Even though the top prospects on the North Carolina football team happen to be underclassmen, Scout.com has confirmed that representatives from the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans scouted the players in Carolina Blue over the last couple of weeks.
It’s not like the Tar Heels don’t have any highly touted senior players, because they do in offensive tackle Kyle Jolly, defensive end E.J. Wilson and the imposing defensive tackle tandem of Aleric Mullins and Cam Thomas. But it’s the junior eligible players that get scouts excited, especially linebackers Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter.
At 6-foot-2, 232 pounds, Sturdivant is coming off of a stat-stuffing sophomore year where he recorded 122 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, two sacks and two interceptions. An instinctive player with the ability to disrupt the action at the line of scrimmage and in the backfield, Sturdivant is the straw that stirs the defensive mix. Carter, who possesses good pass rushing skills and a rangy frame, collected 68 tackles, 11 for a loss, five sacks and an interception. The two standouts in the Tar Heels front seven enter the ’09 season with high expectations, and if they duplicate or exceed their production from a year ago, they will be faced with a tough decision concerning their football futures at seasons end.As for Jolly, Wilson, Mullins and Thomas, who are all rated in Scout.com’s 2010 NFL Draft Rankings, they’re considered to be mid-to-late round selections at this point and could elevate their status if they produce and stay healthy.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.