LSU at West Virginia NFL Draft watch notes

STARKVILLE, MS - SEPTEMBER 15: Cornerback Morris Claiborne #17 of the LSU Tigers intercepts a pass against Mississipppi State in the fourth quarter on September 15, 2011 at Davis Wade stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)

The game of the day, LSU at West Virginia (8 p.m, ABC), may not feature any top 10 prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft, but has plenty of solid players.

Among draft analysts, there are few hotter prospects than LSU junior safety Morris Claiborne. He picked off two Mississippi State passes last week, showing good hands and range. Claiborne moves around really well and shows looses hips. If he can add a little bit of strength to his game, he could find himself in the first round.

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith will face no bigger challenge than he will today. The Tigers might not have a premier pass rusher this season, but the line should get push all night forcing Smith to improvise. While he has the talent to do so, from a draft perspective he has to show he can stay in the pocket and deliver throws under pressure.

In the West Virginia 3-3-5 defense, it can be hard to gauge just how good pass rusher Bruce Irvin is. He'll often get taken out of the game on running plays, which is a big red flag. But when he's unleashed and allowed to get after the passer, there might be no one better in the nation. He and fellow end Julian Miller are off to slow starts this season.



I continue to be impressed by Mountaineers cornerback Keith Tandy. He's not a dynamic corner like Claiborn, but he's consistent and a good tackler. He'll get on an NFL roster because he'll be able to help on special teams and play in nickel or dime situations.

LSU has two redshirt sophomore defensive linemen to key on. Tackle Michael Brockers is a budding first-round talent. At 6-foot-6 and 305 pounds, he has good size an plays with a lot of power. End Barkevious Mingo is a quick-footed but slightly undersized pass rusher.
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