Scout.com has confirmed that representatives from the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles will be in Pasadena, California to see the Kansas State Wildcats go up against the surprising 2 – 0 UCLA Bruins.
This is a game that doesn’t feature many household names, and the most impressive player that’ll be on the field won’t even be eligible for the 2010 draft, UCLA safety Rahim Moore, who through two games already has five interceptions. But, Kansas State has a highly touted tight end in Jeron Mastrud, and UCLA features a quality cornerback in Alterraun Verner.
At 6-foot-5, 253 pounds, Mastrud is a hardworking offensive threat who does many things well, but doesn’t stand out in one particular area. He gets off the line well, runs crisp routes, finds the soft spot over the middle and possesses strong hands to catch passes in a crowd. He’s an intelligent player who works well with a quarterback and makes quick adjusts to become a more desired target. He’s not a downfield threat and has to be more effective in the redzone. He’s a marginal blocker who lacks technique and upper-body strength. Mastrud is currently the 6th rated tight end by Scout.com.
Mastrud has been a reliable receiver during his career with the Wildcats, but he’s not a threat to reach paydirt. Coming into the 2009 season, he had 85 career receptions, but just two of them went for a touchdown. Mastrud is ahead of the game this year; in the first two games, he has six receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown – upping his career total to three.
While most of the attention from scouts will be focused on Mastrud, Kansas State has some other noteworthy senior prospects to keep an eye on: WR Brandon Banks, DL Jeffrey Fitzgerald and S Courtney Herndon. The Wildcats also possess three underclassmen, which are long shots to enter next year’s draft, but scouts will at least write a few words on each of them – CB Joshua Moore, SS Emmanual Lamur and QB Carson Coffman.
As for the Bruins top senior prospect, the 5-foot-10, 182-pound Verner is a quality cover corner, who anticipates the action and possesses the quickness necessary to be a big time playmaker. Verner has good size, plays physical and is a leader in the secondary. He shows good awareness, backpedals cleanly off the snap and transitions well with receivers. He displays a burst of speed and takes good angles in pursuit. He’s strong at the point of attack and shows the willingness to defend against the run. Verner, the 12th rated cornerback by Scout.com, can do it all on the field, and last year he led the nation with 18 passes defended.In addition to Verner, UCLA has another solid senior who scouts will be tracking on Saturday, linebacker Reggie Carter. At 6-foot, 240 pounds, Carter is a thumper who plays downhill and possesses outstanding instincts. He’s been extremely effective through the first two games and is currently leading the team in tackles with 20. Other seniors to monitor this weekend are RB Christian Ramirez, FB Ryan Moya, LB Kyle Bosworth and K Kai Forbath. Junior defensive tackle Brian Price (6-foot-2, 300 pounds) is the second rated prospect on the UCLA roster, after the aforementioned Rahim Moore, and currently leads the team in tackles for a loss (5.0) and sacks (2.0).
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.