Versatile Corey Liuget Would Give Patriots Flexibility on Defensive Line

Versatile Corey Liuget Would Give Patriots Flexibility on Defensive Line The Patriots place a lot of value on versatility, and Illinois’ Corey Liuget might be the most versatile first-round prospects on the defensive line in the draft.

With a need to boost the line, it could make Liuget a viable option with one of their early picks.

Key Stats
The 6-foot-2, 298-pounder had 4.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss, 63 tackles and 10 quarterback pressures during his junior season in 2010.

Why the Patriots Would Want Him
Liuget (pronounced “legit”) is a versatile player who projects as a defensive end in the 3-4 and a 3-technique defensive tackle in the 4-3, but he had the ability to play across either line. That would make him a useful player for Bill Belichick, who likes to put players in different spots for game-plan purposes, and Liuget could be a three-down player due to his natural ability to play in both fronts. He’s a strong tackler who can also penetrate through the line.

Why the Patriots Might Stay Away
Liuget might be most effective in a 4-3 scheme, and that could determine his draft position. Teams that run the 4-3 could value him higher than a team like the Patriots who run a 3-4, meaning he could be attractive for the Vikings at No. 12, but the Pats might not like him until No. 28.

Potential Impact in 2011
Liuget would get plenty of reps along the Patriots’ front because of his versatility. He could rotate at defensive end with Mike Wright, Ron Brace and Marcus Stroud, and he might even be able to play some nose tackle to move Vince Wilfork to defensive end.

What The Locals Are Saying
Liuget slimmed down to gear up for his 2010 season.

Where Can the Patriots Expect to Draft Liuget?
Liuget could go at any point in the middle of the first round, as high as No. 12 to Minnesota or potentially as low as No. 24 to the Saints. There is almost no chance he’d fall to No. 28, so if the Patriots want him, they’ll need him to fall to No. 17.

Every day through April 28, NESN.com will spotlight one player the Patriots could draft with one of their first three picks.

Friday, April 1: California defensive end Cameron Jordan 
Saturday, April 2: North Carolina defensive end/outside linebacker Robert Quinn  
Sunday, April 3: Ohio State defensive lineman Cameron Heyward 
Monday, April 4: Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones 
Tuesday, April 5: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara 
Wednesday, April 6: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
Thursday, April 7: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
Friday, April 8: Florida interior lineman Mike Pouncey  
Saturday, April 9: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi 
Sunday: April 10: Georgia defensive end/outside linebacker Justin Houston 
Monday, April 11: Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers 
Tuesday, April 12: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt 
Wednesday, April 13: UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers
Thursday, April 14: USC tackle Tyron Smith
Friday, April 15: Baylor nose tackle Phil Taylor
Saturday, April 16: Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod 
Sunday, April 17: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith
Monday, April 18: Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure 
Tuesday, April 19: Villanova offensive lineman Benjamin Ijalana 
Wednesday, April 20: Temple defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson
Thursday, April 21: Purdue defensive end/outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan 
Friday, April 22: Pittsburgh wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin
Saturday, April 23: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
Sunday, April 24: Baylor guard Danny Watkins
Tuesday, April 26: Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn

 

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