Choose, Snooze, or Refuse: DE

Terrell McClain NFL Draft

Can this former USF defensive lineman play 3-4 DE?

For the next ten days, until the 2011 NFL Draft is upon us, we’ll be going over ten positions that the Patriots might look at. We’ll give you who the Patriots should choose early, late (snooze), or not at all (refuse).

Chime in with your choices in the comments section.

Choose: Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple

We’ve made it very clear that Wilkerson is our #2 prospect for the Patriots at the defensive end position, right behind Marcell Dareus. We love his size, strength, 3-4 experience, and stamina.

J.J. Watt and Cameron Jordan are both pretty close to Wilkerson in our minds, but there is nobody out there that screams future Richard Seymour more than this former Temple Owl.

Snooze: Adrian Clayborn, Iowa

While it is somewhat hard to snooze on a probable top-40 pick, we wouldn’t be shocked to see the Patriots grab Clayborn at 17. Most pundits, including myself, feel that Clayborn will be at his best playing as a 4-3 DE.

That said, he showed last year that he can sacrifice his own stats to accomplish what his coach (Kirk Ferentz and d-coordinator Norm Parker) want to accomplish. Adding or subtracting a few pounds could swing Clayborn into a rich-man’s Eric Moore role, playing both 3-4 DE and 3-4 OLB.

Refuse: Terrell McClain, South Florida

McClain looks like a 1-gap player to us – without the ability to control blockers in even one-on-one situations. If the Patriots were able to get him in the range where they picked Myron Pryor (7th round), then we’d be all for it. However, McClain probably won’t make it out of day two.

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10 Responses to “Choose, Snooze, or Refuse: DE”

  1. Jim R says:

    He is a beast. Late round option Pernell McPhee

  2. Jared says:

    Have to choose, there is only one place you find starting defensive ends in the NFL…In the first round of the NFL Draft. In my opinion, they have to have one of these three players.
    Cam Jordan
    J.J Watt
    Muhammad Wilkerson

    I’m not an NFL scout, or a Patriots coach, so i don’t know who exactly fits their scheme the best. That is for Bill Belichick to figure out, with defensive ends, he usually does. Those are the three best prospects at the position, they need one of them.

    Cam Jordan is the most interesting of the 3 player. If you think he can play on the edge in passing situations like W.McGinest used to, than hes a guy you should think about trading up for. But I can’t see a guy who can effectively take on double-teams in the 5 technique, and rush the passer/cover the RB’s in the flats out of the backfield. I can’t ever think of anyone being able to do that.

    I feel like Jordan will almost definitely be gone by 17. hopefully Watt won’t be. If J.J Watt is there at 17, the Patriots in my opinion should take him.
    If Watt is gone or you pass on him, 17 is maybe too high for Wilkerson but when you pick 11 picks later he may be gone.
    If they don’t get one of the 3, they will back in the same position next year. With basically 3 first-round picks, it is a good chance to get one of these guys. After these 3, the drop-off is significant, there is no depth at defensive line in this draft, so get it early, or your not getting it at all.

    • Jared says:

      PS- Cameron Heyward seems like the only other 1st round talent that sort of fits the 5 technique , but I am not a fan at all of Heyward, he disappears, and isn’t that great against the run.

    • Ryan Buske says:

      I agree with everything but the last thought, about Dline not being deep in this draft. I think we could be in the second getting quality guys, maybe a little steeper on the learning curve but i certainly think there is depth.

      • Jared says:

        After maybe Kenrick Ellis, I don’t see a 5 technique guy, that will be able to take on double-teams in the NFL….in the 3rd or 4th rounds. Can you ever really find Ty Warren/R.Seymour type of guys in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounds??? I say no. I say you end up with Mike Wright and Jarvis Green if your lucky.

  3. TomDickHarry says:

    I have to agree about Wilkerson, if he had the exact same production but didn’t have the size then we wouldn’t be hearing about him as a 1st rounder….the lower level of competition has to be a concern and there was word that he tired rather quickly at his pro-day.

    Personally, Wilkerson doesn’t cut it as a 1st rounder, he’s going to struggle against NFL O-linemen however I believe Watt and Jordan will at least be able to approach a similar level of impact at the next level.

  4. AM says:

    Choose: Cameron Jordan, Cal. Smart, fast, disciplined, relentless, and polished. He’s been talked up so much at this point that he may sneak into the top 10, but if he were available at 17, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick him. He may need to work on his coverage skills slightly, but that’s about the only negative. The fact that he might even be able to fill Willie McGinest’s old “elephant” position is just icing on the cake.

    Snooze: David Carter, UCLA. Great size, speed, and instincts. Not strong enough to play tackle in the 3-4, but definitely has potential at end. Somewhat raw, but could develop into an excellent player. He missed out on a Combine invitation, which may keep him under the radar a bit; well worth a flier in one of the late rounds.

    Refuse: Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson. Highly unlikely that he drops to 17, given the talent level, but there is an outside chance considering all the medical issues. If so, I would let him keep on dropping. The durability questions should be enough to take him off the board, but even putting those aside, he lacks the ability to play end in the 3-4 at the professional level. Add to that his relative inconsistency, rumors of poor conditioning, and questionable range, and he just isn’t worth the risk.

  5. Ken W says:

    1. JJ Watt- Has the perfect blend of size, speed, and power
    2. Cameron Jordan- Little bit less of a pass rusher but solid against run
    3-A. Muhammad Wilkerson- Has the size but did play against lesser comp.
    3-B. Cameron Heyward- Either dominant or disappears.
    4. Corey Liuget-Played on the interior so you know he can take on blockers
    5. Marvin Austin- didn’t play last year but can push the pocket
    6. Adrian Clayborn- played in a 4-3 but would be good value in mid 2nd if he falls.

    Where the best values would be:
    #17- Watt, Jordan, or Wilkerson
    #28- Heyward, Liuget
    mid 2nd- Austin, Clayborn

    With DE being a strong position in this draft I think getting one in the 1st would be smart. Plus BB has done a good job drafting DL.

  6. j says:

    If you agree that both Watt and Wilkerson are great fits for the PATS, you’re out of your mind if you think Wilkerson is the better player. Now, if you think Watt is the protypical 34 end for the Steelers and Wilkerson is the protypical 34 end for the Patriots, great! But if they are BOTH fits, Watt is clearly the better player.

    • NEPD says:

      I think Wilkerson will be a better 2-gap player. Watt could play 2-gap and probably play well, but he is better suited as a 1-gapper in my opinion.

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