|NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: LSU WR Rueben Randle||03.09.12 at 6:35 pm ET|
WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2012 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.
Position: Wide receiver
Weight: 208 pounds
Achievements: Coaches All-SEC first team (2011), AP All-SEC second team (2011)
What he brings: Randle, the former No. 1 wideout recruit coming out of high school, brings solid hands and prototypical size to the receiver position, coming in with a near-identical frame to Pats fans’ gold standard for deep threats: Randy Moss. Although he isn’t the pure burner like Baylor’s Kendall Wright, Randle is a more explosive route runner than the draft’s other big targets, such as South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery.
Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1 or 2
Notes: During his final season as a true junior, Randle functioned mostly as a deep threat in LSU’s limited passing offense. With 53 receptions for 917 yards, Randle has shown his prowess as a deep threat, which should appease most Patriots fans. But whether Randle’s capacity as an underneath receiver is limited or was underutilized with the Tigers remains to be seen.
Randle was last seen compiling 13 of the Tigers’ combined 53 yards through the air in a 21-0 shutout loss to Alabama in the national championship game. Working with Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels could prove to be the key to unlocking his potential. However, the last time the Patriots took a flier on a receiver coming from a run-heavy offense was the 2010 third-round selection of Taylor Price, who was cut late last season.
Randle, who was initially graded as a second-round pick, has seen his stock rise as of late, going No. 30 to the 49ers in Mel Kiper Jr.’s most recent mock draft. However, with the combine and workouts still down the line, Randle’s final stock is still up in the air.
Video: Here’s Randle against Arkansas, racking up career highs in catches (9) and receiving yards (134).
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