The Patriots will need to grab a playmaker in this year's Draft class, one who can play right away. There just happens to be at least one underclassman who fits the bill. Here are the top 10 available in this year's class.
The 2010 draft class received a strong infusion of talent from underclassmen, with 40 ranked in the top 100 players available by NFLDraftScout.com. Who made the right choice to pursue NFL millions, and who could have used another year of seasoning?
TOP 10 UNDERCLASSMEN:
1. Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma: Would be the top defender selected in many drafts; Nebraska senior DT Ndamukong Suh is the only player keeping him from that title this year.
2. Eric Berry, CB/FS, Tennessee: Versatile player who could play either safety spot or cornerback, wherever the team chooses to use his playmaking skills.
3. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma: If healthy throwing before the draft, teams may look at his accuracy and put him at the top of this list.
4. Joe Haden, CB, Florida: Fantastic athlete and tough competitor who makes plays despite still learning the technique of the position.
5. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame: Clausen's competitive nature and accuracy will overcome his lack of height (just ask Drew Brees) and other holes in his game.
6. Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State: Looked like an NFL receiver before his suspension for lying to NCAA investigators.
7. Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech: Brings everything a team wants in a strong-side pass rusher: size, speed and toughness.
8. Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama: One of the smartest players in the country in terms of knowing where to be on the field - and a heck of an athlete for his size.
9. Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame: Should remind scouts of Carolina's Pro Bowl WR Steve Smith, who didn't stand tall against the measuring tape but does on the field.
10. Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida: A great physical specimen at 6-6, 290, Dunlap could be higher on this list if he played every down with authority.