Chris Steuber Journal
Posted: July 26, 2012
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Courtesy of the New England Patriots/David Silverman | Illustration by Chris Steuber
Dont'a Hightower is a solid all-around football player, who will fit in nicely with the Patriots defense.
The National Football League doesn't have a farm system like Major League Baseball where prospects are able to develop and prove their worth before being elevated to the show. In the NFL, the prospects drafted are expected to display their talents and make rosters immediately, but even though they made it to the professional ranks, we're dealing with many young players that are in their early 20's and still progressing as players.
I classify an NFL prospect as a player entering up to their third-year in the NFL or under 25 years of age up until September 1st of the upcoming season, no matter their NFL tenure. Throughout this series, I’ll randomly select NFL teams and identify their top 10 prospects. It’s unlikely that I’ll review all 32 teams, but I'll take suggestions via email or Twitter.
The next team that I’ll review is the New England Patriots. The Patriots are the masters of the NFL Draft and understand how to manage situations in their favor. They've made some mistakes, such as trading down when there were some impact players on the board, but overall they've done an outstanding job and have hit on many players. Just look back at their draft picks from the 2010 draft: selecting Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez, Zoltan Mesko and Brandon Deaderick have provided impact players and quality depth to their roster.
Find out who I selected as the Patriots top 10 prospects entering the 2012 season.
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Chris Steuber has covered the NFL and NFL Draft for multiple media outlets over the last decade, and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including: The Colin Cowherd Show, NFL Network's Path to the Draft and Daily News Live on Comcast SportsNet (Philadelphia)... full biography