Top Prospects Key Weekend Matchups: Week 8


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: UCLA @ #2 Oregon

Where to Watch: Thursday October 21st, 9:00pm ESPN

Prospects: UCLA LB #10 Akeem Ayers and S #3 Rahim Moore vs Oregon offense

Thoughts: This game could get ugly quick and the responsibility to keep it close will rest squarely on the shoulders of the UCLA defense and Akeem Ayers and Rahim Moore.  The Oregon offense is going to do what they do and that is try to run the UCLA defense out of the building.  This issue I see is that the UCLA offense will not be able to sustain drives meaning the UCLA defense will be on the field a lot.  Ayers and Moore will need to make a ton of plays and create turnovers if UCLA wants to have a chance to win this game.

How they Raise their Stock: Both Ayers and Moore cannot be expected to shut down this Oregon offense but if they play well enough they could help slow them down.  Moore is going to have to be opportunistic and get a pick or two the get his offense more possessions.  Ayers is going to have to use his quickness and take proper angles  to help limit the big plays on the ground.  The opportunity is there and if they can slow down the Oregon offense it will be headline material.

Game:#13 Wisconsin @ #15 Iowa

Check out the rest of the top matchups after the Jump!

Where to Watch: Saturday October 23rd, 3:30pm ABC

Prospects: Wisconsin OT #68 Gabe Carimi vs Iowa DE #94 Adrian Clayborn

Thoughts: Wisconsin is at the end of two back to back really tough games that will have a major impact on the Big 10 title race.  Iowa looks to make a statement here that they are the top team in the Big 10 and this game promises to be slug-fest.  This game features two offenses that love to run the ball as well as two defensive lines that are tough.  The outcome of this game could very well be decided by the outcome of the Carimi vs Clayborn Matchup.

How to Raise their Stock:  I feel that Carimi has the best chance to improve his stock because he is more than capable of shutting down Clayborn.  The biggest question mark on Carimi is his pass blocking skills and Clayborn is going to test him and if he could shut him down that would raise his stock significantly.  Clayborn could help his stock by not letting Carimi dominate him in the running game.  Carimi is a powerful run blocker and if Clayborn can avoid getting pushed off the line that will help his stock.  However, I feel that Clayborn needs to register a few sacks because if he is held sack-less against a player that has question marks surrounding his pass protection that could raise concerns on Clayborn’s pass rushing skills.

Game: #16 Nebraska @ #14 Oklahoma State

Where to Watch: Saturday October 23rd, 3:30 ABC

Prospects: Nebraska CB #21 Prince Amukamara vs Okie State WR #81 Justin Blackmon

Thoughts:  Nebraska is reeling after their loss to Texas and this week doesnt get any easier.  Nebraska has a good defense but it is going to be difficult to shut down the high octane Oklahoma State offense.  Nebraska is going to have to find a way to score a lot of points, fortunately for them the Oklahoma State defense is terrible.  The match-up between Amukamara and Blackmon is very exciting as both players are on the top of their game.

How to Raise their Stock:  Blackmon is just a red-shirt Sophomore but he has busted on to the scene this season and is a legitimate pro prospect.  I hope he returns for another college season but this is an opportunity for him to show his stuff against arguably the best cornerback in college football.  Amukamara is going to be physical with Blackmon and I am interested to see how he handles that, if Blackmon can get off the line easily and make plays down the field he could keep his stock rising.  Amukamara has the ability to make this a tough game for Blackmon, he has yet to face a corner with the talents of Amukamara.  This will be a good test for Amukamara as he tries to shutdown the explosive Blackmon.