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2015 NFL DRAFT

Week 11 Prospect Matchup: Oregon-Stanford leads the way

By Dane Brugler | NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst

FEATURED MATCH-UP:

OREGON | STANFORD

Thursday, November 6, 9 p.m.
Stanford, Calif. – ESPN

In 2010, #4 Oregon defeated #9 Stanford, 52-31. A year later in 2011, #6 Oregon again beat up on #3 Stanford, 53-30. But last year, the Cardinal got their revenge as they ended the Ducks National Title hopes, defeating #1 Oregon 17-14 in overtime in Eugene. The Ducks haven't forgotten who gave them their only loss of the 2012 season and will be determined not to let it happen again this year. And while Chip Kelly isn't around anymore, Oregon still has RS sophomore QB Marcus Mariota, who is currently the frontrunner for the Heisman and a legitimate candidate for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Mariota has scored 34 total touchdowns since the last time he threw an interception, which came in the Oregon-Stanford contest last season. Stanford has only defeated Oregon twice over the past 11 match-ups, but they have the talent to again pull the upset.

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota vs. Stanford DE Trent Murphy/Josh Mauro
The Ducks have a lot of speed at both running back and wide receiver, but the engine that makes this explosive offense roar is RS sophomore QB Marcus Mariota (6-4, 212, 4.52, #8), who is 21-1 as a starter at the college level with his lone loss coming against Stanford last season. He had a career-high 37 pass attempts in that game as Stanford limited Oregon's run game with their tough front-seven and forced the Ducks to try and beat them through the air. And we can expect a similar gameplan from the Cardinal as seniors DE Trent Murphy (6-6, 261, 4.86, #93) and DE Josh Mauro (6-6, 282, 4.98, #90) will look to contain Mariota and the Oregon run game while also putting some pressure on the pocket.

Oregon RB/WR De'Anthony Thomas vs. Stanford ILB Shayne Skov/FS Ed Reynolds
After missing four games due to injury, junior RB/WR De'Anthony Thomas (5-9, 170, 4.34, #6) played sparingly against UCLA two weeks ago, but should have a more expanded role in this match-up. He has only 48 offensive touches on the season, might this be his breakout game of 2013? Maybe. But one thing for sure, the Stanford defense will be ready. Senior ILB Shayne Skov (6-2, 245, 4.95, #11) has been the comeback prospect of the year (if there was such an award) with his energetic play and junior FS Ed Reynolds (6-2, 206, 4.54, #29) flies all over the field looking for someone to hit. Skov is a good, not great, athlete and his range and first step quickness will be tested in this game vs. Thomas.

Stanford WR Ty Montgomery vs. Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
The foundation of the Cardinal offense is the run game with a smash-mouth offensive line and physical ballcarriers. But Stanford does have a vertical passing attack with junior WR Ty Montgomery (6-2, 215, 4.52, #7), who can take the top off of Oregon's defense. Widely known for his ability as a return man (and deservedly so), he is clearly the No. 1 receiver on offense, leading the team with 39 catches for 619 yards and five scores. Junior CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (5-10, 185, 4.52, #14) will often line up opposite Montgomery, which will be an interesting measuring stick for both prospects. Ekpre-Olomu is a fluid, quick cover man who is physical vs. the run and has the speed to stick with receivers downfield.

Stanford LG David Yankey/RG Kevin Danser vs. Oregon DL Taylor Hart/NG Wade Keliikipi
While modern day Oregon is known for offense, offense, offense, the defense shouldn't be ignored when scouring the college football landscape for NFL talent (evidence by No. 3 overall pick, Dion Jordan, last year). And the Ducks have a pair of hogs on this year's squad who will give Stanford all they can handle. Seniors DL Tayor Hart (6-6, 287, 4.92, #66) and NG Wade Keliikipi (6-3, 306, 5.12, #92) both play with active motors and the point-of-attack strength to rip into the backfield. Senior RG Kevin Danser (6-5, 296, 5.73, #76) and RS junior LG David Yankey (6-5, 314, 5.08, #54) both have the mobility to pull and get to the second level with the brute power to eliminate defenders from the play.

OTHER OREGON PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
WR Josh Huff, senior (5-11, 202, 4.46, #1)
C Hroniss Grasu, RS junior (6-3, 298, 4.96, #55)
SLB Boseko Lokombo, RS senior (6-3, 230, 4.62, #25)
FS Avery Patterson, RS senior (5-9, 190, 4.52, #21)
WR Keanon Lowe, RS junior (5-9, 186, 4.46, #7)
DB Brian Jackson, RS senior (5-10, 197, 4.58, #12)

OTHER STANFORD PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
QB Kevin Hogan, RS sophomore (6-4, 228, 4.84, #8)
ROT Cameron Fleming, RS junior (6-6, 318, 4.89, #73)
FB Ryan Hewitt, RS senior (6-4, 246, 4.86, #85)
RB Tyler Gaffney, RS senior (6-0, 226, 4.57, #25)
ILB A.J. Tarpley, RS junior (6-2, 238, 4.87, #17)
RB Anthony Wilkerson, senior (6-0, 215, 4.57, #32)

OTHER GAMES TO WATCH:

OKLAHOMA at BAYLOR

Thursday, Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m.
Waco, Tex. – Fox Sports 1

WHEN THE SOONERS HAVE THE BALL…
Oklahoma ranks second in the Big 12 in rushing, averaging 234.0 yards on the ground per game. Senior RB Brennan Clay (5-11, 201, 4.56, #24) doesn't lead the team in carries, but he does have a team-best 538 rushing yards. The Sooners will miss senior HB Trey Millard (6-2, 253, 4.64, #33), who had his college career ended by an ACL injury against Texas Tech. Baylor RS sophomore DE Shawn Oakman (6-8, 285, 4.92, #2), a Penn State transfer, didn't play a down of college football until 2013, but has emerged as a valuable defensive playmaker and legitimate prospect.

WHEN THE BEARS HAVE THE BALL…
Baylor has arguably the most explosive offense in the country, averaging 63.9 points per game. And a big reason for the Bears offensive success is RS juniors QB Bryce Petty (6-2, 230, 4.74, #14) and RB Lache Seastrunk (5-9, 210, 4.45, #25). Petty has an 18-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio while Seastrunk averages 9.1 yards per run and 124.1 yards per game. Senior LG Cyril Richardson (6-5, 340, 5.27, #68) won't make too many headlines like his teammates, but he's the glue of the offensive line and might be the first guard drafted next May.

OTHER OKLAHOMA PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
CB Aaron Colvin, senior (6-0, 182, 4.48, #14)
WR Jalen Saunders, senior (5-9, 164, 4.49, #8)
RB Damien Williams, senior (6-0, 214, 4.53, #26)
C Gabe Ikard, RS senior (6-3, 298, 5.17, #64)

OTHER BAYLOR PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
SS Ahmad Dixon, senior (6-0, 205, 4.55, #6)
WR Tevin Reese, RS senior (5-10, 170, 4.38, #16)
TE Jordan Najvar, RS senior (6-6, 265, 4.88, #18)
WR Antwan Goodley, RS junior (5-10, 225, 4.59, #5)

BYU at WISCONSIN

Saturday, Nov. 9, 3:30 p.m.
Madison, Wis. – ESPN

WHEN THE COUGARS HAVE THE BALL…
BYU is a more dangerous team running the ball, but senior WR Cody Hoffman (6-3, 215, 4.56, #2) has set the school record for career receptions (232) and receiving scores (31) and needs just 14 more receiving yards to hold the top spot in that category as well. RS senior TE Kaneakua Friel (6-4, 250, 4.83, #82) has only four catches this season, but he has the skill-set that could keep him on a roster at the next level. On defense, RS senior ILB Chris Borland (5-11, 246, 4.76, #44) missed last week (hamstring injury), but will play in this game.

WHEN THE BADGERS HAVE THE BALL…
After rushing for 140+ yards in six of the first seven games this season, RS sophomore RB Melvin Gordon (6-1, 207, 4.54, #25) was held to a season-low 62 rushing yards against Iowa last week. He has the talent to be the first running back drafted in May if he decides to leave Madison early. On defense, BYU has one of the more active linebackers in the country with RS senior OLB Kyle Van Noy (6-3, 235, 4.68, #3), who leads the team in tackles for loss (11.0) and sacks (4.0). Although limited in some areas, there is no questioning his focused motor.

OTHER BYU PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
SS Daniel Sorensen, RS senior (6-1, 215, 4.55, #9)
DT Eathyn Manumaleur, RS senior (6-2, 295, 5.16, #55)
RB Michael Alisa, RS senior (6-0, 220, 4.62, #42)
WR JD Falslev, senior (5-8, 185, 4.54, #12)

OTHER WISCONSIN PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
RB James White, senior (5-10, 195, 4.52, #20)
LG Ryan Groy, RS senior (6-5, 320, 5.23, #79)
WR Jared Abbrederis, RS senior (6-1, 190, 4.52, #4)
TE Jacob Pedersen, RS senior (6-4, 240, 4.78, #48)

MISSISSIPPI STATE at TEXAS A&M

Saturday, Nov. 9, 3:30 p.m.
College Station, Tex. – CBS

WHEN THE BULLDOGS HAVE THE BALL…
Mississippi State has one of the best blockers in the SEC with senior LG Gabe Jackson (6-3, 340, 5.34, #61) mauling defenders and creating run lanes, mostly for senior RB LaDarius Perkins (5-9, 195, 4.44, #27) and RS sophomore QB Dak Prescott (6-2, 230, 4.76, #15). But the Bulldogs also have another offensive lineman worth watching: senior ROT Charles Siddoway (6-6, 300, 5.24, #77). He has a NFL frame and is light on his feet, but just needs to clean up his footwork at the point of attack and show more consistency in pass protection.

WHEN THE AGGIES HAVE THE BALL…
They might as well rename the offense the “Manziel and Evans” show with RS sophomore QB Johnny Manziel (6-0, 210, 4.45, #2) and his ability to always find RS sophomore WR Mike Evans (6-5, 225, 4.58) for the big play. But a large part of the Aggies success on offense is due to their consistency in the trenches, led by book-end tackles: senior LOT Jake Matthews (6-5, 305, 5.08, #75) and RS junior ROT Cedric Ogbuehi (6-5, 300, 5.15, #70). Matthews is a model of consistency for an offensive tackle, but Ogbuehi shouldn't be overlooked either.

OTHER MISSISSIPPI STATE PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
FS Nickoe Whitley, RS senior (6-0, 205, 4.59, #1)
QB Tyler Russell, RS senior(6-4, 220, 4.87, #17)
DE Denico Autry, senior (6-4, 265, 4.73, #90)
OLB Deontae Skinner, RS senior (6-1, 250, 4.86, #11)

OTHER TEXAS A&M PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
WR Derel Walker, senior (6-2, 185, 4.59, #11)
RB Ben Malena, senior (5-8, 195, 4.54, #1)
ILB Steven Jenkins, RS senior (6-2, 220, 4.65, #8)
CB Tramain Jacobs, RS senior (6-1, 190, 4.59, #7)

NEBRASKA at MICHIGAN

Saturday, Nov. 9, 3:30 p.m.
Ann Arbor, Mich. – ABC

WHEN THE CORNHUSKERS HAVE THE BALL…
Nebraska has questions at quarterback, but the receivers are there for the passing game to have success. Senior WR Quincy Enunwa (6-2, 225, 4.52, #18) has emerged as the Huskers go-to threat, leading the team in almost every receiving category with 34 catches for 467 yards and a conference-best eight touchdowns. He is a physical and strong wideout who can win by boxing out and winning at the catch point. Junior WR Kenny Bell (6-1, 185, 4.55, #80) has battled injury, but he's a big play waiting to happen and one of the best blocking WRs.

WHEN THE WOLVERINES HAVE THE BALL…
The Wolverines have a talented wide receiver themselves with senior WR Jeremy Gallon (5-8, 187, 4.52, #10) who lacks ideal size for the position, but he has reliable hands and is a balanced, quick-footed athlete after the catch. The strongest position on offense for Michigan is at offensive tackle with seniors LOT Taylor Lewan (6-7, 315, 5.09, #77) and ROT Michael Schofield (6-6, 306, 5.24, #75). Lewan is a top-10 caliber player, but needs to keep his emotions in check after a few post-whistle incidents and penalties last week against Michigan State.

OTHER NEBRASKA PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
DE Jason Ankrah, RS senior (6-3, 265, 4.83, #9)
CB Ciante Evans, senior (5-10, 190, 4.50, #17)
OG Andrew Rodriguez, senior (6-5, 330, 5.37, #63)
CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, senior (6-2, 214, 4.56, #16)

OTHER MICHIGAN PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
QB Devin Gardner, RS junior (6-4, 212, 4.64, #98)
OLB Jake Ryan, RS junior (6-2, 242, 4.68, #47)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint, RS senior (5-10, 200, 4.58, #28)
DE Frank Clark, junior (6-2, 276, 4.68, #57)

LSU at ALABAMA

Saturday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m.
Tuscaloosa, Ala. – CBS

WHEN THE TIGERS HAVE THE BALL…
A prospect who definitely belongs in the conversation to be the first senior drafted at his position, senior QB Zach Mettenberger (6-5, 235, 5.18, #8) has an outstanding opportunity on the big stage to make a statement against the Crimson Tide defense. Last year, he had a season-high in completions (24) and yards (298) against Alabama. While talented, a big reason for Mettenberger's production can be attributed to his two impact targets: juniors WR Jarvis Landry (6-0, 195, 4.49, #80) and WR Odell Beckham (5-11, 193, 4.49, #3).

WHEN THE CRIMSON TIDE HAVE THE BALL…
While many debate whether or not Mettenberger belongs in the first round, senior QB A.J. McCarron (6-3, 214, 4.84, #10) continues to win and boost and already stellar resume. He doesn't have the same type of physical tools, but he is more proven, something some teams will value on the second day of the draft. McCarron also has a few talented wideouts at his disposal, including senior WR Kevin Norwood (6-1, 195, 4.58, #83). Blocking the QB's blindside is junior LOT Cyrus Kouandjio (6-5, 310, 5.12, #71), who might be this game's top prospect.

OTHER LSU PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
DT Anthony Johnson, junior (6-2, 295, 5.29, #90)
LOT Lael Collins, junior (6-5, 315, 5.43, #70)
SS Craig Loston, RS senior (6-1, 209, 4.56, #6)
RB Alfred Blue, senior (6-1, 222, 4.59, #4)

OTHER ALABAMA PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
ILB C.J. Mosley, senior (6-2, 232, 4.65, #32)
FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, junior (6-1, 208, 4.54, #6)
OLB Adrian Hubbard, RS junior (6-5, 252, 4.76, #42)
DE Ed Stinson, RS senior (6-3, 292, 4.87, #49)

FRESNO STATE at WYOMING

Saturday, Nov. 9, 10 p.m.
Laramie, Wyo. – ABC

WHEN THE BULLDOGS HAVE THE BALL…
Fresno State has talent on the roster, but the main reason to watch the Bulldogs this season is to see senior QB Derek Carr (6-3, 215, 4.78, #4), the younger brother of former No. 1 overall pick David Carr. The younger Carr is a better NFL prospect with his top-shelf arm talent that is reminiscent of Matthew Stafford with his ability to sling it all over the field. One of the players trying to limit Carr is also the Cowboys top prospect on defense: senior FS Marqueston Huff (5-11, 195, 4.40, #2), who has the range to cover the deep half of the field.

WHEN THE COWBOYS HAVE THE BALL…
While Carr is the more well-known of the two quarterbacks in this match-up, Wyoming junior QB Brett Smith (6-2, 208, 4.83, #16) might be one of the most underrated prospects in the country. His arm isn't quite at the level of Carr, but he has the toughness and competitive nature that helps rally his teammates. Smith will be a quarterback who will find himself in some first round mock drafts at this time next year. His top target is another underrated prospect, who really shouldn't be: senior WR Robert Herron (5-9, 187, 4.38, #6).

OTHER FRESNO STATE PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
WR Davante Adams, RS sophomore (6-2, 205, 4.56, #15)
TE Marcel Jensen, RS senior (6-5, 258, 4.82, #89)
LOT Austin Wentworth, RS senior (6-5, 304, 5.18, #72)
CB L.J. Jones, RS senior (5-10, 180, 4.49, #6)

OTHER WYOMING PROSPECTS TO WATCH:
RB Brandon Miller, senior (6-0, 188, 4.59, #8)
WR Dominic Rufran, junior (6-0, 185, 4.57, #33)
WR Jalen Claiborne, junior (5-9, 175, 4.61, #1)
Ben Letcher, senior (6-2, 242, 4.71, #97)

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