ILB in the the 12-18 range?
Rey Maualuga is the only guy I like at ILB for NE's system that could go in this range, but recent reports have him staying in school for another year....
OLB in the first round?
I like Quentin Groves
, and think his speed (4.43-4.49 legit) would bring an added demension to NE's pass rush. His size (6'3" 250lbs) is pretty much ideal for the LB position, and I think there's a chance he could have some hybrid ability. I say this because of his size and the fallowing things I've noticed: Gets good arm extension ... strong leg drive ... sheds blocks quickly ... sound angles ... very good in pursuit ... reliable tackler in space ... high motor ... intense ... nice leaper ... and a leader. He plays at Aurburn and he's put up some very good numbers against top level comp, so I think he's one to watch if NE goes LB in the first.
There are some things I also like about Vernon Gholston and I'd be happy if the Patriots drafted him, but I think Groves could make the conversion to LB quicker, and I think he has more versatility as a 3-4 LB prospect.
Either late round one or early round two I like ILB Jonathan Goff, and think some people on this board underrate his ability. This guy has the frame to add more pounds and he sure looks like the 6'4" 240lbs+ that I've seen him listed at:
I've listed the things I like about him in the past, and think he could be effective in NE's system.
With Jasper Brinkley coming off injury he'd be an interesting selection early day two (if the NCAA doesn't allow his return in 2008) at ILB, Shawn Crable is interesting at OLB, and I've got to look at Tommy Blake out of TCU a little more. Some think he could be a 3-4 OLB, but I haven't been able to watch him play all that much.