NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
The College Football bowl season kicks off this weekend and NEPD will be previewing each bowl game with a focus towards NFL Draft prospects who could be drafted by the New England Patriots in April.
One of the first Bowl Games, the Idaho Potato Bowl features two teams with some legitimate draft prospects even though they play in smaller conferences.
Potential Fits for the Patriots
#17 Will Davis, CB, Utah State (6’0″/186) (#15 CB Rankings)
Davis is a big physical CB who likes to play at the line of scrimmage. He has really put it all together this season intercepting five balls and becoming one of the best defenders in the conference. At 6′ tall and 186 pounds Davis has the size and length the Patriots have looked for recently in outside corners.
Davis isn’t limited by his size, he still possesses excellent overall athleticism and displays excellent ball skills (16 PBU). Davis is also a force in run support totaling 56 tackles from his CB position.
Depending on what happens with free agent to be Aqib Talib, the Patriots could be in the market for another corner, and one who possesses a skill set similar to Talib’s. Davis is a player who isn’t well known on the national level, but he is a play-maker who will rise up the draft boards throughout the off-season.
#25 Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State (5’8″/189) (#12 RB Rankings)
Williams had big shoes to fill this season with the departure of Robert Turbin and Michael Smith both of whom were drafted, and he hasn’t disappointed. Williams is a small, speedy back who has shown big play ability in all phases of the game. He’s a big factor in the pass game and that’s where he will have to make his money in the pros.
At 5’8″ 189lbs. Williams isn’t big enough to be an everydown back so his special teams ability and pass catching ability will have to be special. He does have the speed and elusiveness to be a third down back and a nice change of pace runner for the Patriots. Prior to his Senior year he was the primary kick returner for Utah State, but was taken off the unit this year due to his workload on offense.
With the Patriots featuring a revolving door at the KR position Williams could fit the Patriots as a late round pick who can help on special teams and add depth to the RB position.
#32 Dan Molls, ILB, Toledo (6’1″/230)
Molls led the nation in total tackles this season with 166. He isn’t the biggest player and definitely isn’t the most athletic, but he does possess above average instincts and a blue collar work ethic. Molls certainly has the ability to be a core special teams player in the NFL and a reserve linebacker.
Molls has been praised Ad-Nauseum by his Coach Matt Campbell about his leadership ability, a trait which is highly valued by the Patriots. Although New England has three big thoroughbreds starting at linebacker, they are very thin at the position behind them. Molls would fit the character profile and could push someone like Jeff Tarpinian or Tracy White off the roster.
Other Prospects to Watch:
#4 Matt Austin, WR, Utah State (6’2″/202)
#29 Jermaine Robinson, S, Toldeo (6’3″/205)