Future NFL stars, including some potential Redskins, will be displaying their talents today as the ACC, Big 12, and SEC hold their conference championship games and others wrap up the regular season in advance of the Sunday release of the final BCS standings.
If you're going to tune in here are a few of the players to keep an eye on, prospects in positions of potential need for the Redskins. All times Eastern, check your local listings for channel information.
Rutgers at West Virgnia, noon—Mountaineers running back Noel Devine is a big-play running back who has great speed and elusiveness in the open field. At 5-8, 180 he does not have prototypical size for an NFL back but he still could be a productive runner. The presence of Brandon Banks on the Redskins roster may have the Redskins looking the other way as there may only be room for one "pocket rocket" on the roster. But Devine is fun to watch anyway so he's worth a look.
Auburn vs. South Carolina, SEC Championship, 4 PM—Would Mike Shanahan pull the trigger on Cam Newton if the Tigers quarterback was still available when the Redskins' first-round pick rolls around? Although Newton does have a year of eligibility left, it seems almost certain that he will come out this year. The general consensus is that the likely Heisman Trophy winner is a better prospective pro quarterback than was Tim Tebow but that Newton, if he comes out, will need a year or two on the sidelines to polish his game. That would be just enough time for Donovan McNabb to ride off into the sunset. Auburn guard Mike Berry (6-3, 320) could play himself into mid-to late-round consideration and he seems to be nimble enough to work in the zone blocking scheme.
Virginia Tech vs. Florida State, ACC Championship, 8 PM—FSU guard Rodney Hudson (6-2, 284) is one of the top-rated players at his position and seems to have to tools to play in any scheme The Redskins have been scouting QB Christian Ponder, although injuries and some less-than-clutch performances late in some games have hurt his draft stock. Hokies RB Ryan Williams, a redshirt sophomore, seemed a good bet to come out after this season but a hamstring injury cost him most of five games. He still may choose to enter the draft pool and his rare combination of speed and power would make him a nice fit in the Redskins' backfield.
Oklahoma vs. Nebraska, Big 12 Championship, 8 PM—Sooners RB DeMarco Murray is a tough runnier, solid pass protector, and pass catcher who should be available in the second round. Should the Redskins need a cornerback, Prince Amukamara plays for Nebraska but he is likely to be gone by the time their first-round pick comes around.
Cross-posted to CSNwashington.com