At least one NFL scout is buying Illinois DT Corey Liuget's draft stock. This veteran scout, according to the National Football Post, ranks Liuget right behind Alabama DT Marcell Dareus on his draft board, and goes on to compare Liuget to last year's second-ranked DT, Gerald McCoy.
He's as good as Gerald McCoy but for some reason he's not getting the same exposure. He's not far off from where Tommie Harris was with the Bears when he was healthy. Liuget is maybe stronger. This player is for real.
Most scouts and draftniks seem to agree that Liuget is a good player with a bright future in the NFL. This is a whole new level of assessment, that few are buying. Here's what Wes Bunting from the NFP said about the scout's comment:
...disagree strongly, like Liuget, but not same type pass rusher...
Draft hype. This is that time of year where all kinds of strange reports about prospect valuations leak out from agents, scouts and other sources. Some of it's nothing more than hype, some of it subterfuge for the draft process...most of it meaningless.
Which isn't to say that Liuget isn't a good player. He looks to be a really good player...it's just that Nick Fairley looks to have a much higher ceiling and more ability when it comes to ranking the DTs.
The Rams have been linked to Liuget in several mock drafts, including Mel Kiper's NFL mock draft yesterday. Rams DL coach Brendan Daly was on-hand at Liuget's pro day, along with several other Rams staffers.
Speaking of Tommie Harris, he was the 14th overall pick in 2004. After a promising start, injuries and inconsistent play derailed his tenure in Chicago. The Bears cut him loose in February. Harris is an intriguing free agent possibility, likely to get plenty of interest...if he can assure teams about his health. There would be worse free agent DTs to take a chance on, if the price is right.