College Football Preview: Week 1

Could Dion Sims become the Redskins version of Rob Gronkowski?

As you know from last year Steve and I like to put up a weekly post each Friday to point out a couple of college games that may be helpful for Redskins fans to keep an eye on. College Football kicked off each night and we have two games this weekend that will be chocked full of prospects who could help out the Redskins in 2013 and beyond.

#24 Boise State at #13 Michigan State: 8/31 (tonight) at 8 pm on ESPN (by Steve)

Boise State: Last year Boise State had six players drafted including a pair of first round picks, this year the Broncos don't figure to produce as much NFL talent. That being said the cupboard isn't bare, and there are a couple of players that could intrigue the Redskins in the late rounds.

RB D.J. Harper- is the new top tailback at Boise State, and he had 557 yards on 115 carries last year as Doug Martin's back-up. Harper is considered to be a shifty back with good top end speed that could make him very effective in a zone system. He's coming off two knee surgeries that wiped out the majority of his 2009 and 2010 campaigns. Though the knee injuries should give cause for concern, he'll be a late round pick possibly allowing the Redskins to roll the dice. Harper in fact beat out Doug Martin for the running back job in 2009, which forced Martin to switch to the defensive side of the ball (until Harper got injured). 7th rounder

CB Jerrell Gavins- Gavins is coming back from an injury that cost him all but three games last season. In those three games though Gavins showed himself to be a ball-hawking corner, who despite a shorter stature can cover bigger receivers. Gavins has always impressed as being very physical for his size, and he is known for excellent coverage. He was a nickel corner before last year, so this will be a big year for him. Even with a great year, the size questions, and injury issues will keep him a late round pick, but expect this to be an area the Redskins draft one or two prospects.6th rounder

Michigan State: The Spartans have perhaps the best collection of draftable talent they've ever had in a given season. Depending on who all comes out the Spartans could have up to six players drafted this year, including at least two who should go off the board in the top 2 rounds.

CB Johnny Adams- Adams is a smart, physical corner with good size and coverage ability. He's got nice speed, but doesn't have the best quickness which will likely keep him out of the top two rounds. Despite that he very much should project as a starting corner at the next level, who will probably do his best work in zone schemes. He could be an intriguing option for the Skins in either the 3rd or 4th round. Late 3rd rounder

Dion Sims (redshirt Junior)- Sims based on potential alone should be considered a first round pick, but he hasn't gotten much chance to produce just yet and carries some serious red flags. Sims, who is 6'5" and 285 pounds, has the potential to be a Rob Gronkowski clone as a guy who can both be a devastating blocker and a mismatch nightmare for opposing coverages. Now Sims has yet to show he can be a two-way threat on the field, but this could be a very big year for him. Sims will also have to answer questions about stolen laptops that got him suspended for the entire 2010 year. If Fred Davis wants too much money, the Redskins could look to a guy like Sims to replace him. Early 3rd rounder

Score prediction: Michigan State 27 Boise State 17.


#8 Michigan vs #2 Alabama (Dallas, TX): 9/1 at 8 pm on ABC (by Parks)

Alabama: The Tide lost plenty of their defensive talent from a year ago, but they are once again among the top teams in the country. Bama still has a ton of talent on both sides of the ball and their offensive line may be the nation's best.

Robert Lester, S: Lester may be the second best safety in the draft this year behind USC's T.J. McDonald. He possesses more physical talent then teammate and Top 10 pick in 2012 Mark Barron, in my opinion. Lester could be the gem of the second round or a guy that shoots up draft boards, much like Barron. Early 2nd rounder

DeMarcus Milliner, CB: Milliner is a big physical corner who the Redskins could look to in 2013. Lets be honest here, we have no idea where the Redskins secondary will be a year from now. The 6'1 corner actually came to Alabama to possibly play both sides of the ball, so its rare you'll find such a big corner with the receiving skills Milliner possesses. 2nd Round

C.J. Moseley, ILB: Remember when I said Alabama lost most of their defensive talent from a year? Well they simply reload. The Skins are going to need to replace London Fletcher sooner or later and prospect like Moseley could be just the guy. 2nd Round

Michigan: Fresh off a Sugar Bowl victory (pipe down Tech fans!) the Wolverines are ready to march to the top of the national picture. It won't be easy as Brady Hoke's squad has one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2012, which starts with this week's showdown.

Taylor Lewan, OT: God knows the Redskins need an offensive tackle and Taylor Lewan may be a guy that's hanging around if he decides to leave school after this season. Recently, Mel Kiper Jr. remarked on Lewan as a draft prospect:

"They have been raving about him for a couple years now, and every time I talk to Michigan -- he’s 6-7, 310 pounds; think about what Jake Long did coming out of that program. Could he be the next Jake Long? Maybe. He’s a guy, when you start talking about the (2013) draft, you’ve got to start thinking about Lewan. He’s got a high grade. He’s one of my five-star guys. I would definitely keep an eye on him."

Upgrade? Absolutely. Lewan will challenge to be a high first rounder, but for now he's slated in the early 2nd Round.

Prediction: Alabama 26, Michigan 18

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