It’s time to take a look at two potential New England Patriots 2013 NFL Draft targets who played their college ball in South Carolina for two of the nation’s top programs. Both of them will likely be selected in the early second-round, but anything can happen on draft day.
Clemson Tigers wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is just such a talented wideout, and I actually like him more than Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson. I know Patterson has incredible speed and agility that is second to none at the WR position in this draft, but I care more about what a wideout does before the catch more than what he does after the catch.
Hopkins has plenty of athletic ability and speed, so he can make the catch and make plays happen after the catch. I can’t quite get a read one where Hopkins will get picked, because there are so many opinions surrounding him. My best guess is that Hopkins will end up going off the board in the early second-round, so the Patriots best chance of nabbing might be taking him in the late first if they like the Clemson product enough.
Some draft analysts like to compare DeAndre Hopkins to Atlanta Falcons elite wideout Roddy White, because Hopkins is just so good at jump balls and high-pointing the ball. He has drawn plenty of praise for his ability to get open, and Hopkins would be a nice addition to stretch the field vertically for the Patriots. I honestly think only Keenan Allen and Tavon Austin are better wide receivers in this class, and I have Hopkins right around Austin.
Here is an interesting tweet from Daniel Jeremiah about Hopkins, who was praised by the NFL Network analyst for his instincts.
For those of you who read the draft coverage on Musket Fire, I’m sure you guys have picked up on the fact that I am a huge fan of South Carolina Gamecocks strong safety D.J. Swearinger. The man is a monster in the secondary, because he hits hard, is explosive, and plays with a real meanstreak. Sometimes, he reminds me of Brandon Spikes at the safety position with the way he hits.
Although Swearinger’s coverage skills aren’t perfect, they don’t have to be since he plays strong safety. However, he is certainly good in coverage and showed it at South Carolina by playing at cornerback (at a high level, I might add). The underrated S is starting to get some credit, and he would be a very good fit for the New England Patriots. Hopefully, he can fall out of my top 50 grade to the Patriots laps in the late second-round.
Jeremiah tweeted on Swearinger, “each game tape is filled with violence. (Not dirty either)”.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.