Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Jared Odrick Could Help Patriots With His Versatility

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April 21, 2010

Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Jared Odrick Could Help Patriots With His Versatility Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick has been a hot name on draft boards among teams that play a 3-4 defense. Like always, the Patriots will be looking to bolster their D-line during this week?s draft, so it?s worth wondering what type of match he would be with New England.

Key Stats
The 6-foot-5, 304-pounder registered 43 tackles, seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss during a senior season in which he was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

Why the Patriots Would Want Him
Odrick is mostly tabbed as a defensive tackle, but he is versatile and athletic enough to play any position along the defensive line — the word "versatility" is likely highlighted, starred and written along every wall in the Pats? war room. The Patriots? biggest need on the line is at right defensive end, which was Richard Seymour?s old spot. If Patriots head coach Bill Belichick believes Odrick has the makeup to start there, he?d be an ideal fit in New England. And don?t forget, Vince Wilfork spent some time last season on the edge, so the thought of mixing and matching Wilfork and Odrick might be an intriguing one.

Why the Patriots Might Stay Away
To go along with the last point, there could be the slight chance that Odrick doesn?t project as an end in Belichick?s system. In that regard, the Patriots might be more inclined to go after a hybrid edge rusher such as Sergio Kindle, Brandon Graham or Everson Griffen. There is also a growing belief that defensive linemen from Penn State don?t exactly pan out to become solid NFL players, a term that might turn into "The Aaron Maybin Effect."

Potential Impact in 2010
The Patriots would obviously draft him to fill an immediate need, so Odrick would project as a starter somewhere on the defensive line. Belichick?s two-gap system is tough to master, so there would be a steep learning curve for Odrick. If it takes him awhile, he?ll lose playing time to the always-consistent Mike Wright.

What The Locals Are Saying
Odrick shined at Penn State?s pro day.

Likelihood Odrick Is Available at No. 22
Odrick?s stock is tough to gauge. By scanning through a number of analysts, he?ll either be gone in the top 15 or somewhere in the mid- to late-20s. The feeling here is Odrick will be around when the Patriots make their initial selection Thursday night.

NESN.com will spotlight players the Patriots could take with their first-round pick.
April 12: Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham
April 13: Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap
April 14: Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant
April 15: Michigan defensive end/linebacker defensive end Brandon Graham
April 16: Clemson running back C.J. Spiller
April 17: Texas defensive end/linebacker Sergio Kindle
April 18: Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews
April 19: Clemson outside linebacker Ricky Sapp
April 20: Florida offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey
April 22: TCU outside linebacker Jerry Hughes

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