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Old 01-25-2012, 01:19 PM    (permalink
cmarq83
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(My first ever mock; this is how I think BB will draft, not who I would want.)

27 Ben Jones, C
Rational: A reach here, but Konz will be gone. Texans will not resign their FA center, Ravens need to replace Birk, meaning there will be competition for the top centers in this draft class. BB will draft a player earlier than he projects (Vollmer, Mankins) if he feels he can't get equivalent value later on.

31 M. Martin, Safety
Rational: We always trade this pick; possible trade partners, Seattle or Washington for Tannehill. However, Ravens and Packers always like to trade down too, so there may not be anyone to trade with. Going to be largely dependant on how the board develops. Regardless, we'll pick here or top of the second anyway and take one of the top safeties in the draft.

48 Brandon Thompson, DT
Rational: Will BB ever draft an OLB/DE prospect early? My answer is no, that's why we won't see someone like Jones or Branch in a Patriot uniform. If Jared Crick falls maybe that's the pick here instead. I honestly don't know if we would go CB here again, but with Dowling and Mccourty (regression notwithstanding) maybe BB thinks we don't need another 2nd round CB.

64: Harrison Smith, Safety
We double up on our biggest position of need. Safety play is problematic league wide though so there may be a run early on safeties.

3rd round:
Brandon Boykin, CB/KR/PR DB depth, and we need to upgrade the return game.

Didn't draft any WR as I think we'll fill WR need in free agency, and well Brady doesn't like rookies :)
I like the idea of drafting both Smith and Martin, so I'm on board even though I don't like Martin's value there. It's our biggest need, and the easiest way to upgrade the overall D so I'll take it.

I hate the Jones pick because he's just not a first round talent, and whereas C is a spot that could use an upgrade, it's not a major pressing need at the moment because of how good our guard play has been. Konz is a good pick for me, but I'm not high enough on Jones to consider that spot for him.

I hate the Thompson pick with a venemous passion. He's essentially a very similar player to Brandon Deaderick who we have locked up for 2 more years on the cheap. Any DL we draft needs to be a pass rush presence because even in our 40 front I would pencil in our 2 best defensive players (Wilfork, Love) at the DT spots. Somebody with some decent size who can rush from the outside would be ideal. Shaun Ellis has failed hardcore doing that this year, but honestly I'd be ok with a Jerel Worthy, Jared Crick, or Derek Wolfe type in the late second for no other reason than the fact that they have some pass rush potential, and could play LE for us.

Here's how mine would look:

Trade pick 27 and 49 to the Jets for pick 16. Pats select Michael Floyd

Try to avoid the problem of trading with the Jets, it would make the most sense for everybody involved (Jets have a ton of needs, Pats need elite talent). So even though it won't happen that's the trade I made for right now.

I figure if the Pats lose in the playoffs it'll be for 1 of 2 reasons. This pick addresses one of those reasons which is the need of an outside receiver. Floyd has exceptional talent and could end up being the best receiver from this class when it's all said and done. I like the value of players in the teens (Floyd, Jenkins, Kirkpatrick, and hopefully Brockers) so I'd like to see them make a move there.

Pick 32: Melvin Ingram

Pats fans are a little torn about who they like as the late 1st round pass rusher du jour for this year. I'm smitten with Melvin Ingram, to me he has the highest positional versatility at the next level. His burst is good, and he impresses me the most with the best inside moves of anybody else I've seen in this class. He might take a while to find a true position in the NFL, but having him receive tutelage behind Andre Carter could be an ideal situation.

Pick 64: Markell Martin

We need a coverage safety and Martin is the best one in the class.

Pick 96: Harrison Smith

I've made my position on Harrison Smith clear here before.

Pick 128: Joe Adams

We need some deep speed in the receiver corps, and someone to get Danny Woodhead far, far away from the KR spot.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:01 PM    (permalink
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I love the fact that you hate the Brandon Thompson pick with a venemous passion. That's nearly half of my hate for that pick lol. However, I would hate Melvin Ingram twice as much since he would in paper fill a need. The problem is that he's going to bust in the NFL. He was moved around all year and was matched up on the opponent's weakest players. He sucks, and I want no part of him.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:55 PM    (permalink
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I just don't see what a guy like Thompson does to help our defensive line out. Limited value in a 4-3, not really a good fit on the edge in a 3-4. If we're taking defensive line guys, even if we're taking bigger guys, we need to get more athletic. Flacco and the Ravens really exposed that as something that's very flawed with our base front.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:24 AM    (permalink
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While I would love the Pats to move up if a potential impact player falls to 15-20 - Dre, Upshaw come to mind - I can't see BB doing that for a receiver, even though it's evident we do need a WR who can beat press man coverage and/or get the down the field.

Ingram looks interesting in the Senior Bowl practices I've seen, but those 30" arms are such a red flag.

You guys have convinced me on the Thompson pick :)

I still think we're taking a center early lol ... if the book on Brady is pressure up the middle we need a stout interior line (which a top flight center would complete imo.)

And yeah I would put KR/PR as a need position for this team.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:49 AM    (permalink
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If Edelman didn't have to play so much, KR/PR wouldn't be an issue at all. Get more players to allow him to stick to a position (I think he's been a damn good nickel/dime corner).
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:14 PM    (permalink
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One receiver I'm really, really liking now that I'm sitting down and taking a look at him properly is Chris Givens. I like his speed(although testing will huge huge here), hands, and route running ability. Really good after the catch too. I'm not sure that he solves our issues at wide receiver or is someone that we should be targeting early, but the skill set and production are an intriguing option for one of those extra 4th round picks we always manage to pick up.

But I agree about a kick returner. Returns aren't something I really put premium value on, but you've got to get something out of that position and at the very least have someone who is a threat. We don't have anyone like that on the roster right now. Edelman is good for his one punt return TD in garbage time at the end of the year, but the vast majority of the time he doesn't do anything. On kickoffs, it's even worse.

One guy I really wanted to see in Mobile was TY Hilton. Really liked what I saw out of him during the season, but he went down with an injury. That's the biggest concern with him. He's got speed to burn and has been an effective vertical receiver for FIU as well, but he's got a small, frail frame and I've seen him taken in and out of games multiple times.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:25 PM    (permalink
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I love the fact that you hate the Brandon Thompson pick with a venemous passion. That's nearly half of my hate for that pick lol. However, I would hate Melvin Ingram twice as much since he would in paper fill a need. The problem is that he's going to bust in the NFL. He was moved around all year and was matched up on the opponent's weakest players. He sucks, and I want no part of him.
I don't see/get the Ingram hate at all. I watched a ton of South Carolina games last year, and he was the best player on a defense with a lot of future NFL talent on it.The moving on the line had more to do with the fact that he could kick inside whereas Clowney and Taylor could not. The fact that he was able to penetrate and get consistent pressure inside on 3rd downs with those short arms are a positive more than anything else.

His counter moves are exceptional, his burst is superior to most of the other pass rushers going in his range, and I think he could probably handle standing up at the next level. He is pretty squatty, and is stout at the point of attack which is perfect for a gap control system such as ours. His speed is also an asset because passers have been able to break the pocket against us because of interior pressure, but our ends haven't been quick enough to catch up. I've seen Ingram regularly chase down passers and it's something we definitely need.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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One receiver I'm really, really liking now that I'm sitting down and taking a look at him properly is Chris Givens. I like his speed(although testing will huge huge here), hands, and route running ability. Really good after the catch too. I'm not sure that he solves our issues at wide receiver or is someone that we should be targeting early, but the skill set and production are an intriguing option for one of those extra 4th round picks we always manage to pick up.

But I agree about a kick returner. Returns aren't something I really put premium value on, but you've got to get something out of that position and at the very least have someone who is a threat. We don't have anyone like that on the roster right now. Edelman is good for his one punt return TD in garbage time at the end of the year, but the vast majority of the time he doesn't do anything. On kickoffs, it's even worse.

One guy I really wanted to see in Mobile was TY Hilton. Really liked what I saw out of him during the season, but he went down with an injury. That's the biggest concern with him. He's got speed to burn and has been an effective vertical receiver for FIU as well, but he's got a small, frail frame and I've seen him taken in and out of games multiple times.
Edelman IMO is an above average punt returner. There aren't a ton of guys outside Peterson/Cribbs/Hester who return multiple a year, and it'd be difficult to upgrade that spot. I've been satisfied with Edelman's awareness so far, and I think he can make that one move to get you an extra 10 yards so far. He's been consistent so far which is all you can really ask.

KR however, is an absolute disaster. I think Danny Woodhead has returned 1 this year past the 20 yard line, and he fumbled it. I hope Vereen is active next year and can take over the roll but I'm not holding my breath. I'd consider McCourty there too. I think we should take a chance on a Rainey or Adams type guy in the mid rounds to see if they can add some explosion to the return/ vertical passing game, even if we go receiver high in the draft. Right now our depth chart for next year is so fluid, it'll probably be just Welker and we can go from there.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:58 PM    (permalink
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Anyone know anything about TJ Graham?
I haven't been able to watch the Senior Bowl practices but he got high praise from Scott.
Looks like he's a KR as well... anyone seen him first hand?
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:03 PM    (permalink
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I'm not really complaining about Edelman. He is what he is. He catches the ball pretty well and makes good decisions on when to call for a fair catch and when to try to get something, so that's really all I'll ask for from that spot. So I'm not really complaining about him there, but it wouldn't be bad if we found someone who was an upgrade there, but I'm not counting on it. I agree that it's unrealistic to find someone like Cribbs or Hester. So I can live with what we're getting from him, totally. Not sure he's on the roster next year, but he's done himself some favors by showing positional flexibility. At this point, I feel pretty confident in saying that if he does stick around, it won't be for what we think he can do as a pure receiver. But that's a discussion for another time, I suppose.

As far as in house return options go, none of them are really that compelling. McCourty is probably the best suited to do it athletically, but with his recent brush with injuries and struggles at his position, I'm not sure increasing his workload is the best idea in the world. Rainey and Adams are interesting names for sure. Really liked what I saw out of Rainey as a receiver in Mobile, actually. It's just tough for defensive backs to stay with him with his speed. I'm not sure how we would fit a player like him on the roster though, as he might not have a whole ton of positional value initially. He's raw as a receiver and it's tough to find carries for a back like him with as many guys as we have on the roster right now and with Woodhead filling the type of niche he would, likely at a higher level too(although Rainey is probably the better receiver of the two). That' just a tough sell for me, especially when he hasn't really been used extensively as a returner in the past. Adams or Hilton are more realistic options and are the type of guys who could be complementary players in our receiving core on top of improving our kick returns.

There's some interesting names in free agency too. Some of them will be overpaid, but there are a few guys who could be fits here. I can't really see us paying open market dollar for a kick return guy though.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:08 PM    (permalink
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Anyone know anything about TJ Graham?
I haven't been able to watch the Senior Bowl practices but he got high praise from Scott.
Looks like he's a KR as well... anyone seen him first hand?
He came out scorching in the first two days. On the third day, when things got a bit more physical he didn't do quite as well as a receiver. Didn't really get to see much of him as a returning at the Senior Bowl or over his career, but the numbers are fairly strong. Interesting option as a receiver too, but I think he'll be drafted a bit higher than he should be and is more of a role player in the NFL, so the value might not be quite right. If he's available in the later rounds, I wouldn't really mind bringing him in at all.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:11 PM    (permalink
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He came out scorching in the first two days. On the third day, when things got a bit more physical he didn't do quite as well as a receiver. Didn't really get to see much of him as a returning at the Senior Bowl or over his career, but the numbers are fairly strong. Interesting option as a receiver too, but I think he'll be drafted a bit higher than he should be and is more of a role player in the NFL, so the value might not be quite right. If he's available in the later rounds, I wouldn't really mind bringing him in at all.
Yea, I figured he'd be our "deep threat" compliment if we did add him.
Scott has him initially ranked as the #36 WR so I figured he'd come at a low draft slot.
Anything can change though from then (when Scott made his rankings) til draft day.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:24 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, that's with anticipating a bump up with him. I really didn't like what I saw out of him fit wise for us(think Brandon Tate), so I'm not sure the value is there for us.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:36 PM    (permalink
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Yea but B.Tate > Underwood. Wish we still had him, honestly. He's a beat of a KR, at least.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:41 PM    (permalink
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Well, it's certainly pretty damn clear we cut the wrong guy. I think there's more than a few situations where he could have helped us out in a big way(he damn sure would have done more than Chad this season), last week being one of them. Hindsight is 20/20 though. Price had way more upside as a receiver and I can't really fault us for trying to move ahead with that. That whole situation just went as awfully as it could possibly go.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:57 PM    (permalink
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What happened with Price, exactly? Anyone know? I never found out any details.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:01 PM    (permalink
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I know it's early in the process and Michael Brockers will fly up the boards...

but yet another mock has us taking him (one of SI's) alongside Dont'a Hightower.

Personally, if Dont'a Hightower plays up to his reputation, that could be an A+ first round. Hightower can play ILB, OLB/DE in any scheme.

Brockers could play both the 3tech and 5tech in our even and odd fronts, though, he's probably going to be a panther unless something crazy happens.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:17 PM    (permalink
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I like Hightower as a base ILB who can do other things, but they are set at ILB. There are other, much better options to fill the gaps they need to fill.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:18 PM    (permalink
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Well, it's certainly pretty damn clear we cut the wrong guy. I think there's more than a few situations where he could have helped us out in a big way(he damn sure would have done more than Chad this season), last week being one of them. Hindsight is 20/20 though. Price had way more upside as a receiver and I can't really fault us for trying to move ahead with that. That whole situation just went as awfully as it could possibly go.
I never liked cutting Tate. He did too much all over the field to warrant the axe on top of being a decent deep threat even though his development wasn't quite where they wanted it.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:43 PM    (permalink
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I like Hightower as a base ILB who can do other things, but they are set at ILB. There are other, much better options to fill the gaps they need to fill.
If they go after him, it'll be as an OLB. Most people think he can play 34 ILB, 43 OLB, 34 OLB, and 43 DE. He played a little of all 3 (obviously not 43 OLB) at Alabama.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:05 AM    (permalink
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Anyone else see Cox as a fun addition to the team if Belichick is willing to restructure the defense in order to incorporate him, whereas someone like Hightower would fit the system as-is but wouldn't be so exciting unless the value was good.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:12 AM    (permalink
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At this point, I'm an adapt the system to the talent you can get kind of guy. We can't just try to recreate teams from the template of the past. It's foolish to do so in this kind of personnel environment. The guys you need to run that sort of system just aren't around where we're picking anymore. I think Baltimore did a real good job of exposing our lack of athletic ability of the defensive line when they got out on the edge with those rollouts. Extending plays has been a problem around here for awhile now and one of the best ways to fix that is adding somebody athletic and active like Cox.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:55 AM    (permalink
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I'm officially on the trade up for Morris Claiborne bandwagon 1/109892795792 chance of happening, but a big time secondary player is just what the doctor ordered.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:47 PM    (permalink
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Random thoughts on the Pats draft -

It's hard to imagine the Pats getting too aggressive and moving up for someone. The one receiver that, gut feeling, that they might like would be Kendall Wright, and if he slips a bit, I think they could go after him. He fits their style, but I tend to think Wright goes much higher than people think (I could see him mid-first, reminds me of Lee Evans value coming out).

This is probably a great draft for the Pats to be the Pats. Deal down, amass picks later or for the future. The potential values and fits in the 2nd-4th round areas are awfully good for them. I imagine that, with a full off-season, that they will go with more odd-fronts (and considering they have a really nice linebacking group in development). While Markelle Carter is interesting, and Jermaine Cunningham still holds fascination, I wouldn't be surprised if they added to it.

For many years, I've never really thought there was an ideal Patriots rush backer pick early (loved Jabal Sheard, but not really ideal for the Pats). In Cam Johnson, I think this is as close as ideal for the Pats scheme, provided he checks out off-field. Former DB, played rush backer, learned to set the edge as a base 4-3 end. Would probably lose some weight to play rush backer again. Learned to be disciplined. And he's a guy that might be there mid-2nd-mid-3rd.

I tend to think they ought to wait on CB's. They want an instinctual guy, so that doesn't necessarily necessitate a high CB pick in this draft, as the depth is so good (Chase Minnifield seems like an excellent fit for them, but there's others). A big center is needed, and outside of Konz, they are better off going with someone in the 2nd-4th range as well.

I wonder if Belichick plucks a WR specimen again, someone like Dwight Jones. Not a great fit on paper, but the physical tools may entice. I'd actually like to see them upgrade the DL a bit, but my hunch is that the talent likely won't fit their intrigue, and that they might feel, with Wilfork in his prime and Love developing, they can afford to go after vet FA's to fill out the depth chart for competition.

The decision on McCourty may be the most fascinating. He's clearly better in zone-read concepts, but the talent is too intriguing to not give it another go. Of course, putting him at FS could address a huge need for range if they upgrade at CB.

I tend to think Hoyer may be dealt for picks (perhaps future picks).
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:51 PM    (permalink
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What's with the hate on Ricky Stanzi? Those youtube clips of him with the hulk hogan theme music instantly make him better than Luck.
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