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Old 01-11-2013, 06:37 PM    (permalink
Matthew Jones
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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS:

1.30. Traded to Vikings (WR Percy Harvin)

I really liked the value of Harvin at this point, even if it would require some creative salary cap maneuvering to sign him to a long-term contract. He's signed for one more year at a reasonable salary ($1.55 million if I remember correctly) and would probably require a deal similar to that of Santonio Holmes or DeSean Jackson afterwards. However, finding a young stud at receiver was a priority, and considering my general dissatisfaction with the draft class as a whole, it seemed worth it to turn the first-rounder into someone who could contribute right away. Harvin's versatility would provide Josh McDaniels with a creative weapon to integrate into the offense, as well as a successor to Wes Welker.

2.62. DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida*

Floyd was someone I'd bee considering for my first-round pick prior to trading for Harvin, so the choice made sense in the second round. Kyle Love has been solid but unspectacular in New England, and a more disruptive option at defensive tackle would certainly help. Floyd's not the best pass rusher, but I think he has the two-gap ability which all Patriots defensive tackles must possess. Obviously having played defensive end before at Florida, there's also the possibility of incorporating more three-man defensive fronts, which would be an added bonus considering New England's defense is already well-suited to that sort of thing.

3.94. DE John Simon, Ohio St.

New England's defensive end depth is already pretty incredible: Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones at the starting end spots, guys like Justin Francis and Jake Bequette as roster depth, Brandon Deaderick as something of a flex defensive tackle/defensive end. I even had to release Jermaine Cunningham and Trevor Scott to finish my 53-man roster. However, I couldn't pass on a player with the strength, toughness, and versatility of Simon, who plays defensive end, defensive tackle, and some rush linebacker at Ohio State. He seems like a perfect fit for New England's defensive scheme, especially having been coached by Mike Vrabel and Urban Meyer, two people who Bill Belichick trusts.

4.120. (from Vikings) WR Kenny Stills, Oklahoma*

I wasn't really planning on adding two wide receivers, so after I traded for Percy Harvin I adopted more of a value-based approach which eventually resulted in drafting Stills, who I thought would have been a good pick in as early as the third round. What really stands out to me is Stills' competitiveness and his ability to make very difficult catches, even knowing he's about to get hit. His route-running was another appealing aspect of his game; eventually, he could potentially take over for Brandon Lloyd as a boundary receiver. I think some of the stigma surrounding Sooners wide receivers has dissipated now that Ryan Broyles looks like the real deal over in Detroit.

4.126. Traded to Buccaneers (CB Aqib Talib)

5.158. Traded to Redskins (DT Albert Haynesworth)

6.190. Traded to Bengals (WR Chad Johnson)

7.204. (from Buccaneers) LB Sio Moore, Connecticut

This was strictly a value pick (well, maybe a little bit of a homer pick.) Moore's undersized at 6'1", 230, but runs well and has a versatile skillset which made him appealing at this point. Connecticut has asked him to cover pretty extensively (even in the slot, almost as an extra defensive back) and he has the added bonus of being an effective pass rusher out of two or three-point stances (7.5 sacks this year.) Tracy White has been New England's backup weakside linebacker for a while, but it's probably time to get younger there; Moore's special teams experience could help him earn a roster spot early. The Patriots need more coverage linebackers, too.

7.222. FS Kemal Ishmael, Central Florida

What kind of Patriots draft would this be without a defensive back? Fortunately, the depth in this class was pretty appealing, so I had the luxury of waiting until the end to add one. Ishmael's a guy I've seen a little bit of; what impresses me is his willingness to mix it up in run support. His mentality is that of a strong safety, but he has the movement skills typically attributed to a free safety. Ishmael recorded 124 tackles this season with three forced fumbles and three interceptions; he'll be projected as New England's fourth safety, behind Devin McCourty, Steve Gregory, and Tavon Wilson.
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