Texas State at TCU
Hughes is the program's prized prospect and a legitimate first-round selection next April. At 6-foot-2, 257 pounds, Hughes is a tweener who can play with his hand in the dirt or standing up; he's best suited to play OLB in a 3-4 defense at the next level. He has a quick first step and is tough to control off the edge. He plays with great leverage and suddenness, and changes direction fluidly while in pursuit. He possesses a solid repertoire of moves and is able to get off blocks consistently with his high motor and tenacity on the field. He gets good depth on his drops and is able to cover a large area because of his athleticism. Hughes recorded 52 tackles, 19.5 for a loss, 15 sacks and two interceptions during the 2008 season.
At 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, Washington is one of the elite inside linebackers in the nation and has demonstrated great leadership qualities on defense. Entering his second year as a starter, Washington had 63 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, three sacks and an interception last season. Washington plays with a mean streak and isn't afraid to get dirty. He diagnoses the action well and displays great lateral movement making plays sideline-to-sideline. He has a desired frame, but has to add more size. However, he's able to hold his own against bigger opponents, shed blocks and position himself to make tackles. He's disciplined in coverage and is always around the ball. An intelligent defender who's still learning the game, Washington gives maximum effort at all times.
Hughes is the third-rated outside linebacker (17th overall) and Washington is the sixth-rated middle linebacker (87th overall) in Scout.com's NFL Draft Rankings.
Also generating interest on defense is cornerback Rafael Priest. Priest is entering his fourth year as a starter and has been a reliable, consistent performer. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Priest is a quality cover corner that has great speed, but lacks the ball skills necessary to be a difference maker. Priest is the 32nd-rated cornerback by Scout.com.
— Texas State has two prospects, according to Steuber: senior quarterback Bradley George and junior running back Karrington Bush. The 6-foot-6 George completed 18-of-27 passes for 328 yards and three touchdowns in a nonconference win against Angelo State two weeks ago.
Indiana State at South Dakota State
— According to Steuber, South Dakota State has two good offensive linemen in tackle Casy Knips and guard Casey Bender. Knips is 6-foot-8, 310 pounds, intelligent and athletic. Bender also is an intelligent, athletic 6-foot-6, 295-pounder.
— Indiana State's top prospect is safety Donye McCleskey (5-foot-11, 215), who led the Sycamores in tackles and finished in the top 75 nationally in tackles last season.
Louisville at Kentucky
To see Steuber's preview of this game, click here.
California at Minnesota
To see Steuber's preview of this game, which will be attended by Packers general manager Ted Thompson, click here.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.