL Mocks could not be more excited to start evaluating some NFL Prospects. You can count on at least 1 article a week that will highlight a big time College Football game a week. The article will focus on identifying some of the top prospects from each team and the key match-ups within that game.
This week’s game is Penn State vs. Alabama which pins two storied schools against one another which sets up to be a very intriguing early season match-up. Alabama is the defending National Champion and are poised to make another run at the title but will probably be with out last year’s Heisman winner Mark Ingram and top defensive player Marcel Darceus. Penn State travels to Tuscaloosa hoping for an upset but they are putting a lot of hope in the arm of true Freshman Rob Bolden. Either way this should be a fun and exciting game that boasts several NFL Prospects.
- Alabama’s top NFL prospect is wide receiver Julio Jones and he currently sits at #3 on our Big Board. Jones is an excellent player and will be looking to get down the field and make some big plays against this Penn State defense. His size and speed make him a nightmare to cover but expect Penn State to provide the corners with some safety help.
- With Darceus out of the game the next top prospect is safety Mark Barron who has all the tools necessary to be a very good NFL safety. He has above average speed that allows him to cover a lot of ground. He will be responsible for limiting the Penn State receiver’s big plays and providing run support for what expects to be a run heavy attack by Penn State. He had 7 interceptions last season and is going to be looking to capitalize on any mistakes by Penn State’s Freshman quarterback.
- One of the more intriguing match-ups will be how Alabama tackle James Carpenter holds up against the Penn State pass rush. Penn State has a few good pass rushers that excel at creating havoc in the backfield. With all the offensive weapons Alabama has it may be hard for Penn State to blitz so they will be counting heavily on creating a pass rush with their front four. This maybe one of the keys for a Penn State upset.
- Linebacker Dont’a Hightower is coming off of injury last season and is looking to get his career back on track. He will have plenty of opportunities to clog the running lanes on Saturday. He is going to have to fend off blocks from Penn State lineman Stefen Wisniewski and avoid missed tackles on Evan Royster.
- If Penn State hopes to pull off the upset they need to get a great performance from running back Evan Royster. We initially had Royster on our Big Board but he fell off due to a poor performance against Youngstown State. With a good game against Alabama he could easily find himself back on our Big Board. Royster is going to have to make people miss and break tackles as Penn State relies on his production to ease the load for the Freshman quarterback.
- If Royster hopes to have a good game he needs his offensive line to step up and open holes and that starts with guard Stefen Wisniewski. Wisniewski is an excellent interior lineman and does a good job in pass protection and getting to the second level while opening the running lanes. Wisniewski is going to have to neutralize players such as linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
- Above we talked about how Alabama tackles will be counted on to stymie the Penn State pass rush but its up to Jack Crawford to get in the backfield and create pressure. Crawford is a gifted athlete that is still developing but Saturday could be his chance to get his name on the national radar.
Topics: 2011 NFL Draft, 2011 NFL Draft Prospect Big Board, 2011 NFL Draft Prospects, 2011 NFL Mock Drafts, Alabama, Alabama NFL Draft Prospects, College Football, College Football Game Of The Week, Dont'a Hightower, Evan Royster, Jack Crawford, James Carpenter, Julio Jones, Julio Jones Scouting Report, Marcel Darceus, Mark Barron, Mark Ingram, NFL, NFL Draft Prospects, NFL Mocks, NFL Prospects, Pass Rush, Penn State, Penn State NFL Draft Prospects, Penn State Vs Alabama, Rob Bolden, Stefen Wisienwski, Tuscaloosa