I like what they did with the last few picks. Not a big fan of the first trade back or Bequette, but willing to take a wait and see approach with Tavon Wilson. Ebner, Ebert, and Dennard are 3 really nice picks at the end of the draft.
Reading over some things about Dennard before I go back and watch some games, one thing I had forgotten about is that incident with Alshon Jeffrey.
Dennard was clearly the at fault guy there. Had they looked at it a second time, I don't think they would have even bothered throwing Jeffrey out. Between that and the thing with the police officer, the guy obviously has some trouble controlling his emotions. Now, I was flipping through games that day as I recall(although mainly on that one), so I don't quite remember how much Jeffrey and Dennard were matched up(I seem to recall/would wager quite a bit), but I do remember Jeffrey absolutely going off that day.
That really contrasts with my general impression of Dennard's film. I've seen him go up against big(both physically and in terms of reputation) receivers and physically dominate them on numerous occasions. Even though he lacks the traditional measurables of a press corner, he was probably one of the better guys at it in the class. Certainly one of the most willing. He's got the speed to run with guys in a straight line too.
So yeah, there's some real likable characteristics there. I wouldn't say him sticking at corner is totally out of the question, but I'm interested to see how he would do as a safety. The consensus is that he's much better with the play in front of him...and I would say that's fairly accurate.
Just posted it in the UDFA thread, but I really want to see us bring in Owusu. He's flashed big every time I've seen Stanford. Real smooth athlete with great speed as well. The reason we would be signing him would be for the return value, but I really think he could be a competent NFL receiver as well. Possibly more than that even.
...but that's in the future. There's already stuff in the present. We've agreed to terms with Jeremiah Warren, an interior linemen from USF.
Two-gap player who lines up at right end in the 4-3 and provides a pass-rush presence. Very strong and plays the run well but may struggle in coverage if asked to play linebacker in the 3-4.
1.25. LB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama* (A)
Has played all over in Alabama's defense and could project to inside linebacker, outside linebacker, or defensive end in New England. Sets the edge well and is a team leader. Played the "robber" in Alabama's zone schemes.
2.48. DB Tavon Wilson, Illinois (C+)
Played slot cornerback and free safety at Illinois and was also a gunner and jammer on special teams. Versatility and athleticism are intriguing but probably could have drafted him later on.
3.90. DE Jake Bequette, Arkansas (C+)
Has the size and physical tools to contribute as a situational pass rusher but needs to develop more pass-rush moves and must improve discipline as well as instincts when defending the run.
6.197. DB Nate Ebner, Ohio St. (B)
Converted rugby player who had a strong workout and will contribute on special teams and provide depth in the secondary; will compete with Sergio Brown, Josh Barrett for a roster spot.
7.224. CB Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska (A)
Excellent value and a very physical player who is limited vertically but could potentially play in the slot or contribute at free safety; legal issues caused him to slip and must be careful to avoid penalties in the NFL.
7.235. WR Jeremy Ebert, Northwestern (A-)
Very similar to New England's selection of Julian Edelman; converted quarterback who tested well and is a surprisingly polished route runner with special teams experience who could make the team.
Overall draft grade: B
New England entered the draft with a number of high picks and ended up making only a limited number of draft picks without getting much value in return but did add two starters to the defense, two rotational/depth players, and a number of reserves who will contribute on special teams.
Last edited by Matthew Jones : 04-28-2012 at 08:52 PM.
They addressed all of the positions I wanted them to address, so there's not a whole lot to complain about.
Bequette doesn't really need to develop more pass rushing moves as much as he just needs to get in there and learn the 5-tech. He's an interesting prospect as a developmental 5-tech. Which is why they drafted him.
Well that's what they drafted him for. Mike Wright-type.
I have to disagree; Bequette seems like a situational pass-rusher out of two and three-point stances. New England asked him to rush out of both stances and drop into coverage during their workout with him.
The guy is obviously a project. He needs to get stronger, but the way he plays when he's lined up at 5 or 6 looks like what you want out of a 5-tech in a 3-4. When he's lined up at the 7 (most of his snaps), he's a pretty bland pass rusher.
They have a lot of options with him, but I think he ends up being a 5-tech when it's all said and done. The more I look at the options for him, the more I like the pick...as unconventional as it was...
With all the teams that have converted to odd-man fronts, you have to be more creative in finding your defensive linemen if you aren't picking at the top of the draft.
Matthew's final grade is higher than I would give lol.
I'm still really upset by the Wilson pick. That and the really poor return on the trade downs. There's a reason our pass defense is so bad, and taking players like Wilson in the position he was chosen is a large part of that. If he turns out to be a starting caliber safety I will gladly eat crow, but I find it hard to believe that he was the 48th best player coming out of college, or that they could not have found comparable value later on or even with a UDFA or a heck one of the veterans available. Maybe it's too early but it certainly feels like we burned yet another second round pick. I'm just so tired of all these failed defensive backs we have taken and our track record does not instill confidence that this pick will turn out any differently.
I understand complaining about it won't change anything, but it's the one thing I really wanted to see NE do differently this draft.
I really like the ebner pick, he was actually i guy i had been looking at for a while because im really into rugby and so when i came across something about him on the internet i did as much desk research as possible and he has really had a really good pro day i felt, he also will bring strong tackling and a nose for the ball from rugby and he is going to be a tough mother f*cker, if the coaches can bring all that to his football and coach him up he could be a really really good player, if not, he was only a sixth round pick
The more I watch and hear Bequette, the more I am liking him. I was already ok with the pick. I thought bottom of the third round represented good value for him. But he seems really intelligent and willing to learn and do whatever they ask him. He also seems pretty athletic. He shows some really good ability to close on the QB when rushing the passer. All the stuff about losing gaps and being out of position, etc, I feel can be corrected, and he seems like the type that will really take to good coaching. I dunno, I just get a good vibe out of him. I think he can become a good player in the Pats system.
2012 Patriots Anti-Draft
1 - Anyone but Shea McClellin, Derek Wolfe, Peter Konz, Kendall Reyes, Harrison Smith, Whitney Mercilus or a RB
2 Anyone but McClellin, Wolfe, Doug Martin or an OT