Scouting Report: Anthony Miller, WR

November 13th, 2017

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

It was another solid win for the Patriots last night. While the Broncos might just be a bad team this year, Denver is a place that the Patriots have had their struggles, so to have a game where Brian Hoyer and Brandon Bolden are running out the clock is a good thing. There are some things that still need to be cleaned up, especially on defense, but for now, lets enjoy the victory and get ready for the Raiders next week in Mexico.

We are in mid November already and it’s weird to think that the college football regular season is almost over. I have been grinding through tape and to be honest, so far I am pretty lukewarm on this class overall. My focus has been on the Seniors, so maybe things will get better once the underclassman declare, but usually by this time I have found “my guy” and it just hasn’t happened yet. Today’s prospect comes close though. In fact, I wasn’t even scouting him. When Jimmy G got traded, I felt it was important to give a serious look at the QB class and it just so happened I started with the Memphis QB Riley Ferguson. I kept noticing that #3 was catching everything and my focus quickly shifted. The notes said “Anthony Miller.” How could I forget about Anthony Miller? Finally, a prospect to get excited about. Here is what I saw that got me so excited.

Name: Anthony Miller (#3)

School: Memphis (rSr.)

Height: 5’11” (unofficial)

Weight: 190 Lbs (unofficial)

Positives:

Miller has been ultra productive for Memphis over the past 4 years and has done so from a couple of different offensive schemes. He has excellent burst and footwork at the snap, making it difficult for defenders to get their hands on him. Miller is also a very good route runner from multiple positions. He excels in the slot and uses his quickness to get open, but runs a good route tree from the outside as well. He has an excellent combination of hands and body control. He makes his Quarterback look good by making difficult catches look easy. He has a rare knack of knowing and using the sideline to his advantage. Miller has above average return ability and should contribute immediately on special teams in the NFL. He is an explosive player who plays much bigger than his actual size. He was a walk on at Memphis and from all accounts, won a scholarship through hard work and dedication to getting better. He is well liked by teammates and is a team leader.

Negatives:

As a Patriots fan, I think we have all seen that guys who do not fit the prototypical WR size requirement can not only play in the NFL, but thrive when put in the right position to do so. However, there are still teams out there that want their Receivers a certain size, so a guy like Miller will not be high on their boards. Miller will benefit from adding some bulk so he can withstand the hits slot receivers tend to take in the NFL. Miller is another guy who fits in the quicker than fast category and shouldn’t be asked to run routes deep down the field. Memphis plays in conference that does not have a ton of NFL talent, so their probably will be an adjustment period to the speed and physicality that the NFL brings.

Overall:

I am a big Anthony Miller fan and I think he would be a great long term plan for the Patriots as their future slot receiver. Like the players before him that have succeeded at that position in New England, he was an afterthought who made a name for himself with hard work and determination and now plays with a chip on his shoulder. The issue will be value vs. need. Right now I think he grades out as a late 1st/early 2nd and that can only go up if he runs faster than expected. Do the Patriots want to use that high of a draft pick on a position that may not be considered a big need? We shall see, but I would have no problem using one on a guy like Miller.

 

 

 

 

 


Instant Reaction: The Jimmy G Trade

October 30th, 2017

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Here I thought the highlight of my night was watching my five year old’s first soccer practice ever. Then my phone pinged and my jaw hit the floor. I think I probably looked very similar to those kids out on the field- wondering aimlessly around and struggling to keep my focus.

My initial reaction was “why now, we could have gotten so much more last April? And what do we do about the backup job now? ”  It seemed the team made it pretty clear to the other teams in the league that Jimmy G was almost untouchable, yet all it took was a single pick, and just a second rounder to boot.

What changed? Were all the rumors about multiple 1st round picks being turned down just that, rumors? As fans of the Patriots, we have come to think of this organization as one step ahead of everyone else, especially when it comes to trades. Did the Patriots play a game of chicken with the league and lost this time? Only time will tell, but I never would have guessed this team would go from having three QB’s on their roster to one during the season.

Obviously, with a trade like this, the Patriots are all in that Brady will indeed be playing at least 2 more years and probably think more is a real possibility. This also could be just the first domino to fall in what could be a very active 24 hours before the trade deadline. Another aspect of this trade is that it allows the team to use the franchise tag on Malcolm Butler next off season if they so choose.

I really liked Jimmy G and I hope he has success in San Francisco. Not this year of course, but after this season, I would like to see him play well. He seems like a quality person and a talented football player.

Do I like this trade? My first reaction is no. It is not so much losing the player, because I just didn’t see the timing lining up for Jimmy to be the starter here, and this trade proves that. However, I think the return is light and I think the team overplayed this one a bit and lost out on a better deal.

What are all your thoughts?

 


Monday Morning Musings: Are The Patriots Back?

October 23rd, 2017

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

First off, sorry for the delay in getting new content out. Between work, being sick, and 2 small children, I just have not found the time to sit down and really evaluate these players. I did get to watch the game in peace and quiet last night and boy, was it a nice change. In fact, it was a great weekend all around from a sports perspective. The Cyclones won, putting themselves just one win away from being Bowl eligible, the Yankees lost, and of course, the Patriots won.

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What Is Wrong With The Patriots?

October 5th, 2017

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I think we all can agree that the Patriots have been dominant for almost two decades. That is an impressive feat to say the least. I have lived as a Patriots fan in the Midwest all my life, so needless to say, seeing the Patriots in person or on TV was rarely an option. Now that I am older and have moved closer to an NFL city, the opportunity to see them, while still rare, has become more of a possibility. The first time I saw the Patriots live was here in Kansas City when the Chiefs destroyed the Patriots and there was talk that the team was finished. The second time was this past weekend. My wife surprised me for my birthday with a trip to Boston and tickets to see the team I love play a home game for the first and probably the only time in my life. Once again, in this window of dominance, I happen to witness one of the teams worst performances and a rare home loss. My only hope now is that the season will take on a similar fate to the one that I witnessed my first live game.

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Scouting Report: Akrum Wadley, RB

September 21st, 2017

 

Wadley has an interesting skillset, but is he an every down back in the NFL?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

In what has become a weird tradition, I begin my scouting report series with a player from a team I hate, the Iowa Hawkeyes. I am not sure why or how this happened, but I figure why stop now. Before we get to the report, lets talk a little about the week that was in football. As a fan, it was nice to see the Patriots play better and get a good road win. By no means do I think everything is fixed and the Patriots will now just role through the rest of the season, but we did see a team play much better in all facets of the game. Injuries are an area of concern and seeing Marcus Cannon on the injury report is a bit scary considering the defense the Patriots will go up against on Sunday. That being said, I don’t think Houston has the offense to put up enough scores to win the game and the Patriots should come away with the victory.

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College Football: Week Two Musings

September 11th, 2017

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Were on to New Orleans.

Look, it was a tough weekend all around from a sports perspective for me. After the Cyclones lost a year breaker to the evil Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday, I had a Chiefs fan (remember, I am in the KC area) text me and tell me he wanted to buy me a beer. I texted him back and told him although it was not how I had hoped the weekend would have gone, there are people in Texas and Florida who are dealing with a lot worse than their favorite sports teams losing. He quickly responded that he now wanted to buy me two beers, and I happily obliged. As a Cyclone fan, I am used to heartache and pain, but the weekend usually ends on a high note with the Patriots. I have to tell myself that hopefully this weekend will be the exception and not the norm.

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Let’s Get Ready For The Season!!!

September 6th, 2017

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

What an exciting time of year! College football has kicked off and the NFL season is so close we can taste it. The next 24 plus hours are going to be excruciating. Living in the Kansas City area, I have had to put up with a lot of Chiefs talk this week. Of course, every team has optimism going into week one, but Chiefs fans have taken it to another level. As always, I go into this game with quiet optimism. The first game of the season is always hard to predict, but from a talent standpoint, I think we all know who the better team is. Maybe it is funny, or sad, depending on your perspective, but the nerves have already started to set in and I just want the game to get here so I can get into my routine and get my first glimpse of the 2017 New England Patriots. LET”S GO!!!!!!!

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