Scouting The Bowls: New Years Day

With the seventh pick in the 2007 NFL Draft the New England Patriots select… Those are the words you're likely to hear in April. Don't miss the chance to see some of those players in action as Bowl season is officially in full stride. (check back as we update this throughout the day)

Gator Bowl (Texas Tech-Virginia): Tuesday, 1 p.m
CFN Game Preview

Virginia:

DE Chris Long: Has NFL Pedigree as Howie Long's son. One of the top rated defense lineman available in the Draft. Could conceivably become a Mike Vrabel type of player.

TE Tom Santi: another tight end for the Pats? Don't laugh, the Patriots can't seem to keep enough of them on the roster.

OL Branden Albert: (Jr) 6-foot-7 is a beast as a guard. Could become another famous Virginia lineman on the heels of D'Brickashaw Ferguson, without any of the hype. With injuries on the OL, the Pats need another beast. They took a long hard look at Pitt's Charles Spencer last year.

P/K Chris Gould: his brother Robbie (Chicago Bears) was in Pats camp a couple of years years ago.

College Connections:
The last Virginia player the Patriots took a flyer on was RB Antwoine Womack in the seventh round of the 2002 draft. S Antwan Harris was selected in the sixth round of the 200 NFL Draft. … Virginia Head coach Al Groh is a good friend of Bill Belichick, and the two often discuss football together. … New England has had other Virginia players in camp recently, guys who went undrafted -- OL Brian Barthelmes, LB Andre Torrey.

Texas Tech:

QB Graham Harrell (Jr.): the best prospect on the Red Raiders roster. Keep an eye on this kid for the future.

OG Louis Vasquez (Jr.): 6-foot-6, 350-pounder: All conference winner, one of the better linemen on a roster full of big bodies. Again, a big mauler in the middle could really help on the right side.

Keep an eye on: SS Joe Garcia, CB Chris Parker and WR Danny Amendola, WR Michael Crabtree (Fr.)

College Connections:
QB Kliff Kingsbury was selected in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL draft by New England. … No other Texas Tech players have been selected since 2000. … Wes Welker and Sammy Morris are both former Red Raiders.

 

Cotton Bowl ( Arkansas - Missouri ): Tuesday, 11:30 am
CFN Game Preview (link)

Arkansas:

RB Darren McFadden: Top Talent, will not be available when New England picks. Too bad he can be a game changer.

FB Peyton Hillis: Heath Evans could use some competition. When the Pats lost Garrett Mills to the Vikings in a semi-sort of pissing contest, they were looking for a guy who does more than block out of the backfield. They settled on just sticking with Evans. Hillis has potential to be considered for a multi-purpose role, but maybe not as much as Mills would have been.

OC Jonathan Luigs: the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder seems to be a solid anchor in the middle. While the Pats don't need a center, Russ Hochstein could use some competition, and Billy Yates wasn't the answer. The Pats tried to draft a low round replacement in Mike Elgin, but he had a long way to go before he could start they released him.

WR Marcus Monk: A solid receiver at 6-foot-6, Monk could be a huge target for Brady. The issue is a knee injury which ahs limited his production. If Washington, Moss and Stallworth all leave, Monk could be a good youngster to develop.

Keep an eye on: De Antwain Robinson (Jr.), DT Marcus Harrison, FS Michael Grant, SS Matt Hewitt, CB Matterral Richardson

College Connections:
2004 the Pats drafted RB Cedric Cobbs, he was cut in camp, but signed on with the Broncos for 2006 …

Missouri:

QB Chase Daniel: Heisman candidate… He won't be on Pats radar, but the guy can be a player at the next level.

TE Martin Rucker: A solid second round potential TE. At 6-foot-5, 258-pounds he almost has an NFL body to begin with. Refer to previous comments on TE needs.

FS William Moore (Jr.): A rangy type of DB who can run. He's 6-foot-1, 212-pounds and can run at a sub 4.5 speed. It's not blazing, but he's only a junior. The Pats have a need at safety, whether it's free or strong remains to be determined on James Sanders development.

CB Darnell Terrell: With Asante Samuel likely headed elsewhere, the Pats need a DB to fill in. Too many smaller DBs on the roster so Terrell's 6-foot-3 size can be an asset. He has shown good hands as a receiver .

Keep an eye on: C Adam Spieker, WR Will Franklin

College Connections:
DE Jeff Marriott was the last Missouri product selected by the Pats (2000, 5th round, 161st overall). … There are no Missouri products on the current roster. … QB Brad Smith who plays receiver for the Jets is the closest the Pats have come to the University recently.

 

Capital One Bowl ( Michigan - Florida ): Tuesday 1 p.m
CFN Game Preview (link)

Michigan:

RB Mike Hart: The 5-foot-9, 200-pounder isn't going to be on New England's list, but as the top ranked senior RB in the Draft, someone will take him in the first or second round. Could be a good Kevin Faulk replacement down the road if he slides.

OT Jake Long: It's no secret the Patriots wanted to upgrade their offensive line. Long would go a long way (no pun intended) to solidifying the line for years to come. There is no way he'll be available when the patriots start looking at O linemen (day two).

SS Jamar Adams: another solid big school program prospect. The Pats need someone to help the secondary and Adams, a late first day/early second day pick could very well be "the guy."

OLB Shawn Crable: If you haven't seen him play, you should. Another Michigan player who can step in early at the next level. 6-foot-5, 245-pounds, he's already bigger than some of the players the Pats have been using at the position.

Keep an eye on: QB Chad Henne, G Adam Kraus, WR Mario Manningham (Jr.). DT Terance Taylor, LB Tim Jamison (Jr.)

College Connections:
Loads of Michigan talent has come across the pats radar, but only two remain on the roster Tom Brady (2000 Draft, 6th round) and Pierre Woods (2006 UDFA). New England worked out a number of Michigan linebackers last year prior to the draft, opting to wait on David Harris, Prescott Burgess and LaMarr Woodley.

Florida:

WR Andre Caldwell: Yes, he's the brother of former Pats WR Reche Caldwell.

C Drew Miller: 6-foot-5 offensive guard who can play center. Later round pick.

DE Derrick Harvey (Jr.): Could be a force at end or on the outside. 6-foot-5, 252 can move at 4.7 to 4.8 speed.

Keep an eye on: TE Cornelieus Ingram (Jr.), SS Troy Joiner, OG Jim Tartt

College Connections:
Chad Jackson (2006, 2nd round) and Jabar Gaffney (UFA) are two former Gator WRs. … Urban Meyer and Bill Belichick speak often about Draft prospects … Jeremey Mincey (2006, 6th round) and Jackson were the last Gators drafted.... Chad Jackson (2006, 2nd round) and Jabar Gaffney (UFA) are two former Gator WRs. … Urban Meyer and Bill Belichick speak often about Draft prospects … Jeremey Mincey (2006, 6th round) and Jackson were the last Gators drafted.

 

Rose Bowl ( Illinois - USC ): Tuesday, 5 p.m
CFN Game Preview

Illinois:

MLB Jeremy Leman: 6-foot-3, 240-pound interior LB. Most likely a second day pick. Could be an upgrade of previous inside linebacker prospects the team has tried to keep.

RB Rashard Mendenhall (Jr.): If he declares, could be a good depth pickup, if he lasts till later in the first day.

Keep an eye on: OT Akim Millington, OG Martin O'Donnell, DE Derek Walker (Jr.)

College Connection:
DB Eugene Wilson was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft. DB Christian Morton 3004, 7th round), OT Sean Bubin retired as a Patriot during 2007 training camp.

USC:

OT Sam Baker: A highly rated lineman who could solidify the RT spot. A 3-time Aall American. If you can't get Jake Long (Michigan) you can't go wrong with Baker.

MLB Rey Maualuga (Jr.): Coming back from injury, this kid can bring it in the middle. Could be a solid pick to fill the void if Seau retires. Could be a good addition for depth

OLB Keith Rivers: Considered one of the best LBs in the country, but at 6-foot-3, 230-pounds he may be too small for the Pats scheme.

DT Sedrick Ellis: Another big body the Pats have been missing. This guy can play NT.

CB Terrell Thomas: A starter at SC who could fill in the void if/when Samuel leaves.

TE Fred Davis: Another TE for New England? It's possible. The Pats could have gone after Greg Olsen (Miami) last year but had no interest in first round TE's. Same this year

Keep an eye on: OG Chilo Rachal (Jr.), OG Drew Radovich, DE Lawrence Jackson, S Kevin Ellison (Jr.), LB Brian Cushing (Jr.),

College Connection:
Matt Cassel (D7, 2005), Junior Seau (FA 2006), Oscar Lua (D7, 2007)… The Pats scouted numerous SC players the past few seasons including Dallas Sartz (2007) and Darnell Bing (2006) among other. P Tom Malone was in training camp this year


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