Scout.com has confirmed that representatives from the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans will be in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday afternoon to see No. 3 Alabama take on Kentucky.
Four of the teams in attendance will send high level scouting executives to observe the talent on the field in this SEC showdown. The Bengals will be represented by Vice President of Player Personnel Paul Brown, the Jets will send Senior Personnel Executive Terry Bradway, the Seahawks are showing their interest with President of Football Operations & General Manager Tim Ruskell, and Blake Beddingfield, Scouting Coordinator for the Titans, will do his due diligence for Tennessee.
Even though this is a home game for Kentucky, scouts in attendance will focus most of their attention towards Alabama, most notably mammoth defensive tackle Terrence Cody and junior linebacker Rolando McClain. Cody and McClain are potential first round selections next April and command the middle of the Crimson defense.
At an imposing 6-foot-5, 365 pounds, Cody presents a difficult challenge for the opposition. He’s not a very good athlete, but he’s so strong that even though he gets a late start, the power he possesses makes up for the lack of explosion. He doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher and isn’t necessarily a dominant run defender, but his ability to draw double teams and free up others to make plays is what makes him special. So far this season, Cody has 10 tackles, 3.5 for a loss. McClain, on the other hand, is an athletic, physical specimen and at 6-foot-4, 249 pounds, he has the size and range to play inside or outside. He’s without question Alabama’s finest defender and currently leads the team in tackles (23), tied for first on the team in tackles for loss (4.5) and also has two sacks.
In addition to Cody and McClain, Alabama has a lot of talent that scouts will file reports on, such as seniors: CB Javier Arenas, OG Mike Johnson, S Justin Woodall, DE Brandon Deaderick, TE Colin Peek, OT Drew Davis, CB Marquis Johnson, DE Lorenzo Washington, K Leigh Tiffin and Eryk Anders. Alabama also has some intriguing juniors - CB Kareem Jackson, QB Greg McElroy, and DE Luther Davis.
For Kentucky, cornerback Trevard Lindley continues to draw interest from scouts. In three games this year, Lindley has amassed 10 tackles and an interception, which he returned for a 25-yard touchdown. At 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Lindley is an athletic cover corner who recorded 39 tackles and four interceptions in 2008 for the Wildcats. Despite his lean frame, Lindley plays physically and defends the run well. He jams the opposition at the line, transitions well with receivers and positions and displays good footwork throughout the route. He has a great sense of timing, breaks well on the ball and has good ball skills. He’s more than willing to take on a bigger opponent in the open field and make a tackle; he plays much bigger than his listed size.Scouts will also have their eye on the following Kentucky seniors: MLB Micah Johnson, DT Corey Peters, FB John Conner, TE T.C. Drake, RB Alfonso Smith and OTs Justin Jeffries and Zipp Duncan. And these juniors will also be on the radar on Saturday - QB Mike Harline, RB Derrick Locke and WR Chris Matthews.
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.