A Scout’s Take: 15 Potential Patriots

11) David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
Selecting a running back doesn’t seem like it would be a priority for the Patriots, but Bill Belichick always finds a way to pull off the unexpected. The Patriots drafted two running backs last year in Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, so that should preclude them from taking one this year right? I would doubt it. The Patriots usually stay true to taking the best player available on the board and Wilson could be available for one of or both the Patriots second round picks.

The team lost running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis to the Bengals in free agency and Kevin Faulk who will likely retire, so there is at least one RB spot available on the roster. One my be filled by one of the two fullbacks the Patriots brought in, however my point is if the Patriots view Wilson as the best player available, they will take him. Wilson runs extremely hard and is always fighting for every last yard. He hits the holes hard, can make people miss and can run away from a defense. He has solid hands and is deadly in the open field.

If the Patriots did select Wilson or another RB like him they would form one of the most intriguing young backfields in the NFL. There has been talk of taking some of the pressure off of Tom Brady in the coming years and one of the ways to do that is creating a dynamic stable of running backs.

12) Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
Joe Adams is the type of WR the Patriots usually target. He is probably best suited for the slot, but I think he could also play outside the numbers. What makes Adams so special is his ability to be deadly on kick and punt returns as well as create plays on offense with the ball in his hands. Adams played in a pro-style offense in college under Uber-Scumbag coach Bobby Petrino.

He was widely considered the best player in Mobile during the Senior Bowl week and really showed off his ability to catch the ball and get open. The Patriots really need to find a way to get better in the return game, which really hampered them in the field position game at times last year. It makes sense for the Patriots to select a player who can be a major factor on offense as well as on returns, in order to save a roster spot.

In the past we have seen the Patriots target wide outs such as Bethel Johnson and Brandon Tate because besides just being a WR they were also great return men. Adams is a better natural WR entering the league than either of those players and would immediately become a fan favorite because of how electric he is with the ball in his hands. At this point it looks like the Patriots would be able to select Adams at pick #63 which would be great value for a player who could bring so much to the offense and special teams units.

13) Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia
Irvin is a very unique prospect. He is the fastest DE/OLB in the draft running a 4.43 forty yard dash at the combine, but he is also one of the lightest at 245 pounds. If the Patriots were to pick Bruce Irvin they would likely be doing so to help fill the void that was left by Mark Anderson. I view Irvin as a similar player to Mark Anderson, both are players who play best when they are allowed to just pin their ears back and rush the passer.

Anderson was listed at 6’4″ 254 lbs, when he entered the draft, but was not nearly as fast as Irvin, running a 4.62. Irvin was laughably misused at West Virginia. He was asked to play the 5-Tech and tie up blockers instead of rush the passer on each play. In the NFL I see Bruce Irvin standing up and just getting after the QB. He will need to add some bulk, strength and needs to get better against the run.

However, you can’t teach the speed that Irvin has and it’s rare to find an edge rusher who is athletic as Irvin. Bill Belichick is the master of finding the one thing a player can do well and putting them in position to be successful. There’s no doubt Bill Belichick would be able to find situations to use Irvin’s athleticism. I doubt he is someone the Patriots would reach for, but if Irvin is sliding down the board a little bit, I could see the Patriots biting. Irvin does have some off the field red flags and was just arrested for disorderly conduct which will effect his draft stock a little bit.

14) Brandon Taylor, FS, LSU
The Patriots still have depth and talent concerns at the safety position. They added Steve Gregory in free agency, but need more to fix what was the worst position on the team last season. With the limited talent at safety available at the top of the draft I think it’s likely the Patriots wait to draft a safety, if they do at all.

I view Taylor as a good fit because he can do a little bit of everything. He has solid range and cover skills which makes him attractive to a team that struggled to cover from the safety position. Taylor also isn’t afraid to get physical, he will come up in run support and can bring the wood at times. The Patriots ask their safeties to be versatile and Taylor is a defensive back who I believe can rotate between high and low safety. Taylor needs to clean up his tackling and needs to take better angles, as he misses to many tackles.

Taylor would make sense for the Patriots in the late third and would make even more sense if they could wait to get him in the fourth round.

15) Micah Pellerin, CB, Hampton
If the Patriots decide to focus on the front seven and pass rush through the first two-three rounds they will miss out on many of the top corners and safeties. Pellerin is a player the Patriots would be able to get in the fourth round or later who might be able to make an immediate impact. Pellerin is another player who might be able to make the switch to FS, but can also stick at CB.

He has really good feet, he can stick a foot in the round and break on a route as good as any CB in the draft. The Patriots send defensive backs coach Josh Boyer to personally work out Pellerin, which signals that they have at least some interest in the Hampton DB. To get a fluid, quick twitch defensive back in the late fourth round or later would be great value for a team in need of cover corners.

Bonus – 16) Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
Broyles is one more player I will throw out there, because selecting him would be a typical Patriots value pick. Broyles tore his ACL in November and won’t be fully healthy until well after the draft. Obviously going through the draft process with a torn acl has hurt Broyles draft stock. If healthy Broyles would have been a solid second round pick.  Since he is not healthy he is likely going to be a 4th round pick. I believe Broyles is a great fit for what the Patriots do on offense.

He is a possession type WR who reminds me a lot of current Patriot WR Brandon Lloyd. He is able to get open on almost any route he runs and has very reliable hands. He is someone who I believed would be on the Patriots radar before he got injured. Last year we saw the Patriots select Marcus Cannon in the 5th round after it was found out he had a form of cancer at the combine. In 2009 we saw the Patriots select Brandon Tate who was coming off of a torn ACL in the third round, which was a situation very similar to Broyles current situation.

If the Patriots feel like they can get good value on Broyles and stash him on the PUP list until he is fully healthy I think they would do it.

17) Other players who the Patriots might look at include: Illinois WR AJ Jenkins, Wake Forest WR Chris Givens, LSU CB Ron Brooks, Cincinnati DT Derek Wolfe, Florida DT Jaye Howard, Wake Forest OLB Kyle Wilber, Furman CB Ryan Steed, Arizona State DB Omar Bolden, Notre Dame OLB Darius Fleming and North Carolina State ILB Audie Cole.

If the Patriots are going to trade up in the first round, which is usually unlikely, I believe it will be for one of two players. Either Michael Brockers whom I highlighted earlier or Alabama OLB Courtney Upshaw. I believe Upshaw is exactly the type of OLB the Patriots usually target and would be a great fit on the strong side of the Patriots defense. I know the Patriots have interest in Upshaw but would like have to trade up to the 15th pick or there abouts to get him.

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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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