NEPD Editor: James Christensen
We’ll be scouting the Big Ten Championship game for potential Patriots tonight, but most of the eyes of the nation will be on the incredible Georgia vs Alabama matchup this afternoon.
As fellow NEPD editor Mike Loyko said this morning, you could create an NFL defense out of the prospects on these two teams that would compete pretty well in a couple of years.
With so much talent on display, here are four players that the Patriots might be paying extra attention to.
Jesse Williams (DL, Alabama) -
Williams isn’t much of a pass rusher, but he has a lot of the skills and athletic abilities that have enabled Vince Wilfork to become the anchor of the New England Patriots defense.
He eats up blockers like he needs to in Nick Saban’s defense, but could still improve his ability to collapse the pocket and pressure the quarterback.
Look for Williams to be a top fifty pick this April.
Barrett Jones (OL, Alabama) -
Jones is a typical Patriots lineman. He has seen time at left tackle, but projects as an interior lineman – a spot where the Patriots need immediate help. He’ll line up at center today against Georgia and will have his work cut out for him making line calls and stopping some massive linemen.
I’d expect Jones to be a late first round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft – right in the sweet spot for the Patriots.
Baccari Rambo (SAF, Georgia) -
Rambo is a very talented safety prospect, but plays maddeningly inconsistent at times. Georgia’s game against Michigan State showed that off perfectly, some poor tackling and lackadaisical play followed by a game-saving interception in overtime.
Depending on how he runs and performs in interviews, Rambo could go anywhere from the late first round to early on day three of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Watch if he is able to stay disciplined against the Alabama play-action and how he tackles the physical Crimson tide ball-carriers.
John Jenkins (DL, Georgia) -
People the size of John Jenkins (6-3 / 350) aren’t supposed to move like he does. He has a better motor than many run-stuffers and uses some light feet to create some occasional pass rush as well.
Jenkins uses his hands very well and sheds blocks with ease before devouring running backs. He has the ability to play 3-4 NT, but he also could fit as a massive 4-3 1-tech due to his above average physical skills. That sort of versatility is a great fit for a scheme-diverse team like the Patriots.
I’d expect to see Jenkins go in the first round barring any injury concerns.
Other prospects to watch: Chance Warmack (OG, Alabama) Dee Milliner (CB, Alabama), CJ Mosley (LB, Alabama), Robert Lester (SAF, Alabama), Jarvis Jones (DE/OLB, Georgia), Alec Ogeltree (LB, Georgia), Kwame Geathers (DL, Georgia), Aaron Murray (QB, Georgia), Cornelius Washington (DE/OLB, Georgia), Shawn Williams (SAF, Georgia)