Week 4 recap:
- I know most of you probably don't pay for ESPN Insider, but for those that do its worth checking out Kevin Weidl's writeup for the Miami-Pitt game. He mentioned that a ton of NFL talent evaluators were in the crowd that night and he talked about almost all the players I mentioned last week (Baldwin, Sheard, Pinkston, Franklin, Bailey, McCarthy, Harris and Hankerson). He's especially high on Sheard, who had a big game beating first round prospect Franklin multiple times, and believes he's a fit for the 3-4 OLB position.
- The busy Kevin Weidl also talked about Patrick Peterson this week and praised him for shutting down half the field against West Virgina. By his estimation Peterson is the #2 CB in the draft and is now ticketed for the top 10. The worrywarts may disagree, but I say that's out of Chargers draft territory.
Sorry, that's all the notes I have since I was pretty busy having a Padres-filled Saturday.
Here's the matchups I'm focusing on for week 5:
Miami (2-1) vs Clemson (2-1) - Saturday 10/2 9:00 AM (ESPN2)
Texas (3-1) vs Oklahoma (4-0) - Saturday 10/2 12:30 PT (ABC)
Wisconsin (4-0) vs Michigan St. (4-0) - Saturday 10/2 12:30 PT (ABC)
Florida (4-0) vs Alabama (4-0) - Saturday 10/2 5:00 PT (CBS)
Stanford (4-0) vs Oregon (4-0) - Saturday 10/2 5:00 PT (ABC)
Every week I'll also ask all of you to please share what games you'll be watching and what players you'd think would look good in blue and gold or just generally impressed/disappointed you.
Miami vs Clemson - Both these teams have made it in this column before. You can refer back to week 2 for Miami and week 3 for Clemson. You can also check out the prospect tracking grid below to see all the players that could be Chargers targets. I'd love to see DeAndre McDaniel get a pick or two in this game and he has the skills and opportunity to do just that.
Texas vs Oklahoma - The Red River Rivalry game. Texas is coming of an upset loss to UCLA and Oklahoma is rolling at 4-0. I introduced you to my favorite Oklahoma prospects back in week 2 and they are all still going strong. The Longhorns boast a stable of corner backs could be Bolt targets. These corners will test WR Ryan Broyles, however the Sooners may get creative and try to use screens or isolate him on linebackers. Its a good rivalry game and we get to meet Texas for the first time this season.
Aaron Williams, Texas, CB, Junior, 6'0, 192 lbs (1st or 2nd round) - Think Antoine Cason. He's got great ball skills and can make interceptions by showing all the proper skills and techniques. He's a high character guy and is a willing contributor on special teams. He's not quite as good as Cason in run defense though and can break down when trying to go one-on-one with a running back. He's also susceptible to double moves and is slow to get his hips turned in coverage.
Curtis Brown, Texas, CB, Senior, 6'0, 182 lbs (2nd or 3rd round) - Curtis Brown's game is about quickness, speed and fluidity, which is a good thing to be about when you're his size and trying to cover top WRs. He's not one-dimensional though and can still do many of the other responsibilities of a CB like jamming at the line, locating the ball, time his jumps and come down with the ball. His tackling skills could use some work, but its mainly a technique thing.
Chykie Brown, Texas, CB, Senior, 5'11, 187 lbs (middle rounds) - Chykie Brown is at best problem a nickel corner in the NFL. He's got the speed (best of this group in a straight line) for the position and his size is not big, but not a problem. He'd struggle to cover top receivers and he's a liability in the run game. However, he's still much more talented than most college corners and will play at the next level. He's just probably not a starter. Worth a look on special teams if you can get him to start tackling.
Wisconsin vs Michigan St. - The last time I mentioned Michigan St. here they were playing Notre Dame in week 3. That game resulted in an overtime win on a gutsy fake field goal in overtime and their coach ended up with a heart attack. I'll try to send out some good vibes and avoid such bad mojo this week. Michigan St. still has the one prospect to watch, ILB Greg Jones, but Wisconsin has a couple others to keep an eye on. In addition, Wisconsin has a power running attack that will put the spot light on Greg Jones and Spartan defense.
Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin, OT, Senior, 6'6, 318 lbs (1st round) - As mentioned, Wisconsin is a power running team and Carimi is a part of the engine that moves that machine. He can drive his man way down the field on his blocks and control the line of scrimmage in the run game. Pass blocking is a little tougher for the big man and get can beat on the edge since he struggles to attack his man as quickly as some would like. He could be a dominate RT, but there's probably a team or two who see him as an upgrade at LT.
Nick Toon, Wisconsin, WR, Senior, 6'3, 211 lbs (3rd or 4th round) - Nick's father Al played for the Jets, so he's got those bloodlines that some teams look for. He's got great character and he's got the size and speed you need for the position. He's good a working the sideline and can make crisp cuts, but he may be lacking the burst that WRs need to beat their man and get open.
Florida vs Alabama - This is the premier matchup of the week. Florida got a lot younger this year after losing players like Tim Tebow, Carlos Dunlap, Brandon Spikes, Joe Haden, Maurkice Pouncey and Jermaine Cunningham, but they still have some interesting prospects to watch. However, some of them still have eligibility remaining after this year and it might be took early to watch them too closely. Alabama is an old news for this column. I talked about them in week 2 and week 4. However, I can't get enough of Mark Barron, they are a great test for their opponents' prospects and this is an awesome matchup, so here they are again.
Janoris Jenkins, Florida, CB, Junior, 5'11, 189 lbs (1st round) - Jenkins is replacing Browns first round pick Joe Haden as the #1 CB in Florida. So far he's impressed and is climbing up draft boards. Like Haden he may come out early if he's guaranteed to be a first rounder. His cover skills get the highest grade and can change directions, react to balls in the air and basically mirror his man on the field. His run support is his biggest weakness on the field and its really not much of one. He did have an altercation with the police and got arrest (and tasered) during a fight in 2009.
Ahmad Black, Florida, S, Senior, 5'9, 187 lbs (3rd or 4th round) - Black is too small to be considered a true prospect as the saftey position, but he could be a helluva backup. He's been healthy throughout college, so like Darren Sproles he may just have something that keeps him from seeing the same fate as a small guy like Bob Sanders. He's got good coverage skills despite his height because he's able to diagnose plays and get in the proper positions. He's even been adept at covering TEs over the middle as crazy as that sounds. Obviously, he's not going to play in the box as a safety, but the Chargers have had a pretty easy time finding those guys and could use something different.
Stanford vs Oregon - I figured you deserved at least one game with two column newbies in it and this should be a good one. Its light on top pro prospects and the best one playing in this game is not going to be on the Chargers' radar (QB Andrew Luck). However, its west coast, the prospects it does have are very interesting mid-round ones and both teams are ranked. Also, Stanford's coach is ex-Charger Jim Harbaugh and he's done wonders for the program in his short time there.
Andrew Luck, Stanford, QB, Junior, 6'4, 235 lbs (1st round) - Luck broke out as a redshirt freshmen last year after scouts already loved his height, bulk and athleticism. Jim Harbaugh has coached this youngster well and he can now take advantage of many of talents. He's also a very intelligent (it is Stanford after all) and has the highest grades on character. His mechanics are pretty, his balls have good touch on them and, despite his inexperience, is developing as a team leader. His main knocks are that he trusts his arm to often and is not the best at progressing through his reads... yet.
Chris Owusu, Stanford, WR, Senior, 6'2, 185 lbs (middle rounds) - He's not a burner, but he can deep and stretch the defense. His catching technique could improve because he needs to learn to use his hands. His speed and size make me interested in him as a potential gunner and maybe a 4th receiver. Playing in Harbaugh's pro-style offense helps as well.
Casey Matthews, Oregon, ILB, Senior, 6'1, 241 lbs (middle to late rounds) - I don't have a whole lot of Casey Matthews' draft profile. I just know that a couple of places have him ranked highly among ILBs, he's a big part of the Oregon defense, he plays at a Chargers position of need and he's the brother of former USC standout and current Green Bay Packer Clay Matthews.
Tracking Prospects Mentioned In Previous Articles:
|Prospect Name||College||Position||Week 4 Opponent||Notes|
|Jacquizz Rodgers||Oregon St.||RB||Arizona St.||Oregon's LaMichael James had a good day against the Sun Devils. It seems only right that Rodgers should to.|
|Jonathan Baldwin||Pittsburgh||WR||Florida Int'l
||This sets up for a big day unless his QB struggles again.|
|Ryan Broyles||Oklahoma||WR||Texas||Broyles will probably show off his skills running inside routes so as not to challenge Texas' stable of CBs.
|Michael Floyd||Notre Dame||WR||Boston College
|Leonard Hankerson||Miami||WR||Clemson||Will face multiple prospects mentioned later on this list. I still expect him to perform when thrown to.|
|Greg Little||North Carolina||WR||E. Carolina
||Not yet cleared to play next game, but practicing with the team.|
|Austin Pettis||Boise St.||WR||New Mexico St.
||NMSU is no competition. This could be a big day or and extended rest.
|DeVier Posey||Ohio State||WR||Illinois
|Jason Pinkston||Pittsburgh||OT||Florid Int'l
|Stephen Paea||Oregon St.||DE/DT||Arizona St.
|Ian Williams||Notre Dame||DE/DT||Boston College
|Greg Romeus||Pittsburgh||DE/OLB||Florida Int'l
||Back surgery, out indefinitely|
|Jabaal Sheard||Pittsburgh||DE/OLB||Florida Int'l
||After his great performance vs. the Hurricanes, expectations will be high against a lesser team.|
|Ross Homan||Ohio State||ILB||Illinois
|Nate Irving||North Carolina St.||ILB||Virginia Tech
|Michigan St.||ILB||Wisconsin||Wisconsin's power running game gives him a good test.|
|Quan Sturdivant||North Carolina||ILB||E. Carolina
|Rashad Carmichael||Virginia Tech||CB||North Carolina St.
|Chimdi Chekwa||Ohio State||CB||Illinois|
||Gilchrist should be tested in this one. Especially his speed and his hands.|
|Mark Barron||Alabama||S||Florida||Lots of speed on the field in this game for Barron to deal with. If he's making big plays in this he may have punched his ticket to the first round.|
||Excellent matchup for McDaniel. Miami has a number of deep threats and a QB that can throw picks. This is a chance for McDaniel to shine.
|Deunta Williams||North Carolina||S||E. Carolina
||Not yet cleared to play next game, but practicing with the team.|