Prospect Watch: Saturday's College Games

Greg Mastin looks at potential draft picks on television this weekend


#18 Virginia Tech at North Carolina (Noon, ESPN 2)

Despite being ranked, the Hokies don't have any senior prospects that will be highly ranked. Junior defensive back Jimmy Williams is intriguing because at 6-3, 220, he has rare size in a potential cornerback. The rest of the secondary is also pretty good as cornerback Eric Green and safety Vince Fuller could also go in the early to middle portion of the draft.

The Tarheels are riding high off their spectacular upset of the Miami Hurricanes. Quarterback Darian Durrant, undersized at 5-11, still got some notice for his 21 of 29 performance for 266 yards. He won't be a high pick but his performance could help him get drafted. Center Jason Brown is also a solid bet to be drafted on the second day.

Ohio State at Michigan State (Noon, ESPN)

Ohio State is a young team, with its top prospects coming from the underclass ranks. Two linebackers who could leave school early with the right grade are AJ Hawk and Anthony Schlegel. Kicker Mike Nugent could be a first day pick if he continues to kick well.

Michigan State is trying to rebound from a difficult loss to arch-rival Michigan. Senior running back DeAndra Cobb opened some eyes with his 200 yard performance against the Wolverines. Tight end Eric Knott had a solid game, and he could get drafted.

Minnesota at #4 Wisconsin (3:30, ABC)

Minnesota has really struggled recently after a hot start. Their two best prospects come from the junior class. Running back Marion Barber has first round potential with his great speed. Center Greg Eslinger could be one of the top interior line prospects should he come out early, and could go in rounds 2-4.

Wisconsin is led by its beefy defense, particularly its line. Defensive end Erasmus James has come from nowhere after a hip injury ruined his 2003 season to now be considered as a potential #1 pick in the draft. Linemate Anntaj Hawthorne could possibly join him in the top ten, or at least in the first round. The other defensive end Jonathon Welsh has also moved up the boards and could be selected on the first day. On offense, running back Anthony Davis is a great talent and he should be on of the top five backs selected.

Notre Dame at #11 Tennessee (3:30, CBS)

Notre Dame has one elite prospect in junior defensive end Justin Tuck. He has been consistently improving and had 13 ½ sacks as a sophomore. That's about it for the Irish, as they try to develop some good younger players.

Much of the talk in Tennessee has been about freshman quarterback Brent Schaeffer, but there are plenty of good prospects that will be available in the draft.

Topping the list is Michael Munoz, the son of Hall of  Famer Anthony Munoz, and a quality player in his own right. Running back Cedric Houston has missed some time, and while talented, this may cost him at a position always loaded with good talent. Two linebackers, Kevin Burnett and junior Kevin Simon are possible first day players, as is junior corner Jason Allen. Punter Dustin Colquitt has a chance to be one of the few punters drafted.

Purdue at #20 Iowa (3:30, ESPN)

Talk about falling off the map. Once considered as a potential BCS team, the Boilermakers now find themselves unranked. Still, quarterback Kyle Orton has the potential to be a first or second round pick, along with his favorite target, wide receiver Taylor Stubblefield.

Iowa was thought to be a team in transition, and they are, but they have a lot of young talent stepping up and playing better than expected. They have one true blue-chip prospect in defensive end Matt Roth. Roth could be a first or second day pick in a draft where there should be quality throughout the first day for a change.

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