Week 9 matchups to watch
#5 USC at #10 Oregon
Everyone knows who the stars are for the Trojans, but I’m more interested in seeing the battle of the Tight Ends.
For the Ducks, Ed Dickson (6’5″ 243lb Senior) has been having a solid season thus far. He’s pulled in 27 catches and 4 touchdowns for Oregon. Dickson had a huge game against Cal a few weeks back, racking up 3 touchdowns and 148 receiving yards. Dickson isn’t as big as you’d like, but he’s more of a receiving tight end, who also plays special teams. Word is, Dickson is ridiculously strong in the weight room, but doesn’t show it as a blocker on the field. Right now, Dickson is rated right around the other tight end that will be playing in this game.
Anthony McCoy (6’5″ 250lb Senior) has yet to break out this year as a receiver, but does a good job blocking for the stable of USC running backs. McCoy left last week’s game with an ankle injury, but hasn’t missed a game in his collegiate career yet. McCoy seems like more of a well rounded tight end than Dickson, who seems more of the Kellen Winslow mold.
I have both Tight Ends ranked in the 50′s, so they’re not expected to be first rounders by any stretch. However, both appear to be solid mid-late 2nd round picks.
#3 Texas at #14 Oklahoma State
While one of the marquee players for the Cowboys won’t be playing (Dez Bryant), the game is still full of potential top 50 players. Oklahoma State will probably have the first player off the board come draft day in OT Russell Okung, but I want to talk about some defensive players.
Sergio Kindle (6’4″ 255lb Senior) is a versatile pass rusher. Kindle will lineup as a defensive end and as an outside linebacker for Texas. However, Kindle seems much more effective when he’s used as a pass rusher rather than playing in coverage. Kindle has recorded only 2 sacks this season and has been slightly falling down draft boards. A big game against Oklahoma State will certainly help that. Kindle will have his hands full if he lines up across from Okung, who most regard as the nations top offensive tackle prospect, and a probable top 5 pick. Kindle’s draft status is hard to project at this point as he could be anywhere from a late first rounder to a mid second rounder, depending on how he finishes the season.
Oklahoma State cornerback Perrish Cox (6’0″ 192lb senior) has the perfect height/weight/speed combination. While his technique needs a little work, he could find himself in the bottom of round 1 on draft day with a strong finish to the season and a good combine performance. Cox is also a return man, taking 1 punt and 4 kicks back for touchdowns in his career. This week he’ll matchup with Texas WR Jordan Shipley, who is more of an underneath guy than a deep threat. Texas’ passing attack has been pretty limited to short/intermediate throws this year, so Cox should have everything in front of him. This game could really show if Cox has any weaknesses as a tackler with the short passes the Longhorns are bound to attempt.