2012 NFL Draft: Potential Patriots Defensive Backs


Trenton Robinson, Michigan State
Robinson managed to get ten of the eleven criteria I’ve set. He didn’t participate in the all important 3 cone drill, so we’ll have to wait until his pro day to see if he participates then. Robinson is a smaller, speedier safety who could fit in at free safety next to Patrick Chung. He’d likely be a fourth round pick for New England.

Charles Mitchell, Mississippi State
Mitchell is another player who hit on ten of the eleven criteria, he missed on the short shuttle, which appears to be the least consistent measure for the Patriots on DBs. Mitchell is another later round safety that the Pats could look at in the fourth or fifth round.

Sean Richardson, Vanderbilt
Richardson is yet another later round safety the Patriots might take a look at. He has an impressive size-speed combo, running a hand timed 4.47 at 6’2 ½” 216 lbs. Richardson wasn’t a captain, and he didn’t ace his short shuttle, but he fits the rest of the criteria.

Harrison Smith, Notre Dame (Scouting Report)
Smith could be a potential first round pick for the Patriots, if they really fall in love with him as a prospect. He was the only captain this year for Notre Dame, and he’s a player who can play free or strong safety. Smith’s vertical jump was only 34”, but that’s the only hole he has in his measurables.

Mark Barron, Alabama (Scouting Report)
Barron is another player the Pats could look at in the first round. Unfortunately, his measurements may never come out because of double hernia surgery. Barron has the size, length, college starts and captaincy.

Delano Howell, Stanford
If the Patriots acquire late round picks, Howell could be a guy they take a look at in the sixth or seventh round. He doesn’t have the prototypical 40 speed, but he has nearly everything else, including flashes of speed in the 3 cone and short shuttle. Howell started 33 games for the Cardinal and was a senior captain.

Jerron McMillian, Maine
Typically the Patriots don’t look at small school defensive backs, but McMillian could be an exception. He ran a 4.42 hand timed 40 and fits all of the criteria outside the short shuttle and captaincy. McMillian is another late round guy.

Duke Ihenacho, San Jose State
Ihenacho doesn’t have the speed the Patriots usually look for, but neither did James Sanders. Ihenacho started 43 games for the Spartans and had a very impressive 6.78 3 cone time. Ihenacho could be looked at in the fourth round.

Players who may not fit the Patriots standards:

De’Andre Presley, Appalachian State
We’ve seen the Patriots draft former quarterbacks before in Julian Edelman, but I don’t see Presley being the same type of fit. His 40 time, 3 cone, short shuttle, broad jump and vertical all don’t fit.

Robert Blanton, Notre Dame
Blanton isn’t a fit in the Patriots defense, and he’s not a fit athletically either. I can’t see the Pats taking a corner who runs a 4.66 40.

Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina (Scouting Report)
Norman is another slower corner, running a 4.56 40 time, he also missed the mark on his 3 cone, shorth shuttle and he’s taller than the typical Patriots corner.

Leonard Johnson, Iowa State (Scouting Report)
Johnson had a tough combine, running just a 4.65 40 time. Besides that, his arms and hands are smaller than the Patriots have ever drafted and his vertical jump isn’t up to par.

Antonio Allen, South Carolina
Allen just doesn’t have the typical athleticism of a typical Patriots defensive back.

Eddie Pleasant, Oregon
Pleasant missed the mark on his 40, short shuttle and 3 cone time

Christian Thompson, South Carolina State
The Auburn transfer only started eleven games between his stints with the Tigers and South Carolina State. He has the speed, but he also has small hands and a poor vertical.

George Iloka, Boise State (Scouting Report)
One of the consensus top safeties in the draft may have started 40 games and been a captain, but his 40 time, vertical and 3 cone all missed the mark.

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12 Responses to “2012 NFL Draft: Potential Patriots Defensive Backs”

  1. MaineMan says:

    Hmm. Seems to me that most athletic and agile college CBs have been smaller guys. Only seven of the dozens of CBs at this Combine were 6’0″ or better. Bigger guys who showed a similar level of athleticism (plus good instincts/playing abilities) have usually been picked before the Pats have gotten their first crack in the draft. I’m not sure that this demonstrates a “preference smaller guys” any more than it shows a preference for selecting the BPA out of what’s left to them by the time they pick.

    • Jeff says:


      When you have a big physical, fast CB with good hieght and long arms as well as good ball skills, and can play in press or zone coverages…he’s usually gone in the top 10 picks…which the Pats don’t exactly get very often.

      I think Gilmore would be a solid blend of size, strength, athleticism and fundamentals, and if he’s there in the late 1st round, I’d take him without question.

  2. Dan says:

    I would be very happy if they grabbed Gilmore.

  3. Dan says:

    Robinson won’t get out of the 2nd…way too fast

  4. AM says:

    Love Minnifield in the second round–he needs to get a bit stronger, but a year in an NFL conditioning program will do that. He could also swing to safety in a pinch.

  5. Bill says:

    Why doesn’t anyone talk about Markelle Martin, the best safety in pass happy Big 12. Maybe the #2 conference in NCAA. He is fast and tough, and would be a great 2nd round pick.
    I can’t believe that Fleming will be a 1st round pick, but he’d be another good 2nd rounder.
    With Dowling on board, I would not use a 1st round pick on CB. WE need BEEF. Both picks could be DT/DE, although if a good WR dropped to 31, like Wright or Randle, I’d be all over them

  6. Bill says:

    Why does no one talk up Markelle Martin. He was best safety in a very tough pass happy Big 12. I know Todd McShay says he can’t tackle, but the guy is fast and he’s a hitter. I think he’d be a great pick at either 2nd rd picks

  7. dslave says:

    how do we get the draft tracker portion of ne pats draft

  8. dslave says:

    dowling will be a beast if he can stay healthy.His grade was a mid first round going into his senior year.POSITION flexability. I dont think there going high on a corner.3 or their 4th round pick. they may address this in free agency. Safty is a whole different storry. I’m glad barron is hurt , it may drop his immediate value.

  9. td says:

    BB always liked the smaller quicker guys because they were better equiped to read and react quicker in his zone cover concepts.

    I think he went with Ras-I because he was going to start out the season with press cover, but once that failed miserably he went back to more zone coverages.

    Also, if your CB’s are always in press coverage, you need that type of shut down corners that command big money.

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