- Steve Muench, Scouts Inc.
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, even after hours spent poring over game film. These matchups have a tremendous impact on a player's draft status, and here are five from last weekend that intrigued me:
Michigan WR Mario Manningham vs. Wisconsin CB Jack Ikegwuonu
Manningham caught two touchdown passes last week and extended his impressive streak of consecutive 100-yard receiving games to six, though Michigan fell to the Badgers in an upset. His first touchdown came late in the second quarter when he caught a bubble screen at about the 12-yard line on the left side of the field. He looked the ball into his hands, made Ikegwuonu whiff with an excellent stutter-step and showed good burst hitting the seam. The second touchdown accounted for 97 of Manningham's 113 receiving yards and came on a third-and-9 early in the fourth quarter. Ikegwuonu gave Manningham a cushion before the snap in an effort to keep him in front of the defense, and the Badgers had S Shane Carter giving Ikegwuonu help over the top. At the snap Manningham appeared to be running a five-yard out but re-directed back inside and then went vertical. Unfortunately for Ikegwuonu, he bit on Manningham's initial move and jumped up in an effort to cut off the out route. Once he got past Ikegwuonu, Manningham worked to the inside of Carter and did a good job of securing the ball after an initial bobble. After the catch Manningham looked dangerous in the open field, making a crisp cut before turning on the jets.