NEPD Editor: James Christensen
The Chick-Fil-A Bowl, featuring the LSU Tigers and Clemson Tigers, is the highlight of New Year’s Eve bowl watching, but the Liberty Bowl, Sun Bowl, and Music City Bowl all have some good prospects as well.
Read on to see which 2013 NFL Draft prospects from LSU and Clemson are potential Patriots players.
Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU (#7 DE in our Rankings)
Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU (#3 DE in our Rankings)
Most NFL teams, the Patriots included, are always looking to improve their pass rush capabilities. Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower, as well as Justin Francis, have brought some additional pressure this year, but I’m sure Coach Belichick would like even more.
Montgomery and Mingo are different prospects, but never have had their production match their athleticism yet. If an NFL team can harness that ability, they could get a top 10 talent later on in the draft. I think Mingo and Montgomery will both go in the first 50 picks of the draft.
You can read our full scouting report on Mingo here.
Eric Reid, FS, LSU (#4 in our SAF Rankings)
With Pat Chung possibly playing his last season in New England, the Patriots will be testing the 2013 NFL Draft waters for safety prospects.
Reid has some top-notch athleticism, but his mental errors sometimes get the best of him. The Patriots never could “coach up” Brandon Meriweather, so they might shy away here as well.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson (#9 in our WR Rankings)
Hopkins isn’t a guy that is going to stretch the field vertically like a Randy Moss or Mike Wallace, but he does look like he could become a top-flight “Z” receiver in the NFL with his body control, route-running, hands and ability to gain yards after the catch.
If Deion Branch isn’t back in 2013 with the Patriots, Hopkins could be a nice replacement.
Other Prospects to Watch:
Bennie Logan, DT, LSU
Kevin Minter, LB, LSU
Tharold Simon, CB, LSU
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson