BCS Final Panthers 2012 Draft Prospect Scouting Recap

There were a number of players that could be potential Panthers come the April draft, and I do mean a high number. There are no less than 12 legit NFL draft prospects in this game between the two teams. Here's how each is rated, any statistics from the game and with some editorial comments based on what I saw watching the game:

Alabama

CB Dre Kirkpatrick - A top 10 pick in my view and my top choice for the Panthers at #8-9 at this point. He played well in this game though he doesn't show up in the stat book much. The Tigers shied away from Dre early and instead tested Menzie (see below)

RB Trent Richardson - A 1st round prospect projected to go anywhere between 5 and 20; He ran strong in this game and though he was bottled up in the first half he finished with 96 yards on 20 carries and a back breaking TD

OLB Courtney Upshaw - One of the top if not the top 3-4 OLB in the draft, should the Panthers switch to a 3-4. Some call him a tweener which may interest Rivera; Recorded a nice sack that showed his speed

SS Mark Barron - A 1-2 round prospect known for hard hitting; landed a hard hit early and was quick to keep Jefferson in check on the ground; he played well in this game though the Tigers did get some pressure on McCarron, I think most of it came up the middle or from the right side

T Barrett Jones - If he declares as expected, the Outland Trophy winner is a late 1st, early 2nd round pick in a draft that is pretty deep at OL

ILB Donta Hightower - If he declares could be a late 1st rounder; Looked fast on a key sack and FF in the 4th quarter; looks like a proto-typical 3-4 ILB

CB DeQuan Menzie - A mid-round prospect who played tough at the line of scrimmage; covered the smoke play well. At 6'0" 195 he gives the Tide two big corners. Gave up a couple passes but kept everything in front of him

C Will Vlachos - A mid round pick who shows some power up the middle; Starting late in the 3rd quarter the Tide o-line started opening up holes and Vlachos gets serious credit

N/DT Josh Chapman - A true 3-4 NT at 310 pounds; he's what BW calls 'a big fatty' in the middle; considering Bama dominated the Tigers rushing game, 1.4 ypc overall I would say Chapman held the point well.

WR Marquis Maze - Listed as a mid to late round pick but looked real good on a 49 yard punt return, right up until he pulled his hammy. We will have monitor his recovery but the kid looked like he had some skills

LSU

CB Morris Claiborne - A consensus top 5 pick that should be gone before the Panthers pick but if he's there the Panthers won't hesitate; Played well in this game for the most part as the Tide picked on the honey badger #7 Matthieu I believe

WR Rueben Randle - Listed as a 2nd to 3rd round prospect who looks like a less skilled LaFell...more like a late round pick to me

TE Michael Williams - A late round prospect as a blocking TE; no interest

G Will Blackwell - A late round prospect; LSU's o-line did not impress with the run or pass protecgtion

FS Brandon Taylor - A mid round pick with nice size 6'0" 191lbs; didn't see much of him

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