|TCU's Jimmy Hughes and the Horned Frogs play a big Mountain West Conference game against Utah on Saturday.|
TCU at Utah, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET
Scouts are anxiously awaiting this Mountain West matchup to catch a glimpse of the Horned Frogs'
wreaking havoc off the edge. As one of the fastest rising hybrid pass-rushing prospects on draft boards, Hughes has emerged as a possible first-round pick. Another dominant performance will further boost his chances of being one of the first pass rushers taken in the draft. Additionally, scouts will pay close attention to LB Darryl Washington manning the middle of the TCU defense. Washington is the physical, hard-hitting presence that pro defensive coordinator crave in the middle, and he can continue to boost his ascending stock by playing well in the Horned Frogs' biggest game. For the Utes, all eyes will be on OT
. Although the mammoth blocker is projected to move inside as a pro, evaluators will assess his footwork and movement skills while he takes on Hughes and Co. off the edge.
Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, Saturday at 8 p.m. ET
entered the season with one of the top rated tight end prospects in the 2010 draft class in
. However, scouts flocking to Pittsburgh have stumbled upon one of the most versatile players at the position in Dorin Dickerson. The talented pass catcher has played three positions (receiver, linebacker and tight end) during his time at Pittsburgh, but the versatile background has intrigued scouts looking to identify a possible fullback/tight end prospect with upside as a receiver/blocker. On the other side of the ball, scouts have pinpointed Notre Dame OT
as the one to watch. While he has struggled at times against speed rushers off the edge, Young still intrigues some evaluators looking for a rugged blocker capable of playing on the right side as a pro.
Arizona at California, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET
This Pac-10 battle features two of the top cover men west of the Mississippi in the Wildcats' Devin Ross and the
' Syd'Quan Thompson. Although the diminutive corners don't possess ideal size for the position, both intrigue scouts looking for corners with outstanding feet, hands and instincts. Additionally, scouts will take a long, hard look at the Cal DE
to determine if the senior has the requisite grit and toughness to be an impact player on the next level. While Alualu has flashed outstanding quickness and athleticism as a penetrater, some scouts would like to see him play stouter at the point of attack. This physical contest against the Wildcats gives him an opportunity to silence his detractors.
Auburn at Georgia, Saturday at 7 p.m ET
This weekend's battle between the hedges will attract a large scouting contingent looking to check out underrated Tigers RB
run against Georgia's defense. Tate has steadily improved over the course of the season; the bruising runner has topped the 100-yard mark in six of the Tigers' 10 games. While he lacks the speed and explosiveness that some scouts crave, his workmanlike style works in power offenses and makes him a coveted mid-round prospect. For the Bulldogs, the focus will be on the team's imposing defensive tackle tandem of
and Jeff Owens. Although the Bulldogs have struggled this season, Atkins and Owens have performed admirably in the middle and scouts are curious to see if the duo will close the season with a strong finish.
Miami at North Carolina, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
Scouts are trekking down Tobacco Road to check out the Tar Heels' star-studded defense take on the Hurricanes. Although the team touts a pair of mid-round prospects along the defensive line (DT
and DE E.J. Wilson), scouts will also look at a host of underclassmen (DT
and LB Quan Sturdivant) potentially considering a move to the next level. In looking at the Hurricanes' lineup, scouts are sure to focus on OT
, DE Eric Moncur and LB Daryl Sharpton. The trio has earned mixed reviews in the scouting community, but a string of consistent performances down the stretch could enhance their draft positions.