Top Prospects Key Weekend Matchups: Week 12


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 @ Washington

Where to Watch:  Thursday November 18th, 8:00pm ESPN

Prospects: UCLA Safety #3 Rahim Moore and Linebacker #10 Akeem Ayers vs Washington QB #10 Jake Locker

Thoughts: This games pins two middle of the road Pac 10 teams hoping to finish the season strong.  For UCLA they need a win to keep their bowl eligibility hopes alive.  Jake Locker is returning from a series of injuries and really needs to finish this season strong in order to stop his plummeting draft stock.  Washington also could use a nice win against another California team to help with their recruiting efforts as they rebuild the program.

How they Raise their Stock:  Both Moore and Ayers are enjoying solid seasons but could benefit getting themselves out there a little more by shutting down Locker.  It’s common practice for scouts to fall in love with players while watching film on others and you can bet there will be a lot of people watching Locker’s tape.  Locker needs to be efficient and avoid turnovers, everyone is aware that Washington isn’t very talented but Locker needs to make plays while protecting the football.

Game: #16 Virginia Tech @ #24 Miami

Where to Watch: Saturday November 20th, 3:30pm ESPN

Prospects: Virginia Tech CB #21 Rashad Carmichael vs Miami WR #85 Leonard Hankerson

Thoughts:  Miami hopes to keep their slim hopes at winning the ACC Coastal alive this weekend.  A win verses Virgina Tech would keep them in second place and just another Virgina Tech loss away from the title.  It appears that the Hurricanes will need to get the job done with out starting quarterback Jacory Harris.  The absence of Harris will impact the game although freshman Stephen Morris has played well.

How they Raise their Stock:  Senior cornerback Carmichael will be on a lot of teams radars come April but teams will want to see how he performes in this match-up against Hankerson.   Carmichael needs to not allow Hankerson to make a big play down the field.  Hankerson needs to work on his underneath game and that starts with concentrating and avoiding drops.  I will be watching to see if helps his young quarterback or hurts him by not hanging onto the football.

Game: #6 Stanford @ California

Where to Watch: Saturday November 20th, 3:30 pm Local

Prospects: Stanford QB #12 Andrew Luck vs the Cal Defense

Thoughts:  This could be the beginning of the Andrew Luck farewell tour has it is being rumored he will make the jump to the NFL.  Stanford needs to pull out a win against the tough Cal Bears if they want to keep their Pac 10 title hopes alive.

How they Raise their Stock:  Luck and the Cardinal didn’t have a great game last week against the Arizona State Sun Devils.  I will be watching to see how Luck responds and if he is able to come out and take Cal out of the game early.  Everyone talks about Luck’s preparation and football IQ, I will be interested to see how he plays down the stretch with the NFL Draft likely weighing on this mind.