Matchups between two top prospects or a highly-rated individual and an outstanding unit on the other side of the ball always make a scout sit up in his chair and take notice. Such matchups have arguably the greatest impact on a players draft status, and here are five that caught my eye over the weekend:
Georgia Tech RB Tashard Choice vs. the Boston College Run Defense
After starting the season with consecutive 100-yard rushing games, including a 196-yard effort against Notre Dame in the season opener, Choice picked up just 36 yards on 15 carries against the Eagles. The inability of the Georgia Tech offensive line to control the line of scrimmage against a Boston College front four that was without starters B.J. Raji and Nick Larkin played a big part in Choices struggles, and in fact Choice made crisp cuts and hit the hole quickly when he got a seam on Georgia Tech's opening drive. The problem is, one of Choice' biggest weaknesses became apparent as the game wore on and his lack of ideal lower-body strength showed up.
The disciplined and well-coached Boston College front seven took away the cutback lanes Choice likes to exploit, and combined with the inconsistent offensive line in front of him that meant Choice's best option was to lower his head and push the pile. Instead, he either hesitated in the backfield and waited for something to open or stretched the play too wide. His negative impact on the passing game didnt help him much either as he dropped some passes he should have caught. Finally, Choice left the game in the third quarter with a hamstring injury and if he fails to make a speedy return it will raise concerns about his ability to stay healthy as a primary back in the NFL