Week two of the college football season kicks-off, with some programs taking the field for the first time. In conversations with scouts and draft insiders this week here are five games many will be focusing on.
1) David Fales faces the toughest test of his college career. How will he fare? One year ago Fales made his SJSU debut against Stanford and fared reasonably well. His stats line read 24-of-35 passing for 217 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was also sacked three times. Twelve months later Fales now faces a Cardinal defense that’s improved and even more dominant. During our recent ranking of PAC 12 prospects a half-dozen players on the depth chart for the Cardinal defense were graded as draftable. Just yesterday I tweeted that in my opinion Fales is overrated in many circles and ranks as a late round pick. This is the best opportunity Fales will have during the 2013 campaign to prove the doubters wrong.
2) Is Kyle Van Noy a three down defender? Our short answer is yes, but Van Noy will have his hands full against the versatile Texas offense. The Longhorns offer a pair of dynamic running backs with differing styles in junior Joe Bergeron and sophomore Jonathan Gray. Both are legitimate second day prospects. If that were not enough Texas also has a pair of developing tight ends in junior Geoff Swaim as well as the often dynamic M.J. McFarland, a red-shirt sophomore. Factor in the Horns athletic offensive line and its easy to understand the challenges facing Van Noy on Saturday.
3) Can Bryce Quigley hold up against Ohio State? Quigley is graded as a middle round prospect by some yet many scouts don’t even have the Aztec’s left tackle on their radar. For the record we grade Quigley, a former tight end, as a 7th round guard prospect. He may catch a break on Saturday as Ohio State lacks a polished pass rusher that can find their way to the quarterback. It’ll be a good chance for Quigley to get notice on a big stage and the opportunity to make scouts rethink their original opinion of him.
4) Oklahoma versus West Virginia: Battle of the underrated! A Big 12 contest which expects to be a shootout also features one terrific match-up on the line of scrimmage. West Virginia defensive end William Clark could be mistaken for a power forward in the NBA the way he effortlessly moves his 6-foot, 6-inch frame around the football field. Trying to stop Clark will be Oklahoma junior Daryl Williams, a powerful left tackle with a great upside. Can Clark make consistent plays on the field? Has Williams elevated his game from 2012? Clark versus Williams is one of the hidden match-ups in week two.
5) Lewan versus Tuitt; bring it on!!! Jon Dove featured this contest in his week two preview, but with fierce attention surrounding the match-up why not mention it again? In my opinion this won’t be much of a contest. Lewan is a top twelve prospect for next April while Tuitt, in my opinion, is overrated. The hype surrounding him does not meet the reality of the situation. He’s a tall lineman who plays with limited leverage and all too often gets handled by lesser opponents. Tuitt’s playmaking stats are as much the result of opponents focusing on his teammate, Louis Nix, as they are the product of his own ability. Yes, Tuitt is a legitimate next level prospect but in my opinion he’s just not the top 15 player some have stamped him to be.
Note: We hope to resurrect the TFY Draft podcast beginning week and will offer insider news on Stephon Tuitt.