Scout.com has confirmed that representatives from the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be in Greenville, North Carolina on Saturday night to watch Division I-AA powerhouse Appalachian State take on up and coming East Carolina.
After finishing the 2008 season with a 9-5 record, East Carolina put their program on the map, and scouts started to take notice of the players they fielded. The player that’s generating the most interest from scouts is defensive end C.J. Wilson. At 6-foot-3, 278 pounds, Wilson has great size and a quick first step. He’s fast off the edge, plays with good pad level and is a terror in the backfield. He’s forceful up field and uses his hands to his advantage. He has to improve his arsenal of moves and learn to not always rush to the outside; he has the strength to rush inside. After a breakout junior season where he recorded 70 tackles, 18.5 for a loss and 10.5 sacks, Wilson is flying up draft boards and is currently the 5th rated defensive end (39th overall) by Scout.com.
The Pirates have two more defenders that will likely be the focus of scouts in attendance, defensive tackle Jay Ross and free safety Van Eskridge. At 6-foot-3, 314 pounds, Ross is a playmaker in the trenches and is coming off of an impressive ’08 season where he had 48 tackles, 9.5 for a loss and 5.5 sacks. Eskridge, a versatile defender that can play multiple positions in the secondary, emerged as a leader and a playmaker on defense last season recording 97 tackles and four interceptions. Ross is currently the 12th rated defensive tackle (112th overall) and Eskridge is the 5th rated safety (88th overall) by Scout.com.
On the other sideline, Appalachian State will be without their star quarterback/athlete Armanti Edwards on Saturday, as he’s still recovering from a lawn-mowing accident that left him with 35 stitches in his right foot four weeks ago. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound ultra-elusive signal caller is the Mountaineers top senior prospect, and Saturday’s game against East Carolina would have given scouts a good look at how he’s progressed as a quarterback. Edwards projects to be a wide receiver in the NFL.
Without Edwards in the lineup, scouts will concentrate on two of the Mountaineers top defenders, senior middle linebacker Jacque Roman and the program’s top overall prospect, junior free safety Mark LeGree.The team’s leading tackler the last two years, Roman had a sensational junior campaign in ‘08 where he collected 130 tackles, 6.5 for a loss, three sacks and two interceptions. At 5-foot-11, 240 pounds, Roman lacks the stature desired by most scouts, but he’s a hard worker and gives maximum effort on the field. As a sophomore, the 6-foot, 200-pound LeGree replaced a true team leader in Corey Lynch last year and responded incredibly by posting 58 tackles, three for a loss, a sack and 10 interceptions. LeGree’s production last year has his team and scouts excited about the possibilities of him developing into a game changing safety that could eventually be a first – second round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft.
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.