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: #1 Alabama @ #10 Arkansas
Where to Watch: Saturday, September 25th 3:30PM ET CBS
Thoughts: This is Ryan Mallet’s big chance to step up against one of the most talented defenses in the country. Last year, he had his worst game of the year at Alabama, but this year he gets them at home. He’ll still needs to stay poised against the rush and sharp on his accuracy because there is speed and talent all across the defense. Mark Barron has been a leader in the secondary for the Crimson Tide which is #2 in scoring defense, allowing 6.3 points/gm. A lot of that has had to do with Barron patrolling the defensive backfield attacking any pass that flies his way.
How they Raise Their Stock: If Mallet can have his way with the Alabama defense, no ones draft stock will be higher. Heck, depending on how well he holds his own against them, Arkansas could lose and people will think more of Mallet as long as he has a good day. Some target numbers: 58% comp, 250+ yards, 2 TDs, no turnovers. Barron needs those numbers to be down. If he can win the mental game with Mallet, not allow big plays, and create a turnover or two, his stock will continue skyward.
Game: #12 South Carolina @ #17 Auburn
Where to Watch: Saturday, September 25th 7:45PM ET ESPN, ESPN3.com
Prospects: QB Stephen Garcia vs DT Nick Fairley
Thoughts: Garcia leads a very young Gamecock offense into a resurgent Auburn for what looks like quite a match-up on paper. Garcia struggled off the field when he first got to campus, but he seems to have gotten that in order and is playing well for South Carolina. He would be a late round prospect at this point, but he looks very improved with his mechanics, though still makes some bad decisions and has spotty accuracy. However, he has quite a group of young talent around him, even with the departure of TE Weslye Saunders. Keep an eye on Sophomore WR Alshon Jeffery and Freshman RB Marcus Lattimore. Auburn DT Nick Fairley has had a strong start to the 2010 season and currently leads the Tigers in three major statistical categories: Sacks, Tackles for Loss, and.. Interceptions? Its true, after three games, Fairley has the lone INT for the team. That surely won’t last if Fairley can continue to gets lots of quarterback pressure and rattle Garcia.
How they Raise Their Stock: This should be a close game and if Garcia can lead his team to victory with his arm, then his stock will start to get noticed. Fairley’s stock is already sky rocketing, so as long as he continues to play in opponent’s backfields, he should continue to move up.
Game: #22 West Virginia @ #15 LSU
Where to Watch: Saturday, September 25th 9PM ET ESPN2, ESPN3.com
Prospects: CB Patrick Peterson vs WR/RBs Noel Devine/Jock Sanders
Thoughts: The West Virginia attack features a unique challenge for Peterson as their best play makers are much smaller speed demons that play in an offense designed to get them into space and make a play. It will be interesting how LSU uses Peterson, whether he mans up against the best receiver or zone in an effort to prevent big plays. Can Peterson match-up against smaller, quicker players who are capable of creating space for themselves? He hasn’t disappointed so far and should have himself a good game. Devine and Sanders may not have ideal size, but they are home run threats with the ball in their hands. Because the offense uses plenty of option and misdirection, look for each to get a few chances to make plays against this SEC defense.
How they Raise Their Stock: Peterson really has no place to go but down, so as long as he continues his pace, he’ll be fine. Devine and Sanders need about 175 all purpose yards and a touchdown each to move their stocks forward.
Game: #24 Oregon State @ #3 Boise State
Where to Watch: Saturday, September 25th 8PM ET ABC
Prospects: DT Stephen Paea vs OT Nate Potter
Thoughts: Ok, so they will rarely actually go one on one, but while there will be a plenty talent on the field most of it will be on offense and not have to play against one another. With more attention needed for the interior line to focus on Paea, Potter should get a lot of one on one looks. The rest of Boise’s offensive line is no slouch having blocked for one of the more prolific offenses in college football and Paea will have his hands full imposing his will against them.
How they Raise Their Stock: Paea needs to display his strength and instincts by taking advantage of one on one situations and commanding a double team inside. Beating those double teams will really push his stock up. Potter needs to continue to keep QB Kellen Moore’s jersey clean while showing some strength on his part to compliment his quick feet and size.
Topics: 2010 NFL Draft, 2011 NFL Draft, 2011 NFL Mock Draft, Alabama, Alshon Jeffery, Arkansas, Arkansas Vs Alabama, Auburn, Boise St. Vs Oregon State, Boise State, Jock Sanders, Kellen Moore, LSU, Marcus Lattimore, Mark Barron, Nate Potter, Nick Fairley, Noel Devine, Oregon State, Patrick Peterson, Ryan Mallet, South Carolina, South Carolina Vs Auburn, Stephen Garcia, Stephen Paea, Top College Prospects, Top NFL Propsects Key Weekend Matchups, Top NFL Prospects, Weslye Saunders, West Virginia, West Virginia Vs LSU