Scout Watch: Cincinnati at Rutgers

With the college football season starting this week, Scout.com's Chris Steuber has the latest and confirms that 12 teams will travel to Piscataway, NJ for a Big East showdown.

Scout.com has confirmed that representatives from the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks will be in Piscataway, New Jersey on Monday afternoon to watch an intriguing Big East matchup between Cincinnati and Rutgers.


Davis is one of the premiere OTs in the country as a junior.
Rutgers Football

Three of the teams in attendance will send high level scouting executives to scout the talent on the field; the Browns will send their Director of College Scouting Pat Roberts, the Colts will be represented by Director of Player Personnel Tom Telesco and Marc Ross, Director of College Scouting for the Giants, will make the ride down I-95 South to get a first hand look at some of the nations premier talent.

Monday afternoon’s game features two potential first round picks, Cincinnati wide receiver Mardy Gilyard and Rutgers junior offensive tackle Anthony Davis. The word “potential” is used, because Davis, who’s a top five offensive tackle in the country, is an underclassmen and its yet to be determined if he will forego his senior year and enter the 2010 NFL Draft.

Entering his second year as a starter at left tackle, the 6-foot-6, 325-pound Davis is a large, athletic tackle who can play inside or outside on the offensive line. He’s quick off the snap, makes good adjustments and possesses a strong upper body. He delivers a devastating punch to defenders, stunts their progress and is able to knock them off their rush. He possesses nimble feet, gets to the second level with ease and makes his presence known by attacking linebackers. He plays with a mean streak and is aware of his surroundings. Davis has to improve his conditioning habits and become more motivated as a player.

In addition to Davis, Rutgers has some promising senior prospects including offensive tackle Kevin Haslam, cornerback Devin McCourty, fullback Jack Corcoran and linebacker Ryan D'Imperio.

Over on the opposing sideline, the 6-foot, 187-pound Gilyard has a lanky build and isn’t a physical receiver, but he’s an exciting playmaker that is most effective in space. He’s quick off the line, uses his hands well to fight off a jam and will challenge a defender over the middle and downfield. He has good hands and vision, and consistently finds openings within a defense. He sets up defenders nicely after the catch and is elusive in the open field. He shows good awareness after the catch and follows his blockers to pick up positive yards. Even though he’s not a physically imposing player, he demonstrates plenty of desire by being able to make tough catches in a crowd. He has a knack for the acrobatic and makes highlight reel plays. He’s a tremendous return specialist who can take it the distance anytime the ball is in his hands. As thrilling as Gilyard can be as a receiver, he has some flaws in his game. He has to improve his route running; he rounds off too many of his routes. And he has to get stronger and become a better blocker downfield. Overall, he’s a gifted player who’s overcome a lot in his life and has the motivation to become a big time threat at the next level. Gilyard is currently the 2nd rated wide receiver (19th overall) in Scout.com’s 2010 NFL Draft Rankings.

Gilyard is a fantastic player, but he’s helped out by one of the top quarterbacks in the country, Tony Pike. Entering his second year as the starting quarterback for the Bearcats, Pike displayed his leadership qualities and ability to make crucial throws in tough spots in ‘08. At 6-foot-6, 212 pounds, Pike has prototypical size and a strong arm. He’s patient in the pocket and has the athleticism to buy time with his feet as he waits for a receiver to get open. He has a great understanding of how to read a defense and identifies the blitz consistently at the line of scrimmage. He goes through his progressions well and doesn’t just lock in on one receiver. He tends to force throws into coverage, but usually takes the safe route if his primary receiver isn’t open. He benefits from taking most of his snaps out of the shotgun, but it could be a detriment to him at the next level. Pike is currently the 8th rated quarterback by Scout.com.



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: csteuber@scout.com.


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