NEPD Editor: James Christensen
After a very entertaining Chick-Fil-A Bowl between LSU and Clemson, the Outback Bowl has a lot to live up to. Michigan and South Carolina both have some very intriguing 2013 NFL Draft prospects though, so this is certainly worth watching.
Read on to see which prospects might fit the New England Patriots.
Denard Robinson, ATH, Michigan (#11 Wide Receiver)
We all know that Robinson is not going to play quarterback in the NFL. That said, “Shoelace” has elite athleticism and an NFL team will find a spot for him to play. Gil Brandt, famed draft scout, said he would even play him at defensive back.
The Patriots have a lot of shifty ball-carriers and screen guys (Vereen, Woodhead, Welker, Edelman, Demps), but Robinson could be given a chance if the price is right. My guess is that Robinson gets snatched in the 2nd or 3rd round, well ahead of where Belichick would consider it a value.
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan (#3 Offensive Tackle)
If Sebastian Vollmer isn’t re-signed this off-season for some reason, right tackle would become a priority in the 2013 NFL Draft. Lewan has the ability to play both RT and LT, although the Patriots would probably have to trade up to grab the talented Wolverine.
DJ Swearinger, CB/S, South Carolina (#8 Safety)
Swearinger is the type of defensive back that the Patriots seem to like. He can play inside and outside, in the box and deep, and knows how to support the run.
This is a really deep safety class and Swearinger isn’t at the same level of Kenny Vaccaro, Tony Jefferson or Phillip Thomas to me. That said, he could easily be a top 100 pick.
Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina (#15 Defensive End)
Taylor was once considered a 1st-round prospect, but his ability and production have never matched up. He has struggled to beat single blocks playing across from the ridiculously talented Jadeveon Clowney, as his flexibility and change of directions skills are not where they need to be.
However, his frame and speed will get him drafted early on the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft. 6’7″ / 270 pound guys that can move like Taylor just don’t grow on trees.
Other Prospects to Watch
Kenny Demens, LB, Michigan
Roy Roundtree, WR, Michigan
Jordan Kovacs, SS, Michigan
Devonte Holloman, LB, South Carolina
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (2014 NFL Draft)