2012 NFL Draft: 1st Round Aftermath

Patriots NFL Draft hightower

Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones are going to make a lot of Patriots fans very happy.

NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed

Well that didn’t go as expected.

But really, that’s what you have to expect with the draft and especially this Patriots team. All the Patriots fans wanted impact players that could help them win next season, and I think they should be happy.

Lets first tackle the Patriots picks.

CHANDLER JONES, DE, SYRACUSE

The Patriots moved their 27th pick and their 93rd pick to move up with the Cincinnati Bengals to take Chandler Jones. If you follow me on twitter, you saw me tweet about him all night. I finally came around on him a bit last night. I expect him to play 7-tech in the Pats defense right away, and he has the upside to eventually be a 5-tech or 3-tech if he can bulk up to 280 or 290.

He’s a 6-6/265 DE with tremendous length (35+ inch arms) and natural strength. He’s UFC Champion Jon “Bones” Jones brother, as well as current Baltimore Ravens DT Arthur Jones. So he comes from a nice pedigree.

Some people are projecting Jones as an OLB/elephant in the Pats hybrid defense, but he has a lot of trouble in space and looks very awkward running. He missed five games with a sprained knee last year, so that could have affected his mobility. He had a great short shuttle and 3 cone time at the combine, which was surprising, but as I said before, his knee might have hindered him in space.

DONT’A HIGHTOWER, ILB/OLB/DE, ALABAMA

Ooh boy. The Patriots used their 31st pick and 126th pick to grab 25 from the Broncos. This is one of my favorite Patriots picks EVER. Hightower can play rush DE, SLB or MLB in the 4-3 and he can play ILB or OLB in the 3-4. He’s a massive linebacker in the mold of Levon Kirkland/Adalius Thomas and he could play a similar role as those players.

The Patriots needed depth at inside linebacker, which Hightower provides and they needed some more pass rushers with Mark Anderson and Andre Carter gone. There could not have been a better fit in this Pats defense.

I’ve seen comparisons to Brandon Spikes which I think are way off base. Hightower is much more athletic, even bigger, far more versatile and most importantly, better in zone coverage. He’ll fit in any role in the hybrid defense and Belichick certainly knows a lot about him, he was coached at Alabama by Belichick’s best buddy Nick Saban.

The only way this was going to happen was if David DeCastro fell, which he did to the Steelers. Otherwise, Pittsburgh almost definitely would have taken Hightower.

LOOKING FORWARD

Going into tomorrow, Patritos fans will be expecting to go secondary. The Patriots only have two picks left in the entire draft, and they’re both in the 2nd round, so this could be a quick draft for the Pats.

Likely, if one of their guys are there at 48, they’ll take them, otherwise, I’d expect the Patriots to trade out of both picks.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Biggest reaches:
AJ Jenkins – 30 to the 49ers
Bruce Irvin – 15 to the Seahawks
Harrison Smith – 29 to the Vikings
David Wilson – 32 to the Giants
Kevin Zeitler – 27 to the Bengals
Mark Barron – 7 to the Buccaneers
Dontari Poe – 11 to the Chiefs

Best values:
Quinton Coples – 16 to the Jets
Riley Reiff – 23 to the Lions
Dre Kirkpatrick – 17 to the Bengals
David DeCastro – 24 to the Steelers

My best players available:
Devon Still
Courtney Upshaw
Janoris Jenkins
Jonathan Martin
Cordy Glenn
Peter Konz
LaVonte David
Coby Fleener

See how we did in each of our mocks here:

James’ Mock (2nd place)
Mike’s Mock (5th Place)
Doug’s Mock

Overall, I thought it was a fantastic first day for the Patriots. Chandler Jones wasn’t my favorite player in the draft, but I understand and appreciate his upside, and it’s not like he can’t contribute right away. He may just look much different in three years.

There are also a ton of great players left that fit needs for the Patriots. At DL there’s still Devon Still, Brandon Thompson, Kendall Reyes and Jerell Worthy. At secondary there’s still Jenkins, Brandon Boykin, Jamell Fleming, Trumaine Johnson, Casey Hayward. At offensive line, there’s still Martin, Glenn, Konz, Amini Silatolu. One of those guys is guaranteed to be there at #48. That’s good news moving forward.

Until tomorrow, I hope you enjoyed the first day of the draft.

Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Chandler Jones, Don'ta Hightower, Mock Draft, Trade

35 Responses to “2012 NFL Draft: 1st Round Aftermath”

  1. Mark says:

    I thought more WR were going to go in the first. I knew there was going to be lots of trades – just like the old days.

  2. Liam says:

    I know we need to adress the secondary, but a tiny part of me wants to package both remaing picks to go up and get Courtney Upshaw. How sick would that front 7 be?

  3. Kemicol says:

    Db is totally what we need use first pick get best db player available grade second pick for later picks to bring in o line depth also look for the db to help in the return game much like Patrick Peterson last year

  4. Jim R says:

    48 Kendal Reyes
    62 Lamichael James
    Hoyer getting traded Will pick up Corner and WR later

  5. Dan says:

    Can we work on getting film of the Raven’s draft room when they hear that the Pats jumped ahead of them to grab Hightower?
    I would pay to see this…they had to be thinking he was falling to them, and never would have expected NE to move up twice.

    I want Jones in the weight room tomorrow at 5 AM!!!

  6. Dan says:

    I don’t think Jones projects inside by adding 20-40 lbs…not at all. I see him getting stronger, and maybe adding 10-20 lbs, but to play as an outside rusher…and end. To start I think he will be a situational player, but with time moving to an every down edge talent.

    I wasn’t crazy about him…he needs work, but I love his length and am happy to see him here….to rush the passer and get coached up…trained up.

    The Hightower pick made the Jones pick much more easy to swallow. Hightower, to me, is as solid a prospect in this draft and he fits our team perfectly. I wouldn’t have balked if they jumped up to take him in the top 10. He’s a serious defensive football player…Spikes with much better athleticism and speed. He’s a leader…from the SEC and has 2 championships, a captain too…all great stuff.

    I would say that McCourty will be playing more safety, and after listening to Parcells talk about his thoughts on playing 3 corners in a base defense on 1st down I see it making more sense.

  7. JMC says:

    OK- they went defense with some good DL, Ol or CB left on the board. Looks good I think but: ‘we’ll see how it goes’.

  8. qwerty says:

    He should be successful with improved technique and weight gain in a 4-3 defense. Not sure how he fits a 3-4 defense. I could see him being mostly inactive for games this season. In the end, Chandler is a project so patriot fans shouldn’t expect too much from him early on. Hopefully the patriots made the right choice. Only time will tell.

  9. Mark says:

    I like it so far…

  10. Bruschi54 says:

    Great day for the D, if we could add Still or Reyes and then the best DB on the board things will be much different next season. I think the Jets went out on a limb with Coples, he could be Vernon Gholston’s baby brother! Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane. We can only hope.

    • MilitStrat54 says:

      Buddy says …and a coach who sometimes acts like Cheetah. You guys bust me up.

  11. warren schrader says:

    This draft was brutal spending a extra 3rd pick on a guy who has done nothing in his whole NCAA career I mean nothing , no sacks no blowing up runs can’t run, trips over himself more on tape than any player I ever seen. Does Bill have a wedding or something on Saturday or does he need to go to bed early on Friday.What the hell’s going on.

  12. Ty says:

    How about we trade a 2013 1st rnd pick for #39 and 2012 4th rnd from the rams and grab Jenkins before the Panther do.

  13. NEtyson says:

    Think about it 4 a second……
    Chandler jones,wilfolk,deaderick and ninkovich and hightower outside and mayo and spikes inside….thats a really good 3-4
    Then we got jones,love,wilfolk,deaderick, on the line and ninkovich spikes and mayo as our 4-3 front 7….im happy with what couuld be this coming yr….nevermind hightower playing all over the place and chandler learning the DE/OLB position as he goes….best 1st rnd 4 pats in a long while IMO

    • warren schrader says:

      Well they won’t have to block Jones it will take him two plays to get to the quarterback if doesn’t trip over himself .

    • NEtyson says:

      And if we resign carter(and hes healthy) jones can spell him as DE in our even fronts….and dont 4get about trevor scott who can come in on 3rd downs every so often and (i hope) get after the QB

    • warren schrader says:

      Not to mention if I’m the opposition I throw to tightend on jones side touchdown

    • Liam says:

      Wilfork outside? I know he’s been interceptinc passes but let’s not get carried away here…

  14. Truth Speaker says:

    Dont know how someone could be a reach until they’ve proven what they could do. And dont sound in on Jones.

    15 teams had Irvin in the top 15, btw.

  15. TD says:

    What can you say? moving up twice, twice to get 2, that’s 2 possible impact defensive players.

    Tomorrow, more D? If McCourty goes to Safety, we need CB’s.

  16. Wes says:

    I still can’t get over this first round. Absolutely unreal

  17. AM says:

    I have a feeling the team grabs a WR sometime tomorrow. Right now they have depth, but talent is so-so.

    • in a draft class not known for top end WR talent throughout, you think we’ll hit on a bonafide star receiver in round 2? this is the patriots. we just steal our receivers from other teams

      • AM says:

        Not known for top-tier playmakers, but there is excellent value at the second-tier level of WRs in this draft–this is one of the deepest WR classes in years, if not ever. Not that I’m averse to stealing other teams’ wideouts, but Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, or Joe Adams would go over very well.

    • tomb says:

      i hope not pats dont do well when picking up wr’s

      CC OL or DE is what we really need.

      • tomb says:

        meant CB.

      • AM says:

        I agree on DE, and also DB (prefer S to CB), but our WRs are also older and/or injured.

        The team has done poorly in the past, but they need to keep trying! The focus should be on hyper-productive college receivers (like Deion Branch) while ignoring “athletes” with “potential” (like Chad Jackson).



  • Categories

  • Search NEPD Archives

  • Archives