The 2013 NFL Draft discussion continues with two other potential New England Patriots targets in Purdue Boilermakers defensive tackle Kawann Short and Clemson Tigers playmaking wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Short was a fast riser due to a strong Senior Bowl, and several draft analysts are high on Short. Daniel Jeremiah wrote that Short is “ very likely to get picked in the middle-to-late portion of the first round”, and I went over how our main site mocked him to the Patriots with the 29th pick. While I think Short is getting a bit overrated and took too many plays off at Purdue, he has excellent physical tools and some nice upside. I’m just wary of fast-rising DTs, even if they have enough size, speed, and strength to succeed at the pro level.
Sylvester Williams is also worth a close look for Patriots fans, and I would recommend reading Jeremiah’s piece as it goes in-depth with all the top DTs in the class. Jesse Williams of Alabama is another guy getting talked about among Pats circles, but I would be wary of Ohio State’s Jonathan Hankins. He’s an excellent player and is dropping too low on some boards, but Hankins isn’t a good fit for the Patriots as he is clearly more of a run-stopper. The Pats need an interior pass rusher like Sylvester Williams.
DeAndre Hopkins is one of the top playmaking wide receiver prospects in this 2013 NFL Draft class, and the former Clemson standout has terrific athleticism and speed. He gets jump balls, stretches the field vertically, and he would certainly add a different dimension to the Patriots offensive attack.
Another NFL Network draft guru, Bucky Brooks, tweeted that he thinks Hopkins is one of five players to watch closely for a huge Scouting Combine performance. Hopkins would be a nice pick for the Patriots, and I think he and Tavon Austin are the team’s best options at the wide receiver position.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.