Scout Watch: Syracuse at Penn State

As the second week of the college football season is about to begin, Scout.com's Chris Steuber has the latest and confirms that five teams will travel to Happy Valley on Saturday.

Scout.com has confirmed that representatives from the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams will be in University Park, Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon to see Syracuse go up against No. 7 Penn State.


The battle between Odrick and Jones will begin on Saturday, but will continue until April.
Penn State Athletics

There's an abundance of talent on both sides of the ball in Happy Valley, and NFL scouts are salivating over the prospects they possess. The list is long and includes plenty of draft eligible players: quarterback Daryll Clark, junior running back Evan Royster, tight ends Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler, offensive tackle Dennis Landolt, junior center Stefen Wisniewski, defensive tackle Jared Odrick, linebackers Sean Lee, Josh Hull, Jerome Hayes and junior Navorro Bowman, cornerback A.J. Wallace and punter Jeremy Boone.

On the opposing sideline, Syracuse offers two top prospects, defensive tackle Arthur Jones and wide receiver Mike Williams. The most intriguing position to watch on both teams will be at the defensive tackle position, as Odrick and Jones are first round talents.

Odrick and Jones are similar players athletically and physically. Odrick is listed at 6-foot-4, 298 pounds and Jones is 6-foot-3, 295 pounds. They’re dominant interior players that do a nice job of holding their own against double teams, shedding blocks and creating havoc in the backfield. Jones is the higher rated prospect between the two, as he’s better against the run and as a pass rusher. He finished the 2008 season with 60 tackles, 13 for a loss, and 3.5 sacks, and his dominance behind the line of scrimmage is justified with his 31.5 career tackles for a loss.

Even if Jones is drafted higher than Odrick in the 2010 draft, Odrick shouldn’t be viewed as a consolation prize. He can do a lot of the same things that Jones can do; Jones just happens to be more stout in the middle and translates better as a defensive tackle at the next level. Odrick is more versatile and can thrive in a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme. He has the size and quickness to be effective off the edge in a 3-4 and has the strength and technique to play DT in a 4-3. Last season for the Nittany Lions, Odrick recorded 41 tackles, 9.5 for a loss and 4.5 sacks, and he got off to a good start this year last week, as he had four tackles, two for a loss and half of a sack against Akron.

Jones and Odrick are currently the 3rd and 4th rated defensive tackles in Scout.com’s 2010 NFL Draft Rankings.



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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