'06 NFL Draft Watch: Connecticut

During its first full season of Big East play the Huskies went to a bowl game and gave Toledo a beating. The team's best players from both sides of the ball were drafted into the NFL and the outlook is not as bright this season. The program still possesses several solid late round draft picks and prospects who could develop into NFL material.

Senior tackle Grant Preston is an effective collegiate tackle whose ultimate pro position could be offensive guard. Bending his knees, Preston plays with leverage, stays square and gets push from run blocks. Fighting throughout the action, he effectively uses angles and immediately picks up blitzes thrown by the defense. Lacking top lateral range and footwork in pass protection, Preston does not display great adjustment and is best in a small area. Junior running back Cornell Brockington is a patient interior runner with solid overall skills. Waiting for blocks to develop, Brockington finds the running lanes and quickly gets through the hole, breaking tackles and picking up yardage off initial contact. Possessing the speed to get around the corner, he works runs, avoiding piles. Brockington also possesses solid open field running skills. Not overly elusive, he is of ordinary size and seems like a good fit as a situational runner for the next level. Two more solid campaigns should push Brockington into the late rounds of the 2007 draft.

Defensively the team's best NFL-talent was lost to graduation. A solid run stuffer, linebacker James Hargrave consistently makes plays behind the line of scrimmage. Undersized for the strong-side position he mans in college, Hargrave must improve his cover skills as weak side linebacker is his best chance at the next level.


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