Saturday Spotlight: LSU at Auburn

In our weekly column on draft prospects playing on Saturday afternoons, .NET's Scott Eklund takes a look at this week's big matchup. The problem is, there are seven matchups of top 25 teams so who do you choose? We decided on a big SEC West matchup. Here's a look at what we think is "Separation Saturday's" biggest matchup - LSU(6) at Auburn(3).

NFL scouts scour the country year-round to find the best talent available to help their teams the quest to win a Super Bowl. Sometimes they can find hidden gems at schools like Montana, Utah State, North Texas, Southern and the now defunct Milton College (an ode to Seattle's own Dave Krieg).

This week they need look no further than Auburn, Alabama when Auburn hosts LSU the best matchup of the weekend.

LSU's Les Miles and Auburn's Tommy Tubberville have talent up and down their rosters and you can expect every NFL team's scouting department to be tuned in to the matchup that will take place at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Here is a breakdown of the players to keep an eye on when these two SEC stalwarts crack helmets on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern).

LSU

QB Jamarcus Russell – He's huge (6-6, 250) and will remind some of a more mobile version of Byron Leftwich. The problem? He hasn't developed into a consistent passer over his four years under-center. Russell, who is only a junior, has all the physical skills you could want, but he will struggle reading defenses at the pro level so he should stay one more season to work on his skills.

RB Alley Broussard – Broussard, also only a junior, missed his sophomore season with a knee injury, but he's back and he's the bruising, big-back that he was expected to be. He isn't fast, but he's got more moves than a man of his dimensions (6-0, 250) is expected to have and he's running hard right now.

RB Justin Vincent – He's more explosive than Broussard – he possesses 4.4-speed – and he's a player that moves the chains on a consistent basis. Vincent is a player that has started since he was a true freshman. Even though he's more of a speed back, he can run inside when necessary.

WR Dwayne Bowe – From a physical standpoint, Bowe is a prototypical NFL receiver. He's big (6-3, 217) and strong and he has good speed as well. His only problems have been inconsistent hands and poor quarterbacking. He played as a true freshman in 2003 and he will be a player with unlimited potential to succeed at the next level.

FS Laron Landry – Landry is the top pro prospect on either roster. He came to LSU as quarterback, but because of his athleticism and leadership skills he was almost immediately moved to safety. He's got good range, excellent ball-skills and he's an intense-player. He hits hard and will sacrifice his body when necessary.

Other LSU players to watch:

DE Chase Pittman (6-4, 265)
TE Keith Zinger (6-4, 250)
SS Jesse Daniels (6-0, 205)
WR Early Doucet (6-0, 207) **underclassman
LB Ali Highsmith (6-1, 225) **underclassman

Auburn

RB Kenny Irons – After Landry, Irons is the next biggest pro prospect that will be on the field on Saturday. He reminds a lot of people of former Auburn RB Cadillac Williams because he has the same style. He isn't big (5-11, 200), but he runs well between the tackles, has enough burst to get the edge and he's tough. He's also an underrated receiver.

WR Courtney Taylor – A great possession receiver, Taylor is also explosive when he gets into the open field. He runs precise routes, has good hands and the necessary size (6-2, 204) to be a solid second or third receiver at the next level.

CB David Irons Jr. – David, Kenny's older brother, is a solid cover corner, but he lacks ideal size. He'll be matched up all day on Bowe and that matchup that could make or break Auburn's chances in the game.

Other Auburn players to watch:

CB Montavis Pitts (6-1, 197)
DE Marquies Gunn (6-4, 264)
OG Ben Grubbs (6-3, 318)
LB Will Herring (6-3, 221)
SS Karibi Dede (6-0, 217)
K John Vaughn (6-1, 195)


**Also on tap this weekend are six more games featuring top 25 opponents - Michigan(11) at Notre Dame(2), Miami(17) at Louisville(12), Florida(7) at Tennessee(13), Oklahoma(15) at Oregon(18), Nebraska(19) at USC(4), and Texas Tech(24) at TCU(20).

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