Patriots Scouts At It Again In The Big 12

The New England Patriots are checking out more talent in the NFL Draft, this time it's the Big 12. See who they are looking at and why...

Patriots Insider has confirmed that in addition to the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots were expected to attend the Texas, Texas Tech game this weekend.

Here is a list of the players they will look at according to Scout NFL Draft expert Chris Steuber.

Texas:

MLB, Rashad Bobino, Senior
MLB, Jared Norton, Junior
OLB, Sergio Kindle, Junior
OLB, Roddrick Muckelroy, Junior
DE, Brian Orakpo, Senior
DE, Henry Melton, Senior
DT, Roy Miller, Senior
DT, Lamar Houston, Junior
CB, Ryan Palmer, Senior
QB, Colt McCoy, Junior
RB, Chris Ogbonnaya, Senior
WR, Quan Cosby, Senior
WR, Jordan Shipley, Senior
OT, Adam Ulatoski, Junior
OG, Cedric Dockery, Senior
OG, Charlie Tanner, Junior
C, Chris Hall, Junior
K, Hunter Lawrence, Junior

Note: Keep an eye on freshman CB Earl Thomas.

Colt McKoy may be getting all of the attention as he directs the Texas offense toward a Big-12 championship and their quest for another BCS Championship, but it's the defense that has one of the game's most intriguing prospects, DE Brian Orakpo. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound defender has been called the best defensive end prospect available in the Draft by NFLDraftScout and is ranked among the top DEs at scout.com. After looking at Georgia Tech's DE Michael Johnson. If New England is looking for another former defensive end they can turn into a linebacker, they may have found one in Orakpo. He has the size and the quickness. Orakpo may be undersized for a defensive end in a 3-4 defense, but his speed has allowed him to terrorize opponents in the Big twelve, and forced teams to adjust their protection to account for his presence.

WR Jordan Shipley turned in a 168 yard performance last week against a top ranked Oklahoma team, but it's fellow receiver Quan Crosby who has received better grades in the Draft, projected as a mid rounder.

OT Adam Ulatoski is probably the team's most attractive lineman to the Patriots, though Cedrick Dockery and Chris Hall have both received praise from some Draft watchers. Ulatoski is an underclassman, who will probably stick around for another year as his projection is a middle rounder.

The Texas linebackers are also worth watching. Although New England chose Jerod Mayo in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft and OLD Shawn Crable in the third and Bo Ruud in the seventh, they still need to add depth in the middle. Tedy Bruschi could end up retiring. As it stands now, he's substituting out of the game more often as teams game plan against him in coverage. The Patriots need quickness in the middle, which they're getting from Mayo and undrafted rookie Gary Guyton.

 

Texas Tech:

DT, Rajon Henley, Junior
DE, Brandon Williams, Junior
DE, McKinner Dixon, Junior
CB, Jamar Wall, Junior
FS, Darcel McBath, Senior
FS, Daniel Charbonnet, Senior
QB, Graham Harrell, Senior
WR, Michael Crabtree, Redshirt-Sophomore
OG, Louis Vasquez, Senior
OG, Brandon Carter, Junior

Underclassman WR Brian Crabtree is a playmaker whose meteoric rise could find him landing on a team in the NFL in the near future as a red shirt Frenchman. Senior QB Graham Harrell is considered the team's best Draft prospect leading the high-powered offense.

For New England, the prospects to watch are on the offensive line. Louis Vasquez is considered a mid round pick, but Junior Brandon Carter is a flat out Beast. At 6-foot-7, 345-pounds, Carter looks a lot like another mauler the Patriots looked at two seasons ago, Charles Spencer (Pittsburgh).

On defense the Patriots will probably take a close look at FS Darcel McBath. Considered a top 10 prospect at his position. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound defender could fill out a secondary looking for help at the safety position. S Daniel Charbonnet may not have the notoriety of other safeties in the Draft, hence his projections as a late round pick, but his speed is something the Patriots could really use in the secondary.

Other intriguing prospects of interest are DT Radio Henley and CB Jamar Wall, though the Patriots likely would pass on Wall who is another undersized corner with quickness, after selecting two of those in the 2008 Draft.

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