Michigan vs Ohio St Prospects SI Article

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Michigan vs Ohio St Prospects SI Article

Postby thescout » Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:38 pm

Big-game prospects
NFL scouts eyeing many Michigan, Ohio State players
Posted: Friday November 17, 2006 1:02PM; Updated: Friday November 17, 2006 3:24PM

Michigan's Leon Hall (29) is considered by many to be the best cornerback in college football.
Damian Strohmeyer/SI

By Tony Pauline, Special to SI.com

The eyes of the college football world and many folks from the NFL will be focused on Columbus, Ohio, for the Michigan-Ohio State showdown. This game not only holds national championship implications, but will also showcase the prospects of many players who will impact the NFL Draft. Almost a dozen draft-eligible players on the field Saturday presently hold first-day grades. Here's the breakdown:

Leon Hall/CB/Sr: Cornerbacks are a high priority on draft day and Hall sits at the head of the class at the position. He has improved every facet of his game and regularly shuts down opponents. Hall's match-up against the Buckeye's Ted Ginn Jr. could be one for the ages.

Alan Branch/DT/Jr: In a year void of talent at the defensive-tackle position, Branch stands head and shoulders above all the rest. A dominant lineman, he has potential as a conventional tackle or as a defensive end in a 3-4 alignment. Should Branch enter the draft, he is top-10 material.

Jake Long/OT/Jr: Another underclassman with a big decision to make, Long is considered by some in the scouting community as the nation's top tackle prospect. A mammoth blocker who devastates the opposition, he also possesses the footwork and agility necessary to hold down the coveted blind-side tackle position. If Long heads for the NFL, he too could break into the initial 10 selections.

LaMarr Woodley/DE-OLB/Sr: A force up front, Woodley has given opposing coordinators nightmares all season. While he lacks the classic size/speed numbers (6-foot-1/270 pounds/4.75 seconds), Woodley has proven himself to be a terrific football player. Likely to be selected in the middle of the first round, he projects nicely as an outside linebacker for a 3-4 defense.

David Harris/LB/Sr: The leader of Michigan's No. 1 ranked defense, Harris has been a tackling machine all season. He entered the season with durability concerns, so staying healthy this year has been a major plus for him. He should be the second inside/middle linebacker chosen in the draft, somewhere at the start of Round 3.

Chad Henne/QB/Jr: A strong-armed quarterback with the physical skills to play at the next level, Henne is slowly developing into a complete passer. He is first-day material in the future.

Ohio State

Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr. likely won't last past the first half of the first round next April.
John Biever/SI

Ted Ginn Jr./WR/Jr: A world-class sprinter who translates his track speed onto the football field, Ginn Jr. is a game-impacting receiver and return specialist. Though he needs to improve the details of his game, Ginn is expected to enter the draft and be one of the first dozen selections.

Troy Smith/QB/Sr: The frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, Smith's marvelous season has helped significantly improve his draft stock. Maturing on the field as a signal-caller and off the field as an individual, Smith has the skills to develop into an NFL starter. Several teams are turned off by his height, barely six-feet-even, yet Smith has moved himself into the early part of Round 2.

Quinn Pitcock/DL/Sr: Another senior in the midst of a career season, Pitcock has been unstoppable in 2006. Stout defending the run, he has added the dimension of being a disruptive pass rusher this year. Graded as a marginal first day selection at season's start, Pitcock now sits as a top-45 choice.

Doug Datish/C/Sr: The former left tackle moved to the pivot this season and has become one of the nation's top centers. Though not as dominant or polished as Nick Mangold, the former Buckeye selected in the first round of last April's draft, Datish has established himself as a top-75 selection.

Antonio Pittman/RB/Jr: Slightly undersized at 5-10 and 190 pounds, Pittman is an elusive runner who does an outstanding job catching the ball out of the backfield. His versatility would be attractive to a west coast offense in the third round.

Anthony Gonzalez/WR/Jr: Another Buckeye speedster, Gonzalez is a fine combination of athleticism and football smarts. A terrific red-zone target, Gonzalez grades as a first-day choice if he enters the draft.
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Interesting info on the prospects!

Postby thescout » Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:45 pm

I noticed Woodley didn't make the list.I watched half of the ohio state vs michigan ga,me,Things that caught my eye on the game.

a.Adrian Branch won't make it out of the top 15 players drafted. Should be the top def tackle taken
B. Woodley - didn't see alot of pressure by him could slide to the falcon's
C.Ted Ginn - should be a top 20 pick.Great speed a home run threat
D.Mike Hart - probably a 2nd rounder good player
E.Jake Long - top 15 pick right there with joe thomas
F.Troy Smith - a dual threat passing and running 1st rounder despite his height

If Branch or long slipped by some miracle in the draft even with guys like Griffin out there you have to take one of them. I doubt if any corners or def ends drop to the falcon's so you pick the next best player long could man lef tackle for 10 yrs and branch will be a pro bowler.
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Postby Pudge » Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:41 am

I really enjoyed the game. I had an inkling that Michigan would surprise and win this game, but I really didn't know where to go on this one. It's clear in my mind that Michigan and Ohio State are the best 2 teams in the country, and should play in the game. But they use the BCS in college. And sure, it's a flawed system, but there is no perfect system, and I don't think you can argue there is another system that is better, except perhaps playoffs, but that is never going to happen in college football. College presidents would not agree to that. Why because all the 7-5 schools that get all that money to play in those crappy bowl games would be excluded from a postseason and thus lose tons of money.

But IMO, the BCS gets it right more often than not. And why should you have a 4, 6, 8-team playoff, when it's clear in everyone's mind in any given year that there are only 1 or 2 teams deserving to play for the national title?

There is no other school in the country that could go to Columbus and put up 39 points on Ohio State. I hope when the rankings come out this week, Michigan is still sitting there at #2 on the AP poll.

My thoughts on the players are this:

Alan Branch - Yep, I agree, a definite Top 15 guy. The thing that most teams picking in the Top 10-15 picks have in common is usually they suck against the run, which makes someone like Branch move up on people's boards.

Woodley - I thought Woodley played relatively well. He didn't have a monster game, but Troy Smith made it look easy. You never know with a tweener like Woodley. With a lot of teams now looking for the next Merriman, he could be a Top 15 pick, or he could be there in Round 2. He seems like a guy that will need the Senior Bowl or Combine to really gauge where his stock is.

Ginn - I think Ginn is the most overrated player in the country. He's soft, and IMO won't ever be a consistent NFL starting receiver. Perhaps later in his career. He reminds me of Eddie Kennison when he first entered the league. Sure, Kennison has been a productive player recently, but it took him essentially 7 years and 5 different teams before he did so. If I'm a team looking for another playmaker in my offense, sure I'd take Ginn. But if I'm looking for a reliable receiver, I'd definitely pass on him. IMO, Gonzalez is the best WR that Ohio State has, and I'm not sure he's anything more than a #3 in the NFL.

Hart - Who knows if he comes out this year. Unless Michigan wins the Nat'l Title, I would think he and guys like Henne would stick around for another year.

Long - I've expressed my thoughts on Long before. I think he's a superb LT (better than Joe Thomas). I would love for the Falcons to get him, but there's really no chance, short of us finishing 6-10 or 5-11 this year.

Troy Smith - very good player. Better than Quinn IMO, but where he gets drafted I don't know. I don't think there will be a lot of teams in great need of drafting QBs this year, but it's hard to imagine where Smith is not a Top 10 pick. He'll get nitpicked because of his height

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