2012 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch on College Football Saturday

Not unlike Fantasy Football experts will pick three guys to have a big day in the NFL, I’m going to pick three college football players to have big games on Saturday, and give you all some players to watch along with their scouting reports.

Noon ET Game Star to Watch: Wisconsin RB Montee Ball

One of the things you really hope about Ball is that his weight doesn’t balloon all the way up to 240 pounds, or something crazy like that. Wisconsin had John Clay come out this past year prematurely, and it was mainly because their running back group is so good, they basically had no need for him anymore, and his weight had severely fluctuated. Ball reminds me a lot of Shonn Greene coming out, because he plays with such a low center of gravity and the name of his game is power. Ball has tons of skill, and isn’t just a one-trick pony. He led the team with 18 rushing touchdowns in 2010 to go along with 996 yards and a 6.1 yards per carry average. The crazy part is, he was THIRD on the team in rushing in 2010, and is one of four guys at this point in time who could eventually end up in the NFL. Not a speedy running back, but between the tackles he knows how to make plays. One-cut runner with good vision and burst, and has a nose for the end zone. Consensus Honorable Mention All Big Ten in 2010 season, and returns for his junior season atop the running back depth chart after a season where he played in 12 games and started the final four. Missed the Ohio State game, and really caught fire against Purdue with five games left to play. In the previous eight games, he had 219 yards running the ball, and starting with Purdue, he had 127, 167, 173, 178, and 132 yards to finish the season. Not only that, but he had 14 of his 18 touchdowns in those five games, and is well deserving of the starting position this fall, regardless of who is behind him on the depth chart.

Also, check out the rest of the Wisconsin Badgers top pro prospects here!

3:30 PM Star to Watch: Alabama RB Trent Richardson

There were a lot of guys to pick from here, but I chose Richardson over Andrew Luck, Alshon Jeffery, and David Wilson because Alabama is playing in the game of the day against Penn State, and if you miss out on this game, you are really missing out.

Keep an eye on Richardson as a potential Heisman trophy candidate. After pairing with Mark Ingram the last two years, Richardson is ready for a full load and could be one of the nation’s most powerful and dominant running backs. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him finish a fully healthy season with more than 2,000 yards on the ground, and I would put him right behind Andrew Luck as the top Heisman candidate as of right now. This is a guy who is relentless, and not just on the field, but off. Richardson is an absolute beast in the weight room, and consistently puts in the time and effort. He averaged over six yards per carry last year, and really developed as a receiver as well. He is one of the best players in the country, and has the potential to be a top 10 pick in the 2012 draft if he declares. He might be the best RB prospect to come along since Adrian Peterson in the class of 2007.

Also, check out the rest of the Alabama Crimson Tide top NFL Draft prospects, and make sure to see Nick Hlebichuk’s analysis of the top prospects from the Penn State Nittany Lions!


Prime Time Star to Watch: Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd

There are a lot of prime time games, but one of a very few night games you will see Notre Dame play on their home field features a wide receiver prospect who could be arguably the best in the country. Michael Floyd is dominant going up against a poor Michigan defense. He could have a field day against the Wolverines.

If ever there was a more appropriate player to look at and use the term “shaking my head” I have yet to find him in this class of players. Floyd was a high school All-American and a top notch collegiate prospect who was heavily recruited out of St. Paul, MN. Has been a dominant playmaker every year he has been at Notre Dame, but has two underage drinking violations (2009, 2010), and will be suspended indefinitely by the Notre Dame coaching staff until he cleans up his act off the field. It’s a wonder he wasn’t kicked off the team for good, but the coaches obviously see something in Floyd, and hopefully this incident and subsequent punishment will help him turn his life around. Floyd needs to realize that he is not just playing for the prestigious Notre Dame, he is performing his audition for all 32 NFL teams, and they don’t miss a thing. In fact, NFL teams will probably dig so far into Floyd’s past, that they will bring up stuff in interviews HE doesn’t even know about. On the field, there is absolutely no questioning his talent. Floyd is a big play receiver who can score every time he touches the ball. As a member of the Fighting Irish, Floyd has caught 171 passes for 2,539 yards and 28 touchdowns. That included a junior season where Floyd caught 79 passes for 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns. Big, strong receiver who is probably the top overall receiver in the class of 2011 among seniors. If he can get his head on straight, he should be able to have a long, successful NFL career, but right now I don’t see him going sooner than the second round because of off-field issues.

Check out my analysis of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish top NFL prospects, as well as Nick Hlebichuk’s analysis of the Michigan Wolverines!


Late Night Game Star to Watch: UCLA SS Tony Dye

We don’t have a scouting report on Dye just yet, but he is certainly a player to watch and one of the top strong safety prospects in the country. He is a leader of the defense, and UCLA is taking on San Jose State, who also features a safety to watch in Duke Ihenacho. He led the team last year with 96 tackles.

Tags: 2012 Nfl Draft Alabama Crimson Tide Michael Floyd Michigan Wolverines Montee Ball Notre Dame Fighting Irish Penn State Nittany Lions San Jose State Tony Dye Trent Richardson UCLA Wisconsin Badgers

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