NEPD Editor: James Christensen
The Holiday Bowl doesn’t have Robert Griffin III with this Baylor team, but the Bears and UCLA Bruins have some top NFL Draft prospects to keep your attention.
Here are the potential Patriots draft picks to keep an eye on during the game.
Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
The Patriots don’t have a receiver like Terrance Williams on their roster. He has elite long speed and at 6’2″ / 205 he brings a physical presence to the field.
He isn’t as polished in some areas of the game as other potential receivers in the 2013 NFL Draft, but his physical capabilities will make him a strong consideration somewhere in the top sixty picks.
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower have taken the Patriots front seven to a different level in 2012, but there is certainly still room for improvement in the pass rush arena.
Jones is a versatile prospect, having enough strength to perhaps bulk up to play 3-4 defensive end, but having enough of a first step, bull rush and excellent hand usage to rush from the edge or inside. New England could use Jones as a Jermaine Cunningham type player that could theoretically play better against the run.
Jonathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
Franklin has really impressed his senior season for the Bruins. While New England seems set at the running back position, with Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden, Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead all having carved out a role, Bill Belichick has never shied away from adding talent at any position.
Franklin doesn’t do one spectacular thing, but has a nice blend of skills that NFL teams crave: balance, power, speed, hands, elusiveness. Look for him to be a fringe top 100 draft pick with this very deep running back class.
Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA
Adding Fauria to the already stacked tight end group for the Patriots really would be an embarrassment of riches.
However, the question I have with Fauria is whether he is a “Y” or a “Move” tight end. He spends a lot of time in the slot at UCLA, but at 6’7″ / 255, his body type is much more of an in-line tight end. He isn’t a great blocker, however, which may limit him to certain offensive schemes in the NFL.
Other Prospects to Watch:
Ivory Wade, OL, Baylor
Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA (2014 NFL Draft Prospect)