In the immediate aftermath of a disheartening 21-0 nothing loss in the rematch against Alabama for the national championship, it was easy for LSU fans to lose perspective of just how much they’d accomplished. However, all-in-all, the Bayou Bengals had an unbelievably successful season having captured an SEC title and competed for a BCS title as well.
LSU sported one of the nation’s most talented defense, and that should be on full display when the NFL Draft rolls around in April. The Tigers have several prospects who stand a chance of hearing their name called in New York City.
Here is an early look at draft projections and scouting reports for draft-eligible LSU Tigers.
(Rankings courtesy of CBS Sports)
Morris Claiborne- #4 Overall, #1 CB
Morris Claiborne and Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick are the two best corners in this draft class, and Claiborne might not have even been the best corner on his TEAM. That’s how insanely talented LSU’s secondary was. The only real knock on Claiborne is that he could stand to get physically stronger, and he has a frame that could easily hold another 15 pounds. Other than that, Claiborne’s game appears to be VERY complete.
Grade: Top Ten Pick
Michael Brockers- #13 Overall, #2 DT
Brockers is an incredibly destructive force on the interior who has value in the 4-3 and 3-4 systems. As a three-technique, Brockers has better pass-rushing skills than his two sacks last year would indicate, and as a five-technique, he is plenty strong enough to hold the point up front. Incredibly high-motor guy who plays with an undeniable drive and intensity.
Grade: Top Ten Pick
Rueben Randle- #56 Overall, #6 WR
Rueben Randle is a big-bodied wide receiver with great ball-skills who will be an effective redzone target at the next level because of his superior leaping ability. The knock on Randle is that he might not have the top-end speed you’d like to see from a vertical threat; however, his stock will have a chance to soar with a solid 40 time at the combine or at his pro day.
Grade: Late First-Early Second Round
Deangelo Peterson- #147 Overall, #7 TE
Peterson is a guy who could be a serious threat to stretch the seam as an athletic tight end. He’s got big-play ability and he’s got impressive speed for the position, but he doesn’t have the size and strength at just 6-3 230 lbs to be an effective blocker at the next level. However, he still has value as a pass-catching threat.
Grade: Fourth-Sixth Round
Brandon Taylor- #175 Overall, #5 SS
Taylor was the leader of an unbelievably talented LSU secondary, and he could be a real glue guy at the next level. He doesn’t have great speed, and he has physical limitations, but he has solid ball skills and potential value as a back-up and special-teamer.
Grade: Fifth-Seventh Round
Ron Brooks- #314 Overall, #37 CB
Ron Brooks is a wiry play-making cornerback who made a living by making big plays. He only had three interceptions during his career at LSU, but he took all three back to the house. Unfortunately, his size makes him prone to being bullied by larger wide receivers. However, he does have the speed to potentially be effective covering the slot as a nickel or dime back.
Potential UFA’s: Jarret Lee, T-Bob Hebert, Ryan Baker, Jordan Jefferson, Will Blackwell, Karnell Hatcher, Stefoin Francois