It Is What It Is
NEED TO KNOW
Follow WEEI.com football writer Christopher Price at twitter.com/cpriceNFL. In addition, get the latest WEEI.com updates at twitter.com/WEEI.
A WEEI.com Patriots Blog Mohegan Sun
WEEI.com Blog Network

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Alabama OLB Courtney Upshaw

03.22.12 at 7:43 am ET
By

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.

Alabama's Courtney Upshaw led a dominating defensive effort in the BCS national championship win over LSU. (AP)

COURTNEY UPSHAW

Position: Outside linebacker

School: Alabama

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 265 pounds

Achievements: Coaches’ All-SEC first team (2011), AP All-America second team (2011), BCS national championship defensive MVP (2012)

What he brings: Upshaw was one of the standout talents on an Alabama defense that was among the nation’s leaders in scoring and total defense, a skill that was evidenced when the Crimson Tide shut out LSU in the BCS national championship game. He is a top-level pass rusher who seemingly always finds his way to pressure the quarterback. Upshaw has also been repeatedly praised for his defensive and pass rushing instincts that extends well beyond his natural talent and ability.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1

Notes: Upshaw’s college coach, Nick Saban, said that he believes Upshaw can play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense as well as defensive end in other schemes. En route to winning the game’s defensive MVP award in a game in which Alabama didn’t allow LSU to cross midfield until the fourth quarter, Upshaw had a game-high seven tackles, including a sack, and spent much of the night in the LSU backfield.

He has also been routinely praised for having a keen ability to not only pressure opposing quarterbacks, but also in stopping screens, draws and reverses. Upshaw’s athleticism has also been noted as a strength. He participated in the NFL combine and had 22 reps with 225 pounds on the bench press, the only combine test in which he took part.

Related Articles:

SI.com: Courtney Upshaw: Why I didn’t participate in all of the combine tests

NFL.com: Upshaw draws energy from Saban, Indy visit

Video: Here’s Upshaw in his defensive MVP performance in the BCS national championship against LSU.

Read More: 2012 NFL Draft, 2012 Potential Patriots, Courtney Upshaw,
Latest on Twitter

2014 PATRIOTS DRAFT PICKS

2014 NFL DRAFT

Patriots Headlines
NFL Headlines
Tips & Feedback

Verify