#5 Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame (6’2/255) (#1 Ranked Linebacker) – Don’t need to go into much depth here. The best defensive player in the country this season. Te’o has always been a very instinctive and physical run defender, who possesses a great motor and makes plays all over the field. But, this year he really improved his pass defense and it lead to a huge increase in interceptions and passes defensed.
Te’o is a great leader and locker room presence and has the make-up of a “face of the defense” type of a player. As I said earlier I think the Patriots need LB depth, but the only way they get Te’o is if they move up.
#89 Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE, (6’4/306) - Lewis- Moore is a sleeper to keep an eye on in this year’s draft. Overshadowed by the bigger names on the Notre Dame defensive line, KLM has had a very productive career for the Irish. He’s a 300 pound Defensive End who has played both inside and outside in the Irish’s 3-4 defense. He’s not an overly explosive pass rusher, but has shown the ability to use his hands to beat blocks and get to the QB. The Patriots like to vary the looks they can give teams with their front seven and are always interested in 300 pound linemen who have good length and show some ability to rush the passer. KLM fits the prototype for a 5-Tech, but can also kick inside to tackle if needed. He’s a mid-round pick, but has intriguing upside.
#17 Zeke Motta, SAF, Notre Dame (6’2/215) - Motta has had a great Senior season and has really improved his draft stock in the process. Recently named the defensive player of the year by Coach BrianKelly. Motta has all the makings of a core special teams player and a back-up safety in the NFL. I still believe the Patriots will add a safety via the draft or free agency and Motta is one I like a little bit more than his teammate Janoris Slaughter.
Other Prospects To Watch
#80 Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame (6’6/251) (#1 Ranked Tight End)
#42 Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama (6’0/220) (#2 Ranked Running Back)
#76 DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama (6’6/335) (#4 Ranked Offensive Tackle)
#52 Braxston Cave, OC, Notre Dame (6’3/304) (#3 Ranked Center)
#20 Cierre Wood, RB, Notre Dame (6’0/215) (#18 Ranked Running Back)
#6 Theo Riddick, RB/WR, Notre Dame (5’11/200)
#26 Janoris Slaughter, SAF, Notre Dame (6’0/200)
#92 Damion Square, DL, Alabama (6’3/286)
#9 Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame (Returning to School)
#2 Bennett Jackson, CB, Notre Dame (Returning to School)
#32 CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama (Returning to School)
#70 Zach Martin, OT, Notre Dame (6’4/304) (Returning to School)