Scouting the Big Ten: Purdue

The Boilermakers made a great comeback in last year's Sun Bowl to win the game and could be a surprise team in the Big Ten this season. The program has many underrated prospects; good football players that project well to the next level.

To our minds first on that list would be Kyle Orton. The heady quarterback displays patience, vision and good decision making in the pocket. Though he does not have a great arm, it is passable for the next level. Orton is not much of a scrambler yet gets outside the pocket and makes the throw on the move. Having good signal caller size, he is one to watch.

- Next would be Tony Stubblefield, a productive and explosive receiver that slips past defenders for the big play. Stubblefield displays top quickness and reliable hands. Slight of size, his draft stock would be helped immeasurably if he shows any abilities as a return specialist.

- Kelly Butler is a nice sized tackle with above average movement skills. He is a prospect that dominates on the strong side and will only get better in time as he matures physically.

- Joey Harris is a solid interior runner with decent hands while John Standeford makes plays at receiver but lacks the top speed for his lanky build.

- Defensively, everyone loves safety Stuart Schweigert and while we agree he is a solid football player, he lacks the explosion or outright lateral speed we really like to see in a top-rated centerfielder. Schweigert does a terrific job reading the action and diagnosing plays, but he is usually a half step slow arriving on the scene in deep pass coverage. Presently we do not project him as a first round selection and needs good workouts next spring to crack the top 32.

- Landon Johnson makes many plays at outside linebacker and is always around the action, displaying solid range in pass defense. He does not play with great speed and lacks top size but is solid late round consideration.

- Linebacker Nick Koutouvides is versatile, hard-hitting and a defender that can be used in the middle or on the strong side. Koutouvides is presently ranks as a solid mid-round selection and has a good head for the ball with some explosion to his game.

- End Kevin Nesfield stepped up big last year, making many plays behind the line of scrimmage but projects best to the outside in a three-four.

-Tackle Craig Terrill is a quick, hard-working interior player but a limited athlete who lacks the sheer bulk to clog the middle.

- Shaun Phillips is a solid pass rusher at end with some growth potential but may project to outside linebacker in a three-four alignment.


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