NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko
This is the second LSU game that NEPatriotsdraft.com has scouted this year, giving us an all-important second look against another good opponent in Mississippi State.
Usually we focus primarily on draft eligible players, however, while I will be focusing on a couple of prospects for this year, LSU is loaded with underclassmen that are prospects for future NFL drafts.
#17 CB Morris Claiborne (Jr.) –
Claiborne is a big productive corner who played in the shadow of top 5 pick Patrick Peterson last year. Claiborne is quickly rising the draft board as he takes over as the top CB. Claiborne looks like he could be a possible entry the draft a year early with a big SEC season.
#7 CB Tyrann Mathieu-
Mathieu is a true sophomore so he won’t be eligible for this year’s draft. However, I was so impressed by his game against Oregon that I am anxious to see him again. He wreaked havoc on the Ducks all game long, making an impact on defense and special teams. The big issue with Mathieu is his height as he is listed at 5’9” but he has the potential to be a real special player.
#10 WR Russell Sheppard/#2 WR Reuben Randle (Jr.) –
I am grouping the two together because I feel like they are similar stories. Both are highly touted recruits, who have been under productive and under utilized at LSU. A lot of that can be linked to the absolute disaster the QB position has been the last 3 years at LSU. Randle is probably the better NFL prospect right now because he is so big and a natural WR. Sheppard made the switch from high school QB, but is the most explosive player. I will be watching both players to see how they play when they don’t have the ball in their hands.
Others to Watch:
#53 OG/C T-Bob Hebert, #6 SS Craig Loston (So.), #49 DE Barkevious Mingo
#28 RB Vick Ballard-
Ballard is a physical RB. Listed at 228 pounds runs hard and tries to run over people. Rarely does he get tackled by first contact. The thing that really intrigues me about Ballard is that while he is a tough physical inside runner, he is fast. There is even a youtube video of him running a supposed 4.40 forty in the spring. With a big game against one of the best defenses in the nation, Ballard can really elevate his stock.
#55 C Quentin Saulsberry-
Saulsberry is one of the top center prospects for the 2012 draft. He is a versatile lineman who has played all over the line. I will be looking to see how he stacks up compared to other top centers like Ben Jones, who I wasn’t overly impressed with in the Boise St. game.
Others to watch:
#14 QB Chris Relf, #9 LB Brandon Maye, #27 RB LaDarrius Perkins (So.)