While we welcome the first night of NFL action tonight, we also jump into week 2 at the college ranks (here's my week 2 watchlist - it's incomplete for the weekend, but it'll get you to Saturday). The luster of a new season has already worn off for prospects, as teams like Oregon and Georgia have seen their hopes dashed by two 2011 powerhouses in Boise St. and Georgia. To help me sum up last week and look ahead to this week's action, I enlisted the help of everyone's favorite Buckeye fan, buckeyefan55.
I posed a simple question at first, one that I thought had an obvious answer - which player had a breakout in terms of his draft stock. Man, did I underestimate his Buckeye love:
I know that it would be easy to suckle the teat of Robert Griffin and his performance against TCU, but I am not one to lower myself to such low teat suckling standards. I will, however, suckle at the teat of Ohio State football, as I have been doing all my life. So, my breakout player award from week one is going to none other than Jake "under-utilized in the Tressel offense" Stoneburner. We already knew that he was a great blocker going into this season, but he looks to be a huge part of the passing game moving forward. He caught three touchdowns last week! Granted it was against Akron, which should only be a place and not a division one football team, but whatever. If he continues to block as well as he did last season, while still being a saftey net/ matchup nightmare creator for Joe Bauserman and true frosh Braxton Miller, then Stoneburner is going to have one hell of a season and vault himself into possible second round pick status. I would not be surprised at all to see him in horns after the 2012 draft, he would make a hell of a tandem with Kendricks.
What player has a great matchup weekend that you're looking forward to watching?
I'm looking for Trent Richardson to really kick into heisman form against Penn State. He is easily the best running back in the nation, and should immeadiately become one of the best running backs in the NFL once he gets drafted. Alabama has a really strong run blocking offensive line and I think that they really dial it in against Penn State to show that they are the best team in college football (which I believe they are) and that they will run the ball down your throat at will. In case you forgot how good he is, here's a highlight video.
What game has some notable prospects that you would suggest for other Ram fans?
Besides the Bama-Penn State game, I would urge everyone to watch the Oklahoma State-Arizona game. It should be a hard fought, high scoring game. For Arizona the player to watch (for rams fans at least) has to be Juron Criner at wideout. He is a freaking stud and he will be a good number 1 or 2 reciever in the NFL. He could go anywhere from rounds 1-4 depending on how this season plays out for him. For Oklahoma State, the prospect to watch is Justin Blackmon. He is flat out productive and will go in the first round if he has another season like his 21 touchdown aerial assault of last season.
There's a number of games this weekend that draftniks have to satisfy them in addition to the above. BYU-Texas, S. Carolina-Georgia, Notre Dame-Michigan - it's a longer list than last weekend.
We're combining the NFL and college action into a single open thread for tonight, drop some college thoughts for the weekend right here.