Austin to go up against smaller FSU line
Marvin Austin, one of America's premiere interior defensive linemen, will have an opportunity to showcase his skills against a smaller Florida State offensive line Thursday night (ESPN/ESPN360.com, 8 p.m. ET).
Projected as a late-first-round pick, Austin should be a force against the run -- especially considering that FSU doesn't have an interior offensive lineman bigger than the 285 pounds. Austin weighs 303 pounds and does a good job staying low coming out of his stance. We expect him to control the middle of the line of scrimmage when FSU runs inside. We've also been impressed with the way Austin gets his hands in passing in lanes when he isn't going to get to the QB -- he can be very disruptive that way.
On the other hand, it'll be interesting to see how he performs against a mobile QB like Christian Ponder. On film, Austin doesn't appear to have great closing speed -- he's more of a power rusher than a speed rusher. If he can get to a QB like Ponder, who is very athletic, it's going to improve his stock.
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