Scout.com has confirmed that representatives from the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers will be in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon to see an ACC showdown between Florida State and Boston College.
This is a game where scouts will focus their attention towards defense and offensive line play. And despite the Seminoles roller coaster ride of a season, they still have a premier defender that all of the teams in attendance would love to add to their secondary, cornerback Patrick Robinson.
At 5-foot-11, 194 pounds, Robinson has the size/speed combination that scouts desire and the potential to be a shutdown corner at the next level. He has great agility, transitions well with receivers and closes fast on the ball. He's instinctive and diagnoses the action well. He is a true playmaker and a player quarterbacks avoid throwing towards. He's not an overly physical defender, but he's willing to defend against the run and make open field tackles when needed. He's a quality option on special teams, as he has experience as a return specialist and on coverage teams.
A true playmaker at the cornerback position, Robinson played in just eight games last season after suffering a hip injury. Known for his ballhawk abilities, Robinson had just one interception in ‘08, but during the '07 season he broke out and collected six. So far this year, Robinson hasn't picked off a pass, but has defended four passes. Entering this week's game against Boston College, Robinson could finally get his first interception of the season, as the Eagles use a combination of freshman quarterbacks, Dave Shinskie and Justin Tuggle. Shinskie and Tuggle have combined to throw five interceptions in four games and the speed of Florida State's defense could create a lot of problems for the BC offense.
In addition to Robinson, keep an eye on these Florida State seniors: OLB Dekoda Watson, FS Jamie Robinson, TE Caz Piurowski, DT Kendrick Stewart and DT Budd Thacker. As well as the following juniors: OG Rodney Hudson, C Ryan McMahon, MLB Kendall Smith, DE Markus White and QB Christian Ponder.
The Eagles offensive line is usually the main focal point for scouts in attendance and it will be no different on Saturday. The Eagles have a lot of talent up front, and it all starts with their anchor, center Matthew Tennant. At 6-foot-4, 291 pounds, Tennant is a durable, intelligent interior presence, who uses his athleticism to his advantage against the opposition. He's quick off the snap, plays with leverage and immediately gets his hands into the defender. He's an outstanding pass blocker and gives the quarterback confidence knowing that the interior is protected. He plays with a high motor and gives maximum effort. He has to improve his upper-body strength and run blocking technique, but has the agility to get to the second level and make an impact. Tennant is currently the 3rd rated center by Scout.com. Also starring on the offensive line are two imposing junior offensive tackles, 6-foot-7, 295-pound Anthony Castonzo, who is very highly rated, and 6-foot-8, 322-pound Richard Lapham.
It appears that middle linebacker Mike McLaughlin, who tore his Achilles tendon during a routine conditioning drill prior to spring ball, will make his return to the lineup against Florida State. In 2008, McLaughlin finished second on the team in tackles (89) and also contributed four sacks and an interception. The production and leadership qualities that McLaughlin brings to the field will only help Boston College improve on their 3 – 1 record moving forward.Scouts will also pay close attention to senior safety Marty Bowman and wide receiver Rich Gunnell this weekend, as well as junior OG Thomas Claiborne, DE Alex Albright and FS Wes Davis.
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.