Top Prospects Key Weekend Matchups: Week 6


Each week 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: #7 Nebraska @ Kansas State

Where to Watch: Thursday October 7th, ESPN 7:30pm

Prospects: Kansas St. RB #8 Daniel Thomas vs Nebraska Defense

Thoughts: This game belongs to Daniel Thomas has he takes on a very good defense on a national stage.  This Nebraska defense is arguably the best in the country and Thomas is going to have his chance to show his stuff.  This is also going to be a good test for this Kansas State team that is trying to show people they should be in the discussion for a Big 12 title.  Kansas State has a very limited passing game so there will be a lot of pressure on Thomas’ shoulders to carry the load.

How they raise their Stock: Again this is Daniel Thomas’ big chance to show the nation what he is made of.  There is no doubt the Nebraska defense will be committing extra men to shutting him down but a big performance would tremendously help his draft stock as well as his Heisman hunt.  I would love to see about 30 carries for about 110 yards and at least 1 touchdown, if he can put up those numbers he will see his stock sky rocket.  While I think this is a good opportunity to raise his stock I don’t really see much of a chance to hurt himself.  Everyone knows that Kansas State doesn’t have a very good passing game and that the Nebraska defense is very good so things can only go up for Thomas.

Game: #1 Alabama @ #15 South Carolina

Where to Watch: Saturday October 9th, 3:30pm CBS

Prospects: Alabama WR #8 Julio Jones vs South Carolina CB #17 Chris Culliver

Thoughts:  Last week against Florida Jones didn’t have a great game and that had something to do with the game plan, an injury, and the play of Janoris Jenkins.  However, this week he needs to rebound or the risk living up to the questions about his consistency.  Jones should be able to put up good numbers against Culliver because he is bigger, stronger and more talented but he will need to be focused to do so because Culliver is also talented.

How they raise their Stock: Jones needs a big game and it might be tough because he is questionable with an knee injury.  Looking across the field at South Carolina they have their own very talented WR in Alshon Jeffery and it would be nice to see Jones outperform Jeffery.  Culliver has a good shot here to improve his stock as he will be taking on Jones when he is less than 100%.  Its easier said than done but Culliver needs to limit Jones to about 5 catches for about 60 yards, to me that would be a victory for Culliver.

Game: #11 Arkansas @ Texas A&M

Where to Watch: Saturday October 9th, 3:30pm ABC

Prospects: Arkansas LT #65 DeMarcus Love vs Texas A&M OLB #40 Von Miller

Thoughts:  This is a great match-up and might be the best of the weekend.  Arkansas loves to pass the ball and in order to slow down the offense you need to create pressure on Ryan Mallett.  Well, creating pressure on the quarterback is Von Miller’s specialty.  Miller is a non-stop pass rusher that has a lot of different techniques, he will test the entire Arkansas offensive line.  DeMarcus Love has improved his play each and every year and now comes a very big test as he will need to stop one of the nations top pass rushers in Miller.

How they raise their Stock: For Love and Miller its very simple one has to protect the quarterback the other has to sack the quarterback.  As far as Love is concerned I think that allowing 1 sack on Saturday would be considered a win.  Miller needs to bring Mallet down once and force quick throws all day.  Big game for both!

Game: UCLA @ California

Where to Watch: Saturday October 9th, 3:30

Prospects: UCLA Linebacker #10 Akeem Ayers vs Cal RB #34 Shane Vereen

Thoughts:  These two players have to be two of my favorite draft eligible players.  Ayers is a beast and makes plays all over the field, I really love his versatility and ability to play in any defensive scheme.  Vereen is a tough runner that has good speed and is no slouch catching the ball out of the backfield.  Saturday will be a good match-up as I am sure Ayers and Vereen will meet all over the field.  This will be a very exciting match-up.

How they raise their Stock: Ayers needs to be all over the field and help shut Vereen down. There will be several meeting in open field and Ayers has to make  sound tackles.  For Vereen I would like to see him finish his runs strong, if Ayers or any other defender brings him down just make sure your going forward and picking up a few extra yards.  It would also be nice to see them matched up in coverage and the out come of that battle could pay off big dividends for each player.