I know the draft is over two months away, but I’m a huge draft geek. That being said, I thought I would take a player-by-player look at prospects that could land themselves in a Patriots uniform.
Aqib Talib, Cornerback, Kansas
6’2″, 195 lbs, Junior, 4.5
Patriotsblog.net CB Rank: 1
Strengths: Probably one of the most physical corners in the draft. Has the potential to become a shutdown corner. Has good instincts and is a good playmaker. Has the size and athleticism to play multiple positions. Played some receiver for Kansas. He has good ball awareness along with natural skills. Has a good vertical, along with decent speed. His playmaking ability extends to the return game, where he has made some big plays. Has great potential.
Weaknesses: Sometimes jumps routes too often, getting himself out of position. Not the best technically sound corner, although that could be worked on. Also, he is not the best tackler.
Role: Whether or not Asante Samuel is with the team next year, the Patriots need another corner. Not any corner, but a corner who has the potential to be that shut-down guy, who brings a physical attitude to every game. The more I learn about Talib, the more I think he can be that guy. Sure, his skills are a little raw, but he has unlimited potential. As of now, he might be my pick. If Samuel is gone, Talib could come in and start right away. If Samuel stays, Talib can develop for a year or two, and then move into a starting role.
What the Experts Say: Chris Steuber, scout.com
Another position that’s loaded with draft-eligible prospects is defensive back. One of the best cover corners in the land, Aqib Talib, has helped the fourth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks achieve a surprising 10-0 record. He has great size, standing at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, and is a lockdown corner with franchise potential. Talib’s skills are reminiscent of Denver Broncos All-Pro corner Champ Bailey. Not only is Talib a tremendous cover corner, but he also is a situational threat on offense. So far this season, Talib has recorded 48 tackles, 3.5 for a loss and four interceptions for the Jayhawks defense, has eight receptions for 182 yards and four touchdowns on offense.