Here are a few prospects that the Patriots could show some interest in for the 2012 NFL Draft.
Jared Crick (DL, Nebraska)
The Patriots passed on a big 3-4 DE in the 2011 NFL Draft, but there will be a few available in 2012 as well. Crick is coming back for his senior season, willing to show NFL scouts that he can play with better consistency.
His ability to play inside and outside, dominating at times, will keep him popping up in scouting discussions until this time next year.
Alfonzo Dennard (CB, Nebraska)
It’s not a Patriots watchlist without a defensive back to keep an eye on. Crick’s teammate Dennard is an astounding prospect that we feel will be a better pro than former Cornhusker Prince Amukamara.
He took the extra passes thrown his way in 2010 in stride and should be a 1st-round lock come the 2012 NFL Draft.
Marvin McNutt (WR, Iowa)
Standing in at 6’4″ and 215 pounds, McNutt is an imposing presence on the field. Still learning the position after a position switch from quarterback as a sophomore, McNutt has performed very well for the Hawkeyes. McNutt caught eight touchdowns each of the last two years from current Chiefs QB Ricky Stanzi.
McNutt can still clean up his routes a bit and work on his consistency catching the football, but his knowledge of the game combined with his size could make him an attractive pick on day two.
Mike Brewster (OC, Ohio State)
Brewster is a team leader that has all the fundamentals in place to become Dan Koppen’s replacement in New England. He moves well and plays with a nastiness that will endear him to fans and his fellow teammates.
Courtney Upshaw (ILB/OLB, Alabama)
Upshaw is an intriguing linebacker because of his ability to play both inside and outside in a 3-4. His 6’2″ / 260 frame might be better suited to the inside, but with the way he fights off blockers, we can see him setting the edge and creating pressure on the quarterback.
Upshaw, as well as teammates Don’ta Hightower and Nico Johnson, certainly are required viewing for Patriots fans this year.