Bowl Game Watch List Part 3 – New Years Day

Kawann Short – DT Purdue
BOWL: Heart of Dallas Bowl – Purdue v OKlahoma State 1/1/12 12:00
Build: 6-3 315 lbs
Early Projection: Late 1st Round
Years Started: 3
Patriots Fit: 4-3 DT
Relevant Stats:

2012 8 A 34 UA 6 14.5 1 4

It’s really unfair to incoming DT’s to have to pass the eyeball test to Patriots fans. No matter what your college stats look like, your play gets compared side by side with our own #75, one of the greatest DTs maybe ever. Still this three year starter from Purdue has actually piqued my interest the more I’ve looked into him. Statistically he’s very impressive managing double digit TFL’s over the last 3 seasons (48 career). He’s also managed 6 or more sacks over the last 2 years, which can be a difficult thing for an interior lineman to pull off. And if you’re into it he’s blocked 6 field goals, the most in Purdue history.

For my money though, being a DT for the Patriots is all about attitude and I just don’t know enough about the guy yet to give him a full endorsement. He closes well, plays with a good pad level and likes to be quick and violent with his block sheds. He’ll be worth monitoring as the draft process goes on.

Baccari Rambo – FS Georgia
BOWL: Capital One Bowl Georgia v Nebraska 1/1/13 12:00
Build: 6-0 210 lbs
Early Projection: 2nd – 3rd Round
Years Started: 3
Patriots Fit: FS
Relevant Stats:

2012 25 A 42 UA 3 2 3 1

Do you want a guy named Rambo playing for your team or someone else’s?

Exactly. Actually I was going to write about DT John Jenkins, but found out that he was academically ineligible to play in the bowl game. Put your hard hat on and look out for 350 lbs of falling draft stock. Rambo started making some noise last year so I decided to check him out. I thought he was still extremely raw though, and was glad he opted to stay at Georgia for another year. The move definitely paid off as far as his technique goes. While he still has a tendency to tackle too high at times I think he has skill set worthy of a guy named Rambo. He had two strip fumbles in the same drive against Georgia Tech. Withstanding Colonel Trautman’s intervention Rambo should be available at a time where it won’t break the bank to get him either. Also I don’t hate his SS partner Shawn Williams (also a senior) as a lesser known option.

Chase Thomas – OLB Stanford
BOWL: Rose Bowl – Wisconsin v Stanford
Build: 6-4 248 lbs
Early Projection: 2nd – 3rd Round
Years Started: 3
Patriots Fit: WS-SS Linebacker / DE
Relevant Stats:

2012 27 A 44 UA 7.5 15.5 1 4

White guy. Linebacker. Plays multiple positions. Get ready for every mock in the country to put him in a Patriots uniform. On the surface the Pats seem to be very locked in at linebacker, but I think they could use some more athleticism out there. Thomas is a very interesting guy. He came out of high school as an outside linebacker but went to Stanford knowing he’d be a defensive end. When he got to Stanford he did the DE thing for a while, but with his speed and ability to move in space they moved him outside and were content to let him bomb on opposing QB’s from the flanks. He’s quick and agile, but I’m not going to dub him as a cover linebacker because most of what he did was blitzing and getting after the QB. In fact I think you could put him at DE in the NFL and get results out of him. His pass rush technique is advanced making him a nightmare one on one. I’m going on record that I like this guy, and think that he might end up being the best player available if he’s still there in the middle of the 2nd round.

Travis Frederick
BOWL: Rose Bowl – Wisconsin v Stanford
Build: 6-4 338 lbs
Early Projection: 2nd – 3rd Round
Years Started: 2
Patriots Fit: C/RG

Yup. I want to watch the Rose Bowl for an interior offensive lineman. Fuck off. That’s how it’s done. The 2 year starter from Bigfoot High School in Walwroth, Wisconsin. I’ve been extremely impressed with the entirety of Wisconsin’s offensive line over the last 2 seasons, and have enjoyed watching Montee Ball run wild on people. This guy is a big reason why. He’s super strong, well coached, and focused. Rumor has it the Junior Badger is looking to declare early for the draft. I think he’s a round 2 steal and a guy the Patriots would greatly benefit from. We cannot go into the 2013 season with revolving door fails like Nick McDonald jumping in and out of the lineup. Mankins has struggled this year some since coming off a late season ACL tear. I’m confident he’ll look like his old self again next year, and sneaking a guy like Frederick in next to him would do wonders for Ridley’s ability to exploit the middle of the field. Keep an eye on 72 and watch what he does for Montee Ball up the middle. It takes a lot to get my excited about an interior lineman but I’m very high on this big lummox.

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