By TomE. Curran
Heading into the NFL draft, Tom E. Curran plans a series of looks at potential Patriots draftees. Today's player: Akeem Ayers.
Akeem Ayers, 6-3, 254OLB, UCLA
The Skinny: A player who only flashes moments of playing to his athletic ability. But those flashes are good enough to make Ayers a player teams are going to be intrigued by and may overdraft. He's smooth, quick, has good hands and can pursue, pursue, pursue.
Gotta Have Him: If the Patriots could extract consistent play from Ayers, he'd be a nice component in their defense. As Wes Bunting of the National Football Post says, "Talent-wise, he's a top-20 player. He could physically play any linebacker position in the NFL."
Don't Need Him: He's way too inconsistent and intermittently soft for a demanding team like the Patriots. "If a game is close he can be a nasty player. When his team gets down he gets real soft. Putting in effort day in and day out? He doesn't show it. His motor is not consistent and it shows on tape every time you watch him."
Forecast: He could be seen as a Rosevelt Colvin-type player but effort was never a concern with Colvin and it is with Ayers. Interesting because of his versatility but doubtful for New England.
Patriots Draftability: 4