Scout.com has confirmed that representatives from the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be in Seattle, Washington on Saturday night to see the Washington Huskies try to tame the LSU Tigers.
It’s a tough task for any team to try and control the talent that No. 11 LSU throws at them every year, and this year the Tigers have three players that will receive first round consideration next April: wide receiver Brandon LaFell, offensive tackle Ciron Black and running back Charles Scott.
One of the premiere playmakers in the nation, the 6-foot-3, 208-pound LaFell has outstanding size and speed numbers and is a big play threat. He’s quick off the line, physical with the defender and sells his routes nicely. He’s a smooth receiver that makes everything look effortless and has the athleticism to adjust to any ball thrown his way. He runs well laterally, doesn’t shy away from contact over the middle and has deceptive deep speed to make plays down field. He catches the ball cleanly with his hands, but tends to lose concentration and will drop catchable passes. He’s tough to bring down after the catch, breaks tackles and is elusive in the open field. He’s an outstanding blocker downfield and takes pride in doing the little things that help his team win. He doesn’t possess elite speed and will likely disappoint scouts with his timed speed. LaFell initially declared for the 2009 NFL Draft after he hauled in 63 passes for 929 yards and eight touchdowns during the ’08 season, but decided to return to LSU for his senior year.
Black and Scott also flirted with the idea of leaving school early and submitted their names to the NFL Advisory Board for an evaluation of their draft status. Black received a late first, early second round grade, while Scott was projected as a third round pick.
A three year starter at LSU, Black is a durable, reliable force at left tackle and has started 40 consecutive games for the Tigers. At 6-foot-5, 322 pounds, Black has great size and is a tremendous blindside protector. He’s quick off the line, sets up nicely in pass protection, extends his arms and delivers a punishing push to the defenders chest that stunts his progress. He has a strong upper body, bends his knees and plays low and knocks defenders back with his leg drive. He has good lateral movement, but has to improve his foot position coming out of his set as he makes his way to the second level. He’s not the most athletic tackle, but he shows good awareness and anticipates the blitz well.
Entering his second year as the featured back at LSU, Scott emerged as a junior last season and rushed for 1,174 yards on 217 carries and led the SEC in rushing touchdowns with 18. At 5-foot-11, 236 pounds, Scott is a punishing runner who can handle a heavy workload. He gets stronger as the game progresses and demonstrates his toughness throughout by breaking tackles and picking up extra yards. He shows patience in the backfield waiting for blocks to develop and hits the hole aggressively. He’s more quick than fast and has a deceptive burst in the open field. He’s a work in progress as a receiver, because he isn’t utilized in the passing game. But, when he gets his chances in the flat, he’s a tough matchup for smaller defenders. He possesses great leadership qualities and is a beast in the weight room.
The talent doesn’t rest with the top three for LSU; in addition to LaFell, Black and Scott, the Tigers could have as many as 15 players selected in the ’10 draft. The other prospects that scouts will have an eye on are defensive end Rahim Alem, defensive tackles Al Woods and Charles Alexander, linebackers Perry Riley and Jacob Cutrera, cornerback Chris Hawkins, safeties Harry Coleman and Danny McCray, running back Keiland Williams, fullback Richard Dickson, wide receiver Trindon Holliday and guard Lyle Hitt.The Huskies have some talent, not the rich talent that LSU offers, but they have three good defenders that have a chance of being drafted next year: defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and linebackers E.J. Savannah and Donald Butler. However, Washington’s most prized possession is quarterback Jake Locker, who enters his junior season with visions of challenging the likes of Sam Bradford, Jevan Sneed, Jimmy Clausen and Kolin Kaepernick as the top QB of the 2011 class.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: email@example.com.