Looking To The Future

The New England Patriots have multiple second round picks in 2010. Who are some of the names to consider? Scout.com Draft Analyst Chris Steuber shares this thoughts on five players to keep an eye on.

(lead image: Carlos Dunlap, Florida)

Patriots Insider member SaysBill asked an interesting question on the ASK THE INSIDER's thread in the Insider's Lounge recently, so we forwarded it on to Scout.com Draft Analyst Chris Steuber for his take

SaysBill: Some of us started a thread and were talking about next year's draft with having 3 2nd rounders and some prospects that we like and would like to see the Pats select, even move up to get. A few names that are getting tossed around are Mark Herzlich and Taylor Mays, and my three: Carlos Dunlap, Brandon Spikes, and Rolando McClain.

I don't know that Herzlich has the necessary size to play OLB in the Pat's 3-4, but I could be wrong. He would be able to drop into coverage which is a very difficult transition for most LBs.

Mays is simply a great athlete. I'm not sure if his production matches his athleticism, but he should be a T-10 pick. Would definitely give the Pats a stud SS.

Dunlap is just a freak (physically almost in the Peppers range) that I wonder if he could make the transition to OLB or be a better/younger version of Jarvis Green for the Pats.

I would LOVE to get either Spikes or McClain in order to give Mayo a running mate ILB. I love Spikes and think he's a playmaker but I just have a feeling the McClain would fit more into what the Pats want to do.

My question is, what have you heard about these guys from your contacts and what have you seen of them? I'm sure that while scouting for this year's draft these players were likely noticed by the scouts.

Chris Steuber:

Mark Herzlich Ht/Wt: (6-4, 238) Pos: OLB School: Boston College (college bio)
Mark Herzlich is out of the picture at this point, as he’s undergoing a tough battle with cancer. It’s a shame, because when he’s on the field, he’s one of the best college linebackers I’ve seen in a long time.

Taylor Mays Ht/Wt: (6-3, 230) Pos: S School: USC (college bio)

USC Taylor Mays breaks up a pass intended for California DeSean Jackson Nov. 18, 2006. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Taylor Mays is an absolute freak; one of the most physically imposing defenders in college football. He looks the part, demonstrates great skill and plays very physical. Mays is a heavy hitter who can also break open a game with his ball skills – a sure top-ten pick.

Carlos Dunlap Ht/Wt: (6-6, 240) Pos: DE School: Florida (college bio)
Carlos Dunlap is a junior and is one of the most feared pass rushers in the nation. If he has another standout season this year like he did last year, he will most likely enter the ’10 draft. He can play DE in a 3-4 or a 4-3 and will be highly sought after. But again, he’s a junior and we’ll have to wait and see if he declares after the season.

Brandon Spikes Ht/Wt: (6-3, 243) Pos: LB School: Florida (college bio)
Brandon Spikes is a polished linebacker who can play inside or outside and offers a team tremendous flexibility. He’s a great tackler and possesses the overall ability to be a force at the next level. He has to improve a bit in coverage and get better depth on his drops, but overall he’s a complete player.

Rolando McClain Ht/Wt: (6-4, 249) Pos: LB School: Alabama (college bio)
Rolando McClain is another junior who athletically could be the best linebacker in the nation. He has a great frame (6-4) and still has room to grow, but tips the scales currently at 245 pounds. He has tremendous range and does a nice job in coverage. He’s the kind of linebacker the Patriots would salivate over. But, like I said, he’s a junior and we’ll have to see what he decides to do after the season. If he declares, he could be a top-20 selection.

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