Scout.com has confirmed that representatives from the Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers will be in Corvallis, Oregon on Saturday night to see Oregon State open up against Portland State.
These are two schools that are separated by an hour and a half, and compete at two different levels; Oregon State is a Division I school, while Portland State plays at the Division I-AA level. In regards to the game, the Beavers have the advantage as they have much better athletes and play in a favorable, hostile environment. But for the scouts in attendance, who wins the game is secondary; the only thing that matters is how certain players perform. The two teams each feature a highly touted underclassman, but unfortunately the two senior prospects in this game are borderline draft picks.
The two underclassmen playing in this game, Oregon State DT Stephen Paea and Portland State CB DeShawn Shead, is the reason why the aforementioned teams are interested in this matchup, because the seniors, Oregon State linebacker Keaton Kristick and Portland State fullback Bobby McClintock, are good but don’t have much upside.
A former JUCO transfer from Snow JC, the 6-foot-1, 288-pound Paea made an immediate impact last season for the Beavers. He had 41 tackles, 11 for a loss, and five sacks in his first year of action at the Division I level. Born in Tonga where he grew up playing rugby, Paea, who moved to the U.S. at the age of 16, didn’t start playing football until his senior year in high school. Being short in stature and relying on his strength and leverage, Paea is still developing his technique and learning to make adjustments. Only a redshirt junior, Paea is an intriguing prospect and one that scouts are excited about.
As for the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Shead, who’s only a redshirt sophomore and a long shot to enter the 2010 NFL Draft, this will be a good test for him to play in an environment he’s not used to. A physical corner with tremendous instincts and ball skills, Shead recorded 51 tackles, two for a loss and six interceptions for the Vikings last year. Shead is a young player, who tends to play overly aggressive at times to create turnovers. But, if he tries that against a quality team like Oregon State, he will get be exploited.And for the two senior prospects… at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Kristick is a physical linebacker who has good instincts and awareness. He had a breakout 2008 season and finished with 82 tackles, 14 for a loss, and 3.5 sacks. Kristick is currently the 28th rated outside linebacker by Scout.com, and at this time he’s likely to be an undrafted free agent in 2010. McClintock’s draft status is similar to Kristick’s; he’s a talented player, but not considered a prime prospect to be drafted. McClintock recovered nicely from a torn ACL and had a solid junior season last year carrying the ball 93 times for 457 yards and six touchdowns; he also caught 34 passes for 287 yards. At 5-foot-11, 235 pounds, McClintock is more of an offensive weapon than a blocker. He lacks the speed necessary to be taken seriously as an offensive threat at the next level and will have to improve his blocking technique to even be considered as a possible draft pick. But, he’s a hard worker and could be a valuable special teams player.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.