by Greg Doyle, Patriots Daily Staff
October 10, 2009
The undefeated Badgers travel to the Horse Shoe to take on one-loss Ohio State. A loss here by the Buckeyes would probably eliminate them from any National Championship hopes. A win by Wisconsin probably vaults them significantly from their current #25 spot.
Graham is one of the better tight ends in college football, and should be taken in the first three rounds, perhaps as high as a first round pick. It would seem to me he’d be looked at by the Patriots as the type of player who could replace Ben Watson should he leave. Good size at 6’4″ 248, and good speed and hands are all positive signs for Graham’s pro potential. He has the ability to get down the seam and find openings in zones. He also has good height and can go up and get balls in the red zone, as demonstrated by the 3 TD catches he had in a game earlier this year versus Michigan State. Has 23 catches so far this year and 93 for his career.
Wisconsin DT Jeff Stehle (#79)
Stehle is a first year starter and fifth year senior at Wisconsin. He checks in at a very big 6’6″ 291. A hard worker who lacks pure talent, he does have good strength and has played decently so far this year for the undefeated Badgers. He has 7 tackles from the interior, including 2.5 for losses, and 1 sack. Stehle is a late round project right now who has good size and strength and attitude to work with. He is getting his first extended playing time and is doing pretty well. He’ll be facing his best competition this week, so it’ll be interesting to see how he can do against the tough Ohio State offensive line. If he improves, he may get an invite to a post-season All-Star game and/or the Combine and get himself drafted. He reminds a bit of Mike Wright and the Patriots seemingly would be a good fit for his lunch pail 2-gap play, as well as his plus strength and size.
A pretty good kicker with a career long FG of 54 yards who struggled with two misses inside 40 last week versus Indiana. Pettrey has an NFL leg with long kickoffs and the occasional blast from 50 or longer, but is inconsistent and will need to improve his overall accuracy to make it in the NFL. He is 25 for 32 overall in his career, but has 3 misses inside 40 this year alone. He is booming most kickoffs into the end zone and with a little work on his overall game, he could wind up an NFL kicker. He has the leg to do so. It’s unlikely the Patriots would be interested as they already have a All-Pro caliber kicker.
A pass rushing defensive end that checks in at 6’5″ 288. He’s mostly been a role playing reserve in his career at OSU. He does have 2 sacks this season. Rose came to OSU as a pretty high recruit, but has struggled with shoulder injuries throughout his time there, including major surgery. He is playing pretty well this season and has a lot of talent. If he can make it through the season healthy and productive, he could be a late round steal because he is talented and plays both the run and pass well.
It’s the game of the week as #1 Florida travels to #4 LSU in Baton Rouge. It’s still questionable whether quarterback Tim Tebow will play. He suffered a concussion in Florida’s last game. This game will vault someone into the National Championship picture. But it’s early, so even the loser won’t necessarily be completely eliminated from that consideration. Both teams are supremely talented and will send many players to the NFL. That includes the current edition as both squads, from seniors to freshmen, are loaded with guys who’ll eventually play on Sundays.
Florida WR Riley Cooper (#11)
Florida spreads the ball around a lot so the 6’3″ 215 lb. Riley has never put up the numbers other receivers have. He has never even been among the leaders with the Gators either, until this year when he has pulled down 15 balls for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns. He came into the year with 30 career catches. Cooper is not speedy or shifty, but he is physical and strong and possesses nice, soft hands. He could conceivably bulk up and be an H-back type. He is smart and tough and probably will fit somewhere in the NFL. The lack of speed probably makes him a late round choice, but he may be a guy who makes a team and contributes as a third down receiver, possibly H-back and on special teams.
Florida LB Ryan Stamper (#41)
Stamper is a weakside linebacker who’s contributed 21 tackles so far this year and a sack, the fourth of his career. He checks in at 6’2″ 235 officially and has good speed and toughness. He is probably a bit too small to play with the Patriots and is likely a second day draft choice, but he could stick with someone given his good tackling ability, production at a high level and good speed. He is a good special teams player as well.
LSU RB Charles Scott (#32)
Sometimes I watch certain running backs and think, man, this guy must be a horse to tackle. Scott is one of those guys. Big at 233 lbs., he runs with power and has surprising shiftiness and speed. Last year Scott gave everyone trouble running for nearly 1,200 yards and looking like a sure-fire first round pick heading into this year. He got off to a bit of a slow start, though, and LSU fans were wondering why he wasn’t running with as much authority. In fact, it seems he was losing carries to Keiland Williams, a fellow senior runner, who had been more effective in the early season. Then suddenly, the old Scott reappeared in the second half last week versus Georgia. Two big 4th quarter touchdown runs got the win for LSU and Scott looked like his old self, running with power, breaking tackles and pulling away with speed. If he can continue that, he might just be the next first round pick drafted to be a “feature back” in the NFL.
LaFell may be the top receiver taken in next year’s draft. He is part of perhaps the best duo in college football with junior Terrance Tolliver flanking him. Both will be NFL stars, but Tolliver has improved so much this year that LaFell’s stats have come down a bit. Still, LaFell is a tall 6’3″ 209 receiver with good physical toughness and speed to get deep as well. He catches the wide receiver screens and turns them into big gainers, something the Patriots will like, and he can get behind defensive backs for big gains as well. Occasionally, LaFell has bad drops when he loses concentration or tries to run before he catches the ball. It doesn’t happen too often though, and he is a top-flight receiver who has the ability to be taken in the top 10 of next year’s draft.
E-mail Greg Doyle at email@example.com