A Scout’s Take: 15 Potential Patriots

6) Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
Initially I was going to list UConn DT Kendall Reyes here, but I just can’t see Bill Belichick taking an interior defensive lineman in the first round who is under 300 lbs. I know Reyes is pretty close, but a point has been made in the last week or so that he actually played closer to 285 his junior season when he was his most productive, so I am not sure of the fit anymore. Worthy is an athletic interior penetrator who plays at close to 310 pounds.

I believe Worthy has been given kind of an unfair rap in the media and labeled a “loafer”, which is true to some degree, but certainly not to the level of Quinton Coples.

When Worthy is “on his game” he can be straight up dominate. He gets into the backfield with ease, can blow up plays and get after the QB. If the Patriots are looking for a DT who can bring interior pass rush and develop into and all around player it’s Worthy. Worthy doesn’t really project to 3-4 DE or NT, because of the way he likes to get up field so he’s not as versatile as some other defensive lineman. The Patriots rotate defensive fronts so often that they need these types of players and lacked them last season. Worthy in all likelihood will be there at the end of the first round when the Patriots pick.

7) Trumaine Johnson, CB/FS, Montana
Johnson is one of my favorite defensive back prospects in the entire draft. He is someone I hadn’t seen a lot of until after his season was over, but downloading some of his games I came away very impressed.

Johnson is a bigger cornerback who plays very well in man to man coverage. He also loves to come up to the line of scrimmage and play press coverage. Johnson has very good ball skills and on film you can see him continually locate and high point the football. Johnson’s name has also been brought up as a player that can move to free safety due to his ability to locate the ball, cover a lot of ground and play physical. I would always rather a player be given a shot at CB first, but Johnson definitely has the ability to play both positions.

One of the reasons I would be such a proponent of the Patriots selecting a CB like Johnson is because they need to find defensive backs who can play man to man coverage and need to bring in defenders who have better ball skills. Those were the two major weaknesses of the the Patriots secondary last year. Johnson would make a lot of sense at pick #48 because he won’t last much longer than that. Even though Johnson isn’t projected to go in the first round, it wouldn’t surprise me if he is a player the Patriots take a little bit higher than expected.

8. Bobby Wagner, LB Utah State / Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
I know I am cheating here a little bit by listing more than one player, but I am doing so to represent the Patriots need to draft a fast coverage type linebacker.

Lavonte David has visited the Patriots and Bobby Wagner’s name has been brought up as someone of interest. As I have said before taking either player would be a departure from the typical Patriot way of doing things. The Patriots need to get more athletic at the linebacker position and need to find players who can cover tight ends and slot WRs. Ninkovich, Spikes and Mayo are all big physical linebackers and all three can struggle in coverage at times.

David and Wagner are both undersized for what the Patriots usually look for but are athletic, fast and can cover. David is a throwback player, he is always around the football, has good instincts and can tackle and Wagner is one of the most underrated players in the draft, because I feel like he can play on every down and on all four special teams units. There aren’t many OLB prospects in this draft, especially the kind that the Patriots usually target. I think it’s time for the Patriots to change up the criteria a little bit when it comes to evaluating and drafting linebackers.

It’s a changing game and linebackers who can run and cover are more valuable than ever, it’s time for the Patriots to get a few. Both Wagner and David are projected to be drafted right around the 50th pick, so if the team wants one of them they will have to take them at 48.

9) Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida
If the Patriots select a corner back in the second round I believe Josh Robinson will be one of the most likely selections. Robinson might be the most athletic player in the entire draft and put on a show at the combine with speed and agility.

On the field, Robinson is a feisty and competitive corner. He really burst onto the scene with his performance against former Georgia WR AJ Green. Robinson challenged him, was in his face and was able to stick with Green throughout the game. Technically speaking, Robinson isn’t a finished product. He has been able to make up for a lot of mistakes with his athleticism and speed. Robinson has very good hips, very good change of direction, and the ability to run with any WR out there.

Those are all things that can’t be taught and are vital when projecting and selecting a CB. The Patriots like their corners, to be fast, fluid players and Robinson is certainly that. There is still some uncertainty to just how high Robinson could go. I would be pretty surprised if he made it out of the second round at this point so if the Patriots want him they will have to take him in the second round.

10) Brian Quick, WR, Appalachain State
The Patriots have added tremendous depth at the WR position in free agency, signing Anthony Gonzalez, Donte Stallworth and Brandon Lloyd. The team also resigned Deion Branch, restructured Chad Johnson’s contact and franchised Wes Welker. There figures to be a lot of competition for roster spots in training camp. Of the names mentioned only Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd would appear to be locks to be on the team. While the Patriots have a lot of different types of WR, they still don’t have the big, tall, fast vertical threat that can stretch the field.

By drafting Brian Quick the Pats would add that type of WR to what is already an interesting and eclectic mix. Quick may have as much potential as any receiver in the draft and that is including the first round guys. He is new to the game of football, so he is still learning. He has all the god given tools that can make a receiver great. He really does have great speed and if you watch him against Virginia Tech you can really get an appreciation for just how fast he really is. I believe if Quick went to a SEC school we would talking about him as a legitimate top 20 pick. There has been some rumors swirling around that the Patriots really like Quick a lot.

I think the late first round might be a little rich for him, considering he is projected to be available in the mid to late second. He is a player the Patriots could trade down for, or what until the end of the second round for.

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Tags: 15 Thoughts, 2012 NFL Draft, Chandler Jones, Michael Brockers, Scout's Take

26 Responses to “A Scout’s Take: 15 Potential Patriots”

  1. John M says:

    The Pats lost Marc Anderson to the Bills and Andre Carter is a big question mark. That’s 20 sacks that are probably gone. I think that the defensive linemen class is at least good this year so it’s a no-brainer, right? The Pats 27th pick will be the best defensive linemen available or they might move up 3-5 spots to pick the one they want. I don’t see them reaching for the 2nd best safety or 2nd best running back at that spot. I’m not smart enough to predict who they’ll take. All of us have been wrong the last 2 years with the pats first pick.

    • Jim R says:

      And we will be wrong again this year, Unless somebody drops in thier laps I think they will deal both first round picks. I think the talent you can get from 22-100 is all about the same. I think BB would like to operate in this range and pick up stuff for next year too.

  2. Ty says:

    Also with savy D subbing it could be a hybrid 2-5-4/2-4-5 with chung playing fs and adams at hybrid fs/ss and either barron, smith or my fav Iloka at ss in the draft.

  3. Ty says:

    Holy HOly HOLY crap, this led me to a whole new defensive scheme!!! the 2-5-4, 2 3-4 NT’s then 2 3/4 OLB’s/4/3 DE’s with 1 true ILB with 2 flex ILB/OLB’s and 2 CB’s and 1 true FS and 1 true SS. Holy crap i invented something!!!!

  4. Ty says:

    Terrible Article! Hey why don’t we jumble up a list of who could be drafted early and late and say those will be the pats big board????? Ok lets says the draft goes awry and Kirkpatrick is availible at 27, is he not on the pats big board???? How about Poe, what if in a crazy world he falls to 27 and the Pats decide to stay with the 4-3, and Poe is next to Wilfork??? Why would we even realisticly need 2 DE’s next to 2 guys who demand double teams? I know this article is called “15 potential Patriots”, However this years draft is so incredibly deep its statistcly impossible to predict what any team will do, espeshally the Pats who, with 2 first and 2 second round picks, will likely vulture whomever is availible. I would absolutely love to have S. Mclellin on the pats!!!! Is he a first round pick?? NOOO!!! Look at patriot draft history, how many of their first through third round picks in the last 10 years are still NFL players???? I counted, and they drafted 396 CB’s in the last 4 drafts alone!!!! Yes the Patriots definetly win some of those outragious picks. Brady was a 7th round pick, Hernandez in the 4th, and Belickech was Undrafted and lured by a unlimited supply of hoodies! OK i’m bunny trailing. Long story short, I wanna see a realistic mock for the Pats. Here is the hard part, you gotta not only predict whos falling and who’s raising but also predict other teams draft habbits vs. team needs. The Pats are kinda Screwed with both of their first round picks in this matter as denver, the lions, and the texans have a few similar needs with the pats before the first pick and greenbay and baltimore and sanfran will pick whomever then next 2-3 guys on the pats board before their next pick. More details to come in the more realistic article about this years draft called “Who falls to the Patriots in the first 2 rounds”

    • Ty says:

      However, I do love falling players in the draft. They say Poe is falling because of game tapes. They say Jenkins is falling because of boarderline poligamy(wait that can’t be right?) What happened to Chase Minniefield, earlier this year he was a first round prospect, then he has a great season and a bad combine and falls to the 3rd??? How about Burfict? Ok i’m just as ready to drop him as a head case as the next guy BUT , WHAT IF HIS PROBLEMS WITH THE COACHING STAFF is JUSTIFIABLE????? Burfict is a freakin animal and the Pats need some toughness! Geeze what about all those people who said ocho and the pats would be a hilarious disaster. Remeber when ocho used to ride bulls and get into knife fights with strippers, NO MORE! They even seemed to humble him in the process. Here’s the fact of the matter: The Pats reined him in and he wasn’t smart enough to learn the complicated offence(who could with no training camp and so little time). Watch out for the patriots because even when they strike out on 4 of 6 picks they willl still kick some butt.

  5. qwerty says:

    Brocker – no productive game film, potential, needs development

    another one …

    Poe – no productive game film, potential, needs development

    First round – No thanks even if they do become great players.

    First rounders should ideally be 3-4 down players and have game film and hopefully be more than one year wonders.

    Then there is the perceived risk and real risk. The smart scouting teams will identify the latter better.

    Patriots should not move up to take such players. Patriots having late first round picks may be in better position to gamble if they do fall but that is a grey area for me. I’d ere on the side of caution so rather just find those solid players. For the teams that have two first round picks, it could be justified rolling the dice.

    • Ken W says:

      Rolling the dice isn’t what BB does. He goes for the safe pick and someone that he knows will help the team when picking in the 1st round.

      Thats why 5/11 of his first round picks have been players in the trenches, OL and DL. Easier to project to the nfl then other positions. Zero OLB or rush DE have been selected in the first round.

      I think the only way McClellin or Upshaw become Pats is if they trade back into the early second and if they are still there, they take them.

      I think its more likely they go CB, S, a DE that falls or they really like, or even a OL in the 1st round. I don’t see them going OLB in the 1st. Not BB’s style.

      • qwerty says:

        I think you hit all the nails on the head. There are OLB’s BB would take but the cost for them are just too high and they are few. Patriots were going to take Robert Quinn if he was still available.

        • Ken W says:

          yah it seems the price the Pats are willing to pay is just a little bit lower then most of the other teams out there so they don’t end up with those pass rushers at the end of the day because a team a little bit ahead of them is willing to do it.

        • Wassup! says:

          Convo for dummmies?

  6. Wassup! says:

    *Jarius

  7. Wassup! says:

    Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas is the only one I’d pass on. I actually Jareius Wright more and think he catches the ball better. As well as potentially playing slot & outside. Just one man’s view.

  8. John M says:

    I’m surprised you don’t have Harrison Smith as a possibility in the late second round.

  9. BILL says:

    Thats pretty good analysis. if Perry is being compared to Ev Griffin, does that mean that He’s really a 3rd rd pick in a better draft.

    Its interesting that people who like Chandler Jones think he’s ultimately a 3-4 DE who will play at 285 #, but until he bulks up, we can teach him an new position at OLB. And Reyes is really undersized playing @ 285#. Its all who you like.

    I’m surprised there is no mention of Devon Still, who will probably be there for Pats @ 27 and 31. He was POY in Big 10 wasn’t he?

    I really like McClellin and Trumaine Johnson, and think a draft with

    27-McClellin / 31-Jones / 48-Johnson / 62- OLB (Wagner, Lavonte, Irvin, or Kendricks) / 93-RB or WR

    would be a screaming success

  10. Blackluck says:

    Some draft pundits have Upshaw dropping to the end of the first round or even the second. Seems after his pro day his stock really dropped. Is he still a mid round first pick despite that?

    • Nuf Ced says:

      I personally agree w/ Jonathan Bales on Upshaw (http://thedctimes.com/2012/01/dallas-cowboys-potential-2012-draft-pick-courtney-upshaw-deolb-alabama/)

      Personally I am not enamored with any of the Alabama defenders in this draft, the secondary players are one dimensional and the front 7 players have flaws that will be exposed at the NFL level. Out of all them when looking at where these guys will get drafted vs what I believe they will produce at I prefer Josh Chapman.

      Actually I looooooooove me some Nick Gentry late or UFA

      • Billy C says:

        Agree. Chapman will be the best pro on that defense. He’s not getting the love because of his injury and he plays the nose tackle position, but I’d be real happy to have him at the 45th pick.

  11. Tom says:

    Akiem Hicks

  12. Steve says:

    Good stuff Mike. Do you think that Wilson’s fumbling issues could scare the Pats away? Seems that Doug Martin might be a better fit. Either way, I can definitely see them using another pick on a RB this year.

  13. MJP says:

    How many times do I need to mention Malik Jackson before he gets any attention?

    Why draft Brockers who has some “iffy” tape when you can get Jackson in round-2 who gave LSU and Bama fits playing out of position at DT and even NT.

    No Mychal Kendricks, Devon Wylie or Robert Golden….how about Casey Hayward or Harrison Smith…this list needs to be expanded.

  14. AM says:

    A lot of great options on this list, starting with McClellin and Brockers. Mercilus is a risk, but he could pay off huge. Johnson, Robinson, and Wilson could all be great additions, as could Adams, Taylor, and Irvin. If every pick came out of that group, it would make for some very happy fans.

  15. Mark says:

    I’d like to see them get both Brockers and Shea but only if they spend the 3rd or 4th picks and/or future later rounders for short hops up; or maybe pick 62 only.

    • Mark says:

      That is in addition to any of their three tops picks. Don’t want to see them trade up that hard.



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