Scouts Preview: Arizona State vs Georgia
The Sun Devils take on the Bulldogs for the second consecutive season in a rare PAC 10/SEC showdown. This is ASU’s first big test after a pair of creampuff wins to start the season. Georgia should be well primed for this game after the season opening loss to Oklahoma State followed by a pair of shootout victories over South Carolina and Arkansas, respectively. The game offers several dynamite match ups NFL scouts will be concentrating on, and so should Jets fans. On the field Saturday night will be a number of talented defensive lineman as well as receivers; players the Jets could be interested in during the 2010 NFL Draft.
Match-up: ASU defensive end Dexter Davis vs left tackle Vince Vance
Dexter Davis is swiftly moving up draft boards. Scouts love his athleticism, speed and explosion off the edge. What they are less enamored with is his size and Davis measures barely 6-feet 1.5-inches and 253-pounds. He uses his athleticism to dominate and exploit lesser talents on the college level at defensive end yet in the NFL he’s destined to be used at outside linebacker or possibly be pushed to the middle.
Size is not an issue for Georgia left tackle Vince Vance, who measures 6-feet 6-inches and 329 pounds. Balance, footwork and skill in space are red-flags for Vance. The tackle has an upside but there’s no doubt the ability to control a smaller and much more explosive opponent will go a long way in helping determine whether or not he has the goods to stay at tackle on the next level.
It is also a good measuring stick for Davis, who now plays against a quality caliber tackle with NFL caliber size.
Match-up: ASU’s Shawn Lauvao vs the Georgia defensive line
Shawn Lauvao could well be the most underrated offensive lineman in the nation. A dominant and athletic blocker, Lauvao was sensational at guard last season and will now spend his senior campaign at tackle. His dimensions and skill dictate a move back to guard, and he could be a relatively early (top 75) pick next April. On Saturday he’ll have one of his stiffest tests of the season.
The big guns on the interior Georgia line have been disappointing this season, no doubt. Geno Atkins has been virtually non-existent during the Bulldogs initial three games and is watching his draft stock drop. Jeff Owens has been slightly better but it’s obvious he’s been slow recovering from the knee injury which kept him on the sidelines all of last season. Owens received one of the highest grades of any senior defensive tackle coming into the season from National Scouting yet has not lived up to the grade. Sleeper Kade Weston is starting to round into form and is one to take note of. We’ve always loved the upside the 6-foot, 5-inch and 320-pound tackle brings yet it was his consistency on the field we questioned. Weston seems to be on track for one of his most productive seasons ever.
At any point in time Lauvao’s opportunity to face-off against Atkins, Owens or Weston will definitely be a match-up to watch.
Match-up: ASU receivers vs. UGA’s secondary
Arizona State has two of the best senior receiver prospects no one talks about. Likewise, Georgia offers a trio of underrated prospects in the secondary.
Chris McGaha is drawing parallels to former Ohio State Buckeye Brian Hartline, now with the Miami Dolphins, because of his toughness, reliability and natural pass catching skills. Like Hartline, 40-time will dictate who early McGaha is drafted. Don’t be surprised if he’s a riser up draft boards starting soon.
Teammate Kyle Williams is another quality pass catcher, though smaller than McGaha. Williams was banged up last season yet has the makings of a solid 5th receiver on the NFL level.
It will be up to cornerback Prince Miller to shutdown these two, with most of the emphasis likely to be on McGaha. Miller is a solid cover man with good ball skills and cornerback fundamentals. He makes a lot of plays on the board and to his credit, few mistakes.
Bryan Evans is a versatile defensive back that can play either corner or safety. He plays heads football and offers solid instincts making plays sideline to sideline. A bit inefficient, Evans offers a good deal of upside.
Junior Reshad is a fast, run defending safety with nice size. He’s a bit one-dimensional and though aggressive defending the run, Jones is hesitant in pass coverage.
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