Prospects To Watch For The 2007 Draft Outside Dia Football
July 5, 2006:
Top mikes in the MEAC... The 2007 draft class should have some real strength at LB this with a solid group of top college stars like Paul Posluszny of Penn State, Patrick Willis of Ole Miss, H.B. Blades of Pitt, Desmond Bishop of California, and Oscar Lua of Southern Cal leading the way. However, there should also be plenty of depth at the position this year including a couple of the best prospects from Division 1-AA in Justin Durant of Hampton and Taurean Charles of Bethune-Cookman.
Hampton's Durant, for example, enters the 2006 campaign as the nation's highest returning vote getter in the Buck Buchanan Award race last season. Durant stands around 6-1 and weighs a solid 225 pounds; he also has excellent speed with a 40 clocking in the 4.55-4.60 range. Durant was named the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 after posting 124 tackles, including 15 for loss. In fact, he earned DIAA All-American honors in each of the last two seasons while also earning a spot on the Buck Buchanan Award watch list. Durant also has some good blood lines as his brother Darian was a star quarterback and NFL prospect at North Carolina. Durant is currently projected as a late 7th round pick or prime free agent.
Bethune-Cookman All-MEAC LB Taurean Charles burst onto the I-AA scene last fall when he posted 94 tackles, including 8.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks as he earned second team conference honors. In fact, Charles, who has decent size at 6-0 and 245 pounds, along with respectable 4.65-4.70 speed, has the tools to play at the next level, however, he has been plagued by off-season troubles since his days as a prep star. Charles, for example, originally enrolled at Florida but was dismissed from the team in 2004 after pleading guilty to culpable negligence for supposedly throwing a keg at a party and breaking a patron's nose and knocking him unconscious. That was after he had pled no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge for throwing a girl across a dorm room in 2003. Right now, Charles is more likely to be a priority free agent, but if he can stay clean for another year and do well in off-season interviews after an impressive 2006 season, expect him to be a possible late round selection.