Maryland vs Clemson 12PM EST ESPN
An important ACC match-up between a pair of teams fighting for post-season positioning in the conference's Atlantic Division.
Gaines Adams is rising up draft boards after some outstanding performances. There is still a lot of concern about his character, which will be inspected under a microscope in the off-season by league scouts. Saturday he goes up against a pair of solid offensive tackles.
Reactions have been mixed on Stephon Heyer since his return from the knee injury that sidelined him last year. Rated as a first day pick coming into the 2005 season, Heyer has had his moments this season and still flashes a lot of ability. On the opposite side is Jared Gaither, a 6-feet-9-inch/350-pound blind side tackle with a 36-inch vertical jump. Gaither is destined to be a first round pick when he enters the draft.
With the momentum Adams has built the past month with his play, this will be a good battle for all involved.
Another good match-up resides in the secondary.
Terp corner Josh Wilson is on the rise. Slowly turning into a shut-down cover man, Wilson possesses top physical skills and is putting it together on the field. Also averaging more then 30-yards returning kicks, he is heading into the draft's fist day.
Tiger wide out Chansi Stuckey, a solid middle round choice, returned last week after missing three games with a broken foot. Stuckey flashes game breaking skills and is very elusive handling the ball. He's not 100% but will still offer Wilson a good challenge.
LSU vs. Tennessee 3:30 PM EST CBS
A terrific SEC match-up which will include as many as 14 first day picks on the field at any given time. Top match-ups in the secondary from both sides headline this contest.
Volunteer signal caller Erik Ainge is flying high since the return of David Cutcliffe as the team's offensive coordinator. Also benefiting from the change are a trio of receivers including junior Robert Meachem as well as seniors Jayson Swain and Bret Smith.
This quintet faces possibly the most complete defensive back in the nation, Tiger safety LaRon Landry. Landry grades as a late first round choice next April, as do Volunteer juniors Ainge and Meachem in 2008.
LSU also has several potential early draft picks on the offensive side of the ball.
Quarterback JaMarcus Russell is in the midst of his best season ever. The junior is really gaining traction on draft boards. Likewise Tiger wide outs Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis have shown marked improvement this season. Both are first day selections next April.
Trying to slow this trio down is Jonathan Wade, Tennessee's highly rated corner. Possessing outstanding size/speed numbers, Wade flashes ability at cornerback yet is prone to an occasional lapse.
Saturday's pending battle gives Wade the ability to make his mark.
It has been a disappointing season for both teams with Miami teetering on the brink of catastrophe. There is still plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, though much of it has been underachieving this year.
Hurricane linemen Kareem Brown and Baraka Atkins are both talented players with terrific upside. Yet each has been benched at some point this season for poor play. Virginia Tech blocker Brandon Frye is a good athlete that does not translate his natural skill onto the football field.
Tech has four receivers with NFL ability. Senior David Clowney grades out as a first day pick next April. Underclassmen Eddie Royal, Josh Morgan and Josh Hyman will be sprinkled throughout the seven rounds over the next few drafts.
Hurricane safety Brandon Meriweather, a defensive back with outstanding cover skills, was playing an average brand of football before being suspended after stomping on a players legs during the FIU-Miami brawl.
No player has been as big a disappointment this season as Tech safety Aaron Rouse. Offering outstanding physical skills and previously showing terrific football ability, Rouse has looked lost on the field at times this year. Considered a potential first round choice in August, he is likely to slip out of the initial 60-selections.
This weekend may mark the return of Canes receiver Ryan Moore. The talented pass catcher given a second round grade by Blesto has been on the sidelines with suspension all season long. Moore, who looked like a star in the making as a sophomore only to struggle through a terrible junior campaign, needs a lot of help to have any chance of being drafted before the very late rounds.