2012 NFL Draft Impact: Patriots Re-sign Dan Koppen

Dan Koppen Patriots

Welcome back Dan. (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

A familiar face will be returning to Gillette Stadium soon, as veteran center Dan Koppen has reportedly signed a contract to stay with the New England Patriots. Koppen was originally selected in the 5th round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

What does the signing mean for the Patriots 2012 NFL Draft strategy?

The 32 year-old Koppen joins an already stocked interior line position. The Patriots currently have four possible centers on the roster (Koppen, Dan Connolly, Nick McDonald, Ryan Wendell) and five others (Robert Gallery, Brian Waters, Logan Mankins, Marcus Cannon, Donald Thomas) that can play guard. Connolly and Wendell have spent time playing both.

With this sort of depth, you could argue that the Patriots almost have enough talent and depth to field two starting offensive line units. Light, Mankins, Koppen, Waters, Vollmer would head the first unit. Solder, Gallery, Connolly, Thomas, and Cannon would make up the second.

Granted, Light and Waters may end up retiring. Mankins is recovering from a torn ACL. Even so, the Patriots have more offensive line depth than they may have ever had in Tom Brady’s career.

So will the Patriots choose to address the center position in the 2012 NFL Draft? At this point, unless a top center prospect falls to the point of absurdity – think Ryan Mallett – I don’t think Bill Belichick chooses a pivot in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Patriots fans should rejoice at that news. Every offensive need filled through free agency gives the Patriots another chance to pick an impact player for their defense.

Tags: , , , ,

27 Responses to “2012 NFL Draft Impact: Patriots Re-sign Dan Koppen”

  1. Kim says:

    Agreed. Even if Konz fell to them, I cant see them taking him. But you never know with BB…

  2. rdf63 says:

    I like this signing for a couple of reasons:
    1. Besides Konz, the overall class of 2012 draft picks is very poor.
    2. Konz is a high quality person but also had a lot of physical problems including lungs, ankle…
    3. Pats could be preparing for next year to pick a center and both Khaled Holmes of USC and Jones of Alabama will be first round caliber players.
    4. Pats need to focus this years draft on defense because it has be entirely rebuilt. With the right picks, it can be a very good young defense because Mayo, Spikes, Chung, McCourty are both solid and very young. Mayo is the oldest at 26 and get some studs with them.

    • Ken W says:

      I agree with you, they are just a few pieces away from a very good young defense.

      Coverage safety to compliment Chung
      OLB – Best case scenario they find a guy like Vrabel or McGinest that they haven’t replaced since those guys left.

  3. AM says:

    It occurs to me that if the Patriots only drafted Kendalls and Brandons in this draft, it would be pretty solid. Trade away a second-rounder, and pick Kendall Wright, Kendall Reyes, Brandon Thompson, Brandon Washington, Brandon Taylor. Not the best draft possible, but I could live with it. 🙂

  4. Jason says:

    No dominant running game since Curtis Martin? Corey Dillon. And they don’t need or want a dominant running game. Their running game has been satisfactory over the past few years (ever since they dumped Maroney). Ridley will be a nice back for them, he didn’t fumble that much in college, and everyone says he is mature and a hard worker so I think he’ll be ok. Trading all your picks in a deep draft is not a smart move. Trading one of their 1st picks to move down is much more likely (and smart if their player isn’t available). I think this draft will depend on what they plan as their base D this year. If they go back to a 3-4, I would love to see them get Shea McClellin. If they go with 4-3, then a DE would be the way to go. Of course, CB and Safety would be nice too. The only OL I would want them to take, is if they get their defensive picks done and somehow are able to get Cordy later. But play him as a G, not T. Guy will be a pro bowl G in the future. I do agree about Poole, late round gamble on a guy that has talent, could be a nice pick.

    • Mark says:

      I agee with everything but Dillon. Never liked him but I’ll go look at his stats. But I will say this, I believe that with other teams needs at various positions besides DT/DE/LB and CB/S there is a good possibility that at least 3 from above and 3-5 rising stars will be there like a buffet at 27 and 31.

  5. Dan says:

    I really thought Koppin was gone; especially with the money that went to Connolly. I wonder who is getting more dough, and I we know Connolly can play guard, but I doubt they paid him that to be a back up. Maybe they got word from Waters and/or Koppin just signed for very cheap because he had nothing else…just coming in to compete???

    Very interesting stuff…

    • AM says:

      Koppen signed for decent money–my guess is the market out there wasn’t beating the Patriots offer (not unexpected for a somewhat older player coming off a serious injury), so he stuck with what he knew. I bet that the team is thinking about Connolly as a high-end swing player, and regular fill-in, a bit like Jarvis Green from the old days. He can step in for Mankins (injury), Koppen (injury), and Waters (age and/or retirement) as needed, so paying for him means you’re getting a three-in-one deal. Alternately, they may think that he is just a better option at center than Koppen at this point; Scarnecchia raved about Connolly’s abilities a while back.

  6. TD says:

    This means you can cross a Center off the list, unless he can also play G, T, DT or DE.

  7. Bill says:

    this must open the door for a 3-4 round RB. this draft could fill a lot of needs.

    • Ryan says:

      Exactly, what I was thinking. I think there is room for one more RB. Maybe a bigger back, more powerful back. Or maybe not considering we have two FB’s also. Very interesting off season for the Pats. There is something cooking.

      • Mark says:

        YES! I have insinuated this before as well. We have not had a dominant running game since Curtis Martin. I think Kraft knows, even with Brady and the team’s success, the fans are hungry for a dominant running game. Also, with everyone else focusing on passing strategies it’s the time for BB to do the unpredictable.

        Picks 27, 31 and 48 add up to pick 5 on the draft value chart. That’s a trade with Tampa Bay. Throw in the third round pick and you deal with Cleveland.

        If you give Trent Richardson the same stats as Martin would not the PATS be the scariest team in the league? And if he get’s hurt you still have a solid group. Brady becomes much more effective because he can hold the ball longer. Teams won’t know how to defend a team that can run and pass with such strong and equal force. Plays can be disuised easier. And you still have picks 62 and the fourth rounder for a safety and pass rush. Crazy, I know. But interesting to just think about it a minute.

        • avk says:

          So we have needs at every level of the defense and you’re trading 4 picks for a running back? Yeah crazy.

        • BILL says:

          I wqas actually thinking about a smaller investment in, say the Bernard Pierce, Robert Turbin, Chris Polk type of guy that could help Ridley move the chains. How awesome would Pats offense be if it could rush for 30 times /game. Open things up for Welker, Gronk, and the boys

        • Dan says:

          Sound logic…trade away your draft for a running back that will last a solid 5 years…brilliant.
          Not to mention you have 2 backs drafted high from last year, one who showed he can already play, and the other was drafted higher and is a special talent.
          I think they may grab someone in the mid rounds, but they are not trading up for Richardson at 5.

        • Mark says:

          Agreed gentlemen, just putting the questionout there and got a lot of good feedback. Now, what about free agency? Forte is probably the best available that they could afford. Then Cedric Benson, Joeseph Addai, Hightower and Ryan Grant. If we don’t draft a rb, I think I’d like Addai or Grant. Both are will be 2 years from injury and may come fairly cheap. I’m not sure what the fanchise cost is for Forte but if we really wanted him we have enough players to work him in slowly.

          But a stronger running game will help protect Brady as the old man ages.

          What is the rumor on Forte please?

        • Jim R says:

          Forte Rumor Has Hoyer and # 48 going to Da Bears.

      • Ken W says:

        I like Tauren Poole RB trom Tenn as a late round pick. Seems to be a good combination of speed and power. Hard working and a leader.


        • Nuf Ced says:

          I have been on this guys bandwagon for weeks, I love this guy. Compare the situation and scouting reports of Poole and Arian Foster. Great junior campaign senior year disappointment due to nagging injury and young/inexperienced/new OL…

          Reeeeeeeeeaaaaally like this guy

        • AM says:

          Agreed–I think he’d even be worth it at #126.

      • AM says:

        If we were going to go RB, I would love to see them pick up Tauren Poole in the 4th–he would be a great value there, and he has great potential as a three-down back. A hard runner with good speed.

    • Jim R says:

      You can pluck a RB anytime. Hell, its been proven over and over. They drafted two last year. Unlikely they go that route again. Heard the rumor about Forte yet?

  8. psw says:

    If Konz doesn’t fall to 27 or Zeitler to 50-something we won’t see an offensive player picked. Even with the likely trade to move back all the picks should be defensively oriented. Which is just what we need.
    Its very reassuring to have so much o line depth, even if Light and
    Waters retire ( I hope they stay one more year), we are loaded.

  9. qwerty says:


    • Mark says:

      I agree somewhat but still believe the PATS are addressing everything they can before the draft to give themselves the freedom to move in any direction. If they decide upgrading at center has the best value on any given pick they want to be free to pull the trigger. Why draft Vernon Gholston just because the sports writers get everyone hyped up – no offense. Last year they were slow with free agency and it cost them a bit at pass rushing and corner/safety. Injuries exposed the weaknesses.

      I still want two DTs or two CBs with the 1st 2 picks. Why two of either? It will generate competition and less chance of both not succeeding.

      Didn’t realize we had three centers already…I just remember Detroit’s main centers got hurt last year and for a few series Stafford kept misfiring with who they had.

  • Categories

  • Search NEPD Archives

  • Archives