NEPD Mailbag: Too Long For Twitter

Bruce Irvin Patriots Draft

What traits does Bruce Irvin possibly share with Aldon Smith?

NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed

Which 2012 prospects don’t fit the Patriots defensive scheme? Who could be this year’s Aldon Smith? What’s the worst Patriots draft that you can possibly imagine?

Those are some of the questions I’ll be answering in my weekly “Too Long For Twitter” Friday mailbag where I take questions from Twitter that warrant, deserve or need answers longer than 140 characters

If you have a question about anything, tweet it to me @DougKyedNEPD, and I’ll try to include it in the column on Friday. If you aren’t on Twitter, feel free to throw in a question in the comments section.

@JRPhillips27 @DougKyedNEPD Last year apparently Belichick wanted to trade up and get Aldon Smith. Who is this years Aldon Smith?

Aldon Smith was a great player last year, but he was almost limited to passing downs. Smith was also so dominant last year that it’s a tough task to predict that anyone in this class will have that kind of early effect.

Smith was also coming into the league with character issues, so that’s another cog to throw into the equation. The first round pass rushers in this class are all very different players than Smith. Upshaw is just as effective against the run as he is against the pass, Ingram is a tweener who can fill a lot of roles with his versatility and Nick Perry might be the closest among the top three OLB/DEs, but he doesn’t have quite the same flexibility and fluidity around the edge. He’s also a better run defender.

My votes for players most like Smith are Andre Branch and Bruce Irvin. Both players are better suited as stand up rushers and neither will be asked to play pass coverage or run defense snaps early. Neither player will come anywhere close to being taken in the top 10, but both will beat you with their speed and pass rush moves rather than power.

@agusartero @DougKyedNEPD what would be the worst case scenario for pats in your opinion ? Lol

In the first round, these names come to mind: Whitney Mercilus, Chandler Jones, Alshon Jeffery, Stephen Hill, Mohamed Sanu. I think Mercilus and Jones are both overrated players and project much better to me as simply 7-tech pass rushers. Jeffery is a decent prospect, but the character, weight, speed, separation, explosion really scares me. Stephen Hill is too much of a project. He has just as much of a chance of being Taylor Price or Chad Jackson as he does of becoming Demaryius Thomas. Mohamed Sanu is too much of a short target player without the after the catch ability the Patriots need.

Other than that, an offense heavy draft will certainly aggravate me. I’ve taught myself to expect the worst, but it’s going to drive me a little crazy if even two of the Patriots first four picks are on offense. I know they still need another offensive lineman, they need some youth at WR and they could afford to draft another RB, but none of those needs are as great as the needs they have at 5-tech, pass rush and in the secondary.

Ultimately, it’s going to come down to who Belichick is highest on and which players he’s really focused in on this year. Belichick has “his guys” and he doesn’t stray too far from them.

If I had to mock out a worst case scenario keeping the Pats current picks? 27: DE Chandler Jones, 31: OT Mike Adams, 48: WR Dwight Jones, 62: RB Ronnie Hillman, 93: TE Michael Egnew, 126: CB DeQuan Menzie.

How’s that look to you guys?

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19 Responses to “NEPD Mailbag: Too Long For Twitter”

  1. Liam says:

    Ugh that mock draft made me puke… so good job.

  2. Jim R says:

    It looks like there a whole lot of LB’s in the 6-6’2″ 235 lbs. Safety size. I look at a guy like Michael Kendricks who has 4.45 -4.5 speed. Good coverage skills. Could a switch to safety be done with guys like this? What would be the downside of it.

  3. tyson says:

    Im positive BB will trade pick 31….theres really not much seprating picks 25-32 when it comes 2 prospects/talent..picks 27 and 31 arnt 2 far apart so i think BB will trade the 31st and get value wise..a 2nd and 4th this year and a 1st rounder for next…maybe just a 2nd and 5th this yr and of course the 1st 4 next yr..theres still the possiblility of trading away both 1st rounders and a future pick(maybe a 2013 5th or 6th) to a team like Arizona at 13 or one of cinn’s picks (17 or 21st).both teams need depth behind already talented teams and can get the players they need later in the rnd…while the pats need great talent….defensive _differnce makers_ and its gonna be harder finding “that” player late in the 1st rnd cuz the players/talent that it holds is so clumped together..After early 20s no prospects standn apart from the rest.dont get me wrong.i know BB can find a “good” player with are 1st 2 picks and that player will contribute somehow to the team but IMO he can get that on the 2nd and 3rd days

    • Jim R says:

      Tyson, Dont be suprised if he backs out of the first round all together. YThere is not much seperation in talent from the 20′s to the end of round 3. Currently we have 5 picks in that area. When all is said and done we will end up picking 4 in that area. We will get some extra late round picks and another 1st and second in next years draft.
      How many draft picks/UFA’s do you see making this team? I say 5 Picks and 1 UFA.
      Here is what we can be confident he will do in the Draft a Fatty (OL) Draft a corner and/or a safety (Hopefully not Barron) Take a chance on a WR or TE (Yep another TE) in around rd 3-5
      Nothing will be a wow factor pick.

      • qwerty says:

        BB may want to back out of 1st round but that doesn’t mean he can. It takes another partner to trade. Middle first round is easiers to trade. Late first rounds have fewer trading partners.

  4. Dan says:

    I used the name “Steve” last year…yet, just as obnoxious (what’s in a name). So, go back and read what I wrote about Aldon Smith.
    I believe I was the first person in the known universe to bring him into the first round, and I’m pretty sure it was on this site.
    Nobody was talking about him, and I watched him play one Saturday and decided it was time to see the mocks (probably November?) for the coming year’s draft, and he was not mentioned. I then wondered if he was a freshman, but I found he was elligible.
    Anyway, point being, sometimes when someone can do something so well, and is so athletic (with me I was amazed at his athleticism & length etc…) that you have to let them do what they do. Smith may never be a great all-round player, who cares…he changes the game.

    Point being, maybe this year BB sees that this is ok…let a guy just rush the passer. He saw that we survived, even flourished, with Anderson after Carter went down. So, why not draft one of these “specialists” at getting to the QB? It’s not like he’s over-drafting them either…they could be there…or one could be there; so his value priority could remain intact.

    Another point: Look at who’s beaten him (in close games) the past 2 Super Bowls? The Giants…and they get after the QB…Jason Paul-Pierre was a “gamble” of a pick, many thought, but look what he can do to a game. It’s time to loosen up and grab a specialist. There isn’t an athlete like JPP or Smith this year, but these other guys may be a step behind, but good enough.

    • D.T. says:

      full of yourself much?

      I guarantee you weren’t the first to put him in the first round…he was a projected 1st rounder back in January of that year.

  5. STEVEN G says:

    Doug, please tell me ur mock was a joke. Both Jones overrated. No need for OT, TE, or RB. Menzie in 4th round? Really? My go;#27-Devon Still( Cox gone )#31 Branch #48 Kendal Reyes #62 Shea McClellin #93 Brian Quick #126 S Brandon Hardin. Can i get a woopwoop!

    • Doug Kyed says:

      “If I had to mock out a worst case scenario keeping the Pats current picks?”

      • Dan says:

        Your worst case scenario is almost spot on with mine; although I do like Mercilus enough to draft as a pure pass rusher for now…with the plan to develope into a full-time player. The need to get to the QB and strip the ball etc…is too great, and his value/upside seems to fit the spots we have. I feel the same way about Branch also.

      • Jeff M says:

        Yes…I do believe I would kill myself if this draft took place…which means it’s possible it could happen lol!

        Although BB does almost everything that I DON’T think he’ll do, there’s no way he would do this draft.

        RB is a possibility, even though I’d hate it, but no chance of a TE.

        Jones is worse than any of the other DT’s that would be an option and Dwight Jones is sooo far and away worse than any of the other wideouts I don’t see Bill touching that.

        If this draft happened…let’s just say you wouldn’t see my comments ever again because I will have jumped off a cliff.

    • Dan says:

      We have 2 of the best young (giant!), smart tackles in the game…3 if you count Cannon. So, I don’t know what you want…a 4th top tackle to sit on the bench and get paid, with little hope of ever seeing the field? They may need some depth via free agency or a mid-late pick, but they aren’t desperate at tackle, even if Light retires. They have Vollmer, now healhty, and Solder to step in for Light.
      We have 3 TE’s, and we have 2 running backs ready to show why they were taken very high, and ahead of some very good backs…just last year. We also have a very productive back in Woodhead. They can draft another, maybe even go for a star, but the need isn’t crushing.
      Maybe I don’t even get what you’re saying.
      I’m not a big fan of Chandler Jones that high either.

  6. PSW says:

    We have 2-1st, and 2-2nd round picks. I would love to see them all go to the defense. A legitimate 3-4 DE, a rush OLB, a CB, and a S. Not in any particular order, just one of each. I can’t stand that anyone is mocking offensive players in the first round for the Pats. The offense was and still is top of the league. The defense last year was one of the worst ever to be dragged into the playoffs. Focus on the D first, then use the 3rd and 4th round picks for interior O Line depth. Then just before camp grab a Vet straggler who over priced himself and is now getting desperate for a roster spot to fill in any last gaps.
    Thats what I’m hoping for at least

    • qwerty says:

      patriots would be idiots if they locked themselves into taking an offensive or defensive player as first pick. they don’t know who will drop.

      patriots major defensive woes were caused when mayo and spikes got injured and guyton played poorly. that opened up the middle. they need to find depth to replace guyton.

      the patriots defense played pretty good during last part of the season. they need another defensive back (ideally versatile) who can be insurance against injuries.

      • psw says:

        The only offensive guys that wouldn’t give me a heart attack would be Konz or Zeitler. And you can’t tell me that upgrading the starter at any of the four positions i named wouldn’t have a bigger impact than a backup middle linebacker. Maybe some people think I’m being excessive but I think our biggest issues are on defense and should be handled first.
        I think you would agree with that much at least






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