As we'll do with all non-Saturday games from now on, we'll provide a scouting preview for the prospects and match-ups to watch in each game.
For this game, despite Utah vs. Utah State not featuring a major amount of future NFL talent, this "Battle of the Brothers" match-up still features a Top 5 prospect in the 2013 draft, two dynamic Utah position players, and another Utah State running back NFL teams should watch out for.
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah (#92) – 6’4, 320 pounds
This is an excerpt from our Pre-Season NFL Draft Guide. Get all the details on how to order here.
Lotulelei is the best defensive tackle to come out since 2010 when Ndamukong Suh entered the draft. Star has shown great improvement each and every year at Utah and this year's progress could mean the difference between being a 1st round pick and a top 5 pick in April's draft. He is simply an athletic freak for his size and is built solidly throughout his body. He does not have alot of excess fat, which is rare for true 3-4 tackles. His ability to occupy multiple gaps and take on double and sometimes even triple teams is rare and highly coveted by NFL teams. Few teams have an answer for his size, speed, strength combination and he has the proper tenacity and aggressiveness to translate that package onto the field. He was smart to come back for his senior year as he still needs to work on refining his overall game and learning how to maximize his natural physical gifts and turning into consistent production and playmaking ability. There are stretches where he disappears without making plays on the ball or getting to the quarterback. With improved play recognition as well as refined pass rush technique, Star should turn into a consistent play maker on both run and pass downs.
DeVonte Christopher, WR, Utah (#15) – 6’1, 190 pounds
Utah’s top receiver will be heavily relied on by this offense and junior quarterback Jordan Wynn. Christopher doesn’t have elite bulk, top end speed, or physicality as a receiver. But technique-wise and fundamentally, there’s a lot to like with Christopher. He gathers the ball well without body catching, and positions his body well after his route. And through his routes, he’s very decisive, has few if any wasted steps, and is able to get separation necessary to be a 3-wide receiver as a Z or slot re ceiver.
John White, RB, Utah (#10) – 5’8, 190 pounds
With limited size and good, not great top end speed, White doesn’t have the skill set to be a high round pick. But his subtle shiftiness, explosive step to the 2nd level, and ability to keep his balance through contact is what makes him a solid running back prospect. He plays with fantastic pad level, but does have a tendency to lean into contact too much, limiting his big play ability at times.
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State (#) 5’9, 180 pounds
Despite having two running backs drafted last year, Williams seems to be taking the role as the next feature back for Utah State. A great kick returner a season ago, his explosive burst, ability to get to his top speed quickly, and solid start to his week one effort could be the starting point to his first season as the likely feature runner for this team.