Star Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford, a certain first-round pick before the season, will be out again with a shoulder injury aggravated in last week's showdown against Texas. Nonetheless, the Sooners will have plenty of talent on display in Lawrence, Kan.
One prospect who surely will interest the Packers is Trent Williams. The 6-foot-5, 318-pound Williams is Scout.com's second-ranked offensive tackle and is at an obvious position of need. Williams, a first-team all-Big 12 choice last year, posted 18 knockdown blocks in the BCS title game against Florida.
"Trent Williams has primarily played right tackle during his career at Oklahoma, but projects as a left tackle in the NFL," Steuber said of this first-round prospect. "He has great size and athleticism and has the strength to dominate upfront. He's an outstanding run blocker and is a much improved pass blocker. He tends to lack focus and struggles against speedy pass rushers. But, he's a hard worker and is a quality leader on and off the field."
Junior defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is a lock to be a first-rounder if he declares for the draft, Steuber said. He has 9.5 tackles for losses and eight quarterback hits. At 6-foot-4 and 297 pounds, he's got textbook size for a 3-4 defensive end.
Two superb senior prospects haven't played this season. Jermaine Gresham entered the season as the top-ranked tight end but he suffered a preseason knee injury. Eighth-ranked defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger needed offseason back surgery and has applied for a medical redshirt.
Kansas' top player is second-ranked safety Darrell Stuckey. Stuckey (6-1, 200) had five interceptions last season and has one through six games this year. He's more in the mold of Atari Bigby than Nick Collins, and Steuber calls him a late first-rounder/early second-rounder.
"Darrell Stuckey is a playmaking safety, who demonstrates great recognition and tackling ability," Steuber said. "He displays tremendous instincts, but has to be more disciplined in coverage. He likes to roam in the secondary and make plays on the ball, and when it's available he will deliver a knockout blow to the opposition. Even though he struggles in coverage, he's a reliable run defender and can be used effectively off the edge to disrupt to the quarterback. He's an outstanding leader and possesses a strong work ethic that makes him attractive to teams at the next level."
Kansas' junior receiver, Dezmon Briscoe, could be a second-round pick if he comes out early but could surge into the first round in 2011. The 6-foot-3 Briscoe is averaging 17.7 yards on 38 catches this season after catching 92 passes and scoring 15 touchdowns last year.
Illinois at Purdue
The Packers will have a scout at this Big Ten clash. Neither team is having a good year (Purdue is 2-5, even after stunning Ohio State, and Illinois is 1-5) and it shows in Steuber's list of prospects.
Of interest would be senior Jon Asamoah (6-5, 309), Scout.com's fifth-ranked guard. He has started 31 consecutive games and was a preseason candidate for the Outland Trophy given to the nation's best lineman.
The best prospect on the field will be junior receiver Arrelious Benn, who could be a first-rounder but more likely a second-rounder if he enters the draft. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Benn's production has slipped with quarterback Juice Williams' woes. Benn, who caught 67 passes for 1,055 yards last season, has only 22 for 271 this year but is averaging 24 yards on kickoff returns.
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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 email@example.com, 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.