Coming off of a heartbreaking 31 – 24 loss to Oregon last week, the Utes find themselves out of the top 25 as they prepare to host the Cardinals. But scouts are still interested in some of their prospects, and the top prospect in Saturday’s contest is Utah offensive tackle Zane Beadles. At 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, Beadles is a top 10 offensive tackle in the nation and is currently the 6th rated offensive tackle by Scout.com. Entering his fourth year as a starter, Beadles has been a durable, reliable performer who offers versatility to a team at the next level. He started his career at left guard and was moved to left tackle prior to his sophomore year. He’s an athletic lineman who has a lot of upside. He has a solid base, moves his feet well and is strong at the point of attack. He demonstrates excellent balance and uses his hands effectively in pass protection and in running situations. He has to play lower and not allow the opposition to get in on him. He shows good awareness, but at times loses concentration and doesn’t finish his blocks.
The Bills are a team that will show a lot of interest in Beadles on Saturday. They just signed Jamon Meredith, who was a fifth round pick this past April, off the Green Bay Packers practice squad to take the place of veteran Brad Butler after he was placed on injured reserve. But with the Bills failing to address the tackle position in the ’09 draft after trading Pro Bowl OT Jason Peters to Philadelphia, adding an OT high in the ’10 draft will be a priority.
In addition to Beadles, Utah has two more top prospects that scouts will have their eye on, linebacker Stevenson Sylvester and defensive end Koa Misi. Senior running back Matt Asiata and free safety Robert Johnson, as well as junior center Zane Taylor and guard Caleb Schlauderaff will also receive attention.The top prospect for the visiting Cardinals is middle linebacker Jon Dempsey, who led the team in tackles last year with 80. He’s off to a great start this year through the first two games, as he leads the team in tackles once again with 20. A former JUCO transfer from the College of Sequoias, Dempsey is an undersized defender who displays good instincts, outstanding tackling technique and a nose for the ball. Another solid defensive player for the Cardinals is free safety Richard Raglin. At 6-foot-1, 202 pounds, Raglin played in just three games last season after suffering a severe wrist injury. He’s off to a slow start this year and has only contributed three tackles thus far. A fifth year senior, who delivers hard hits and possesses solid leadership qualities, Raglin looks to get back on track on back on scouts radar.
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. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.