Céspedes brings a powerful bat to Fenway Park...until he becomes a free agent after 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) Flurry of trades leaves Red Sox in state of uncertainty Chicago White Sox v Boston Red Sox Red Sox Trade Andrew Miller for Top 100 Prospect Rodriguez Stephen Drew (Photo: Bill Kostroun) Red Sox Trade Stephen Drew to Yankees for Kelly Johnson Less than a season after pitching in the World Series clincher against the Cardinals, John Lackey has been traded from the Red Sox to St. Louis at the trade deadline in exchange for Allen Craig. (Boston Globe) MLB Trade Deadline: Red Sox Trade John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for Allen Craig

Patriots 2011 Draft Report: Brandon Harris, Miami

Brandon Harris could be a possibility for the Patriots come April. (Photo on philsteele.com)

Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

Height: 5-9
Weight: 191
40: 4.45
2010 stats: 44 tackles, 10 pass deflects, 1 interception

Overview:

The junior from Miami decided to forego his senior season after an overall poor performance by the University of Miami squad.

Brandon Harris, 20, was one of the lone brightspots to Miami’s 2010 season. Although Harris’ interception numbers were virtually non existant — he only had four in his career — he took away opposing teams No. 1 receiver.

One of Harris’ strengths is his work ethic. It may sound cliche’, but Harris truely is the ‘first one in and last one out’ type of prospect. A player like this is hard to find, especially at such a young age. Instinct wise, Harris has a ways to go; something you will see Harris jump routes based off athleticism. However, at some point Harris will have to develop better instincts.

The general consensus amongst draftniks is that Harris is right around the third or fourth best cornerback in this draft. LSU’s Patrick Peterson and Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara, who will both be top 10 picks, share the top two spots, then you have Harris and Colorado’s Jimmy Smith battling for the third spot.

Patriots Outlook:

If it seems like the Patriots draft a cornerback high every year, it’s because over the past few seasons this has been the case.

Here’s a breakdown of the cornerbacks the Patriots have recently drafted.

Year Player Round/Pick Comment
2008 Terrence Wheatley 2 / 62 Injury prone, no longer on team.
2008 Jonathan Wilhite 4 / 129 Regressing role, dime back at best.
2009 Darius Butler 2 / 41 Solid rookie season, huge sophomore slump. Lost job to Kyle Arrington.
2010 Devin McCourty 1 / 27 Pro-bowl season, seven interceptions.

Outside of Devin McCourty, the Patriots have struggled drafting cornerbacks. Next season, New England will benefit when Leigh Bodden comes back from his 2010 season-ending injury. Aside from Bodden and McCourtey, there is a strong need for an effective nickel defensive back.

Kyle Arrington stepped in and was sufficient, but he doesn’t provide a high ceiling. Adding another cornerback, like Harris, could be the path that Bill Belichick and Co. decide to go down.

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Follow me on Twitter: @M_Marcantonio

About Matthew Marcantonio - @M_Marcantonio

Matthew Marcantonio is the Patriots and college football editor at Sports of Boston. Marcantonio has contributed for two newspapers; the Sentinel & Enterprise (Leominster, Mass) and The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La) and held internships with The Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated.

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