Well, that's what another one-and-done will do to you. It's funny how the draft season will really creep up on you when you're expecting a playoff run. As much as I love everything to do with the NFL draft, it's really paining me to write about it this time around. Anyways, in case you didn't know, the college All-Star season has begun, with the annual East-West Shrine game happening this weekend, with the teams practicing this week. While the game is certainly a big test for draft prospects, it is the week of practicing leading up to the game that scouts pay particular attention to. That being said, SB Nation had some representatives at the East-West Shrine Game practices with Aflie Crow of Big Cat Countryattending. He was courteous enough to track which players NFL scouts talked to after the practices, and came up with this list of players whom Patriots' scouts talked to:
- Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU
- David Carter, DE, UCLA
- Cheta Ozougwu, DE/OLB, Rice
- Caleb Schlauderaff, OG, Utah
- Alex Green, HB, Hawaii
- Justin Taplin-Ross, FS, Utah
Obviously, this isn't a big list, and the Patriots are certainly looking at more players than just these six. Still, it's a start.
The big name on that list is LSU offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale. At 6'5" and over 315 lbs, Barksdale has great size, having been a stalwart on the right side of LSU. Barksdale has shown good short area speed for a man of his size, and is a pretty solid run blocker, although he is still raw as a pass blocker. He certainly has potential, and could go as high as the second round with a good pre-draft season (although the 3rd to 4th round looks more likely).
Another name on the offensive line that caught my attention was Caleb Schlauderaff out of Utah. He's a player that could go as high as the fifth or sixth round, and has the typical height/weight/speed the Patriots look for out of their guards (6'4, 310 lbs). He's very experienced, having started nearly four years at left guard for Utah. He's also smart, and plays with a nasty streak. While he's got some ways to go in terms of technique, you've got to think a couple of years learning with Dante Scarnecchia could turn him into a solid NFL player.
Real quickly, we'll go over David Carter of UCLA and Cheta Ozougwu of Rice. Carter has had a solid week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game, he can hold up against double teams against the run, and has shown enough as a pass rusher to possibly play right end. While he is currently projected to go very late/undrafted by most, at over 6'4", 297 lbs, he has the size and speed (4.97) the Patriots look for in their defensive ends. Cheta Ozougwu is an interesting player as well. At 6'2", 252 lbs, he's a little undersized for a 3-4 outside linebacker, but has generally done a solid job against the run. He's got solid speed (4.7), and although his sack production isn't quite there, he could be an interesting late round project.