Over the next several weeks, Foxboro Blog will be looking at some of the lesser-known college prospects the Patriots might consider taking in the later rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft. This new regular feature will highlight five prospects the Patriots could target in Rounds 4-7.
Brandon Bair, DE, Oregon
At 6'6" 274, Bair wouldn't need to add too much size to play DE in a 3-4. He's older than most rookies at 26, but the Patriots may value his maturity. Although he's not an explosive athlete, he has a good nose for the football and could easily develop into a solid starter.
Byron Maxwell, CB, Clemson
Maxwell had a tremendous combine, running a 4.43 forty and putting up 24 reps on the bench. His 6'0" frame is also very good for a corner. He isn't a ball hawk, but he had plenty of experience as a starter and could definitely contribute on special teams. He's basically a larger version of Kyle Arrington, which is not a bad thing in my book.
Deunta Williams, FS, North Carolina
Williams might have gone as high as the 3rd round if he had entered the draft last year, but a tough senior season coupled with a broken leg in December has sent his draft stock tumbling. He is a tough and aggressive player who should be decent both in run support and with the ball in the air. With proper coaching, he could be a real steal in the 4th or 5th round.
Alex Green, RB, Hawaii
The big knock is Green is his vision and tendency to overrun his blocks, but there is no doubting his excellent size, speed and hands. He reminds me a bit of a cross between Rashard Mendenhall and BJGE. He's not a gamebreaker, but his diverse skill set would make him a decent fallback option if anything happens to Woodhead or the Law Firm.
Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU
Barksdale does not appear to be athletic enough to play LT in the pros, but he could easily be groomed to play RT or even inside at guard. He is a bit unpolished despite three years of experience as a starter. However, he has the physical tools to be a good lineman. With good coaching, many of his flaws could be corrected. He would make a good insurance policy in case the Pats decide to take just one offensive lineman in the early rounds.