Tony Pauline returns and rejoins host Brent Sobleski as the PAC 10 receives final call.
Also in this episode:
- Suspensions everywhere.
- Opening weekend observations.
- Pitt defensive end Greg Romeus’ injury.
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There’s a lot to like in Palo Alto as the Cardinal will put a terrific football team on the field this year, one we think will be victors of the PAC Ten conference. There’s franchise type talent on offense and a number of underrated prospects on the defensive side of the ball. In our opinion this is the most talented team in the league.
Andrew Luck is a dynamite prospect and the red-shirt sophomore has franchise quarterback written all over him. He’s smart, tough and has great presence on the field. Patient in the pocket, he makes proper decisions under the rush, knows where his targets are on the field and immediately locates the open wide out. Luck stands in against the rush and has a big time arm. He can thread a needle and get the ball through the tight spots, drive the ball downfield and shows tremendous accuracy and pass placement on just about all this throws. He will stare down the primary target at times and is not averse to chancing the ball into covered receivers. Considering he was just a first year starter the sky is the limit for Luck, who we presently rank as our top quarterback prospect in the nation.
Luck has a pair of NFL receivers to throw to.
Chris Owusu is a sure handed pass catcher with nice size and above average speed. He nicely adjusts to the errant throw and easily makes the over-the-shoulder reception downfield or effortlessly catches the ball in stride. He shows terrific eye/hand coordination and quickly transitions from making the catch to running after the reception. We like Owusu’s total package and think he could develop into a number two at the next level.
Ryan Whalen has better size than Owusu and is also a focused receiver with reliable hands. Whalen extends to make the reception away from his frame, displays terrific eye/hand coordination and wins out in battles. He’s a possession receiver who does not have the burst or deep speed but has the ability to play at the next level. Scouts coming out of Palo Alto this summer have been impressed with Whalen.
Lead blocker Owen Marecic has been one of our favorite players in college football the past two seasons and in our opinion is head and shoulders above all other senior fullback prospects. Quick and nasty with terrific blocking vision, Marecic immediately gets out of his stance, has the speed to create space for his ball carrier and jolts linemen at the point of attack or annihilates linebackers on the second level. He squares into defenders, knocking them off the ball and works hard to finish blocks. Marecic is also a terrific receiver out of the backfield. In our opinion he’s got second round talent yet fullback is not a priority position on draft day hence we downgraded Marecic accordingly.
Sione Fua is our top rated prospect on defense and the tackle will get consideration on the nose moving toward next April. Fua possesses a great first step, shows a lot of explosion in his overall game and hustles to make plays. His thick build makes it very tough to move Fua off the point and he shows the ability to bull rush opponents off the line. Better in a straight line, he does not show much speed pursuing the action to the flanks but will have a place at the next level occupying blockers up front.
Tom Keiser is a junior we are monitoring. The defensive end flies around the action trying to make positive plays. He plays with terrific pad level, gets leverage on opponents and shows adequate speed off the edge.
In our opinion Richard Sherman is one of the most underrated cornerbacks in the nation. The former receiver moved to the defensive side of the ball last season and showed a lot of skill at his new position. He offers nice size, athleticism and also impacts the game as a return specialist. Sherman was given a free agent grade by NFL scouts and we stamped him as a sixth rounder but if he plays as well as we think he can Sherman could move into the fourth frame.
Discuss all the NFL prospects from the PAC Ten!
There are many who think Washington will challenge for the PAC Ten title this season and we understand why. The program has took a huge jump in Steve Sarkisian’s first year and there’s reason to believe the former quarterback will continue to build a winner. Except for two NFL prospects, one well known and the other a real sleeper, the roster is full of late round talent.
Jake Locker is predicted by some to be the first pick of next April’s draft, something we disagree with yet understand. Locker is a sensational athlete who produces throwing the ball or carrying it. Locker effectively sells the play fakes, immediately locates the open wide out and has a terrific sense for what’s happening on the field. He’s nimble enough to escape the rush and loses nothing throwing on the move. To his credit Locker will pull the ball down when nothing’s available rather than force passes into covered receivers. Even at 6-feet, 2.5-inches, Locker seems to have trouble seeing over the offensive line at times. He does not consistently throw with good mechanics and is usually high of the mark when he tries to zip the ball into receivers. He comes with an upside and we will say we were very impressed with Locker’s improvement from thrower to passer last season once Sarkisian got hold of him.
Junior running back Chris Polk is resilient, works runs and keeps the play in bounds trying to pick up positive yardage. He has a terrific burst of speed, shows the ability to pick up large chunks of yardage and carries the ball with a nice degree of strength. Polk also shows himself to be a bit straight-linish and really is not an elusive ball carrier.
Tackle Cody Habben is a large, lumbering blocker only effective in a small area. He blocks with a nasty attitude, makes good use of body positioning and seals defenders from the action with his wide body. Habben also displays good power at the point of attack. He lacks footwork sliding out to protect the edge, struggles to adjust and looks like a marginal athlete on the field.
Junior Alameda Ta’amu could be one of the best kept secrets in the nation on the defensive line and a terrific prospect developing at a great pace. Powerful, he’s very tough to move off the point and easily overwhelms one-on-one blocking, bull rushing opponents off the ball. He must improve his playing balance and Ta’amu is a heavy footed defensive lineman effective in a straight line yet a terrific prospect with a good upside.
Nate Williams is a competitive safety that gives it up against the run but shows poor ball skills in coverage and struggles if asked to play over the slot receiver.
Discuss all the NFL prospects from the PAC Ten!