Just because we are in the middle of football season does not mean we can't be looking ahead to the NFL Draft already. If this is the time when NFL scouts do their work, then why can't the scouts here for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers version of Scout.com do the same?
Here are three college football players Bucs fans can keep an eye on this weekend:
Mannion has thrown for over 900 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions as he has led Oregon State to a 3-0 record to start this season. He has prototypical size (6'5'' 220 lbs) and is a tremendous leaders for the Beavers. Mannion faces his toughest test as Oregon State goes on the road to take on USC and defensive lineman Leonard Williams. These are the types of games that can separate quarterbacks come draft time.
Josue Matias - OG - FSU
FSU @ NC State - 3:30pm EST
We could probably make this both Matias and FSU's other OG Tre Jackson. From a Bucs perspective, the guard play is still a work in progress, so I'm keeping my eyes on guards from all over the country. NC State (4-0) has been a surprising team this year, after winning just 3 games in 2013, but FSU is easily their best competition. Their offense has gotten most of the accolades in Raleigh, but NC State's defense has played a very physical brand of football. With that said, FSU has one of the best offensive lines in the country and I expect both Matias and Jackson to play well.
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M - 3:30pm EST (in Dallas)
Flowers is coming off an impressive game against Norther Illinois, totaling 9 tackles, a sack, 2 tackles for a loss, and a forced fumble, on his way to receiving SEC Defensive Lineman of the week. This week, it's slightly tougher for Flowers, who received a 3rd round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board last January. Flowers faces the top OT in the country Saturday in Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi. These are the types of tests that will tell us if Flowers is still just a mid round selection or worthy of a higher pick come next May.
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