- Frank Coyle's Blog
- College Football Mondays
- Ahead of the Curve
- NFL News
- College News
- Order Publication
LSU – Alabama #1 Game Matchup
Photo - WR Rueben Randle - LSU
The much anticipated matchup of #1 LSU and #2 Alabama is finally here today after building to fever pitch over the past month. This has all the makings of this season’s Game of the Century in a classic old time battle where both clubs display a strong physical presence and dominant defenses that attack the line of scrimmage.
Both clubs like to run the ball and play field position while relying on efficient QB play. But the defensive play of both teams is worth the price of admission. What’s at stake? The SEC West Division title and the claim to undisputed #1 national ranking this week. Both clubs are 8-0 and have only one major test after today in their regular season finale – LSU faces Arkansas and Alabama meets Auburn. Winning the SEC has translated into 5 consecutive national titles. Last season’s matchup was a thrilling LSU 24-21 victory in Baton Rouge. Today’s contest is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the scene of so many huge Tide victories.
The key to this game may be Bama star tailback Trent Richardson who was injured in last years’ losing effort. Richardson has been the catalyst for most Tide wins this season and is having a performance that ranks him one of the top three Heisman Trophy candidates. A big effort today could go a long way in winning this game, national title and the Heisman award. The LSU front seven will be fully tested by Richardson and may be the critical deciding factor in the outcome.
LSU and Alabama have incredible secondaries that already rank with NFL defenses. This game features potentially five #1 defensive back picks from both clubs over just the next two draft classes. Sophomore corner Tyrann Mathieu has been a huge impact defender for the Tigers over the early season. He is coming off a one game suspension for dress code and plenty of time to prepare for this clash of SEC titans. Both teams have had two weeks to prepare coming off a bye week that has contributed to the hype of this classic late season matchup.
Prediction - LSU 24 - Alabama 20
Game Within the Game Matchup
LSU Receiver Rueben Randle vs Alabama Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick
Great matchup of two future high #1 NFL Draft picks, maybe next April. This game features countless high draft selections especially on the defensive side of the ball. There could be as many as 8 defensive backs in this game starting eventually in the pro game.
Wideout Rueben Randle is a former five-star recruit entering LSU who struggled over his first two seasons. He is having a major breakout season despite QB changes and a rotation of starters. He has benefitted from more consistent play at QB that has allowed him to start to realize his enormous athletic potential.
Randle has already past his receptions total from last season and currently leads the SEC with 7 TD receptions despite double coverage. He has a big lean 6’4’’, 205 lb frame with a great skill set for the position. He has the vertical speed to get deep consistently and the agility, hands and run after the catch ability to take the underneath passes and make a big play.
Bama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick has rare physical skills for the position. He has great size at 6’3” and plays a physical brand of fotoball that HC Nick Saban plays and demands. He has an NFL safety body with cornerback athleticism and skills. His combination of size, hands and speed ranks him the top cornerback currently with the development to be one of the blue chip prospects for the NFL Draft 2012.
Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game.
Skins’ Kerrigan Named NFL Defensive Rookie for September
The National Football League announced that Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has been named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for September. He is the first Redskins player to win the award since Chris Horton in September 2008 and the fourth overall to receive the honor (Horton, Fred Smoot in September 2001 and Champ Bailey in October 1999).
Photo – Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan
Kerrigan was a nominee for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week following his Week 1 performance against the New York Giants. In a game played on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Kerrigan totaled five tackles in his regular season debut and returned an interception nine yards for a Redskins’ go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. He was the first rookie linebacker since 2002 (James Allen, Sept. 8) to score a touchdown on Kickoff Weekend.
For the month, the 16th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft registered 13 tackles (five solo), five quarterback pressures, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two passes defended and one interception returned for a touchdown. He has started all three games this season at the left outside linebacker position for the Redskins.
During the Redskins’ Week 2 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, Kerrigan recorded the first sack of his career and tipped a pass thrown by Kevin Kolb that was intercepted by London Fletcher in the third quarter of the 22-21 victory against the Cardinals. Both of his passes defensed this season have resulted in interceptions, with his first pass defended occurring prior to his own interception off of Giants quarterback Eli Manning in Week 1.
Kerrigan, 22, played four seasons at Purdue, where he appeared in 48 games, starting his final 35 contests. In his collegiate career, Kerrigan totaled 210 tackles, including 57 for loss, 33.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one interception and seven passes defended. The 14 forced fumbles tied the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) record.
Ryan Kerrigan Scouting Report – Draft Insiders.com Yearbook 2011
Ryan Kerrigan #94 - 6’4’ 265 lbs. - Purdue - Sp. 4.75 /Rating 88
Rugged senior defender had an outstanding close to his career that earned him 1st team Big Ten honors over his last three seasons. Ryan is a strong hard working athlete who has the combination of intangibles and AA to grade out high in all key areas for the position. He has a strong frame with good arm length and keen instincts to use his fine athleticism off the edge. Though he is not quick twitch defender, his first step allows him to gain a consistent advantage on the snap with the technique and functional strength to push the pocket. His combination of power and speed gives him a huge advantage off the snap that enables him to pressure the passer consistently. Over his career, he has been one of the best defenders in the Big Ten and he finished with 35 consecutive starts. He displays the relentless mentality that has allowed him to develop into a fine edge pass rusher, though not the explosive upfield speed rusher of many of the other prospects. He is a tough defender with the power to win vs NFL caliber offensive tackles after facing talented blockers in the Big Ten. He has developed an array of moves that utilize his strong quick hands that gains an early advantage for him to work blockers and counter quickly. Despite his marginal size for the strongside, he has also held up well in run support with good instincts and fine functional strength that allow him to hold the POA well and shed blockers to finish plays. He has shown both speed and power off the edge with the keen instincts to locate the ball and the power to separate from blockers. He can bend the corner well to pressure the passer relying on his strong power hands and technique to gain separation along with his relentless approach to finish each play. He has a strong frame and is a long limbed (333/8”) athlete with a big wingspan that allows him to keep blockers off his body and separate quickly. Over his career, he has filled out athletically and has the strong base to hold the POA well despite a size disadvantage. As a pass rusher, he is a strong athlete with quick hands and feet to win consistently off the edge. He has fast hands and the long arms to quickly separate from blockers that allow him to use his speed off the edge to make sacks. He plays well coming off the edge and moves adequately in space, though he is no experience playing up in a 3-4 defense as an attack backer. He has improved his overall body strength that has helped him hold up better at the POA vs the run. He does use consistently good leverage and keeps him alive on the play, though he struggles holding up vs double team blocks due to his lack of bulk. He is a battler and much more effective with experience to act instinctively to plays. He uses his good speed to pursue and will work from the backside to chase the play and finish well. He is not very flexible and can struggle when asked to redirect in space. He has learned to take on blockers quickly with good diagnostic skills that assist him to read, shed and make tackles. As a pass rusher, he has a fine array of moves including a good hump, rip and swim technique that he improved with experience. With more refinement on his hand usage and shedding blocks, he can continue to develop into a fine two-way defender. He needs to learn to anchor better and play the run with better leverage especially at the POA, though he grades out fairly high in that role. As a senior, he started all 12 games and registered 70 tackles with 26 TFL and 12.5 sacks that earned him Big Ten honors. As a junior, he registered 66 tackles with 18.5 TFL and 13 sacks that earned Big Ten honors. Over his career, he totaled 210 tackles with 57 TFL and 33.5 sacks in 35 starts. At the NFL Combine, he came in at just under 6’4” and 267 lbs. and ran 4.79 time. He did 31 reps with 33.5” VL and 10’2” BJ with 4.39 short shuttle and 7.18 three-cone drills. He compares to Jared Allen in size, intangibles and AA, including playing down in the 4-3 set on the strongside. He resembles Allen in body type, and combination of quickness and power as an edge rusher. He is capable of holding up vs the run inline, stringing out plays and keeping contain on the corner. Blue-collar defender with the fine skill set and upside that carries a mid 1st round grade and top 20 selection off an impressive Senior Bowl week and game. Rising prospect and well developed athlete to make a difference. Seahawks, Eagles and Titans in the hunt.
Draft Projection: 1st Round
Draft Insiders.com publishes an annual Yearbook that has over 3000 in-depth Scouting Reports for the NFL Draft
BCS National Championship Series
College 2011-2012 Bowl Conference Matchups
The BCS is a five-game showcase of college football. It is designed to ensure that the two top-rated teams in the country meet in the national championship game, and to create exciting and competitive matchups among eight other highly regarded teams in four other bowl games.
It has been undeniably successful in achieving those goals. Thanks to the BCS, the top two teams have played each other 12 times in 12 years by BCS measurements and nine times in the last 12 according to the AP poll -- including the last six years in a row. Additionally, it has provided more access to the major bowls for all eleven conferences, more television exposure, and more postseason revenue than ever before.
BCS National Championship Game
BCS#1 vs BCS #2 - Jan. 9, 2012 - 8:30 p.m. - New Orleans, La.- ESPN
Jan. 2, 2012 - Pasadena, Calif.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 2, 2012 - Glendale, Ariz.
Jan. 3, 2012 - New Orleans
Discover Orange Bowl
Jan. 4, 2012 - Miami
BCS National Championship
Jan. 9, 2012 - New Orleans
– Complete 2011-2012 Bowl Games –
New Mexico Bowl
MWC vs Pac 12 - Albuquerque, N.M.- Dec. 17, 2011 - 2 p.m. ESPN
WAC vs MAC - Boise, Idaho - Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m. ESPN
New Orleans Bowl
Sun Belt vs CUSA - New Orleans, La - Dec. 17, 9 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg Bowl
Big East vs CUSA - St. Petersburg, Fl - Dec. 20, 8 p.m. ESPN
MWC vs WAC - Dec. 21, 8 p.m. ESPN
Las Vegas Bowl
MWC vs Pac 10 - Las Vegas, Nv - Dec. 22, 8 p.m. ESPN
WAC vs CUSA - Honolulu, Hi - Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ESPN
MWC vs ACC - Shreveport, La. - Dec. 26, 5 p.m. ESPN2
Little Caesars Bowl
MAC vs. Big Ten - Detroit, Mi - Dec. 27, 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Big East vs ACC – Charlotte, North Carolina - Dec. 27, 8 p.m. ESPN2
ACC vs Navy - Washington, D.C. - Dec. 28, 4:30 pm ESPN
Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Big 12 vs Pac 12 - San Diego, Ca - Dec. 28, 8 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports Bowl
Big East vs ACC - Orlando, Fl. - Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Big 12 vs Pac 12 - San Antonio, Tx - Dec. 29, 9 p.m. ESPN
Armed Forces Bowl
CUSA vs BYU - Dallas, Tx - Dec. 30, 12 p.m ESPN
Big East vs Big 12 - Bronx, NYC - Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
ACC vs SEC - Nashville, Tn. - Dec. 30, 6:30 p.m. ESPN
Big Ten vs Big 12 - Tempe, Ariz. - Dec. 30, 10 p.m. ESPN
Meineke Car Care Bowl
Big East vs ACC - Charlotte, N.C. - Dec. 31, Noon. ESPN
Brut Sun Bowl
ACC vs Pac 12 - El Paso, Texas - Dec. 31, 2 p.m. CBS
SEC vs CUSA - Memphis, Tn. - Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ABC
Fight Hunger Bowl
Army vs Pac 12 - San Francisco, Ca - Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ESPN
ACC vs SEC - Atlanta, Ga - Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Ticket City Bowl
Big Ten vs CUSA - Dallas, Tx. - Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ESPN
Capital One Bowl
Big Ten vs SEC - Orlando, Fl. - Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ABC
Big Ten vs SEC - Jacksonville, Fla. - Jan. 2, 1:00 p.m. ESPN 2
Big Ten vs SEC - Tampa, Fl. - Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ESPN
Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi
BCS - Big Ten vs Pac 10 - Pasadena, Ca - Jan. 2, 5:00 p.m. ABC
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Big Champion vs BCS - Glendale, Ariz. - Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m. ESPN
SEC Champion vs BCS - New Orleans, La - Jan. 3, 8 p.m. ESPN
FedEx Orange Bowl
ACC Champion vs BCS - Miami, Fl - Jan. 4, 8 p.m. ESPN
AT&T Cotton Bowl
Big 12 vs SEC - Arlington, Texas - Jan. 6, 8 p.m. FOX
Big East vs SEC - Birmingham, Al - Jan. 7, 1:00 p.m. ESPN
Go Daddy.com Bowl
Sun Belt vs MAC - Mobile, Ala. - Jan. 8, 9 p.m. ESPN
BCS National Championship Game
BCS#1 vs BCS #2 - Jan. 9, 8:30 p.m. - New Orleans, La.- ESPN
NFL Preseason 2011 Schedule -
All Times Eastern Standard
Photo – QB Drew Brees - Saints
Thursday, August 11
Jacksonville at New England (7:30)
Baltimore at Philadelphia (7:30)
Seattle at San Diego (8:00)
Denver at Dallas (8:30)
Arizona at Oakland (10:00)
Friday, August 12
Miami at Atlanta (7:30)
Cincinnati at Detroit (7:30)
Pittsburgh at Washington (7:30)
Tampa Bay at Kansas City (8:00)
San Francisco at New Orleans (8:00)
Saturday, August 13
Green Bay at Cleveland (7:30)
Buffalo at Chicago (8:00)
N.Y. Giants at Carolina (8:00)
Indianapolis at St. Louis (8:00)
Minnesota at Tennessee (8:00)
Monday, August 15
N.Y. Jets at Houston (8:00)
For Complete Schedule Click on Next Page
Best First Round Value Selections
Jaguars – QB Blaine Gabbert
Lions - DT Nick Fairley
Giants - CB Prince Amukamara
Ravens – CB Jimmy Smith
Saints - DE Cam Jordan
Steelers – DE Cam Heyward
Photo – QB Cam Newton
First Round Selection Order
Pick / Team / Player / Position/ College
1(1) Panthers - Cam Newton - QB - Auburn
2(2) Broncos - Von Miller - LB - Texas A&M
3(3) Bills – Marcell Dareus - DL - Alabama
4(4) Bengals - A.J. Green - WR - Georgia
5(5) Cardinals - Patrick Peterson - CB - LSU
6(6) Falcons (Browns) - Julio Jones - WR - Alabama
7(7) 49ers - Aldon Smith - LB - Missouri
8(8) Titans - Locker, Jake - QB - Washington
9(9) Cowboys - Tyron Smith - OT - USC
10(10) Jaguars (Redskins) - Blaine Gabbert - QB - Missouri
11(11) Texans - J.J. Watt - DE - Wisconsin
12(12) Vikings - Christian Ponder - QB - Florida St.
13(13) Lions - Nick Fairley - DT - Auburn
14(14) Rams - Robert Quinn - DE - North Carolina
15(15) Dolphins - Mike Pouncey - OL - Florida
16(16) Redskins (Jaguars) - Ryan Kerrigan - DE - Purdue
17(17) Patriots (Raiders) - Nate Solder - OT - Colorado
18(18) Chargers - Corey Liuget - DT - Illinois
19(19) Giants - Prince Amukamara - CB - Nebraska
20(20) Buccaneers - Adrian Clayborn - DE - Iowa
21(21) Browns (Chiefs) - Phil Taylor - DT - Baylor
22(22) Colts - Anthony Castonzo - OT - Boston College
23(23) Eagles - Danny Watkins - OL - Baylor
24(24) Saints - Cam Jordan - DE - California
25(25) Seahawks - James Carpenter - OL - Alabama
26(26) Chiefs (Falcons-Browns) - Jonathan Baldwin - WR - Pittsburgh
27(27) Ravens - Jimmy Smith - CB - Colorado
28(28) Saints (Patriots) - Mark Ingram - RB - Alabama
29(29) Bears - Gabe Carimi - OT - Wisconsin
30(30) Jets - Muhammad Wilkerson - DE - Temple
31(31) Steelers - Cam Heyward - DE - Ohio St.
32(32) Packers - Derek Sherrod - OT - Mississippi St.
Philadelphia Eagles - 10-6
- Head Coach - Andy Reid - 13th Year
Key Team Needs:
1. OT 2. CB 3. DE 4. LB 5. RB
1st Round - 24th selection - 8 Picks overall
Photo - CB Jimmy Smith - Colorado
Short List Players - Eagles
1st Round (24th overall) Prospects
Nate Solder - OT - Colorado
Jimmy Smith - CB - Colorado
Mike Pouncey - OC - Florida
Adrian Clayborn - DE - Iowa
Muhammad Wilkerson - DT -Temple
Draft Insiders’ Yearbook - Complete 7 Round Mock Draft - Over 350 Pro Prospect Scouting Reports, NFL Team Report - all 32 Teams (34 pgs) - Update Report (18 pgs) Final 7 Round Draft, Special Player Lists, Top Small College Prospects - Dirty Dozen - All Available Now - Order Today
2nd Day Prospects
Ryan Williams - RB - Virginia Tech
Stephen Paea - DT - Oregon St
Brandon Harris - CB - Miami
Jabaal Sheard - DE - Pittsburgh
Marcus Gilbert - OT - Florida
Bruce Carter - LB - North Carolina
Mason Foster - LB - Washington
James Brewer - OT - Indiana
Colin McCarthy - LB - Miami
Ross Homan - LB - Ohio St
James Carpenter - OT - Alabama
1. Offensive Line - The Eagles starting line may look to add two prospects with right tackle and an interior center/guard fairly early in the process. They could draft into the center position with a prospect like Mike Pouncey available at the 24th overall selection. They also like OT Nate Solder who could be available with their 1st round pick.
2. Cornerback - The Eagles could address this area with both a safety and corner fairly early. Despite the addition of vet corner Asante Samuel, there is little depth on the corner and this could be their best value area at the 24th overall selection. They like corner Jimmy Smith and they may use their top pick on him. They could address both areas in the top 100 selections. They like corner Brandon Harris on the 2nd round and he will get strong consideration. Expect a few high draft selections at each position where the talent level falls quickly by the middle rounds.
3. Defensive End - The Eagles have several situational defenders here and may surprise and address this position again after selecting Brandon Graham with their top pick last April. With their late 1st round selection, they could surprise with two falling prospects like Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers possibly available. They like Jabaal Sheard very much in the 2nd round and Allen Bailey to a lesser degree.
4. Linebacker - The Eagles have lacked an impact backer over recent seasons. They like several prospects with Top 100 grades, Bruce Carter, Mason Foster, Colin McCarthy and Ross Homan. All play well in a 4-3 scheme with most at the Will position. Foster gives them rare versatility and may be their highest rated 3rd round prospect. They have little depth behind starters and the addition of a quality early starter is essential. They may address this unit twice over the three-day draft.
5. Running Back - The Eagles starting tailback LeSean McCoy has performed well, but they have little depth behind him. They could address this area fairly early with a premier runner like Ryan Williams probably on the board in the late 2nd round. He would be a fine compliment to McCoy. They also like Delone Carter in the 4th round area and he would give them a tough power runner to compliment the shifty McCoy.
Draft Insiders’ Insights
The Eagles have been an aggressive club to move up for certain players and have one extra pick this year to maneuver in the early rounds. They have clear needs along the offensive line and in the secondary that could see both areas addressed with a few early selections. They hope to parlay their top picks into early starters. They will focus on an offensive lineman and like OL Nate Solder and Mike Pouncey in the 1st round. They will probably be tempted with a top-flight runner available with their first three selections and like Ryan Williams and Jordan Todman as compliments to McCoy. They also like Delone Carter in the middle rounds. They may find a few highly regarded prospects like Stephen Paea or Marcus Gilbert on the board in the late 2nd round who would be difficult to pass on at that point. They have done extensive work on DT Muhammad Wilkerson and he gives him 1st round consideration, though not a high need position.
1st Round Pick - CB Jimmy Smith - Colorado - The Eagles hope to land a complete cover man here.
Alternate Pick - OT Nate Solder - Colorado - Fine athlete has the skill set to be a top versatile tackle.
Pro Days - Workout Schedule
Updated March 12th
Pro Day schedules have been updated by schools starting with the upcoming week of March. Several schools will have two Pro Days, though most are attempting to utilize one date and event to provide the last workout and other pertinent information for the NFL Draft 2011. We intend to attend several Pro Days, in addition to many interviews over the final two months on the journey to the NFL Draft 2011.
Photo - CB Patrick Peterson - LSU
New Mexico State
Northwestern State (La.)
North Dakota State
San Diego State
South Dakota State
North Carolina State
Middle Tennessee State
San Diego State
Miami (Fl) rescheduled lightning
Northwest Missouri State
New Mexico State
North Carolina Central
South Carolina State
Clark University - Atlanta